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In the event you are in need of a bit of reprieve from the sugar-dusted holiday baking action, I bring you Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Butternut Squash and Cranberries.

Chicken and Wild Rice gluten free Casserole made with Butternut Squash and Cranberries in a dish

Not that I would begrudge you for turning Candy Cane Snowball Cookies and 2 Ingredient Homemade Hot Chocolate into dinner by any means, but I find that priming my cookie intake with a hearty, healthy meal like this seasonal spin on chicken and wild rice casserole helps the sweets settle more pleasantly.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole from scratch with a wooden spoon in a dish

Further, this chicken and wild rice casserole is wildly delicious—as in, I can’t promise you leftovers, even though you are definitely going to want them for lunch the next day and the day after that and next week too.

I brought a big pan of this chicken and wild rice casserole with butternut squash and cranberries to dinner at a friend’s, and between the four of us, we ate every last scrap, minus the proverbial final few bites that every native Midwesterner is too polite to claim for his or her own.

Thus, I ate those last three bites on our drive home. No shame. Chicken and wild rice casserole with butternut squash and cranberries is irresistible healthy comfort food at its finest (just like this Chicken and Rice Casserole).

If you are looking for an ultra gooey, cream-of-no-one-knows-what chicken and wild rice casserole, I am afraid this isn’t it.

If you are looking for a dinner recipe that’s cozy, wholly satisfying, and healthy enough to leave you wiggle room for that Frosted Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie afterwards, chicken and wild rice casserole is the one.

Ingredients for a Healthy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Let’s examine the exciting happenings inside our casserole dish:

  • Chewy, nutty wild rice brings the whole grain goodness and fill-you-up prowess.
  • Sweet chunks of butternut squash add creaminess and earthly sweetness.
  • Chicken is diggin’ the hang out time with it’s wintertime BFF, wild rice. Plus, lean protein = extra healthy satisfaction.
  • Cranberries get all sassy with their sweet tang.
  • Parmesan cheese melts over all, making the casserole gooey and nutty and just plain wonderful.
rice and squash ingredients for chicken and wild rice gluten free casserole

A sprinkle of savory thyme, and we have just about every cold-weather ingredient I adore coming together into a dynamite healthy dinner that I plan to serve again and again. It doesn’t always work out this well to throw all of your favorite seasonal foods together in a single dish and watch what happens, but this golden time, it did, and I couldn’t be happier.

For other delicious butternut squash recipe ideas, check out my list of Healthy Butternut Squash Recipes.

More Easy and Hearty Casserole Recipes

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole made with Butternut Squash in a dish

Tools Used to Make This Recipe

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

4.81 from 128 votes
A cozy and filling chicken and wild rice casserole made with butternut squash and cranberries. This easy and healthy chicken dinner is a winner every time!

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Servings: 6 servings (or 4 smaller servings)


  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend  3 cups cooked
  • tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 small butternut squash about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups cubes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus additional for garnish
  • 3/4 cup  dried cranberries  I prefer the ones with reduced sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese divided (about 2 ounces)


  • Cook the rice according to package directions. Drain off any excess cooking liquid and set aside.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink on the inside, about 6 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  • With a paper towel, carefully wipe the skillet clean. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium. Add the diced squash, onions, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender but still retains some chew, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the thyme, cranberries, reserved chicken, rice, and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake 5 additional minutes, until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with additional chopped fresh thyme and serve warm.


  • To freeze: Bake the casserole completely, then let cool to room temperature. Cover it tightly, then freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat, covered, in a 350 degree oven until warmed through.
  • You could also try freezing the casserole unbaked. Again, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed.


Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 476kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 26gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 97mgPotassium: 811mgFiber: 6gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 12211IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 155mgIron: 3mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I would choose this over Christmas cookies any day!  I love wild rice salads, so I’m loving this comforting casserole!

    1. I really enjoyed the simplicity and flavor of this dish. Next time, I will try adding roasted brussel sprouts OR sauteed mushrooms/spinach instead of cranberries. I served my leftovers over mixed salad greens. Thank you!5 stars

      1. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe, JK! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  2. This looks like it belongs in the dictionary as an illustration for comfort food.  Really, really amazing! 

