Tasty Chicken and Rice Casserole is packed with hearty ingredients – chicken, rice, vegetables, and a flavorful sauce – and finished with a crunchy topping.
This casserole is a great weeknight supper for the family because it’s filling and simple to make. Plus, it’s gluten-free and dairy-free so if your family has food sensitivities, this is the perfect dinner all-around.
Chicken and rice is often a staple dinner for many because it’s filling and easy to make, but the combo can quickly get boring.
That’s one of the many reasons why this Tasty Chicken and Rice Casserole is so good. It’s not your average chicken and rice. The tasty sauce contains mayonnaise, not something you’d normally see in a chicken dinner other than a chicken salad, but it works SO well in this case.
My best friend and I came up with this recipe together when we adapted an old recipe I’ve had in my cookbook binder for a long time. We made it together one night when both of our husbands were working late and we had the kids together.
We were both impressed with just how delicious this gluten-free casserole turned out to be.
Even our kids enjoy it. Well except her 5-year-old and my 7-year-old and that’s because they are both adamantly against anything with peas. (Once they picked out the peas, they both liked this easy dinner, particularly the “crunchies” on the top.)
The “crunchies” or golden, crunchy topping is simply corn flakes and coconut oil. Easy peasy and yes, completely gluten-free! Just make sure you check the ingredients on the corn flakes. It turns out the generic brand at our local grocery store contained wheat, while the name brand Corn Flakes was gluten-free.
Tasty Chicken and Rice Casserole is also dairy-free because we use coconut oil and almond milk in this recipe. I love my dairy but I didn’t notice the difference with these substitutes.
Tasty Chicken and Rice Casserole Tips:
Make sure you use regular almond milk, not “vanilla” flavored almond milk, which gives it an odd taste. I’ve found that vanilla almond milk is best used for baking, not cooking. (Think about recipes you’d include vanilla extract in or not.)
Tasty Chicken and Rice Casserole is great for using up leftover chicken. If you’re cooking chicken the night before, cook a little extra and this easy casserole will be even faster to put together. Or use leftovers from a rotisserie chicken.
Cook your rice in an instant pot for faster cooking.
Follow the exact measurements for the best results. It’s tempting to want to add extra rice to stretch the casserole further or throw in the extra chicken you have, but if you do, this casserole may turn out too dry. (Trust me: I’ve tried it.)
I hope you enjoy this Tasty Chicken and Rice Casserole as much as we do!
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/3 cup onion, diced
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, divided
- 4 minced garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp gluten-free flour 1-to-1 mix (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (regular, not vanilla)
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise (I use this.)
- 4 cups shredded chicken, cooked
- 3 cups cooked rice (I use Jasmine rice.)
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes
- If your chicken isn’t already cooked (leftover chicken works great for this recipe), cook it however you prefer. I like to cook 2-3 chicken breasts in water over the stove. I bring a med-large pot of water to a boil with the chicken already in it, then turn down to medium heat and cover while it simmers for 20-30 minutes. Check for doneness and remove when cooked through. Don’t overcook or your chicken will be too tough.
- At the same time, cook your rice according to package directions. (I use jasmine rice and cook it in my instant pot.)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- In a large saucepan, over medium heat, saute the onion and celery in the coconut oil until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the gluten-free flour and gradually stir in the almond milk. Cook and stir until somewhat thick and bubbling (about 2 minutes).
- Turn off the heat and stir in the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken (be sure to measure it), rice, and peas and stir.
- Spoon into a 9x13x2″ baking dish.
- Melt the remaining 1 Tbsp coconut oil and mix together with 3/4 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes or until starting to bubble.
Note: we use Miracle Whip (with olive oil, so there is no high fructose corn syrup) for this recipe. I have not tested this recipe with other mayonnaise brands.
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