Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole is a classic but it sure isn’t the traditional chicken and rice many of us grew up on. It’s packed with unique flavor that makes it a gourmet version of chicken and rice.
What is wild rice?
At one time wild rice wasn’t very popular. It was a gourmet “rice mix” no one really knew how to use. Now, there are so many options for wild rice. You can buy it on its own or, if you’d rather, you can use a store-bought blend of wild rice mixed with other rices to add variety.
But what is wild rice exactly? Well, it’s not really rice at all. In fact, it’s the grain of four types of grass that are grown in North America, India and China. How about that?!
The wild rice needs to be cooked before the casserole is assembled and takes the longest time to prep out of all the steps here so make sure you get it cooking first.
What chicken should I use?
You can use any pre-cooked chicken you’d like – rotisserie chicken, chicken breast or chicken thighs, but this is one of those times I go for the chicken I prepped earlier in the week with my air fryer. Make sure to check out how to cook chicken in your air fryer so you have chicken on hand any time you need it.
What are pimentos?
Pimentos are a type of pickled pepper that you’ll find in the pickle section of your super market or online. Here’s what they look like.
Can I just use whole almonds… or skip them all together?
Feel free to skip almonds if you’d like but they definitely add a texture and flavor that adds the perfect touch to this casserole. If you do use them, make sure you buy sliced or slivered almonds. Whole almonds are too big. You want that nutty crunch without overpowering the dish.
All these flavors combine into a homey casserole that has a satisfying crunch from the almonds and a sweet pickled bite from the pimentos that’ll make you go back for seconds.Print
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 and ½ cups low or no sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 4 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 jar (4 oz.) diced pimentos, drained (about 1/2 cup)
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Over medium heat in a medium saute pan, add butter and let melt. Add in onion and mushrooms and stir to coat. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add flour and stir to coat. Slowly stir in chicken stock. Bring it to a simmer so it thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream.
- Add in chicken, cooked rice, and pimentos. Stir so everything is incorporated.
- Pour into a 3-quart casserole dish.
- Add sliced almonds on top and bake until heated through and bubbling, 30-35 minutes, uncovered.