Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms in a casserole dish with missing corner piece and wood spatula in dish.
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Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms in a casserole dish with missing corner piece and wood spatula in dish.

This is one warm, comforting, and hearty dinner!  Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms has nutty and chewy wild rice, chunks of chicken, tender zucchini, earthy mushrooms topped with swiss cheese.  Everything cooks in this one casserole dish for super easy clean up too!  It’s a great dinner to make ahead and simply reheat on long Summer days, busy Fall weeknights, or cold Winter evenings.  

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms on a plate with a fork. Turquoise casserole dish on counter in background.

WHAT IS WILD RICE?  HINT:  IT’S NOT RICE AND IT’S VERY HEALTHY!

That’s right, my friends, wild rice is not rice.  While it is a cousin to rice, it’s actually a semi-aquatic grass seed, meaning that it’s the seeds of plants that grow in shallow water.  It has an outer shell and a soft, chewy center and a deeper, nuttier flavor than white rice.

It also has greater health benefits vs. white rice!  Wild rice has almost three times more fiber, more protein, and antioxidant activity that’s is up to 30 times greater than white rice.

You can swap in wild rice for most white rice recipes, such as Easy Tex Mex Unstuffed Peppers with Ground Chicken or Family Chickpea Coconut Curry with Veggies

Uncooked wild rice in a casserole dish for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms.

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need a large casserole dish that’s approximately 10×12, 12×12, 10×13 or similar.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR CHICKEN WILD RICE CASSEROLE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

You can actually make this entire casserole ahead and simply reheat it!  But if you just want to get ahead before baking it, then you can cut the zucchini and the mushrooms, as well as thinly slice the scallions.

Cut the raw chicken into 1 inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper.

Either store these prepped ingredients in sealed containers in the fridge or move on to the cooking steps.

COOK YOUR CHICKEN WILD RICE CASSEROLE

Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Add all rice ingredients to casserole dish. Stir to combine, then tightly cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 40 minutes.

Measuring cup pouring broth into uncooked wild rice, garlic powder, and salt in a casserole dish for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms.

Hand using fork to mix uncooked wild rice with broth and milk in a casserole dish for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms.

Aluminum foil covering a casserole dish for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms.After 40 minutes, remove the rice from the oven and add the Zucchini, mushrooms, scallions, chicken, salt, pepper, oregano, and ground thyme. Mix and press everything down into the liquid. Bake covered for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cover and bake 10 minutes more.

Uncooked triangle-cut zucchini and mushrooms added to casserole dish over rice and broth for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms.

Raw cubed chicken with salt and pepper being added on top of zucchini and mushrooms added to casserole dish over rice and broth for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms.

Raw chicken, zucchini, scallions, and mushrooms mixed in casserole dish over rice and broth for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms.

For the final 5-10 minutes, add the cheese to the top and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

6 slices of swiss cheese added to the top of Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms in a casserole dish

RECIPE FAQS

Can I use Brown or White Rice Instead?

Yes, you can swap in any rice you want.  Brown rice will cook in the same time as the wild rice, so follow the same instructions.  White rice will cook faster, so 30 minutes should be enough time for Step 1 in the cooking steps.

Can any other vegetables be used in this recipe?

You can replace the zucchini or mushrooms with a variety of veggies.  You can use broccoli florets, carrots (cut into thin triangles), celery, bell peppers, or brussels sprouts (quartered), to name a few.  Simply replace with the same quantity.

Can I freeze this casserole?

Yes, you can freeze this casserole.  I recommend cooking it first, then cooling it in the freezer, finally moving it to the freezer.  To cook it, you can thaw it in refrigerator for 24 hours ahead.  Then warm it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until warmed through in the center.  You can also reheat it straight from the freezer, but will need to add 20 minutes or so to the cooking time.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms in a casserole dish with missing corner piece and wood spatula in dish.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms

This is one warm, comforting, and hearty dinner!  Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms has nutty and chewy wild rice, chunks of chicken, tender zucchini, earthy mushrooms topped with swiss cheese.  Everything cooks in this one casserole dish for super easy clean up too!  It's a great dinner to make ahead and simply reheat on long Summer days, busy Fall weeknights, or cold Winter evenings.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword casserole, chicken and rice, chicken recipe, mushrooms, rice bake, wild rice, zucchini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups Wild rice uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken Broth or 3 cups Water + 3 tsp Chicken Base
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

All Other

  • 1 Large Zucchini (or 2 medium, about 2 cups cut into triangles)
  • 8 ounces Mushrooms Cremini or White Button
  • 3 Scallions
  • 1 lb chicken breasts skinless, boneless (raised w/o antibiotics)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
  • 4 slices Swiss Cheese

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps (you can do these steps while the rice cooks or do ahead)

  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice into half circles about 1/4 inch thick. Clean mushrooms with a dry paper towel and quarter. Thinly slice the scallions, separating a tablespoon of the green slices to save for garnish.

