Sharing our favorite chicken and rice casserole today! Wait until you try this fabulous Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole. Packed with rice, cheese, chicken and lots of vegetables. It is comfort food at it’s best and the kids LOVE it.
Chicken and Rice Casserole
This chicken and rice casserole has been a family favorite recipe for years! 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! Note, you can used steamed white rice in place of the wild rice. Works just fine!
Try my Cheesy Beef Enchilada Casserole too! Follow Picky Palate on Instagram for daily recipe inspiration.
What’s Needed For Chicken and Rice Casserole
- extra virgin olive oil– The olive oil is used to saute the vegetables.
- onion– White onion works great. Make sure it’s finely chopped.
- celery– Wash, dry and finely chop the celery.
- carrots– Peel and dice carrots the same size as celery and onion so they cook the same time.
- garlic– Mince the garlic before adding to pan.
- pre-cooked chicken– Rotisserie chicken works great.
- cooked white rice– Use any of your favorite rice for the recipe. I usually use Basmati or Jasmine.
- cooked wild rice blend– If you can’t fine wild rice, substitute for more white rice or you could use a brown rice.
- kosher salt- Kosher salt is a coarse salt.
- freshly cracked black pepper– For best tasting results use freshly cracked black pepper.
- garlic salt– Lawry’s is my favorite brand of garlic salt.
- salted butter– I use salted butter for most of my recipes, unsalted is just fine as well.
- all-purpose flour– Flour is used to make the homemade cheese sauce.
- chicken broth– Look for reduced sodium chicken broth.
- shredded cheese– Mild cheddar cheese works great.
How To Make Chicken Rice Casserole
- 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.
- 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.
Transfer rice mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish 🙂
Add shredded cheese on top and it’s time to bake!
One of our favorite casserole recipes to make.
How To Serve Chicken and Rice
This meal goes nicely with some roasted vegetables and a side salad.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Yes, prepare the recipe up until the step where you add the cheese. Don’t bake it yet. Cool completely and cover the dish tightly with tin foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw completely before baking. You’ll add the shredded cheese before baking as well.
How To Store Leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Re-heat in microwave as needed.
Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
- 9 x 13 inch baking dish
- cutting board
- chef knife
- large mixing bowl
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing spoon
- Large Skillet/Fry Pan
- 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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees 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.
- 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.
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Just curious, and I may have missed it in the reading, but what is the measurement for a serving? I know it says serves 8. Just makes it easier when trying to feed the clan. First time making this by the way.
One of my favorite casseroles of all time! It’s a bit of work, but well worth it! Not difficult, but lots of dishes to wash if you do it all from scratch, which I think is worth it!
This is CRACK casserole! Sooooo yummy. I’ve made this several times. Target carries a precooks 8.5 oz bag of wild rice (Good Gather Wild Rice) you can use. I use two of tossed with two white precooked bags. The wild rice is a MUST! It gives this casserole such good nutty flavor. I also add in some fresh broccoli. Use good cheddar cheese — it also makes a difference. Otherwise don’t change a thing!!
I’d like to sub a wild rice blend for the wild rice and white rice. Could you please tell me how much uncooked rice I should use? Thanks in advance!
I cook 4 cups water and 1/2 cup wild rice, bringing it to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1 cup long grain brown rice and continue to simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Honestly…hands down..THE BEST cheesy chicken and eild rice casserole I HAVE EVER TASTED!!!!!FIVE STARS to this terrific and super yummy recipe!! Thanks for sharing..my whole family LOVED IT!!!?
Wow, we tried this recipe today and loved it! It is added to our list of favorite recipes. For the chicken I actually used canned chicken chunks that were easily shredded during cooking. I didn’t have garlic salt but added a dash of season salt and I added extra cheese on top! I made half the recipe and let my cheese on top get a little crispy! So yummy!!!
how do you make this into a freezer meal?
Had to comment, found this recipe on Pinterest… fantastic. Thanks for sharing, will be checking out more of your recipes!
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What about freezer directions? Bake first or freeze, then bake?
I have the same question as Krysta above regarding the amount of uncooked wild rice to use. I think I would prepare 8 oz. of wild rice to achieve 16 oz of “prepared”?
I’m not the best chef so I’d like to clarify a couple things to avoid a ruined dinner. Do I pre-cook the rice is before putting them with the vegetables? And do I do the same with the chicken? Thank you
This is one of my favorite recipes. I make it at least every other month ! I get confused by the ‘2 cups of cooked white rice’ and the 16oz of wild rice’ do you mean a whole 16 oz bag of cooked wild rice ?? or do you mean 2 cups like the white rice. The 2 different measurements throw me off…. thanks !
My family loves this recipe! The best part is, when I make it I know I am getting two meals from it that week, because I will use the leftovers and turn them into a super easy and delicious chicken and wild rice soup. I just make a white sauce, add chicken broth, dump in the leftover casserole and give it a good stir until it’s all broken up. It is the ultimate comfort food! Thanks for a great recipe!
Mmm..it look so tasty!
I am loving all of these flavors and those veggies girl!! I need to make this for my boys!