  3. I did not grow up with casseroles… at all. Some of the ones I see on Pinterest frighten me. This looks really delicious!! 

  4. Yeah, I don’t see myself having any leftovers. I could gobble up this whole pan by myself! It has all my favorite ingredients!

  5. I love how simple this is but full of the seasons flavors – I can’t seem to get enough fresh thyme, the smell is invigorating!!

  6. Butternut squash and wild rice are 2 of my fave foods–so fave I bet this casserole will be just as delish without the chicken!

  7. I love having you as a part of this group!!  This dinner sounds perfect for December to pair with all of the christmas cookies and hot cocoa we’ve been enjoying! Hope you’re having lovely holiday season.

  8. The chicken , wild rice, squash, cranberry dinner was scrumptious !!! There’s only two of us but it was perfect for a few lunches (reheated) after we enjoyed it at dinner time ! Thanks again, Laura

    1. I’m so so happy to hear that Laura! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and letting me know how it turned out for you! I love it leftover too :)

  9. I made this for our bunco group (12 ladies!) so doubled the recipe and made it two 9×13 dishes. I prepped everything the evening before (lots of chopping and cooking!) and just reheated for 30 mininutes before serving. It was a HUGE hit. Everyone asked for the recipe. I’ll be making it for book club next month :)

    I think for leftovers I’ll serve it in a tortilla wrap with spinach and maybe some feta or goat cheese :) Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

    1. Georgina, I am SOOOOO excited to hear this! I can’t stop smiling thinking of you all enjoying this dish, and that’s a great make-ahead tip too. Thanks for trying the recipe and sharing it!

    1. Great question Brenda! I recommend using fresh herbs whenever possible—unfortunately dried ones don’t have the same good flavor. If you need to use dried thyme in a pinch, I’d do 1/3 the amount called for in the recipe (so 1 tsp. dried).

  10. Erin, I love this recipe! I’m doing a round up of super-easy wild rice recipes, and this one *almost* fits the bill. Peeling and cubing a butternut squash would easily take me 15 minutes all by itself! Any tips for my readers? Thanks!5 stars

    1. Susannah, I’m afraid peeling and cubing butternut squash is one of those things that is a labor of love. I find a vegetable peeler to be the fastest and easiest way to do it. Some grocery stores also sell it pre-peeled and cubed, so that is a time-saving option too, though it is more expensive.

    2. I’ve never cooked with butternut squash before, but the very knowledgeable worker in my grocery store’s produce section who helped me pick one out gave me a tip. He said to drop the whole squash in a pot of boiling water for just a minute or 2, then pull it out and let it cool. He says the skin will peal right off easy peasy. It’s his mom’s old trick. I guess I’ll find out if it works when I get ready to cook this afternoon!

    1. I think that would work fine Meg! The flavors will be different, since wild rice has a distinct taste, but it’s a simple swap. I hope you enjoy the dish.

  11. This recipe was delicious! I’ve just made it this evening for my family and my husband suggested we save the recipe for Thanksgiving as a side or to use as turkey stuffing. Thanks so much for sharing!5 stars

    1. Jamie, I am SO happy you enjoyed it so much! Thanks so much for taking time to leave this kind review too. I really appreciate it. This would be great at Thanksgiving too!

  12. This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it!!  Do you happen to know if it freezes?  I’d like to make a few at a time and freeze the extras if possible. 

  13. This looks so delicious. I am making it tomorrow night for company. Question… can you substitute breast meat for the thighs? My crew does not like dark meat.

    1. Definitely Carol! Just make sure to watch the cooking time, as chicken breasts can cook more quickly than chicken thighs.

