This chicken and wild rice casserole is creamy, yummy comfort food. You and your family will be making this often, especially because it is so easy and feeds a crowd!
We’re starting to feel a bit of a chill in the air, yes, even here in North Carolina. These are the times I love to have warm, delicious comfort food for dinners.
My hubby is a helicopter modification specialist and works in a hanger at Simmons Army Air Field at Fort Bragg and let me tell y’all, those things are not heated or cooled. So when he comes home from work, he is cold and hungry at this time of the year. I need something that will not only fill him up but also warm him up from the inside out.
This casserole is perfect for not only family dinner but also for when you have company stop by.
The entire thing can be made ahead and cooked the next day when you get home from work, or pop it in the freezer and cook for just a bit longer on those nights when you don’t know what to make to make your clan happy.
I personally made it for our Family Dinner this past Saturday, after we got done carving pumpkins for Halloween. (If y’all don’t know about our Family Dinners, it’s when the entire family comes together to have dinner at least every other weekend. That means Great Grandma, Nonni, Grandpa, children and grandchild as well as anyone else that may be around.)
This casserole will feed a crowd or feed a family with enough left over to freeze for another dinner.
Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
- 1 2.25-oz. package sliced almonds
- 2 6.2-oz. boxes long-grain and wild rice mix
- 1/4 cup butter
- 5 celery ribs chopped
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 5 cups chopped cooked chicken white meat, dark meat or both
- 2 10 3/4-oz. cans cream of mushroom soup
- 2 8-oz. cans chopped water chestnuts, drained
- 1 8-oz. container sour cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups 16 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 350°. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 4 to 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
- Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.
- 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.
- Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese, and top with toasted almonds. Bake 5 minutes.