Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
Updated: May 15, 2020
A Gluten Free copycat of the Stouffer's Grandma's Chicken & Vegetable Rice Bake
Before I was diagnosed with Celiac, I thrived on Stouffer's! Their products were so delicious and so easy to grab for lunches or a quick dinner if I was on the run. When I was diagnosed, I quickly realized Stouffer's was no longer going to be featured on my menu. Though some of their products appear to be naturally gluten free, they still note wheat on their ingredients lists. Their Grandma's Chicken and Vegetable Rice Bake was a household favorite in the Hickey House and I knew I couldn't live without it - dramatic, I know.
I started trying different types of rice. Rice is one of those items that is naturally gluten free, so the sky was the limit on types I was allowed to try. I found that yellow rice had the right texture and taste I was looking for.
Next was that ooey, gooey, comforting sauce usually featured in this dish. I figured the answer had to be in a condensed "cream of" soup. However, the more research I did the more I realized gluten free friendly condensed "cream of" soups are few and far between. I finally found the brand, Pacific who puts out gluten free condensed cream of chicken soup, condensed cream of mushroom soup, and chicken broth.
I know, I know... you're thinking, "Becky.... you can make cream of soups on your own... You didn't need to find a product for it." To that I say, who has the time? I wanted all of the taste with the SAME amount of effort I had to put forward pre-diagnosis. So, I actually did have to find a product. If you want to make your own cream of soups - truly I worship at your feet!
Once I got the rice and the sauce sorted out, it was pretty simple from there. Stouffer's tops theirs with breadcrumbs, so I figured why not? That left us with this absolutely delicious meal. All in all, it only takes about 25 minutes prep time and then put it in the oven and forget about it until that timer beeps.
Absolutely perfect for crisp autumn nights, using your leftover Thanksgiving turkey in lieu of the chicken. Or for chilly winter evenings by the fire while you watch a movie. The coziest of cozy!
Can I Freeze This Casserole?
Sure, Why not? Every item in this ingredient list is naturally gluten free, so you don't need to worry about losing taste or texture when freezing. However, you will likely need to bake longer if frozen. Feel free to prepare ahead of time and simply pop this baby in the oven for an easy weeknight meal! I do recommend only storing in the freezer for a week or so to ensure the freshest taste.
If you decide to try this recipe out, please comment below and let me know how it turned out! Like and subscribe for more recipes, tips, and tricks in navigating Celiac Disease.
CHEESY CHICKEN & RICE CASSEROLE
o 1 Box Yellow Rice (We like Zattarain's brand a lot!)
o 1 cup of cooked shredded chicken (a rotisserie chicken works well)
o 1 container Cream of Mushroom Soup – you can substitute for cream of chicken if Mushrooms are a no go for you
(Note: Campbell's condensed soups are NOT gluten free, Pacific is a great GF alternative)
o 1 Small Bag frozen mixed veggies
o Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
o 8 oz Shredded Cheese (We usually use Colby Jack, but you can use whatever you like!)
1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. Cook yellow rice and veggies according to package instructions
3. Shred your cooked chicken, if not already shredded
4. Once all elements are prepared, add all of the above to a large mixing bowl and mix
5. To this mixture add entire container of cream of mushroom soup and half of the cheese and mix
6. Grease a casserole dish and pour mixture into the dish
7. Top with rest of cheese and Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
8. Bake at 375° for 30-45 minutes until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbling