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Wild Rice Supreme {Easy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole}

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Easy chicken and wild rice casserole is a healthier creamy hotdish full of veggies, long grain and wild rice, slivered almonds and is a fabulous way to use up leftover chicken or turkey! Plus simple instructions on how to convert to gluten free and vegetarian.

Looking for an easy, make ahead meal or holiday side? This wild rice supreme is the best, especially since you can assemble this days ahead of time or even freeze making your holidays even simpler.

Try our favorite holiday sides: Best Potato Gratin, Crispy Balsamic and Honey Brussels Sprouts and Best Thanksgiving Stuffing.

Close up image of casserole dish and topped with crispy onions

What is Wild Rice?

It’s actually not a rice, but a grass! Wild rice is the seed of a species of aquatic grass that grows primarily in the Great Lakes region of North America. It was once a dietary staple of the Native Americans living in this region, and these days, most of the wild rice available in the supermarket is specially cultivated in Minnesota and California.

If you haven’t tried wild rice before, it’s time to get on it. A firm, chewy, nutty-tasting, higher in protein grain that is delicious in salads, like this Harvest Wild Rice Salad, or in casseroles like the one I am showing you today.

Ingredient shot for Wild Rice Supreme Casserole. L-R cooked chicken, wild rice blend mix, half and half, pimientos, slivered almonds, chicken broth, butter, flour, salt, parsley, onions and celery

INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN AND WILD RICE

  • Package Lundberg or Near East or similar Long Grain and Wild Rice Mix (made according to package directions)
  • Cooked chicken or turkey (optional, leftovers work great)
  • Butter
  • Onion, chopped
  • Celery, chopped
  • Flour (replace with gluten free purpose flour)
  • Chicken broth or stock (replace with vegetable broth if desired)
  • Half and half or milk (see substitutions for ideas)
  • Kosher sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Jar diced pimientos
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Slivered almonds, chopped
  • Crispy Fried Onions (optional, but yummy!)

Can you Add Uncooked Rice to a Casserole?

The short answer is no, rice needs a lot of liquid and requires the steam from a covered dish, this casserole would take hours to bake if you placed uncooked rice in the dish.

However; if you happen to have some leftover, already cooked Wild Rice, feel free to add up to a cup of the cooked wild rice to the final dish.

HOW TO MAKE WILD RICE CASSEROLE

  • Prepare long grain and wild rice according to the box directions and in the meantime begin prepping your ingredients.
  • Preheat oven to 400F degrees and grease or butter a 2 qt casserole, this is my favorite!
Process shots for wild rice casserole. 1. adding onion and celery to pot. 2. pouring in milk or cream. 3. pouring in chicken stock. 4. adding chopped chicken to cream mixture.
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan or skillet or medium heat; add chopped onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and cook for one minute.
  2. Pour in half-and-half and stir,
  3. And chicken broth, stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken, stirring to coat.
  1. Toss in chopped almonds, pimientos and fresh parsley.
  2. Add pre-cooked long grain and wild rice mix, stir to combine.
  3. Pour into buttered or greased 2 qt casserole dish and smooth.
  4. If desired, top with crispy fried onions. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes.

This recipe easily doubles, use a 9×13 casserole dish and adjust baking time longer if not bubbly and crisp on top.

Image of casserole dish filled with easy wild rice and chicken casserole

Gluten Free and Vegan options

One of the most frequent questions I receive is “can I make a dish vegetarian, vegan or gluten free.” I am happy to report, that this is an easy one to convert.

  • GLUTEN FREE | Easy peasy, simply make sure your rice blend you purchase is a GF product, then simply swap out the all purpose flour for a good 1-to-1 Gluten Free flour <– my favorite brand!
  • VEGAN/VEGETARIAN | This is a bit trickier, but still doable!
    • omit chicken/turkey and add in a plant based protein if desired
    • swap chicken broth with vegetable broth
    • use a plant based butter blend or olive oil to saute veggies
    • make sure wild rice mix is Vegan (Lundberg brand is)
    • replace half and half with ½ coconut cream and ½ oat milk or other plant based milk

TIPS & SUBSTITUTIONS

Remember The Fresh Cooky is all about “Make it yours!” so substitutions are always encouraged!

