Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Casserole (easy recipe!) (2024)

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Chicken Wild Rice Casserole will make you love casseroles again! Easy, fast, delicious and comforting, your whole family will devour this recipe! A simple mixture of chicken, wild rice, frozen vegetables and cheese that is mixed together and baked until hot and melty. Simple enough for a weeknight, but hearty enough to fill you up (with leftovers for the next day, too!). It’s one of our favorites. Serve with Parmesan Bread Bites and a fresh side salad.

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My Favorite Rice Casserole!

I’ve been making casseroles for years because they never get old, they’re baked in one dish and everyone likes them (hiiii Creamy Ranch Chicken Casserole, Breakfast Casserole, Chicken and Stuffing Casserole and Taco Casserole). This is no exception to the rule. This is one of my family’s favorite dinners. We love love love this Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice so much that I decided to base this entire recipe around it. Make a package of this rice according to package directions, stir it together with the rest of the casserole ingredients and bake. Make it ahead or bake immediately…works both ways perfectly.

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A List of Simple Ingredients

This Chicken Wild Rice Casserole recipe has a list of relatively simple ingredients. I’ve listed a few other options if you wanted to switch things up based on what you have on hand, but generally, everything on this list should be readily available in your cabinets or easy to find at your local grocery store.

  • Wild Rice– like I mentioned above, this box of Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice is the basis of this recipe. Make it according to package directions. Don’t forget the seasoning packet! That is where a lot of the flavor comes from for this recipe.
  • Precooked Chicken– Any kind of chicken you have is perfect for this recipe, as long as its already cooked. Rotisserie, boiled and cubed, canned or leftover grilled chicken would all work.
  • Onions and Celery– I cook diced onion and celery in a little butter to add more flavor.
  • Frozen Vegetables– The pictures show that I used a simple pea/carrot combo, but any frozen veggie mix is great! As long as you like it, it should work just fine.
  • Cream of Chicken Soup– A lot of the moisture and flavor for this rice casserole is from a can of condensed soup. I used cream of chicken but cream of mushroom or even cream of celery will work. You’re the boss here!
  • Heavy Cream or Milk-Because we bake this casserole, we want to add moisture to keep the casserole from drying out. Cream adds an overall creamy flavor but milk works in a pinch, too.
  • Cheddar Cheese– This is optional, but makes a delicious topping!

How to Make Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

There are about 20-25 minutes of active cook time with this recipe, but the remainder is pure baking time. This is why every mom loves casseroles. Really, really simple! For full recipe details including ingredients and measurements needed, see the printable recipe down below. Here are step by step directions for making this tasty casserole:

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Cook the Rice

Cook box of rice according to packaged directions.

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Sauté Onions + Celery

In a medium skillet, sauté onion and celery with butter until softened.

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Combine All Ingredients + Spread into Baking Dish

Stir all casserole ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread into a baking dish. Top with shredded cheese.

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Bake + Serve Warm

Bake at 350° F for at least 20 minutes. Serve warm.

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What to Serve with Chicken Wild Rice Casserole?

My go-to side dish for any casserole including this Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole would be some kind of raw or cooked vegetables. Salads are great in the summer, warmer veggies are great in the fall and winter! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Chinese Cabbage Salad
  • Watermelon Mint Salad
  • Ambrosia Salad
  • Simple Greek Salad
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Oven Roasted Asparagus
  • Maple Glazed Carrots
  • + 30 ideas for Side Dishes for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole!

Storing + Make Ahead Directions

Allow leftovers to cool to room temperature before packing it up. Store in the fridge with plastic wrap over the casserole dish it was baked in, or transfer to an airtight container. This casserole will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4-5 days!

Make Ahead– casseroles generally do great for make ahead meals! Assemble as the recipe directs. Once it’s time to bake, you can cover the casserole with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 1-2 days before you want to bake + serve.

