Instant Pot Creamy Casserole–the most delicious and creamy chicken casserole with rice, ham and cheese. You’re going to love how the Instant Pot helps you prep this casserole with minimal work.
Instant Pot Creamy Casserole
This is one of my most favorite recipes I’ve made to date! I don’t know if I was just super hungry or if the chicken casserole really was that good but I think you need to try it soon and let me know what you think! The seasonings on the chicken were spot on and the combination of salty ham cubes with rice and chicken and sauce was amazing. You don’t need a can of cream of chicken soup either!
You’ll use the Instant Pot to cook the chicken, sauce and rice all at the same time. Then you’ll layer rice, cubes of ham, sauce, chicken and cheese in a 9×13 inch pan and bake for just 10 minutes in the oven. This makes a perfect family dinner. You can cover it with foil and keep it on warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve. See all my notes to commonly asked questions below for variation ideas.
- Chicken broth–or water and Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs–or boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can use fresh or frozen. Use the same pressure cooking time for both.
- Kosher salt–or sea salt
- Black pepper–or white pepper
- Italian seasoning–you can make your own
- Poultry seasoning–you can make your own
- Garlic powder–or granulated garlic
- Smoked paprika–it’s so good and has lots of flavor! Worth the buy.
- Dried minced onion–I buy the big container at Costco
- Long grain white rice–or you can use jasmine rice or basmati
- Water–to cook the rice
- Cream cheese–to make the creamy sauce. You can also use sour cream although I would temper it first so it doesn’t separate.
- Cornstarch–to thicken the sauce. You can also use arrowroot.
- Ham cubes–I buy the package of ham that is already cubed but if you have leftover ham you can just cube up your own
- Mozzarella cheese–you can also use something more flavorful like pepper jack cheese or cheddar cheese
How to make the best chicken casserole
You’ll start this casserole in the Instant Pot and end it in the oven. It comes together fairly quickly and is 100% worth making!
- Add chicken and seasonings: Pour chicken broth into Instant Pot. Add in the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with the kosher salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, smoked paprika and onion. (I didn’t use a trivet)
- Pot in pot: In a separate pot-in-pot dish (I used one of these stackable pans*) add the rice and 2 cups of water. Place a tall trivet* on top of the chicken and place the rice pan on top of the trivet. (Related: Pot in Pot Explained)
- Pressure cook: Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 12 minutes. When time is up let the pot sit for 5-10 minutes before moving the valve to venting. Remove the lid. Carefully remove the rice pan and set aside.
- Make the sauce: Add the cream cheese into the Instant Pot. Turn Instant to the sauté setting. Make a cornstarch slurry by stirring together cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir the slurry into the pot to thicken the sauce. Break up the chicken into smaller pieces (you can also remove the chicken from the pot and chop it). My chicken was so tender I just used a spoon to break it up right in the Instant Pot liner.
- Layer and bake: Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the rice into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Sprinkle the ham cubes evenly over the rice. Pour the chicken and sauce over the top. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Serve: Scoop onto plates and serve. Top with parsley, if desired.
Pro tip! Place the package of cream cheese on top of your Instant Pot lid while the chicken is cooking. It gets warm on the lid and will help soften the cream cheese so that it melts easier.
Can I use another type of rice?
I used long grain white rice. Other types of rice that you can use are jasmine rice, basmati rice or converted rice. Another option is to use a separate Instant Pot to cook brown rice. If you tried to cook brown rice pot-in-pot with the chicken it wouldn’t get done at the same rate as the chicken and would still be crunchy.
Can I add in vegetables?
If you’d like to add in vegetables into the casserole some good options are broccoli, peas, corn, carrots, mixed vegetables, etc. Pre-cook 2-3 cups of vegetables and spread them over the top of the rice in the 9×13 inch pan.
Can I use something besides ham?
Yes. Try using some cooked and crumbled bacon. Another option is diced smoked sausage.
What kind of chicken can I use?
