This Creamy Chicken and Rice Bake is easy to make and is the perfect comfort food dish for a family meal.
This is one of my family's favourite chicken dinners. It's really easy to make and results in a rich, creamy dish with succulent chicken and rice that has soaked up all those delicious flavours.
It's also a very versatile dish - you can switch out the rice for rice-shaped pasta, add in extra vegetables, add in different herbs or spices and even switch the cream for coconut cream.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's family-friendly - my whole family love this recipe.
- Lemon, cream, parmesan and garlic are such a delicious combination!
- Once the prep is done, you can just leave it in the oven for 40 minutes.
- It just needs a simple salad to accompany it.
- You can easily change it up to suit your palate - add different herbs or spices, such as thyme or paprika, add in vegetables or swap the cream for coconut cream.
- Rice - I use long-grain rice, but you could also use arborio (risotto) rice or try it with rice-shaped pasta like orzo or risoni.
- Chicken Thigh Fillets - Thigh fillets work best in this dish. You could substitute for chicken breast but you may find the meat might a bit dry.
- Olive Oil
- Chicken Stock
- Thickened Cream - thickened cream works best here, not normal pouring cream. You could also try it with coconut cream to change it up.
- Lemon Juice - try to use freshly squeezed lemon if possible, not from a bottle.
- Freshly Grated Parmesan - again, freshly grated is best. It has a better flavour and melts into the sauce better.
- Baby Spinach
This recipe is very adaptable. You could also add vegetables to the dish before it goes into the oven. Try adding pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, green beans or broccoli.
How to make Creamy Lemon Chicken Bake
Start by lining your baking dish with the rice.
Next season the chicken. You can just use salt & pepper for this, or you can add any other seasoning you like. Thyme, oregano and paprika all work well, it just depends on your taste preference.
Now melt ⅓ of the butter and the olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat and sear the chicken on both sides. You're not looking to cook it through (this will happen later in the oven). You just want to brown the outsides.
Remove the chicken from the pan and arrange it on top of the rice in your baking dish.
Now it's time to make the sauce:
Lower the heat to medium and add in the remaining butter together with the olive oil.
Toss in the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until soft.
Then add in the chicken stock, lemon juice, cream, parmesan and spinach. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
Now let it simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened and the spinach has wilted.
Pour the sauce over the chicken. You can decorate it with a few slices of lemon if you like. Now just put it in the oven for 40 minutes and relax!
Serve with a simple side salad.
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Creamy Lemon Chicken and Rice Bake
- 1 Baking Dish
- 1 Frying Pan
- 1 cup rice
- 50 g butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 750 g chicken thigh fillets
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or crushed
- 400 ml chicken stock
- 200 ml thickened cream
- 1 lemon freshly squeezed juice of
- 50 g parmesan freshly grated
- 60 g baby spinach
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 360F
- Pour out and cover the bottom of your baking dish with the rice.
- Season the chicken thighs generously with salt & pepper (plus any other herbs or spices you choose).
- Melt ⅓ of the butter and the olive oil over a high heat in a frying pan or skillet. Sear the chicken on both sides until lightly browned. (You are not cooking the chicken all the way through, it will cook later in the oven).
- Remove the chicken from the pan and arrange in a single layer over the rice in the baking dish.
- Lower the heat under the frying pan to medium and add the remaining butter.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until soft.
- Add the chicken stock, lemon juice, parmesan, cream, and spinach. Stir and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened and the spinach has melted.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish. If you like, you can decorate with some lemon slices.
- Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- Serve with a simple side salad.
- I use long-grain rice for this dish but you can also use arborio (risotto) rice or substitute for a rice-shaped pasta such as orzo or risoni.
- In addition to salt & pepper, you can season with any other herb or spice. Thyme and paprika both work well here.
- For a different variation, substitute the thickened cream for coconut cream.
- You can also add other vegetables to the dish along with the chicken. Try pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, green beans or broccoli.