  • Try including chopped carrots with your onion and celery, creating a classic mirepoix.
  • No chicken or turkey? Try using cooked breakfast sausage or ground hamburger instead! Ooo wild rice casserole with hamburger! Takes me back to my childhood.
  • Pimiento’s not your thing? Dice a red, orange or yellow pepper and saute with onion mixture. Or use roasted red peppers or sun dried tomatoes!
  • Fresh out of fresh parsley? Substitute with 3 teaspoons dried.
  • Can’t find the brand’s of long grain and wild rice mixes mentioned? This recipe was originally made using Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice mix, or substitute with your favorite, if it’s within a few ounces of the other one it shouldn’t change a thing.
  • Toss in up to 1 cup prepared wild rice in addition to other rice.
  • Saute the veggies in olive or avocado oil instead of butter.
  • Use milk instead of half and half
  • Try chopped walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts or pecans — or omit altogether.
image of ready to go in the oven chicken and wild rice casserole

MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS

This chicken and wild recipe is the perfect make ahead and freezer friendly meal or side dish. When I am cooking for the holidays I am always looking for ways get things done ahead of a holiday so I can enjoy it more! You might enjoy reading this post on How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in 2020.

MAKE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS

  • Assemble the entire casserole and cover well, lasts up to one week in fridge and up to 6 months frozen.
  • Remove from fridge while your oven preheats, uncover and bake as directed.

FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS

  • If freezing uncooked, cool completely prior to freezing and wrap well with aluminum foil. Thaw in fridge overnight and bake as instructed.
  • Freezing cooked Chicken and Wild rice Casserole? Allow to cool completely, wrap in aluminum foil, sealing well. To rewarm preheat oven 300 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes, may be reheated frozen or thawed, check thawed at about 30 minutes. Cover up until last 10 minutes to re-crisp the top.
Crispy onion tin with ready to go in oven wild rice supreme casserole

I am excited to be a part of a fabulous group of bloggers coming together to bring you loads of fabulous holiday sides this week! Below are all the links.

Wednesday Holiday Side Dish Recipes:

In closing, I sure hope you enjoyed this delicious, chicken and wild rice casserole easy recipe comfort food recipe! It’s not just for the holidays either, it’s delicious using leftovers or for a busy weeknight meal.

Featured on Weekend Potluck – go and check out all the great recipes!

Other delicious casserole style dishes and holiday sides you may love!

PIN to your favorite Holiday Recipes board.

Pinterest long pin with two images for Wild Rice Supreme. Top image of ingredients used in dish and bottom finished and baked chicken and wild rice casserole

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Close up image of chicken and wild rice casserole with crispy onions
Yield: 8 servings

Easy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Easy chicken and wild rice casserole is a healthier creamy hot dish full of veggies, long grain and wild rice, slivered almonds and is a fabulous way to use up leftover chicken or turkey! Plus simple instructions on how to convert to gluten free and vegetarian.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prepare long grain and wild rice according to the box directions and in the meantime begin prepping your ingredients. Preheat oven to 400F degrees and grease or butter a 2 qt casserole.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan or skillet or medium heat; add chopped onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and cook for one minute.
  3. Pour in half-and-half and chicken broth, stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken, stirring to coat., toss in chopped almonds, pimientos and fresh parsley.
  5. Add pre-cooked long grain and wild rice mix, stir to combine. Pour into buttered or greased 2 qt casserole dish and smooth. If desired, top with crispy fried onions. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes.

Notes

This recipe easily doubles, use a 9x13 casserole dish and adjust baking time longer if not bubbly and crisp on top.

GLUTEN FREE | Easy peasy, simply make sure your rice blend you purchase is a GF product, then simply swap out the all purpose flour for a good 1-to-1 Gluten Free flour <-- my favorite brand!

VEGAN/VEGETARIAN | This is a bit trickier, but still doable!

  • omit chicken/turkey and add in a plant based protein if desired
  • swap chicken broth with vegetable broth
  • use a plant based butter blend or olive oil to saute veggies
  • make sure wild rice mix is Vegan (Lundberg brand is)
  • replace half and half with ½ coconut cream and ½ oat milk or other plant based milk

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 430mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc. Nutritional information will change based on used ingredients, quantities used, etc.

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