Freezing Directions– you can store leftovers even longer in the freezer or make a freezer meal for someone-a friend having a hard day, a neighbor, mom who just had a baby! Freeze by allowing the casserole to cool completely, cover with foil and plastic wrap and make sure the dish you’re using is freezer-safe. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Pro Tip: I love to use the disposable foil pans for meals that I know I’ll be freezing, or bringing to someone else. Easy clean up, and you don’t have to worry about getting your dishes back!

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Chicken Wild Rice Casserole FAQ

Can I add mushrooms to chicken wild rice casserole?

You bet! Feel free to add mushrooms or zucchini if you like them to chicken and wild rice casserole. I didn’t add them because some members of our family don’t care for them. This casserole is very customizable.

Can I use boneless chicken thighs in this chicken wild rice casserole recipe?

Yes! Feel free to use any cut of chicken you want to your chicken and wild rice casserole. Thighs are a good option because they are so juicy and flavorful. Rotisserie or leftover grilled chicken is also a good option. Use what you have and like. Just make sure it’s cooked before adding to the rice and vegetable mixture.

Can I use different rice in chicken and wild rice casserole?

Wild rice is adds a lot to the flavor profile of this chicken and wild rice casserole and is best for this recipe. You can use a different rice of your choosing, but expect varying results.

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So, there you have it! A simple wild rice casserole that has your veggies, protein and grain all wrapped up in one creamy, dreamy dish! I hope you love it as much as we do! Happy Cooking!

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you wouldgive it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

4.42 from 56 votes

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

Simple, hearty ingredients stirred together and baked for a creamy chicken and wild rice casserole, perfect for any weeknight dinner!

servings 4 Servings

Prep Time 25 minutes mins

Cook Time 30 minutes mins

Total Time 55 minutes mins

Ingredients

  • 6 oz box Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 10.5 oz cream of chicken soup* 1 can
  • 2 cups cooked chicken cubed, or any other meat
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen vegetables peas and carrots recommended but any are fine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated

US CustomaryMetric

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

  • Cook box of rice according to packaged directions.

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  • In skillet, melt butter and saute onion and celery over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.

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  • Once cooked, add rice and cooked onion and celery into large bowl. Add cream of chicken soup, diced chicken, vegetables, heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Spread into a casserole dish. (9×9 glass dish is fine too.)

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  • Top with cheese. Cover with foil and warm thoroughly for at least 20 minutes (and up to 60). Serve warm.

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Video

Notes

*I use cream of chicken condensed soup but a cream of mushroom of cream of celery soup would work too. As long as you like the flavor of the soup you’re using, it should work just fine.

Nutrition

Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 837mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4506IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 2mg

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

Keyword: casserole

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Casserole (easy recipe!) (2024)

FAQs

Does rice need to be cooked before adding to casserole? ›

Can you put raw uncooked rice in a casserole? Yes, you must put it raw and uncooked into the casserole. The liquids used will cook it to the perfect texture.

How do I add Flavour to bland chicken casserole? ›

Try different herbs for added flavour: sage or lemon thyme work wonderfully well. For a meatier casserole, add chopped sausage or pancetta when cooking the chicken.

How do you make a casserole not soggy? ›

To prevent a soggy top and a firm or crunchy bottom, it's important to use a shallow baking dish, to cook the casserole at the correct oven temperature and for the appropriate amount of time, and to be mindful of the amount of liquid used in the recipe.

How many cups of water for 1 cup of wild rice? ›

1 Cup Wild Rice. 1-2 cups water (texture will be par-cooked with 1 cup of water, very soft with 2 cups- I prefer 1 ½ cups of water for slightly chewy 'al dente' rice) ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)

Why is my rice still hard in casserole? ›

Hard or Chewy Rice

After cooking for the recommended period of time, if the rice is still hard or chewy, add a little bit of water to create more steam (for every cup of uncooked rice used, add about 2 tablespoons of water). Cover the pot tightly and place over very low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Is it okay to put raw chicken in a casserole? ›

Can I Cook Raw Chicken In Casserole? Short answer: Yes! Long answer: Chicken has to be cooked to 165F internal temperature. If you cube your chicken and put it in a 400F preheated oven, it will most definitely cook to that internal temperature within 15-20 minutes.

