Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole


A tried-and-true chicken casserole that wins over family and guests time and time again.

Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
10 to 12 serves

Using a long-grain and wild rice mix and toasted almonds in chicken casserole makes it a little bit dressier and fit for company.


  • 1 (2.25-oz.) package sliced almonds, toasted

  • 2 (6.2-oz.) boxes fast-cooking long-grain and wild rice mix

  • ¼ cup butter

  • 4 celery ribs, chopped

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 5 cups chopped cooked chicken

  • 2 (10 ¾-oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup

  • 2 (8-oz.) cans chopped water chestnuts, drained

  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

  • 1 cup milk

  • ½ teaspoon table salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

  • 2 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 4 to 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

  2. Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.

  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add celery and onions. Sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken, next 6 ingredients, rice, and 3 cups cheese. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch baking dish or 2 (11- x 7-inch) baking dishes. Top with breadcrumbs.

  4. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese, and top with toasted almonds. Bake 5 minutes.


Make It AheadPrepare as directed in Steps 2 and Cover with aluminum foil, and freeze up to 1 month. Remove from freezer, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Toast almonds as directed in Step Bake casserole, covered, at 350°F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 55 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese and toasted almonds. Bake 5 more minutes. Try These Twists Shrimp-and-Wild Rice Casserole: Substitute 2 lb. peeled and deveined, medium-size raw shrimp (4 1/50 count) for chicken; 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese and 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese for Cheddar cheese; and 1 cup dry white wine for milk. Cajun Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole: Omit salt and pepper. Reduce chicken to 2 ½ cups. Prepare as directed, sautéing 1 lb. andouille sausage, chopped, and 1 green bell pepper, diced, with celery in Step Stir 1 (15-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained, and 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning into rice mixture. Proceed as directed.

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