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Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

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Wait until you try this fabulous Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole.  It is comfort food at it’s best and the kids LOVE it.

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

I am having a blast sharing some of my favorite Picky Palate recipes this summer.  This one is from September 2010 and is a reader favorite.  It is one of my most pinned Picky Palate recipes and works great as a freezer meal!

Despite my boys being nervous about the  “black looking” rice,  they took one bite and gobbled it down in no time.

I will say, go find yourself some wild rice like the one I found at Trader Joes.  It’s fully cooked and ready to be eaten once it’s warmed.  I use it for soups and a zillion other recipes.  If you don’t have Trader Joes near by, check your grocery store it’s absolutely worth it!  Worse case scenario…..use all white steamed rice 🙂

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice CasseroleDice your vegetables.

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Get them ready to saute…

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

…..saute in a nice big pot.

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

add in both rices, seasonings and chicken.  Prepare your cheese sauce then stir it into the rice.

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Transfer it all to a nice baking dish 🙂  xoxox Emile Henry.

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Add some cheese on top and it’s time to bake!

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole




Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice CasserolePrep time: 20 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 50 min Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
  • 2 cups steamed white rice
  • 16 ounces cooked wild rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Cheese Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese to top over rice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat oil into a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat.  Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken, both rices, salt, pepper and garlic salt.  Reduce heat to low.
  2. To prepare cheese sauce melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously.  Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in 2 cups cheese until melted.  Pour cheese sauce into cooked rice mixture then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with additional 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through.  Serve.

Makes 8 Servings

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424 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1
    Amanda :) says:

    Oh good heavens girl, that looks incredible!! 🙂 I know what I’ll be making this week! 🙂

  2. 2

    That looks so good! I am definitely going to add it to dinner one night this week – pretty simple too!

  3. 3

    Anything with cheese and rice can never be a bad thing. My son would eat this up in about 2 seconds!! Love it!!

  4. 4
    Cheri says:

    I am bookmarking this right now! Love how colorful and comforting it looks. We are big rice fans so I’m sure it will be a hit.

  5. 5
    Skye says:

    OMG this looks DELICIOUS! I think I will make it for Bible study tomorrow night! YUM!

  6. 6
    Maria says:

    Perfect fall casserole!

  7. 7
    Karen says:

    Here is probably a simple question that I should know the answer too…what is the best way you have found to pre cook chicken for dishes like this. I tend to dry the chicken out so I would love to hear how you do it.

    • 7.1
      Jenny says:

      Hi Karen,
      This is a great question.

      I LOVE cooking my chicken in my pressure cooker, but not everyone uses one. You can bake your chicken in a baking dish with chicken broth at the bottom covered with foil. I have found this to be a great way to keep the chicken from drying out.

      Use your crock pot too. Add some chicken broth and cook it on low for 6 hours, it will be fabulous 🙂

      Hope this helps.


    • 7.2
      Jane says:

      I used stir-fry chicken breast (cut up pieces) and sauteed it.

    • 7.3
      Kasey says:

      Not sure if someone suggested this, but I always use a rotissier chicken. You should have enough for this recipe and then left over for sandwiches, another dinner recipe or chicken salad!

    • 7.4
      CBW says:

      Perdue Chicken short cuts.. 🙂

  8. 8
    Bonnie says:

    Sounds yummy!! Love the typo for the carrots : )

  9. 9

    This looks like true comfort food! Yum!

  10. 10

    the best part is i have every ingredient! can’t wait to try this this week!

  11. 11

    Yum! My kids might even eat this! 🙂

  12. 12
    Helen says:

    This looks DELISH, already have dinner planned for tonight, but this will be on tomorrow’s menu 😀

  13. 13

    This is the perfect fall recipe! It’s on my menu for the week! Thanks!

  14. 14
    Eliana says:

    This looks so incredibly delicious. Can’t wait to make this for one of my dinners one day.

  15. 15
    Tracy says:

    Looks delicious and chock full of veggies! Yum!

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Mikalisa says:

    YUM!! Can’t wait 2 try it! I put it all 2gether this morn and will pop it in the oven 2nite. How many degrees? LOVE casseroles!

  18. 18
    Mikalisa says:

    YUM!! Can’t wait 2 try it! I put it all 2gether this morn and will pop it in the oven 2nite. How many degrees? LOVE casseroles!

  19. 19
    Janelle says:

    Looks GREAT! I have a question…would this be a good dish to freeze?

  20. 20

    My mom used to make something like this for us when we were kids and I always LOVED it!!!!! Totally going to make this for her next time she in in town 🙂

  21. 21

    What a great dinner- everyone here would love this. I like to keep some of the pre-cooked rice on hand for those days when I’m short on time. Thanks!

  22. 22
    Julie says:

    We had this for dinner tonight. It was delicious! Everyone loved it including my two year old. It was fun to make too! This one is a keeper! Thanks!

  23. 23
    Beth D. says:

    Yummo! Will be making this tomorrow night…sadly our nearest TJ’s is 50 minutes away, and no time to run there tomorrow, so will be cooking the brown rice from scratch…:)

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Heather says:

    This looks so yummy Jenny! I can’t wait to try it. I think my little ones would love it.
    Love the photo’s!

