This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
French Onion Chicken & Rice has tender chunks of chicken, mushrooms, spinach, and rice smothered with a sweet onion and Gruyère Swiss topping. This is outrageously delicious comfort food!
French Onion Soup Flavors In A Delicious Casserole
French Onion Chicken and Rice is a delicious comfort food casserole that combines the flavors of classic French onion soup with chunks of tender chicken, mushrooms, baby spinach, and cooked rice.
This is an ideal dish for a weeknight family meal, and it’s a great option to serve at a casual dinner party with a side salad and crusty bread.
Why you’ll love French Onion Chicken & Rice
- The combination of flavors in every bite is rich, cheesy, savory, and very delicious!
- It’s hearty and filling comfort food that the entire family will love.
- Although this recipe is written to specifically include “French Onion Soup” flavors, it can easily be adapted with other cheeses, meat, or vegetables.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Sweet Onions – We suggest using sweet onions (such as Vidalia) or yellow onion for their mild flavor. Avoid white or red onions – the flavor won’t be the same.
- Unsalted Butter
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- White Rice – Choose a long grain white rice or a basmati rice for this dish.
- Spinach – We included fresh baby spinach for its flavor and ease of preparation. Frozen spinach could be used, but you’ll want to fully thaw and drain it (squeeze excess liquid out) before adding to this casserole.
- Mushrooms – We used white button mushrooms in this recipe, but baby Bella (also known as Cremini) can also work.
- Chicken Stock and Cooked Chicken – For easy prep, you can buy a canned or boxed chicken stock as well as a rotisserie chicken and pull off the meat. Or, buy a whole, uncooked chicken and simmer it for an hour in water with herbs and vegetables to make a homemade chicken stock with it. Use the cooked meat in this dish.
- Fresh Garlic
- Herbs and Spices – This dish is seasoned with kosher salt, ground black pepper, dried tarragon, dried thyme, and Worcestershire sauce. (All of the same herbs and spices you’ll find in a French Onion soup!)
- Brandy – Brandy is also a predominant French onion flavor – but white wine or chicken stock can be used. The flavor of the finished dish will change with those swaps, however, since brandy has such a distinctive flavor.
- Heavy Cream
- Gruyère Swiss – Another predominant French onion flavor, this variety of Swiss cheese is worth buying specifically for this dish. The nutty and distinctive flavor of Gruyère can’t be substituted.
Special Tools Needed
- Large Non-Stick Skillet – To caramelize onions.
- Medium to Large Pot – To cook rice and vegetables.
- 9x13x3-inch Oven-Safe Casserole Dish
- Various Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Cutting Board and Sharp Knife
- Wooden Spoon
- Stock Pot – Needed only if you plan to cook the chicken and make your own chicken stock, (see Cooking Tip below) as well as a Large Strainer and Long-Handled Tongs.
How do I make French Onion Chicken & Rice?
- Sauté onions in a large skillet until caramelized. (See How to Make Caramelized Onions.)
- Add garlic, spices, and herbs to the skillet. Cook, then deglaze with brandy and finish with Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
- Sauté mushrooms, spinach and rice in a pot, then add chicken stock and simmer until rice is cooked.
- Add cooked chicken and cream to the rice, then pour into the casserole dish.
- Cover with cooked onions and top with shredded cheese.
- Broil until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.
Tips & Tricks
- If cooking a whole chicken instead of buying a rotisserie chicken and boxed stock, place chicken in a pot with water, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, bay leaf, salt, fresh parsley, bay leaf, and black peppercorns and bring to a boil. Simmer and remove chicken after one hour. Separate meat and place carcass and skin back in pot and cook for another hour to make the stock. Strain and discard solids.
- Getting the onions caramelized is simple in a nonstick pan. Just cook on medium low in three 15-minute intervals, stirring at each interval. Then finish with garlic, spices, herbs, brandy, and Worcestershire sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make French Onion Chicken and Rice ahead of time? Yes, this dish can be made ahead and reheated – but we think it’s best freshly made and served right after coming out of the oven. Any rice dish tends to absorb liquid as it cools so the overall creaminess is best when freshly baked.
- How do I store leftovers? Store covered and refrigerated for up to three days.
- How do I reheat leftovers? Reheat individual portions in the microwave.
- Can I freeze? No, the rice will get mushy once frozen and thawed.
You might like these other Chicken & Rice Recipes:
Click here for more delicious Chicken Recipes!
3 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 pounds sweet onion (about four large onions), cut in half and sliced with the grain into thick slices
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry tarragon
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1/3 cup brandy or white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups white uncooked rice
2 cups baby spinach, packed (about 2–3 ounces in weight)
3 cups chicken stock (from homemade or boxed)
1 cup heavy cream
3–4 cups cooked chicken torn into bite sized pieces (from cooking your own chicken or rotisserie)
4 ounces Gruyere Swiss cheese, shredded
- Melt two tablespoons of the butter with two tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick high sided skillet over medium low heat.
- Slice onions in half vertically then slice into thick half moon slices with the grain and add to the pan.
- Let cook untouched for 15 minutes, then stir and cook for 15 minutes more. Gauge how caramelized the onions are and cook for another 10-15 minutes more or longer as needed.
- Turn heat to medium and add garlic and cook one minute. Add salt, pepper, tarragon, and thyme and cook one minute.
- Add brandy off heat to avoid flareup and cook until liquid has evaporated, about five minutes.
- Stir in Worcestershire sauce and remove from heat. Set aside.
- In a medium pot or large sauce pan over medium high heat, add mushrooms in dry without any butter or oil and cook until browned, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the remaining butter and oil and once melted, add rice, and stir and cook for five minutes to slightly brown.
- Add spinach and cook just to wilt, about one minute.
- Add stock and bring to a simmer. Lower to low heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir in cream and chicken and heat just to hot.
- Spray a 9x13x3-inch casserole dish with kitchen pan spray and pour rice mixture in then top with the cooked onions.
- Top with the shredded cheese and broil just until melted, browned and bubbly.
- Serve immediately.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.