Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

5 from 2 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 2 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 Rate

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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335 Responses
  1. Rachel

    Fantastic recipe. I have made it twice now and the second time I made with a wild rice blend with quinoa. Great flavor and a new family recipe! Thanks so much!

  2. Alicia

    I made only a couple basic modifications. Used Wild Rice Medley from Trader Joe’s and added mushrooms. This recipe is amazing though. Everyone LOVED it! It is saved for an encore. Thank you.

  3. Linda

    Just found this recipe, looks like perhaps it is about 4 1/2 years old. Looks great and I will make it, sadly our Trader Joe’s no longer stocks the precooked wild rice. I will make up the rices ahead of time so I can make this. Love the non-processed ingredients.

  4. Allan Bieniek

    This is more of a general comment. Why do almost all of the turkey recipes have cheese in them? Unless you’re making tacos, pizza or macaroni and cheese, I see little use for any cheese. Just make the dishes w/o it and they will come out just as good if not better. Turkey and cheese doesn’t even sound good.

  5. daisy

    I loved making this recipe! Would this be a good freezer meal? Would you freeze it after everything is cooked & cooled? Or would you do any steps differently? I don’t do freezer meals a lot but I’m needing to stockpile my freezer for my 2nd baby due soon and I absolutely love this recipe! Any advice/suggestions? 🙂

  6. Allie

    Thank you so much for this recipe, it’s one of our favorites of all time! Thank you for all the time and energy you put into this website for people you may never meet. Bless you!! – Allie 🙂

  7. Courtney

    Found your recipe on Pinterest. Very tasty. I used yellow instead of wild because it’s what I had. Loved the cheese sauce.

  8. Kelsey Crofoot

    About to try this recipe… However I was confused if the Wild Rice goes into the recipe totally cooked or not? I realize the white rice is supposed to be done, but wasn’t sure about WIld. Thanks!!

  9. Kelley

    Do you know how the cheese sauce would be with reduced fat cheese. Not sure if it would melt properly, but I’m tying to cut back on fat in my cooking. This llooks like something my husband would enjoy and I look forward to tying it out reduced fat cheese or not.

  10. Lori Bagley

    I make a casserole much like this. I use bell pepper instead of the carrots and add toasted slivered almonds to the top for a little crunch. I also use cooked shrimp or duck meat in place of the chicken. It’s one of those that you take to a pot-luck and don’t bring any home. Delish!

  11. Melanie

    This is mine and my families favorite freezer meal to make!!! I can’t find the wild rice at TJ’s. Any idea in cups how much it would be?

  12. Cindy

    Love this dish! I want to freeze it this time for freezer meals. Would you freeze after putting it together but before adding cheese topping and cooking?? Thanks so much!

  13. Pete

    That rice looks like paddy rice, not real wild rice. You should buy real Ojibwa wild rice, the flavor is so much better!!

  14. Beth

    This was fantastic!! I used some rotisserie chicken and only used the wild rice. This is in our regular rotation and I plan to freeze one too. My 3 and 8 year old gobbled it up…the hubby had two bowls…winner winner chicken casserole dinner!!

    1. Donna

      Hi Brittany,

      I am really not sure why the two different rices. I believe it’s just the the taste that they both bring together. I have tried it with just the jasmine rice (it’s what we use) and I have mixed it with the wild rice. I perfer the mixture of the two.

      I hope this helps :).

      Donna

  15. TJ

    I just found this recipe and used turkey in place of chicken (had some in the freezer)…it was fabulous. Will now be in my “Best thing to do with left over Thanksgiving Turkey” file. My fam is not crazy about the turkey…but, there were enough other things going on in this recipe, that the turkey wasn’t at the forefront of the flavors….Thank you for sharing!

  16. Laurie

    Chicken cheese and rice casserole – We do not have trader joes – is the cooked wild rice used in the recipe already seasoned or without seasoning? thanks

  17. Donna

    I made this for my family last night 1/5/14. It was amazing! All the wonderful flavors mixed together made this dish perfect. This is a keeper. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Donna

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