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Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Deliciously comforting on those chilly Fall and Winter nights. Easy to make ahead for a weeknight family dinner or fancy enough for company with the toasted almonds and wild rice.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword casserole, chicken, wild rice
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author This recipe originally appeared on MyRecipes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

Step 1

  • 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.

Step 2

  • Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.

Step 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.

Step 4

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

Notes

To Make Ahead: Prepare 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° 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.