Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole with Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce is a classic family meal reinvented. Chicken casserole is amped up with a whole bottle of Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce for a sweet, savory, spicy, and colorful rendition of the comforting dish. This casserole recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners with the family, and the whole thing is ready in less than an hour. We’re also revisiting some recipes to make the most out of the pineapple habanero sauce.
Hello my friends. This chicken and rice recipe is simple, quick to put together, and comfort food at its best! But first let me tell you about my first memories around chicken and rice casseroles; I always knew it was time for dinner as soon as I smelled the inviting aromas coming out of the oven.
Who can say no to a steaming, hearty chicken and rice casserole? I know I can’t. This is the quintessential home-cooked, one-pot dish, and it’s always deeply satisfying and crowd-pleasing.
Today’s chicken and rice casserole is an easy classic reinvented, and you’ll love it. Think of fork-tender chicken thighs over a bed of fluffy rice, infused with the exotic and thrilling flavors of a roasted pineapple habanero sauce. The aromas are amazing, and the color of freshly chopped cilantro makes it a beauty too.
For me, chicken and rice casseroles are all about family. And because the Spoonabilities family is all about trying out new flavor combinations, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that we infused our casserole with a fiery and smoky roasted pineapple habanero sauce. That’s what we do!
This recipe is colorful with tropical flavor and a bit of a spicy kick, but it’s still super comforting and heartwarming. It’s a casserole to be proud of, so let me break this one down for you.
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How to Make Chicken and Rice Casserole
We’re working with four bone-in and skin-off chicken thighs, and we want them beautifully browned and juicy, so I use my go-to Greek olive oil from Hellenic Farms to sear them in an Enamel Cast Iron Casserole Dish.
Don’t rush it. Give the chicken a nice tan around three minutes per side. When you go to flip the chicken, if it still sticks on the pan, then it’s not ready - wait a little bit longer. The chicken should release easily from the pan. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and set them aside.
The rest of the recipe is easy. We’ll combine chicken stock (no sodium) with the fabulous Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce by Terrapin Ridge Farms and throw in the rice and season with sea salt. We’ll gently place our chicken thighs on top, cover the casserole and let the oven do the rest. Serve this chicken and rice casserole with salad.
Pro Tips for Chicken and Rice Casserole
We finish this recipe in the oven, but you can make this casserole on the stovetop. Make sure you cook it at the lowest heat setting.
This chicken and rice casserole recipe is very versatile, and you can add other ingredients like different vegetables, or different kinds of meat like pork, sausage, Dominican longaniza, or turkey.
For best result for a juicy and tender chicken, use dark, bone-in meat like chicken thighs, drumsticks, or legs. My favorite dark meat is chicken thighs. You can leave the skin on, but I prefer to cook it without the chicken skin. Also, the dark meat is cheaper and richer in flavor.
This chicken and rice casserole is the perfect recipe to make ahead, and you can freeze this casserole too.
If you don’t want to brown the chicken first, it’s ok. You can add the raw chicken to the casserole but remember, the beautiful brown chicken looks more appealing to your eyes.
If you already have cooked chicken from previous meals, rotisserie chicken, or baked chicken, then just cook the rice with the pineapple habanero sauce alone, and pretend you did it all together.
Do you have to cook the rice before putting it in a casserole?
No, you don't need to cook the rice before putting it in the casserole. Remember, the beauty of this recipe is to cook all the ingredients together in one pot. When all the ingredients cook in the same casserole dish, the chicken and the sauce will flavor the rice. Make sure you seal your ovenproof dish well and your rice will cook perfectly in the oven; no need to pre-boil the rice.
What else can you Cook with Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce?
You know when you find a sauce and then you can’t stop using it on everything? Well, right now, for me that’s Terrapin Ridge Farms Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce. It’s sweet, tangy, smoky, and downright addictive. It just makes me happy!
Our easy chicken and rice casserole will be ready in under an hour, so while we wait, let me share with you a few other recipes I’ve put together throughout the years using this roasted pineapple habanero sauce.
Pan-Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce
This recipe for golden pan-grilled shrimp just makes me smile. This is still one of our favorite weeknight quick meals, and it’s as easy as tossing the shrimp with the sauce and throwing them on the grill.
Pork Carnitas with Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce
These are one of Geoffrey’s favorite tacos, and they’re always the star of the show on taco night. Fork-tender pork butt slow-cooked in the spicy sauce really does the trick. Drizzled with sour cream and topped with cilantro, these are fantastic two-biters.
Vegetable Egg Rolls with Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce
My grandfather was Chinese, so I have always enjoyed infusing my cooking with Asian flavors. These air fryer egg rolls are a real treat, and this time the roasted pineapple habanero sauce serves as a glorious dipping sauce.
This chicken and rice casserole recipe reminds me of one of my favorite Dominican recipes called Arroz con Pollo (“chicken and rice”). The concept is very similar but with the traditional Dominican seasoning. In the Dominican Republic, we cook the chicken and rice together, and the chicken flavor infuses the rice with such an incredible taste. I'm planning to make the Dominican version of this chicken and rice casserole recipe later this year.
I think I smell our Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole ready to come out of the oven. Are you ready to make yours? Let’s get to it.
If you get a chance to make this or another Spoonabilities recipe, tag @Spoonabilities on Instagram or add a photo or comment on the Pin, so we can find you! And we love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Your Recipe Concierge!
This one-pot chicken and rice casserole is a classic family meal reinvented with the addition of roasted pineapple habanero sauce. This sauce gives the dish a sweet, savory, spicy flavor. This comfort meal is perfect for weeknight dinners with the family, and the whole thing is ready in less than an hour.
- 4 chicken thighs, bone-in & skin-off
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, for chicken available in our online shop
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, for chicken
- 1 tablespoon Hellenic Farms Extra Virgin Olive Oil available in our online shop
- 1 bottle Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce available in our online shop
- 2 cups chicken stock, no-salt or low-sodium
- 1 cup of rice, brown or white
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, for rice
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
- Brown chicken thighs in a large heavy casserole dish placed over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Set aside. It will take around three minutes per side. If the chicken is still sticking to the pan when you flip it, then it’s not ready.
- Combine the Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce, chicken stock, sea salt and rice in the casserole dish. Bring to a boil.
- Top with the browned chicken thighs. Cover casserole with the lid and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove lid, garnish with cilantro, and serve.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dinners
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: one-pot meal, casserole recipe, classic recipe, chicken and rice recipe, classic American recipe, make ahead, potluck dinner, baked chicken, rice casserole, chicken casserole, comfort food, easy chicken recipe, meal plan
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