Whole30 Chicken and Rice Casserole
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Whole30 Chicken and Rice Casserole - Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, with nut-free option. EASY, family-friendly, budget-friendly, and freezer-friendly!

This Whole30 Chicken and Rice Casserole is all the creamy goodness you want from a casserole. Plus, this comfort dish uses nourishing whole foods to feed your family well!

Why We Love This Whole30 Chicken and Rice Casserole

First, can we talk short prep time?! I intentionally tested this using frozen cauliflower rice and frozen broccoli in the hopes of saving time. And IT WORKED.

No chopping or veggie prep involved. Only 10 minutes prep for this dish, as the chicken, broccoli, and caulirice are all cooked within the casserole. 

Whole30 Chicken and Rice Casserole - Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, with nut-free option. EASY, family-friendly, budget-friendly, and freezer-friendly!

Second, this dish is Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, Keto, with nut-free options. Love a delicious dish that works for so many allergies and sensitivities!

Third, the creamy sauce of this dish is amazing. All the creamy vibes of a 90s casserole made with cans of cream of chicken soup, but with Whole30 compatible ingredients and no preservatives. 

Ingredients

  • Chicken broth – Either chicken broth or bone broth works equally well. 
  • Coconut milk – I prefer coconut milk, as it is closer to a cream consistency in a dairy-free way. But, if you can’t do coconut, then another dairy-free milk of your choice works (it just won’t be AS creamy). 
  • Potato or arrowroot starch or flour – Either works in this recipe. This will help thicken the sauce, just like cornstarch would. IAmazon also has Potato Starch and Arrowroot Powder. I recommend getting whatever one you will use up in other recipes.
  • Garlic and onion powder 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Dried parsley

Whole30 Chicken and Rice Casserole - Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, with nut-free option. EASY, family-friendly, budget-friendly, and freezer-friendly!

  • Nutritional yeast – Nutritional Yeast is not the same as baker’s yeast. Though it’s derived from baker’s yeast, it’s been deactivated and cannot make things rise. Instead, it’s a commonly used for a cheesy dairy-free flavor. Don’t leave it out of this casserole – it’s essential to make it flavorful! I get mine at Walmart or Trader Joe’s.
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts – Use the best quality chicken breast your budget can support. Cut into 1″ cubes or smaller to ensure they cook all the way through. 
  • Frozen riced cauliflower – Not thawed, add straight from the freezer! Can sub 3 cups cooked rice instead of the caulirice if you are not a Whole30, Paleo, or Keto. 
  • Frozen broccoli stems – Not thawed, add straight from the freezer! 
  • Optional topping: Almond flour + melted ghee or vegan butter If you are Whole30/Paleo/Keto and need nut-free, just omit the topping. If you just need a gluten-free + nut-free option, you can swap gluten-free bread crumbs or panko for the almond flour. 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and set out a 9×13 casserole dish.
  • In a medium pot not on the stove yet, whisk together broth, milk, starch or flour, seasonings, and nutritional yeast. Once whisked together, then put over a medium heat. Cook until mixture is very thick, stirring regularly, about 8 minutes. 
  • In the casserole dish layer the frozen cauliflower, frozen broccoli, and diced chicken. Then pour the cooked sauce on top.
  • If using the crumb topping, in a small bowl, combine almond flour and melted ghee or vegan butter until just mixed. Sprinkle on top of the sauce in the casserole dish. 
  • Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes, or until top is browned and chicken is cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.
  • Freeze leftovers in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

Whole30 Chicken and Rice Casserole - Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, with nut-free option. EASY, family-friendly, budget-friendly, and freezer-friendly!

Other Casseroles You Should Try

Like a delicious casserole dish? Then you need to try these other easy and cozy favorites!

Whole30 Chicken and Rice Casserole - Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, with nut-free option. EASY, family-friendly, budget-friendly, and freezer-friendly!

Whole30 Chicken and Rice Casserole - Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, with nut-free option. EASY, family-friendly, budget-friendly, and freezer-friendly!

Whole30 Chicken and "Rice" Casserole

Autumn @wholefoodfor7
A cozy, EASY creamy casserole the family will love and freezes great!
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 509 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 9x13 casserole dish

Ingredients
 

  • 3 cups chicken broth or bone broth
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk - canned, full-fat, unsweetened*
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot or potato starch or flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder or granulated onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed into small 1" cubes
  • 12 oz frozen cauliflower rice or about 3 cups
  • 1 pound frozen broccoli florets

Topping (optional)

  • 1 cup almond flour*
  • 1/4 cup melted ghee or vegan butter melted first, then measured

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and set out a 9x13 casserole dish.
  • In a medium pot not on the stove yet, whisk together broth, milk, starch or flour, seasonings, and nutritional yeast. Once whisked together, then put over a medium heat. Cook until mixture is very thick, stirring regularly, about 8 minutes. 
  • In the casserole dish layer the frozen cauliflower, frozen broccoli, and diced chicken. Then pour the cooked sauce on top.
  • If using the crumb topping, in a small bowl, combine almond flour and melted ghee or vegan butter until just mixed. Sprinkle on top of the sauce in the casserole dish. 
  • Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes, or until top is browned and chicken is cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.
  • Freeze leftovers in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

Notes

*For creamiest results, use coconut milk. Can sub other dairy-free milk of choice as needed.
See the "Ingredients" section of the blog post above for more details and substitutions for the ingredients for this recipe!

