Comforting chicken and wild rice casserole is filled with chicken, wild rice, onions, celery, and has a creamy homemade sauce. It’s a cozy casserole that the whole family will love!
Easy to make ahead, this casserole also makes wonderful leftovers. You can also freeze it. If you’re looking for ways to make dinner time a little easier, this is the perfect recipe!
A GREAT MAKE AHEAD CHICKEN CASSEROLE
One of the best things about this wild rice and chicken casserole is that it can be made ahead. It is so convenient to have dinner ready to pop in the oven on busy days!
I like to cook and shred chicken breast and keep them in the freezer for quick dinners like this, but it also works great with rotisserie chicken from Costco.
You can make the casserole up to 24 hours in advance, then cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap. Pop it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Keep in mind that a cold casserole can take almost twice as long to heat up.
I like to cover it with foil for the first 20 minutes, then take the foil off and bake it for another 15-20.
PRO TIP: To make sure the almonds stay crunchy, add them right before you pop the dish in the oven.
Can I freeze this chicken wild rice dish?
Yes, you can. Prep as directed, leaving off the almonds. Wrap the dish in two layers of plastic wrap.
When ready to serve, let the casserole thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Sprinkle almonds over the top. Take off the plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Then take the foil off and bake it for another 15- 20, or until hot and bubbly.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN AND WILD RICE CASSEROLE
- WILD RICE – Prepare the wild rice mix according to the directions on the box with the olive oil and water.
- VEGETABLES – While rice is cooking, saute celery onion, and almonds over medium heat in a large skillet with butter. Cook, stirring often, until veggies are crisp tender and almonds are starting to brown.
- CREAMY SAUCE – Add the flour to the vegetables in the skillet and stir till well incorporated. Whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil; boil and stir for at least a minute.
- COMBINE – Stir in the salt, pepper, parsley, cooked chicken, and prepared wild rice mix. Stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into a greased 2 quart baking dish.
- BAKE – Sprinkle slivered almonds over the top. Bake at 400° for about 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
How to store leftovers:
Cover with plastic wrap or foil, and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
When ready to serve, you can add a bit of water or milk and cover with foil. Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees, or until heated through.
You can also heat individual servings in the microwave for about a minute. I like to add a bit of milk to prevent the casserole from drying out.
- For some added nutrition, add any vegetables of your choice. Frozen veggies are easy and colorful. You could also add mushrooms.
- Add grated cheese to the rice mixture, or sprinkle some on top before adding the almonds.
- For a bit of heat, add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Love a tangy casserole? Stir in some sour cream or plain yogurt.
- We love using chicken breast either diced or shredded, but you can use thighs, or a combination of white and brown meat.
- In place of the almonds, you can top the chicken wild rice casserole with bread crumbs, crushed Ritz crackers, or croutons.
- Really in a hurry? In place of the flour, milk chicken broth, salt, and pepper, you can just stir in a can of cream of chicken soup. You may need to thin it with a bit of milk or water.
What to serve with chicken casserole:
MORE COMFORTING CHICKEN CASSEROLES
- Potato Casserole with Chicken
- Hot Chicken Salad
- Chicken Broccoli Casserole Recipe
- Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Mashed Potato Casserole
CHICKEN AND WILD RICE CASSEROLE
- 1 4.2 oz pkg. Rice a Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds (or chopped almonds)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp dry parsley flakes
- 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds for topping
- Cook wild rice with olive oil and water according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, cook celery, onion, and 1/4 cup almonds in a large skillet with the butter till vegetables are crisp tender and almonds start to brown. (about 5-7 minutes)
- Stir in the flour. Whisk in milk and chicken broth. Cook and stir till mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir for at least one minute.
- Add pepper, salt, parsley, cooked chicken, and prepared wild rice mix. Stir to combine and pour into a greased casserole dish.
- Top with remaining 1/4 cup slivered almonds. Bake uncovered at 400° for about 20-25 minutes or till hot and bubbly.
A 6 ounce box of wild rice mix will also work.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 366mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 22g