It’s a casserole much like my mom’s cheesy ground beef and rice casserole or her cheesy chicken and rice casserole that has taken over our site. We get more traffic for our casserole recipes than anything else. This one is more like the version you all have been waiting for as so many of you have asked for us to reinvent one of those casseroles into something new.
Making a casserole that’s an awesome make ahead freezer meal is not something I take lightly. When I was thinking about what to do Cade reminded me that we had always wanted to make a copycat of that Milton’s casserole because it would be just as easy to freeze our own, or even just make it fresh.
We literally went to Costco, bought a bunch of these, read through every ingredient and tested until the thought of eating more casserole made me sick. We turned leftovers into soups, burrito fillings etc just to mix things up, but in the end, these are the ingredients listed on the package and this is the real copycat recipes. Ignore the others made with cheese, peppers etc.
You’ll start out with uncooked rice. UNCOOKED. That’s right. You didn’t misunderstand. We get so many questions about that casserole wondering if we made a mistake, but the rice really will cook in the liquid you add.
Next, make a homemade version of cream of mushroom soup. It takes about 5-8 minutes which isn’t bad at all.
We prefer to use a rotisserie chicken as it packs more flavor, but cooked chicken breasts will work too. The general rule is 350 for 30 minutes, or 6 minutes per side on stove top at medium high heat.
That’s really it. Season everything, stir the liquid, soup, rice (both white and wild and yes, we picked through a casserole to decide on ratios and it was not 50/50) chicken, and veggies. Cover with foil if you want, or just pop it in the oven to bake for, I know, 90 minutes. Sorry, that’s the long part. But while it’s baking you can go anywhere you want.
Freezer Friendly Options
To freeze this dish, you have a few options. You can partially bake the dish, allow to cool and wrap tightly with saran wrap then foil and freeze right in the pan. To bake, remove the coverings, bake for 1 hour.
Or, you can bake the whole thing, wrap in saran wrap then foil and then remove from freezer, remove saran wrap and just bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes when you’re ready to eat it.
Copycat Milton’s Creamy Chicken with White and Wild Rice Casserole
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Clove Garlic, minced
- ¼ Cup Minced Onion
- ½ Cup Minced Celery
- ½ Cup Minced Mushrooms
- ¼ Cup Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1 Cup Milk
- ½ Cup Chicken Broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste *see note
- 2 dashes Tobasco
- 2 Cups Cooked Chicken, chopped *see note
- 2 Cups Water
- ⅔ Cup White Rice
- ⅓ Cup Wild Rice
- 1¼ Cup Frozen Peas
- 1¼ Cup Diced Carrots
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the butter until melted, and then add the garlic, onion, celery, and mushrooms. Stir occasionally for 1-2 minutes then quickly whisk in the flour. Allow to cook for 30 seconds more.
- While whisking, add the milk and broth, continuing to whisk until it begins to simmer. Cook 2-3 minutes or until thickened.
- Spray an 8x9" baking dish with nonstick spray then add the chicken, veggies, additional broth, water, sauce and rice. Stir to combine, sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and maybe a dash of paprika if you'd like and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until rice is tender.
We prefer to buy a rotisserie chicken as it is more flavorful than just chicken breasts.
This casserole can be made, cooled and frozen for later reheating (45-60 minutes at 350)
You can also partially bake the dish and freeze it for later, wrapping in saran wrap and tin foil for the freezer.
You can also make this dish in the morning, cover and refrigerate until dinner and then bake for 90 minutes.
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