Nutrition

Calories: 509kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 34gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 1199mgPotassium: 1030mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 509IUVitamin C: 97mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 4mg
Keyword budget-friendly, dairy-free, easy, egg-free, gluten-free, keto, kid-friendly, main dish, nut-free, paleo, whole30
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

25 Comments

  1. Absolutely loved this casserole!! My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed it! Love a comfort food casserole!! Also, so fast and easy.

    Reply
    • Mmmmm, I’m so glad you found this one cozy and delicious! Plus, quick and easy?! I mean, what’s not to love ; ). Thank you so much for the review!

      Reply
  2. 4 stars
    I thought I was going to miss the cheese and real rice in this one BUT it actually surprised me and the whole fam really loved it. Definitely going to do it again!

    Reply
    • I’m so happy this one took you by surprise and was enjoyed by the whole family and that you want to make it again. Thank you!

      Reply
  3. This was delicious! We ate it straight out of the oven because we were in a hurry and the sauce was still a little runny, but once it sat out for about 10 minutes it thickened up perfectly. My crumble topping came out a little too clumpy, I probably added too much liquid. Will be adding this to our regular rotation.

    Reply
    • I’m happy this one was enjoyed! Let me know if you need any help troubleshooting the topping. Love that it’s going on the rotation, thank you!

      Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Casseroles are a staple in my house in the winter and this one is at the top of the rotation! So good and so easy to make!

    Reply
    • YAY that you loved this recipe!! I’m so thrilled to hear it went into the regular rotation and was enjoyed. Thank you!

      Reply
  5. 5 stars
    We loved this casserole! I sent the recipe to my husband, who said it was incredibly easy to put together. It was slightly runny/watery on the bottom of the pan – not sure if that’s from the frozen veggies or maybe we should have baked it longer? Really didn’t affect how it tasted I don’t think. We all enjoyed it – and got my daughter to eat a few bites of broccoli 😉 Looking forward to leftovers already!!

    Reply
    • HEEEY, that’s a good day when a recipe makes greens more approachable to kiddos – I love that! Glad it was easy and approachable for whomever was in the kitchen. Thank you for the review!

      Reply
  6. 5 stars
    This casserole is absolutely delicious! Easy to pull together and the flavors are spot on. I added a little garlic salt to the top crumble and it was so good.

    Reply
    • Ooo, I love the garlic salt add-on to the topping. Glad you found it easy and delicious – thank you so much for the review!

      Reply
  7. 5 stars
    Yummy flavor!!! Tips for not getting the arrowroot to clump up into goopy globs? As frequently as I stirred/whisked, it still became a little gloopy…

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you found it delicious! The trick is ensuring things are well whisked together before putting over heat. One heat is added, tapioca or arrowroot, just like cornstarch, can get clumpy if not already whisked in. Hopefully that helps!

      Reply
  8. Would love to try this yummy recipe but cannot eat yeast or cow dairy. Any thoughts for a substitute? Been dairy free for a decade and so disappointed I cannot have nutritional yeast, my substitute .

    Reply
    • Good question. The first tests of this recipe didn’t have the nutritional yeast. They were still good, just not *as* flavorful. So, if you can’t do the nutritional yeast, you can leave it out and still have a creamy, cozy, nourishing dish.

      Reply
  9. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe tonight and it was really good and super easy! I didn’t use a great brand of coconut milk (it didn’t have a lot of the solid) so it came out runny. Next time I’ll use a thicker coconut milk. Regardless, it was really good.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you found it easy and delicious, even with the coconut milk hiccup. I linked it in the recipe blog, but Thai Kitchen is hands down my favorite coconut milk for thick, consistent consistency. Thanks for the review!

      Reply
  10. Hi I have a question about the casserole recipe. The coconut milk is that the can kind or the carton that’s in the refrigerator? If it’s the can kind do I just use the top part? Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Good question. It’s canned coconut milk, unsweetened, full-fat. The carton in the refrigerator is less creamy and would work, but not yield as thick and rich of a sauce. And I would use the whole can (there are some recipes where you NEED to use just the solid part on top, this is not one of them), not just the solid part on top – you can heat it if needed to help the solid part blend back into the rest of the liquid in the can. Hope that helps, and I can update the recipe to reflect that better. Hope you try the casserole and love it!

      Reply
  11. Excited to try this! What kind of flour do you suggest instead of potato starch or arrowroot powder? Would almond flour work?

    Reply
    • Hi! I’m so glad this is one that you want to try! So, you need a flour that will act as a thickener and almond flour is gritty and does not thicken sauces. You can use arrowroot, or potato starch or flour for the best result. Tapioca flour would work but will make the sauce tacky. Cassava flour or a 1:1 gluten-free flour will work as well, I’m just not sure if the amount will be exactly the same. Enjoy! 🙂

      Reply
  12. Hi Autumn! Thanks for this! I LOVE casseroles & am looking forward to trying this (I will then leave a review😉). I’m wondering if we could sub fresh caulirice & fresh broccoli? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi! Thanks for the casserole enthusiasm and great questions. Yes, I assume it will work with fresh caulirice and broccoli. However, I haven’t tested it specifically, so I don’t know if the raw, dense, uncooked broccoli will increase the cooking time. My recommendation would be to start with the recommended 35-40 minutes and check the broccoli to see if it is cooked enough or needs 10+ minutes more. Let me know how it goes if you try it! : )

      Reply
  13. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Yummy

    Reply

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