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Wild Rice Chicken Dinner

With chicken, green beans and the nice crunch of water chestnuts and almonds, this casserole has everything you need. Using ready-to-serve wild rice makes putting it together a breeze. —Lorraine Hanson, Independence, Iowa
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    2 casseroles (6-8 servings each)

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (8.8 ounces each) ready-to-serve long grain and wild rice
  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) frozen French-style green beans, thawed
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 jars (4 ounces each) sliced pimientos, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, divided

Directions

  • Heat rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the green beans, soup, water chestnuts, onion, pimientos, mayonnaise, milk and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and rice; cook 3-4 minutes longer or until chicken is heated through.
  • Transfer half of the mixture to a serving dish; sprinkle with 1/2 cup almonds. Serve immediately. Pour the remaining mixture into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; cool. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cover and bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until heated through.
Editor's Note
Reduced-fat or fat-free mayonnaise is not recommended for this recipe.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 357 calories, 21g fat (3g saturated fat), 54mg cholesterol, 491mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 5g fiber), 19g protein.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • geddie4
    Jun 3, 2020

    This *CAN* be a good casserole if you remember that while you may remember it from childhood as being great, your tastes have probably changed since then. I highly recommend using one of the many cream soup substitute recipes available online instead of the canned cream soups, and using a mix of half-and-half sour cream and mayo instead of straight-up mayo. Be prepared to thin the result with some milk or some chicken stock. This will help address the glutinous nature of the original recipe. Also in regard to texture, I think the use of frozen French green beans is probably a great idea. I made a mistake there by going back to my memories of the original recipe my family followed and used store-brand canned French green beans, and they kind of disappeared in the casserole, so I won't be doing that again! This recipe calls for cubed chicken, as did my family's original. Don't substitute shredded chicken. Shredded chicken can meld with rice in a disagreeable way, while the cubes stand apart and add variety to the textures in the dish. We followed another reviewer's suggestion to cut the sliced water chestnuts in half, and were happy with that. As far as flavor goes, think "savory". The original version of this recipe that I used decades ago called for a dash of Worcestershire sauce. For today's tastes, a one-to-one mix of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce provide wonderfully balanced savory flavor or umami. I recommend two teaspoons of each, to start. (I doubled the recipe and used almost two tablespoons of each.) And you must add lots of pepper. My husband grills chicken breasts when they're on sale and we keep them wrapped in small portions in our freezer for salads and casseroles and whatever. He puts *LOTS* of seasonings and pepper on the chicken breasts, so they added a lot of flavor to this casserole. Also, he made the wild rice blend from scratch for a previous dinner, with lots of diced carrots and celery, onions sauteed in olive oil, parsley, pine nuts, chicken stock, etc., so that was another way that we added flavor to the dish. (Uncle Ben's probably has a flavor packet too, so be sure to use that.) In short, while the basic recipe produces an acceptable result, if you upgrade the individual components you can have an actual family favorite instead of just a reminder of why we cook differently today than we used to.

  • CarrieBerry4Chad
    Aug 22, 2019

    This was just ok in our opinion. Probably won't repeat.

  • pajamaangel
    Jan 4, 2019

    I thought this was a good recipe. I did leave out the water chestnuts and halved the recipe as I was not needing another casserole for us. I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder when cooking so it added some much needed seasoning. The leftovers were good, too.

  • Melissa_in_NJ
    May 30, 2017

    This was bland the first time and did NOT freeze well, especially the water chestnuts. Don't even THINK about freezing with the almonds, that won't work. It needs flavor, like some cayenne pepper or something. I have no idea why everyone thinks it's so flavorful -- celery soup and mayo? Not sure what I was thinking.

  • mrsgreenjeens
    Oct 29, 2014

    my hubby, who is extremely picky, really liked this dish. Will definitely be making it again. I used leftover turkey rather than chicken, but in future would use whichever I have on hand. We discussed next time perhaps using a large red pepper or two rather than pimentos, since, oddly, we couldn't really taste the pimentos. Still a great tasting, very easy to make dish! Oh, another thing, we are Miracle Whip people, but for this dish I did use Mayonnaise, and we did NOT find it overpowering at all. I wonder if the folks who thought the taste was too strong were using Miracle Whip?

  • lmaniscalco
    Feb 15, 2014

    Husband loved this! We will eat it again!

  • HBcook
    Jan 14, 2014

    This sounded so good but it was just okay. I added a small jar of sliced mushrooms. It isn't easy to heat up and there is no point in doing it in 2 steps. It was quite thick and I don't think the mayo is the right ingredient for this dish. Maybe light sour cream. The 'saucy' part of this recipe should be mixed before adding all the other stuff to make it easier to blend. I would omit the water chestnuts or coarsely chop next time.

  • littleav8r
    Nov 29, 2013

    We call this dish Chicken Spectacular. I have been cooking this recipe for years and my family loves it. I add mushrooms and I sprinkle Cheddar Cheese on the top approx 15 min before it is done just so the cheese can melt and brown. You can also add the Fried onions rings on the top of the casserole if you like.

  • peapiesmom
    Jun 19, 2013

    This recipe is easy and delicious! Everyone that tries it likes it and wants the recipe. It is comfort food with lots of flavor.

  • motomom706
    May 9, 2013

    1st time to try so i halved the recipe b/c there's only 3 of us and i didn't want too many left overs. my guys gobbled it up but said "it's nothing special". i liked it but thought it needed something else. i ate it w/tortilla chips instead of using sliced almonds. i don't like pimientos but used them anyway - VERY GOOD FLAVORS, will try it again w/some changes. i went easy on the mayo but added some sour cream (2 TBL) thanks for the recipe!