I have had this recipe idea for Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole on my “to try” list for so long and with the colder months arriving, it was time to create. The result was pure delicious comfort! I am sharing it the week before Thanksgiving on purpose because the chicken could easily be swapped for leftover turkey. You are going to love this family-pleasing casserole.
The from-scratch creamy sauce with celery, green onions, and herbs is so smooth and full of flavor. Chicken and cooked wild rice are added then poured into a baking dish. The topping is crushed, buttery Ritz crackers. It’s all baked to golden and will warm you up heart, soul, and belly!
How to Make Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
First, cook diced celery and green onions in butter until softened. Mushrooms and/or carrots would be a fantastic addition here too.
Next, add flour to make a roux then add half and half, chicken broth, dried thyme and nutmeg. I love the bit of warm spice that the nutmeg adds!
Once it thickens, add cheese (gruyere, fontina or sharp cheddar), cooked chicken and cooked wild rice.
Pour into greased 9×13 baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
Next, crush two sleeves of Ritz crackers in a Ziploc bag and drizzle in 2 TB olive oil. Sprinkle over the cheese and bake.
Bake until golden brown and bubbly! I thought I burned this but it was actually perfect!
Final Thoughts and What’s On Sale
My family devoured this and said it was a definite winner. I love how versatile it is with the poultry, vegetables, and cheese choices. It’s the kind of comfort food that you’ll want to put on your dinner rotation all fall and winter!
Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Ingredients on sale November 17-30: celery, butter, Ritz crackers, chicken broth, flour
Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
- 3/4 cup wild rice
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sleeves Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 bunches green onions, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere, fontina, or sharp cheddar
- Cook wild rice according to package directions with the addition of a bay leaf. Once done, discard bay leaf and set rice aside until ready to use.
- Toss crushed Ritz crackers with olive oil and set aside until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or a thin layer of softened butter.
- To a large skillet, add butter over medium-high heat. Once melted add green onions and celery then cook until softened.
- Sprinkle flour over vegetables then stir to combine well. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in half and half then chicken broth. Add thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Continue cooking and stirring until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Add half of the shredded cheese, chicken and cooked wild rice. Stir to combine well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
- Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle Ritz crackers evenly over casserole. Return to oven and bake for 15 more minutes or until golden brown.
- Additional vegetables that can be added are sliced fresh mushrooms and/or diced carrots.
- Chicken can be replaced with turkey.