  2. Cut the raw chicken into 1 inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Add all rice ingredients to casserole dish. Stir to combine, then tightly cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 40 minutes.

    Hand using fork to mix uncooked wild rice with broth and milk in a casserole dish for Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms.
  2. While the rice cooks, measure out the other ingredients and pull out the chicken, veggies, and cheese.

  3. After 40 minutes, remove the rice from the oven and add the Zucchini, mushrooms, scallions, chicken, salt, pepper, oregano, and ground thyme. Mix and press everything down into the liquid. Bake covered for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cover, add the swiss cheese slices on top and bake 5 minutes more until the cheese is melted.

    6 slices of swiss cheese added to the top of Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms in a casserole dish
  4. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with the reserved scallion greens. Serve and enjoy!

    Chicken Wild Rice Casserole with Zucchini and Mushrooms in a casserole dish with missing corner piece and wood spatula in dish.

Recipe Video

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

4 Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps on counter with a bowl of Cashew Chicken and Carrot filling on left and sauce on right.
Jump to Recipe
4 Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps on counter with a bowl of Cashew Chicken and Carrot filling on left and sauce on right.

Get ready for your tastebuds to start singing with this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe that’s such a fun and flavorful dinner! Ground Chicken, Carrots, scallions, and cashews give a meaty and crunch texture. The ginger, garlic, sesame oil, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, and Soy Sauce are a harmonious blend of BIG flavor!  Rice bulks up and rounds out this meal.

MAKE-AHEAD MEALS FOR BUSY FAMILIES

This is one of those fantastic recipes that you can make 100% ahead of time, reheat in just a few minutes, and enjoy quickly on busy weeknights!  Not only that, but it’s a fun dinner that you can eat with your hands.  Dinners that come together in 20-30 minutes on the weekend can save you hours of agony during the weekdays.  That’s because with you are under the gun at the end of a busy day and the kids are screaming they are starving, let’s face it, things take longer.  Right?  So dinners like this one are my go-to.  I also love my make-ahead Black Bean Taco Bowls or Korean Beef Taco Bowls.  Or how about Easy Tex Mex Unstuffed Peppers with Ground Chicken or even this Easy One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake with Zucchini.  These are just a few!  

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, the sauce is easily made in a blender.  All ingredients are added and blended into a smooth and creamy sauce. You could also use a food processor for this, such as this mini food processor.

You will also need a small pot to cook the sauce and a medium pot with lid for the rice.

Finally, to cook the veggies and chicken, you need a large skillet/frying pan. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAP RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

As mentioned earlier, you can make this entire recipe ahead!  But if you’re splitting up some tasks for the weekend and finishing the cooking on the night you enjoy this, then here are the steps.

First, prep the lettuce and cashews.  Cut the end of the Romaine lettuce head off so that the leaves are loose. Rinse the leaves and dry off with a towel. Chop the Cashews.

Cashews chopped on cutting board for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
Next, make the sauce in a blender. Peel and rough chop the garlic and ginger. Add these plus the rest of the sauce ingredients to the blender. Blend until no large bits. Pour into a small sauce pot and bring up to a simmer on Medium heat, stirring constantly as it starts to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Once thickened, turn off the heat and let sit or store in the fridge.

You can also prep the carrots and the scallions ahead, but I like to prep them while the rice and chicken are cooking (see below).

COOK YOUR RICE, CASHEW CHICKEN, AND VEGGIES  

Get the rice cooking first and then start the chicken.  Preheat a large frying pan/skillet on High Heat and cook the ground chicken according to the instructions.  It takes about 10 minutes.  During the last minute, add the chopped cashews. Transfer the chicken and cashews to a plate.

Ground chicken cooking in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

While the chicken cooks, peel the carrots; cut into 2 inch long matchsticks. Slice a tablespoon of scallion green tops for garnish. Cut remaining scallions in 1 inch pieces.

