Are you looking for the ultimate comfort food? This creamy, cheesy, crunchy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole is exactly what you need!
In all honesty, Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole is a meal that I grew up on. I loved eating it as a child and I still love it today. It is one of my favorite easy casserole recipes.
With chunks of juicy chicken breast and flavorful wild rice, all I have to do is serve it alongside one of my favorite veggies like roasted asparagus. Then I have a perfectly delicious meal with minimal time spent in the kitchen. I call that a win!
CHICKEN AND WILD RICE CASSEROLE
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Of all the casseroles I have eaten, this is seriously one of the best. First, the flavor and texture are awesome. There is already so much flavor packed into the wild rice. Then you have the chicken baked in cheese and cream of chicken soup that create a perfectly creamy sauce to tie everything together.
To top it all off, you add a layer of stuffing. This adds a yummy, crunchy contrast of flavor to round out the dish. Everyone at your table will be reaching for seconds.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN AND WILD RICE CASSEROLE
Cream of Chicken Soup- I love the creamy chicken flavor this dish inherits from the cream of chicken. You can also make a Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with cream of mushroom soup. Score!
This alternative can be made without having to alter the recipe at all, with just a simple switch of the cans. This is great if you happen to be out of cream of chicken soup or you prefer the earthier taste of cream of mushroom. Not that I’ve ever had to do that… I totally have.
Wild Rice- Wild Rice is so flavorful but it takes a little bit longer to cook than other varieties of rice. Just be sure to factor in your rice cooking time when you are planning your meal prep. To save time, you can always cook your rice earlier in the day and keep it in the fridge until it is time to assemble your casserole.
HOW TO MAKE THIS CHICKEN WILD RICE CASSEROLE
Prep for this casserole is a breeze!
- Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F and coat the inside of a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Next, you’ll need to cook the rice according to the package directions.
- Then distribute your cooked wild rice blend on the bottom of your dish and cover it with one cup of shredded Jack cheese.
- After that, layer the uncooked chicken chunks over the top of the rice and cheese. Sprinkle the chicken with paprika and then sprinkle the remaining cup of shredded cheese on top.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup and chicken broth (or water) until you have a smooth sauce. Spoon the sauce over the top of the casserole.
- To another bowl, add the melted butter and stuffing mix and stir to combine. Spread the stuffing mix evenly over the top of the casserole.
- At this point, you can cover and refrigerate or freeze your assembled casserole until you are ready to bake it if you are prepping in advance. If freezing, let the casserole thaw in your fridge overnight before cooking.
- Bake the uncovered casserole for 60 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
- Carefully remove your casserole from the oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. I like to sprinkle some chopped parsley over the top for a little color.
CAN YOU PUT UNCOOKED RICE IN A CASSEROLE?
For some casserole recipes, you are able to add uncooked rice directly to your casserole. Unfortunately for this Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole recipe you do need to cook the rice before adding it to your dish.
The reason for this is actually because wild rice grains take longer to cook. Wild rice has lots of amazing benefits besides being super flavorful that make it worth the extra work and wait. It is higher in protein and even has antioxidants and nutrients that regular rice does not.
HOW LONG DOES WILD RICE TAKE TO COOK?
Standard wild rice takes about 45 minutes to cook. Once it is done, you will want to drain any excess water leftover and fluff your rice. Some brands even recommend pre-soaking your grains prior to cooking them to ensure you do not end up with undercooked, hard to chew rice.
Using Uncle Ben’s brand wild rice is actually my little hack for cutting down the prep time on this dish. Because it is precooked, I can skip the pre-prep steps and have ready-to-go wild rice in a fraction of the time! Just make sure you follow the directions on your rice packaging no matter which route you decide to take.
DO I HAVE TO COOK CHICKEN BEFORE MAKING A CASSEROLE?
You can definitely use raw chicken in your Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole. For me, using raw chicken saves me time. The chicken will be in the oven with more than enough time to safely cook and will emerge tender and moist.
If you happen to already have some cooked chicken on hand, or if you prefer to use cooked rotisserie chicken, you definitely can. Either way is safe and should produce the same delicious results.
TRY THESE OTHER EASY DINNER RECIPES
- Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup
- Cheesy Instant Pot Chicken Pasta
- Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Cheesy Broccoli and Mushroom Chicken
- Try these other DINNER recipes…
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS CHICKEN AND WILD RICE CASSEROLE
Casserole Dish: One great casserole dish is all you need! I love how this one fits in my fridge or freezer if I am getting a head start on my dinner prep!
Mixing Bowls: Stackable, low maintenance, and perfect for your everyday cooking needs!
*This post originally posted on 11/10/2016.
- 6 ounces Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice (1 package)
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 4 boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 10.75 ounces cream of chicken soup (1 can)
- 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 3 cups Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned stuffing (1/2 of a 12 ounce package)
- Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Spray a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and pour cooked rice into the dish.
- Cover rice with 1 cup of cheese and then layer on uncooked chicken pieces over the top of the cheese. Sprinkle chicken with paprika and then top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
- In a medium bowl, add broth to the soup. Mix together and then spoon over top of the cheese.
- Add the melted butter to stuffing mix in a medium bowl. Mix until stuffing is moistened. Spread evenly over the top of the casserole.
- At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the casserole overnight, freeze it for later, or cook immediately.
- Bake for 60 minutes until filling is bubbling and top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle top with chopped parsley, if desired.