  26. 26

    Jenny, this casserole looks amazing. It is the perfect one pot meal. Love that there are veggies in it too. The cheese sauce makes it a simple sell for the kids 🙂 xo

  27. 27

    This looks like a delicious casserole! I love the combo of cheese and rice…you can never go wrong with this flavor combo!

  28. 28
    Julie says:

    Looks delish, I can kinda picture it stuffed into an acorn squash too.

  29. 29

    I adore Trader Joe’s, that recipe looks delicious! I may need to make a trip there this weekend and whip that up 🙂 Gotta love Fall comfort food!

  30. 30

    This looks like such a comforting (and quick!) meal for autumn. There is nothing better than a one-pot meal that kids will gobble up.

  31. 31
    renee-ashley says:

    girl this look amazing im planning n making this, but my dad is allergic to onion is there a substitute i can use or is the onion just for a little taste

  32. 32

    SO glad I stumbled over this recipe! I have leftover chicken and have been trying to find something new to do with it. Jackpot! I can just taste it now… mmmmm!

  33. 33
    Deborah says:

    I have some leftover chicken from a roast chicken, and I’m betting this would be a great way to use it up!

  34. 34
    Kim in MD says:

    This looks fantastic, Jenny! What a fabulous, Fall dish. I love that Trader Joe’s sells cooked wild rice- I will have to look for it! I also love the tip about cooking chicken breasts in the crockpot with some chicken broth. I have never done that before but will definately try it! Thanks!

  35. 35
    Jill says:

    I made this tonight and it was incredible. Perfect for fall weather here in North Dakota! Everyone loved it and I have a ton left over!

  36. 36
    Rebecca says:

    This recipe looks delicious! I headed to TJ”s today and bought the wild rice, but forgot to get white rice… do you think it would be okay to add extra wild rice instead of the white rice? Also, do you prepare the wild rice as directed on the package, or just add straight from the package since you will be eventually cooking it?
    I love your blog and all the wonderful recipes. Keep ’em coming.

  37. 37
    Melissa says:

    I’m planning to make this tonight for me and the boy — I anticipate half of it will be gone the way he eats 😉 I’m going to do all brown rice (reduced to 3 cups) and add a cup of broccoli. So excited about cooking this dinner!

  38. 38
    Katie says:

    I made this last night and wow is it delish! I used a brown and wild rice mix and it worked really well! I’m excited to have the leftovers for lunch. 🙂

    This is my go-to site when I’m searching for recipes. They are all fabulous! THANK YOU for sharing!

  39. 39
    zestycook says:

    I made this tonight minus a few things as we were low on groceries but it was awesome!!! One picky palate picked off the cheese but overall the crowd loved it!


  40. 40
    Jason says:

    Great looking recipe. Nice twist on the classic chicken and rice casserole. Bet it was full of flavor!

  41. 41
    Pam says:

    Ummm! Love that cheese sauce with it. Love casseroles like this!

  42. 42
    megan says:

    Thanks for tip on the precooked wold rice. I’ll have to check that out. The casserole looks delish!

  43. 43
    Sandy says:

    This looks awesome, I can’t wait to try it! Any idea if I could double the recipe and freeze the second casserole for a future meal?

  44. 44
    Sandy says:

    sorry, just read the above post that already commented about the freezing. I’ll repost when i try it to share the results 🙂

    • 44.1
      Pam O says:

      Did you try freezing the Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Casserole? I’d love to hear the results.

      • 44.1.1
        Alicia says:

        I’ve frozen them before when I’ve gone out of town for the hubby to eat. I keep the cheese off the top, and he’ll add it towards the end of cooking. He says it turns out the same. I freeze them in smaller portions and he microwaves them, but I’m sure it would work. You’d just need to test out the cooking times.

  45. 45
    Linzie says:

    I made this last night for dinner and my picky little 20 month old even loved it. Thanks for cooking and sharing!

  46. 46
    Doni says:

    I was on a health food kick a while ago, and purchased Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, in Brown and Wild Rice. But I never found any reason to use it until last night when I made this casserole! 🙂 I barely had enough left to put in a Tupperware to bring to work today! Thanks for your super family-friendly recipes!

  47. 47
    Nyla says:

    Yum! Made this for dinner tonight & it was delish! I typically avoid any recipe with the word casserole it in but we loved this! I added some broccoli & a yuke to the vegis. Love your blog! Thanks!

  48. 48
    Amanda says:

    I can never reply to your SU shares, it always gives me a message of “too many shares” :-/ Anyway, this looks wonderful!

  49. 49
    Grace says:

    This would make an amazing take along dish. My kids would probably have the same reaction to the wild rice. I usually pick up a couple of roasted chickens at Costco for sandwiches and stuff during the week, this dish would be perfect to utilize the chickens as well.
    Thank you for sharing. Btw your pics are amazing!

  50. 50
    Jamie says:

    This looks seriously so good. I love comfort food and this fits the bill.

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Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!