Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
This easy casserole is a delicious win for the whole family. It’s made in one skillet and is a quick homemade dinner you can enjoy throughout the week. You may be surprised by the addition of dates but consider them your secret ingredient as we found the kids actually love them in this dish, not to mention the nutritional benefits they add!
2 Tbsp. Organic Valley Unsalted Butter
2 cups diced onions (1 large onion)
½ cup diced carrots (2 medium carrots)
½ cup diced celery (2 medium celery stalks)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ cup white wine
2 boxes (8.6 oz) Rice-A-Roni “Nature’s Grain Long And Wild Rice” (discard the spice packets)
3 cups Organic Valley Whole Milk
¼ cup Organic Valley Heavy Cream
3 cups Organic Valley Thick-Cut Sharp Cheddar Cheese
16 oz. Organic Prairie cooked and chopped chicken (2 cups chopped cooked chicken)
¼ cup chopped pitted dates
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
Sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or oven-proof lidded pan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce by half.
Stir in the Rice-A-Roni, milk, heavy cream, 2 cups of the cheddar cheese, chicken, dates, walnuts and sage. Season with the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven (alternatively, you can cook the mixture on the stovetop, covered, at a low simmer). Cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese over top. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes longer (if cooking on the stovetop, cover the pot and cook until the cheese is melted).
Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving. If you’d like, garnish with sliced scallions.