What to add to rice and chicken to make it taste better? ›

When I cook rice, I usually add a little bit of salt, butter, and parsley to give it some more flavor. Then serve with a nice baked chicken seasoned with some rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic.

What makes chicken and rice taste better? ›

Use fresh garlic and onion.

Use freshly chopped onion and garlic instead of the dried versions. I recommend 1/2 chopped yellow onion or 1 chopped shallot, and 3 pressed or minced fresh garlic cloves (or 4 if you're a garlic lover like me!)

What are the 5 components of a casserole? ›

Let's talk anatomy: A standard dinner casserole usually includes a protein, a starch, a vegetable, a sauce (or other binding ingredient), and cheese. But making a casserole is not an exact science, and you can definitely break away from this formula. Check out some fun side-dish casseroles and desserts below!

Do I bake my casserole covered or uncovered? ›

Uncovering the foods promotes browning and crisping, and reduces the amount of liquid in the finished dish. If a casserole looks soupy when it's ready to bake, bake it uncovered unless the ingredients include pasta or rice, which absorb liquid.

How do you thicken a creamy casserole? ›

Make a cornstarch slurry for a fast and easy thickener.

Use one tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of liquid you would like to thicken. Stir out all the lumps. A few minutes before your casserole is done, add it a little at a time until you are happy with the thickness. Then, let the casserole finish baking.

What is the key to making a good casserole? ›

  1. Choose the right baking dish. If you're all about the crunchy topping, use a shallow dish. ...
  2. Undercook your pasta. ...
  3. Drain your meat. ...
  4. Beware of mushy vegetables. ...
  5. Know your cheeses. ...
  6. Master the art of casserole assembly. ...
  7. Don't skip the topping. ...
  8. Make it now, but bake it later.
Nov 1, 2021

Is wild rice the healthiest rice? ›

Wild rice is a type of wheatgrass. Wild rice is healthier than brown or white rice because it has more dietary fiber and protein.

Do I need to rinse wild rice? ›

Just like with any other type of rice, it's a good idea to rinse the rice before cooking. Pour a cup of wild rice into a mesh sieve and give it a good rinse. This will rid the rice of any starch that's lingering on the outside of the grain.

Why is wild rice so expensive? ›

Because of its unique harvesting needs (learn more about it here), wild rice is significantly more expensive than brown rice. In fact, it's one of the most expensive grains. In Washington State, as of January 2023, wild rice costs $5.16 per pound and brown rice costs 80 cents a pound.

How to fix uncooked rice in casserole? ›

If at the end of the cooking time your rice is dry and undercooked but all the water is gone, you're gonna need more water. Add 1/4 cup boiling water to the pot, keep the flame low, and cook for another 5 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the pot from the stove and let it sit for another 10 minutes with the lid on.

Can you add uncooked rice to a dish? ›

Adding uncooked rice to a soup, stew, or casserole can stretch your meals farther. Add 1 cup uncooked rice and two cups of broth or water to your recipe before cooking. The rice will soak up the broth or water as it cooks on the stove top or in the oven.

Do you have to cook rice for? ›

Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Ensure it's simmering and not boiling or the rice can cook too quickly. Simmer until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender – about 15-25 minutes (will depend on size and freshness of rice). Drain off any excess water if there is any (there shouldn't be).

Does rice need to be cooked properly? ›

In high amounts, lectins in uncooked rice can damage your digestive tract and cause vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms you feel after eating lectins are very similar to those you get after you have food poisoning. You can cut down on lectins in rice by rinsing and cooking it thoroughly.

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