Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

5 from 4 votes

Sharing our favorite chicken and rice casserole today!  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.

chicken and rice casserole in baking dish

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.

chicken and rice casserole

Ingredients Needed For Chicken and Rice Casserole

*See bottom of post for entire recipe located in recipe card.

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • onion
  • celery
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • pre-cooked chicken
  • cooked white rice
  • cooked wild rice blend
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • garlic salt
  • salted butter
  • all-purpose flour
  • chicken broth
  • shredded cheese

vegetables in bowl for chicken and rice casserole

How To Make Chicken Rice Casserole

  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.

sautéing vegetables for chicken and rice casserole

Saute vegetables in a large skillet or pot.

chicken and rice casserole

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

chicken and rice casserole in baking dish

Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish 🙂

topping chicken and rice casserole with cheese

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

chicken and rice casserole in baking dish

How To Serve Chicken and Rice

This meal goes nicely with some roasted vegetables and a side salad.

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
5 from 4 votes

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

This Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole makes the perfect dinner! Simple and delicious for any night of the week!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings: 8
Calories: 534kcal
Author: Jenny
Cost: $15
Print Pin

Equipment

  • 9 x 13 inch baking dish
  • Oven
  • Large Skillet/Fry Pan

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 958mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4690IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 525mg | Iron: 1.4mg
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photo collage chicken and rice casserole

 

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339 Responses
  1. Paula Whitson

    Made this tonight and it was awesome, cut the recipe in half since it was just the hubby and I. Will definitely make it again…

    1. Jenny

      Hi Kylee, I’m sorry but I haven’t tested it out in the freezer. I think it would work. 🙂

  2. Erica

    I bet this would be a good way to use leftover turkey after thanksgiving too!!! I made it with a rotisserie chicken and it was so good my husband had me make it again 2 days later!!!

  3. pamela

    Hi Just printed off your recipe for cheesy chicken and wild rice. But i hope you get back to me real soon because i’m making this for dinner and i don’t know if you cook the wild rice before putting it in the casserole?

    1. Jenny

      Pamela, I’m so sorry I didn’t see your comment in time. But, yes the rice gets cooked before adding it in the casserole. Please forgive me. 🙁

    1. Jenny

      Vickilynne, yes the rice is cooked before going into the pan. Sorry for missing your comment.

  4. Jessica

    We make this recipe all of the time. Sooo delicious! I actually omit the butter from the cheese sauce and it is still awesome. . If my husband had his way, we would eat this every week.

  5. daisy

    This reminds me of the Marie Calendar’s Savory Chicken & Rice bake…which is the most delicious thing I have ever microwaved! lol…I was hoping one day I would find a REAL recipe that came close to it…so glad I stumbled upon this on pinterest! 🙂

  6. Emily

    This is one of my all time favorite recipes EVER! As a college student, it’s super cheap to make and stretches out for many meals. My family and roommates always request that I make this because they love it so much too!

    I have made a few adjustments that I’ve found make the dish even more fantastic. I add more chicken to the recipe; it makes the casserole heartier and more filling. I also season the uncooked chicken with a seasoned salt or something of the like.
    I add a smidge more garlic as I think it enhances the flavor a lot.
    Lastly, I double the cheese sauce. It makes the casserole less healthy, but is wonderful when I plan on having leftovers because it prevents it from drying out (the wild rice, when constantly reheated, can get really really dry).

  7. Laura

    DIVINE! I made this for the first time tonight. I had to substitute a few different kinds of rice, but it was YUMMY anyway. How can you go wrong with that much cheese? Thanks for another winner!

  8. Becky turner

    This dish had too many steps and dishes – lacked flavor – I would use bell pepper instead of carrots – to time consuming

  9. Priscilla

    I came across this tonight on google searching for something different than the usual meat, starch, veggie dinner. My super picky husband just ate this up! I used mostly bell peppers and onions, but left everything else the same. Goodness!! So delicious!!! I can’t wait to experiment with more veggies!
    Thank you!

    1. Jenny

      Ideally, stick the rice dish in a baking dish that you can store in the freezer but once you remove it you use the same dish to bake. Or, put it in air tight Tupperware then transfer to a baking dish from the freezer. You don’t want to bake it before you freeze. 🙂

  10. Tina@GottaRunNow

    I made this tonight! I boiled the chicken with vegetables in some broth, used a boxed wild rice and I reduced the cheese. Tasted great!

