An easy and wholesome comfort food casserole made with wild rice, chicken, butternut squash, a little parmesan, and cozy spices like thyme and sage. Healthy food meets comfort food in the most delicious way!
This is cold-weather comfort food at it’s finest. This is your winter dinner go-to. This is a wholesome comfort food casserole. This is Healthy Chicken Wild Rice Casserole.
So – what have we got going on here, exactly? A bunch of real, wholesome, good-for-you ingredients like butternut squash, wild rice, chicken, onion, a lil parmesan cheese and a handful of spices. Yummo.
But the real superstars are the wild rice + the butternut squash.
Look at those gorgeous super star foods. Easy on the eyes and the tummy!
There are so many things I love about this casserole but if I absolutely had to pick one? It would be the fact that everything about this tastes like comfort food while actually being super healthy.
I mean, you can argue me on the cheese, but c’mon. It gives a beautifully crunchy texture to the top of the casserole when popped in the oven for a few minutes. How can you say no to that?
I think we need to go back and talk about that squash a little bit more. Look at that golden-orangey goodness!
When you sauté the squash, it takes on an almost caramelized flavor that is just The. Best.
I discovered this by a happy little accident when I started to almost burn the squash while cooking it ? So obviously, this recipe is super user-friendly. I almost burnt part of it and it still turned out amazing. Total pro over here, people. Healthy chicken wild rice casserole is the perfect way to kick off this winter/holiday season on a nutritious note.
With that said, I’m off to work on a gingerbread cookie recipe – because balance ❤
Happy eating, friends!
If you love cozy, comforting casseroles that also pack a little bit of nutritional punch, make this Cheesy Pasta Bake with Sausage and Peppers next!
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Healthy Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- About 2 cups of butternut squash, cubed
- 1 cup wild rice measured when uncooked
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
- While the rice is cooking, cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Toss with the thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until done (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside on a paper-towel lined plate.
- Add the diced onion and butternut squash to the pan with another tablespoon of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt + pepper. Cook about 6-8 minutes, until squash is a little tender - but not fully cooked.
- Add the chicken, wild rice, and 1/2 cup of parmesan to the squash/onion mixture and stir to combine. Add the entire mixture to prepared dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Add the remaining parmesan cheese to the top of casserole and bake about 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Note: You can easily double this recipe! I made a smaller batch because I'm only feeding Grant + myself, but it doubles well. You can also adjust the cheese amount up or down depending on how much you like cheese!
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