Cheesy Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

Sometimes I see yet another chicken casserole recipe and I yawn from the boredom.  I love chicken casserole and have a couple of good recipes that I’ve made over and over through the years, but so many of the ones I currently see are just boring!  They all look and taste about the same. However when I saw this Cheesy Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole, I thought it sounded just different enough to give it a try.

Oh my was it delicious!  There are SO many things going on here that make it unique.  You have great textures and flavors going on.  There is creaminess from the soups & sour cream and the crunch from the water chestnuts & almonds.  The wild rice gives a nice break from the typical white rice.  It will not only be a family favorite, but perfect for taking to the church potluck dinners.

Food Pics 032Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 5 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 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 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs

Directions:

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.

Top with breadcrumbs.

Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese, and top with toasted almonds.

Bake for additional 5 minutes.

Adapted from : Southern Living

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings