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This Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Poppy Seeds is an easy dinner recipe that the whole family will love! It’s total comfort food, and best of all, the convenient meal can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen until you’re ready to serve!

Overhead shot of white casserole dish with Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Shortly after Casey was born, my Aunt Barbara brought us this dish for dinner. We inhaled it at the time, and I begged her for the recipe shortly thereafter. It’s been a cool-weather staple in our house ever since, because everyone loves it!

My aunt actually got the recipe from her friend Debbie, who lives down in Florida. Debbie got the recipe from her daughter. You get the idea…it’s one of those family-friendly meals that pleases everyone and tends to be passed around because it’s THAT GOOD.

The Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole is a simple combination of rice, chicken, sour cream, Campbell’s soup, slivered almonds, and a Ritz cracker crumb topping. It’s hits all of the texture highlights with creamy, crunchy, and buttery flavors in every bite!

Overhead shot of two plates of chicken and wild rice casserole

How to make Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole:

Once all of your ingredients are prepared, this dish is very easy to assemble. Let’s get started!

Ingredients for Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole:

First, cook the wild rice and spread it in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Box of Uncle Ben's Wild Rice for chicken casserole recipe

Stir together the soup, sour cream, almonds and chicken, and then spread the chicken mixture over the rice.

Prep shot of chicken and wild rice casserole

Finally, prepare the crumb topping by combining the crushed Ritz crackers with the melted butter and poppy seeds.

Ritz cracker topping for chicken casserole

Sprinkle the topping over the casserole and bake the dish at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Front shot of a wooden spoon scooping chicken and wild rice casserole

What to serve with Chicken and Rice Casserole:

This casserole is delicious when served with a simple green side salad, green beans, roasted broccoli, roasted asparagus, or Brussels sprouts with bacon.

Front shot of chicken and wild rice casserole in a blue and white bowl

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • If you want to use the microwaveable packets of wild rice for a shortcut, you’ll need a total of about 3 cups of cooked rice.
  • I used the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken here, but you can also cook your own meat to use in this recipe. If starting with raw meat, you’ll need about 1.5 – 2 lbs. of raw chicken tenderloins (breast meat is fine too, but the tenders cook faster). My preferred cooking method is to place the chicken tenderloins in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Cover with foil and bake in a 400F (200C) oven for about 30 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through). Allow to cool before chopping and using in the recipe.
  • Cooking for Two? Just cut the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish. Alternatively, if you don’t want to cut the ingredients in half, you can prepare the entire recipe, but divide the ingredients between two 8-inch square dishes. Bake one for dinner and share the other with a friend (or stick it in your freezer for a later date)!
  • To prep ahead: This casserole can be prepared in advance through step 4 and either refrigerated for a day or two before baking; OR you can prepare the dish through step 4 and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. If baking from frozen, be sure to thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight before baking as instructed. Allow the refrigerated casserole to come to room temperature on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking.
  • Make this a Chicken Wild Rice Broccoli Casserole by adding a package of frozen broccoli florets to the chicken mixture. I recommend steaming the broccoli before adding it to the dish so that it’s nice and tender.
  • Add a layer of frozen French style green beans to the casserole. Simply cook the green beans until crisp-tender (but not mushy) and layer in the dish on top of the rice.
  • Swap out the cream of chicken soup and use a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup instead. You can also add a small jar of sliced mushrooms to the mixture!
  • Like cheese in your casserole? Sprinkle your favorite grated cheese on top of the casserole before adding the Ritz cracker topping.

Close overhead shot of a plate of chicken and wild rice casserole

More chicken and rice casseroles that you might enjoy:

Overhead shot of white casserole dish with Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Poppy Seeds

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 538.9 kcal
This easy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole is a perfect prep-ahead, freezer-friendly dinner that the whole family will love!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (6 ounce) package Uncle Ben's Wild Rice mix (about 3 cups cooked)
  • 3 cups cooked, diced chicken
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed Cream of Chicken soup (NOT diluted)
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed (about 30 crackers, or 1 ½ cup crumbs)
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

Instructions

  • Cook rice and seasoning as directed on package. Spread in bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, stir together soup, sour cream, almonds and chicken. Spread over rice.
  • In a separate bowl, combine cracker crumbs with melted butter. Stir in poppy seeds and sprinkle cracker crumb mixture on top of the casserole.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Notes

  • If you want to use the microwaveable packets of wild rice for a shortcut, you'll need a total of about 3 cups of cooked rice.
  • I used the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken here, but you can also cook your own meat to use in this recipe. If starting with raw meat, you'll need about 1.5 - 2 lbs. of raw chicken tenderloins (breast meat is fine too, but the tenders cook faster). My preferred cooking method is to place the chicken tenderloins in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Cover with foil and bake in a 400F (200C) oven for about 30 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through). Allow to cool before chopping and using in the recipe.
  • Cooking for Two? Just cut the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square dish. Alternatively, if you don't want to cut the ingredients in half, you can prepare the entire recipe, but divide the ingredients between two 8-inch square dishes. Bake one for dinner and share the other with a friend (or stick it in your freezer for a later date)!
  • To prep ahead: This casserole can be prepared in advance through step 4 and either refrigerated for a day or two before baking; OR you can prepare the dish through step 4 and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. If baking from frozen, be sure to thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight before baking as instructed. Allow the refrigerated casserole to come to room temperature on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking.
  • Make this a Chicken Wild Rice Broccoli Casserole by adding a package of frozen broccoli florets to the chicken mixture. I recommend steaming the broccoli before adding it to the dish so that it's nice and tender.
  • Add a layer of frozen French style green beans to the casserole. Simply cook the green beans until crisp-tender (but not mushy) and layer in the dish on top of the rice.
  • Swap out the cream of chicken soup and use a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup instead. You can also add a small jar of sliced mushrooms to the mixture!
  • Like cheese in your casserole? Sprinkle your favorite grated cheese on top of the casserole before adding the Ritz cracker topping.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the casseroleCalories: 538.9kcalCarbohydrates: 39.6gProtein: 24.8gFat: 31.7gSaturated Fat: 14.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5.3gCholesterol: 97.8mgSodium: 965.6mgPotassium: 368.1mgFiber: 3.3gSugar: 5.3g
Keyword: chicken and wild rice casserole, chicken casserole, freezer meal
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in October, 2013. The photos were updated in February, 2020.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

    1. Hi, Elayne! I don’t prefer breadcrumbs (they just don’t have any taste), so I would definitely go with the coarsely crushed Corn Flakes if you have them. Corn Flakes are one of my other favorite casserole toppings — just mix them with the butter in the same way that you would with the Ritz crackers.

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Blair! This is a delicious dish. Even my picky steak and potatoes husband likes it. Also, I really enjoy your column every Sunday morning. Thank you!