  11. Rosanne Fullerton

    Can this be made ahead of time, and then frozen till ready to bake? Going on a girls week end trip and wanted to make it before and take frozen….

    Thanks for your help….leaving in a week. 8/30/2013

    1. Jenny

      Rosanne, I’m sorry I missed your comment before 8/30. Yes, freeze in an appropriate container before you bake it.

      1. stephanie Kelley

        5 stars
        I’ve been making this for years and my family loves it! I did However, start counting macros and I’m wondering if the nutritional information you posted with the recipe is for the whole recipe or per serving? It’s not adding up quite the same in MyFitnessPal as you have it here.

  12. Chelsea

    I just made this tonight for dinner and my husband and I LOVED it!!! It is so delicious. Thanks for the recipe. Already shared it on Facebook. 😉

  13. Lisa

    This is wonderful! It’s become a family favorite. We use brown rice instead of white and it still tastes great! Thank you!

  14. Collette

    If some one wants expert view regarding blogging then i suggest him/her to visit this website, Keep up
    the fastidious work.

  15. Dee

    If making this as a “make ahead meal”, would it be best to wait and add the cheese the day of cooking?

  16. Peggy

    This was fantastic! I used half the amount of butter and substituted light butter with canola oil. I also used half regular cheddar cheese and half 2% fat cheddar cheese. I doubled the recipe and will definitely make it again! Thank you!

  17. Kelly

    Could this recipe be frozen then re-cooked? Also, can it be prepared ahead of time or is it best cooked right away?

  18. Jessie

    This is my FAV pinterest find! Made it even better with a WISCONSIN twist, substitute in the cheese sauce substitute 1 cup broth with 1 cup beer! YUM! It’s like beer-cheese soup!

  19. Lindsay

    How many cups of prepared wild rice is in a 16 oz bag? I couldn’t find any prepared in my store, so I’m wondering how much I need to cook. Thanks!

  20. Go Inspire Beauty

    I love that all your ingredients are from TJ! I cannot wait to try this recipe. Thank you for the step by step and the gorgeous images.
    Cheers!

  21. Kylee

    Just made this for dinner & it is PHENOMENAL! This will definitely be a go-to recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Sadie

    Did you cook the entire 16oz. bag of wild rice from Trader Joe’s? Does the recipe call for 160z. of cooked wild rice or 16oz. of uncooked wild rice? Thanks!

  23. Dana

    Maybe a dumb question but are both rices. Wild, and steamed prepared (cooked) before adding to pot?

  24. brittany

    Hi i’ve never cooked with wild rice before, what does it mean to prepare it? does that mean cook it first then add it or put it in uncooked? sorry, thank you 🙂 Looks so yummy and cant wait to make it

  25. Allison Marsh

    My sister raved about this recipe she found via pinterest and she made it for me when I was in town…so good! I made it last night for a group dinner and it was a hit. The only thing is, when one does not already have cooked rice and chicken, it quickly becomes a 2-3 pot meal rather than one, but the work was worth it. We don’t have much wild rice here in Australia since its so expensive to import from North America, so I just used black and brown rice instead seasoned with dried parsley, salt and black pepper, and garlic powder. I really loved that the cheese sauce is made with chicken stock rather than heavy cream…thanks for this recipe!

    1. Gisele

      You can buy wild rice in the pre-cooked rice section at Coles. I moved to Australia from Canada and found it the other day…yum! Not pre-cooked but great anyway…
      I want to try this recipe with canned salmon instead…could be interesting!

  26. Allison Marsh

    My sister raved about this recipe she found via pinterest and she made it for me when I was in town…so good! I made it last night for a group dinner and it was a hit. The only thing is, when one does not already have cooked rice and chicken, it quickly becomes a 2-3 pot meal rather than one, but the work was worth it. We don’t have much wild rice here in Australia since its so expensive to import from North America, so I just used black and brown rice instead seasoned with dried parsley, salt and black pepper, and garlic powder. I really loved that the cheese sauce is made with chicken stock rather than heavy cream…thanks for this recipe!

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