Carrot sticks cut on cutting board with knife for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe Scallions cut on cutting board with knife for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

To the same pan used for the chicken, add ½ tablespoon olive oil, carrots and scallions. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring often. Add back the Cashew Chicken and HALF of the sauce. Stir and cook for 2-3 min.

Carrot sticks and scallions cooking in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Cashew Ground Chicken and carrots cooked in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
Spoon some cashew chicken into the lettuce leaves, drizzle a little sauce, and garnish with the sliced scallions. 

RECIPE FAQS

Can I freeze the chicken filling?

Yes, you can freeze the chicken, carrot, and scallion filling in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 5 months.  I do want to note that while the chicken will thaw and reheat with a perfect texture, the carrots will not be the same.  The carrots will absorb the moisture and when they thaw and reheat will become a bit mushy.  That said, if you know in advance you are making this to freeze it, then simply cook your carrots only slightly so that they still have quite a crunch to them.  This will help prevent them from getting too mushy.  

How can I make this vegetarian?

Yes!  You can substitute the ground chicken with any of the following proteins: extra firm tofu, lentils, black or white beans, chickpeas, quinoa, or any combination of these.  You could also replace with more veggies, such as mushrooms, red pepper, zucchini, or any combination of these.  

What can I serve with this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe?

I created this recipe to be a complete meal including protein, vegetables, and grain.  So, you really don’t need anything else with it.  However, if you have an extra hungry group or a larger crowd to feed, then Asian Sesame Slaw is a delicious complimentary side dish for this.   

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

4 Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps on counter with a bowl of Cashew Chicken and Carrot filling on left and sauce on right.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe

This Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe is such a fun and flavorful dinner! Ground Chicken, Carrots, scallions, and cashews give a meaty and crunch texture. The ginger, garlic, sesame oil, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, and Soy Sauce are a harmonious blend of BIG flavor! Rice bulks up and rounds out this meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Keyword cashew chicken, chicken, gluten free, healthy dinner, lettuce wraps
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tablespoons Ginger, fresh (about 1 inch of the root)
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch

Other

  • 1 pound Ground Chicken, white meat
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil ½ for chicken, ½ for veggies
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Cashews, Unsalted
  • 6 Scallions
  • 2 Carrots, large
  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup White Long Grain Rice, uncooked

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. PREP LETTUCE & CASHEWS. Cut the end of the Romaine lettuce head off so that the leaves are loose. Rinse the leaves and dry off with a towel. Chop the Cashews.

    Cashews chopped on cutting board for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
  2. MAKE SAUCE. Make the sauce in a blender. Peel and rough chop the garlic and ginger. Add these plus the rest of the sauce ingredients (sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, water, cornstarch) to the blender. Blend until no large bits. Pour into a small sauce pot and bring up to a simmer on Medium heat, stirring constantly as it starts to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Once thickened, turn off the heat and let sit or store in the fridge.

Cooking Steps

  1. COOK RICE. In a medium pot with a lid, add the Rice to 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt and bring up to a boil. Turn the water down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered until ready to serve or transfer to the fridge to cool and reheat later.

  2. COOK CHICKEN. While the rice is cooking, Preheat a large frying pan/skillet on High Heat. Add ½ tablespoon of olive oil and the ground chicken, breaking it up and spread into a single layer. Let sit to sear for 5 minutes. Once the bottom is browned, stir and cook for another 4-5 minutes. During the last minute, add the chopped cashews. Transfer the chicken and cashews to a plate.

    Ground chicken cooking in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
  3. PREP VEGGIES. While the chicken cooks, peel the carrots; cut into 2 inch long matchsticks. Slice a tablespoon of scallion green tops for garnish. Cut remaining scallions in 1 inch pieces.

    Carrot sticks cut on cutting board with knife for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
  4. COOK VEGGIES. To the same pan used for the chicken, add ½ tablespoon olive oil, carrots and scallions. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring often. Add back the Cashew Chicken and HALF of the sauce. Stir and cook for 2-3 min.

    Cashew Ground Chicken and carrots cooked in a pan for this Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wrap Recipe
  5. Spoon some cashew chicken into the lettuce leaves, drizzle a little sauce, and garnish with the sliced scallions. Enjoy!
    4 Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps on counter with a bowl of Cashew Chicken and Carrot filling on left and sauce on right.