I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs that were frozen (I still only cooked for 12 minutes). You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can also forego the pressure cooking portion of this recipe and just use cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works great) and leftover cooked rice. You would just need to cook the sauce on the stove or in the Instant Pot on the sauté setting before baking.
Can this easy chicken casserole be frozen?
Yes, you can! Freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Another option is to partially cook the recipe and freeze for cooking later. To do this you need to do everything up to the part where you bake. Then cover the 9×13 inch pan with a couple layers of foil and pop into the freezer for later. Then when you are ready to bake you can bake for 45 minutes with the foil on top at 350° F and then remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
Do I have to bake the casserole?
No, you do not. You can simply serve the chicken and sauce over the rice without baking in the oven. It is so good either way!!
Can I use my air fryer lid instead of the oven?
Yes, you can. Instead of layering in a 9×13 inch pan you can layer in your cleaned out Instant Pot liner and then use the air fryer lid at 350° F for 10 minutes.
What equipment do I need?
- I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*.
- Pot-in-pot dish for the rice. I used one of these stainless steel stackable pans*.
- Tall trivet* for placing the rice dish on
- 9×13 inch baking dish*
What is the nutrition information?
This recipe makes about 8 servings.
Calories Per Serving: 423
Total Fat 18.5g, Saturated Fat 9.2g, Cholesterol 135.5mg, Sodium 435.1mg, Total Carbohydrate 32.8g, Dietary Fiber 0.8g, Sugars 1.4g, Protein 29.8g
Is this gluten free?
This recipe can be gluten-free as long as the broth is gluten-free.
How to lower the carbs?
You can make cauliflower rice in the place of regular rice. This will significantly lower the amount of carbs in the dish. I would either warm the cauliflower rice in a pan on the stove or in the microwave rather than pressure cooking it with the chicken.
What to Serve with the Creamy Chicken Casserole
This casserole goes great with green salad or roasted broccoli or brussels sprouts.
Best Chicken Casserole Recipes
Try these other delightful chicken casserole recipes!
Instant Pot Chicken Little Casserole
Napoleon Dynamite Cracked Out Chicken Casserole
Instant Pot Million Dollar Chicken Casserole
Did you know you can filter the recipes on my website to search by meat type, IP or Crockpot, low carb, gluten free, etc.? Use the filter to find exactly what you are looking for.
Want More Tried And True Instant Pot Recipes?
- Sign up to receive daily Instant Pot recipes (it’s FREE)
- Join the 365 Days of Instant Pot Recipes Facebook group
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel
- Buy the 365 Days of Pressure Cooking Cookbook
Instant Pot Creamy Casserole
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
The most delicious and creamy chicken casserole with rice, ham and cheese. You’re going to love how the Instant Pot helps you prep this casserole with minimal work.
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 (8 oz) container of cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch + 3 Tbsp of water
- 1 heaping cup of ham cubes
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pour chicken broth into Instant Pot. Add in the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with the kosher salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, smoked paprika and onion.
- In a separate pot-in-pot dish (I used one of these stackable pans*) add the rice and 2 cups of water. Place a tall trivet* on top of the chicken and place the rice pan on top of the trivet.
- Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 12 minutes. When time is up let the pot sit for 5-10 minutes before moving the valve to venting. Remove the lid. Carefully remove the rice pan and set aside.
- Add the cream cheese into the Instant Pot. Turn Instant to the sauté setting. Make a cornstarch slurry by stirring together cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir the slurry into the pot to thicken the sauce. Break up the chicken into smaller pieces (you can also remove the chicken from the pot and chop it).
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the rice into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Sprinkle the ham cubes evenly over the rice. Pour the chicken and sauce over the top. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Scoop onto plates and serve.
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Instant Pot and Oven
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
It was super yummy! And as a bonus, super easy to make! Thank you for sharing – a new subsriber here! 🤩🙋🏻♀️
Tiny request please if I may 😊 if you’re ever planning some update to the website, it would be ace to have metric measurements there as well for the recipes (or an option to swap) Thank you so much! No on the look out for the next recipe to make … 🙂
I will look into the metric measurements. I know there is a way to do that but I’m not sure how.