Tired of plain old chicken and rice? This chicken wild rice casserole has all of the classics with a new spin. Chicken thighs, wild rice, mushrooms, and a tasty sauce give you an earthy spin on the classic casserole. This baked dish is perfect for any weeknight dinner. It's creamy, savory, and filled with fresh flavors.
Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
Making a basic casserole can get boring, but this is far from boring. Using wild rice gives you more nutrients and fiber, while also staying firmer and not turning to mush while cooked. Chicken thighs are filled with tons of flavor, and the addition of mushrooms adds an earthiness that goes wonderfully alongside the wild rice.
Your whole family will love this delicious chicken meal. It may not be your classic chicken and rice dish, but it is even better. Serve this not just as a weeknight meal for the kids, but as a dish upscale enough for guests!
Ingredients for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
- 6 tablespoon butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter in this recipe.
- 8 chicken thighs: Use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- 1 onion, sliced: One medium white onion is perfect in this casserole.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced: Be sure the garlic is fresh and smells strong after peeling.
- 1⁄2 pound (250g) chopped oyster mushrooms: Small white or brown mushrooms work well for this recipe.
- 1 cup long-grain wild rice: Buy wild rice at the grocery store or online.
- 2 cups chicken stock: Use the best chicken stock you can find or make your own at home.
- 1 cup milk: Whole milk is best for this dish rather than low or no-fat milk.
- 3 tablespoon flour: All-purpose flour works well here.
- 1 teaspoon oregano: Be sure your dried oregano is fresh and isn’t more than one year old.
Kitchen Tools Used
How to make chicken wild rice casserole:
This recipe should be prepared in an oven-safe skillet or a Dutch oven so you can take it from stovetop to oven easily. I recommend a 5 quart or larger Dutch oven for the best results.
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Melt 2 tablespoon butter over medium heat and brown chicken thighs on both sides. The chicken does not need to be cooked through.
3. Remove chicken from the pan and add 2 tablespoon of butter. Saute onions for 5 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with salt, garlic, and oregano.
5. Add butter and flour to the pan. Cook for 1 minute.
6. Pour in chicken stock and mix to combine
7. Pour in the milk.
8. Stir in the rice.
9. Place chicken thighs on top of the rice and cover with a lid. Then bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the rice is tender and the sauce has thickened and mostly been absorbed.
10. Serve hot with additional fresh herbs and fresh grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Can You Freeze Cooked Wild Rice Casserole?
You can absolutely freeze this wild rice casserole. I recommend allowing it to cool completely after cooking, then portion into single-portion containers and freeze. Label and date the containers then freeze them for up to 3 months.
Can You Freeze Chicken and Rice Together?
You definitely can freeze this casserole together. As suggested above, I prefer to separate into individual servings to make it easier to reheat.
How Long Does Wild Rice Take to Cook?
A traditional stovetop method would be around 45 minutes. This oven version typically takes slightly less time at 35 to 40 minutes.
Is Wild Rice a Carb or a Protein?
While it is recognized as a grain and carbohydrate, it is also a source of protein. A portion of rice typically has around 21 carbohydrates and 4 grams of protein.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best chicken and wild rice casserole you've ever had.
- To make this dish extra creamy add a can of cream of mushroom soup to replace 1 cup of the broth.
- This can also be cooked on the stovetop over low heat for 45 minutes if an oven is not available.
What Can I Use Instead of Wild Rice?
Wild rice is great because it holds up well after baking. If you’re going to use another type of grain, use one that is hearty. Some options include brown rice, farro, barley, or wheat berries. White rice can also work, but the cooking time and amount of liquid would change.
Can I Add Other Vegetables to Chicken Wild Rice Casserole?
This recipe has onions and mushrooms, but you are not limited to only those. It is great paired with asparagus and broccoli. You could also add fresh green beans or even artichoke hearts in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
How can I make this dish in a crockpot?
It’s easy to make chicken and wild rice casserole in a slow cooker. To start, saute the chicken thighs, mushrooms, onions, seasonings, butter, and flour. Place this mixture in the bowl of the crockpot and pour in the chicken stock, milk, and rice. Cover and cook on high for four hours.
How to store:
Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat it in the microwave with 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.
To freeze the entire casserole, wrap it in aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Label it with what it is, how to cook, and the date. Labeling will help you remember later. Remember that if you cook it from frozen, it will take longer to cook in the oven without thawing first. Keep the foil on until the last 30 minutes of cooking so the top can brown.
More Chicken Casseroles
If you have more chicken thighs to use, we have some great ideas to add to your meal plan. Below are more casseroles that feature this delicious dark meat option. Make sure that you bookmark these, print out the recipes, or pin them to Pinterest to make soon!
- Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole
- Potato and Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Coconut and Rice Casserole
- Italian Chicken Casserole
- 6 tablespoon butter (85g)
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 medium white onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 pound oyster mushrooms, chopped (250g)
- 1 cup brown rice (196g dry)
- 2 cups chicken stock (500ml)
- 1 cup milk (250ml)
- 3 tablespoon flour (27g)
- 1 teaspoon oregano (1.25g)
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Melt 2 tablespoon butter over medium heat and brown chicken thighs on both sides.
- Remove chicken from the pan and add 2 tablespoon of butter. Saute onions for 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms into the pan and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with salt, garlic, and oregano.
- Add butter and flour into the pan. Cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in chicken stock and mix to combine. Add milk and rice.
- Place chicken thighs on top of the rice and lower the hit to the minimum. Cover with a lid and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
This can also be made with boneless skinless chicken breasts if preferred.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 468Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 218mgSodium: 497mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 42g