Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

***This makes 2 casseroles. Great for freezing one***

  • 2 (6.2-oz.) boxes fast-cooking long-grain and wild rice mix
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 5 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 (10 3/4-oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs

***Preheat oven to 350 degrees***

1. Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add celery and onions. Sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken, next 6 ingredients, rice, and 3 cups cheese. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch baking dish or 2 (11- x 7-inch) baking dishes. Top with breadcrumbs.

3. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 5 minutes.

To Make Ahead: Prepare as directed in Steps 1 and 2. Cover with aluminum foil, and freeze up to 1 month. Remove from freezer, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Bake casserole, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 55 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake 5 more minutes.

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