  14. I just made this last night for my family and they LOVED it. I love that it’s comfort food that’s actually healthy!! I’m thinking of adding brussel sprouts next time to get a little green in the mix. Do you think cooking them with the onions and squash would work? I also think this would be an excellent way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey. I bet it would taste delicious with turkey in it!5 stars

    1. Kristi, I am SO happy to hear this! I love the idea of Brussels sprouts and think that would be delicious. The idea of leftover turkey is super yummy too. I’m going to have to try both of those twists myself next time :) Thanks for the suggestions and this kind review!

        1. Hi Crystal! Nutritional information is something I started adding to recipes in January 2016. Unfortunately, it’s a time-consuming process, so I’m unable to go back to all my past recipes to add it. The good news is that you can calculate the calories for free at MyFitnessPal (there are other similar sites too). I hope that can be a helpful resource for you!

  15. This was delicious, thank you! I didn’t have any thyme so used Rosemary instead but still a wonderful comfort meal on a chill autumn Sunday. 

  16. I never comment on recipes but I LOVE THIS ONE!! I made it last week and am going to make it again this week for lunches. OMG so good.5 stars

    1. Alice, this makes my day!!! I am so happy that you loved it so much. I also truly appreciate your taking the time to come leave this review. It means a lot!

    1. Yay!!!! I’m so happy to hear that Courtney. Thanks much for trying the recipe and taking time to come back by and leave this lovely review.

  17. This was shared on a SAHM group that I’m a part of on FB. It was a HUGE hit with my family (the 3 & 1 year olds loved it, too)! I added some chopped walnuts to the top when I put it in the oven and used tarragon because I didn’t realize I was out of thyme. It was still amazing! The walnuts added so much! Thank you so much for this recipe!5 stars

    1. Karen YAY!!! I’m so happy that you found this recipe and that your whole family enjoyed it. The walnuts and tarragon sound like lovely additions. Thanks for taking time to share this review. It really means a lot!

  18. I made this and my boyfriend and I both loved it! 
    I used a rotisserie chicken to save time and added chopped pecans because I had some open.
    I ate the leftovers for FOUR meals! It was that good! I even topped my other meals with extra Parmesan or fresh pomegranate seeds to mix it up! Yum!

    My parents are coming for Thanksgiving next week, and we are going out to lunch somewhere where we won’t get leftovers. I’m planning on chopping everything up and keeping it in the fridge to bake for a quick dinner if we get hungry in the evening.

    Thank you for this awesome recipe! I know it’s going to become a regular for me :-)5 stars

    1. YAY Alli! I’m glad you loved it. Thank you for leaving this nice review. All of your topping additions sound delicious!

  19. I cant stop making ( and eating!) this dish!! I personally omit the Parmesan (and have even made it without the chicken but its much better with it) this has become my new favorite side dish! thank you so much for sharing!! Happy Holidays to all!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel! I’m so glad you love the dish. I really appreciate your taking the time to leave such a nice review!

      1. Hi Sora! The cheese does help bind the components of this recipe together and add delicious flavor, but I think you could try it without. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    1. Thank you so much, Laureen! I’m so glad you enjoyed the meal. And I really appreciate that you took the time to leave this wonderful review!

  20. I made it! It came out bomb! Thank you for this recipe. I had butternut squash, a wee bit of left over wild rice, and onions and didn’t know what to make (I wasn’t in the mood for a squash soup) so I googled/Pinterest’ed’ and found your guideline, thankfully. Peeling the raw squash was bloody brutal, haha, like scraping rocks with tweezers (-a little over-dramatic haha). I did do a few tweaks to the recipe just to adjust to with what my pantry had (couldn’t go to the store, low on some money, it’s all A-Okay), like I used mozzarella cheese on top instead of parm’, I added 1 chopped apple because my sweet husband ate all the raisins, I added a can of blackbeans for more protein + for extra filling (my husband eats as if he’s going through a growth spurt, bless him). The thyme was a good herb choice. Anyways, I followed your instructions with the sautéing firstly then combining and baking. VERY pleased, thank you! Happy days.5 stars

    1. Sarah, I’m so glad you found this recipe to be just what you were looking for! It sounds like you made some great adaptations. Thanks for leaving this kind review!

  21. This was delightful. I ate it everyday for work this week. It was filling but not heavy and was a wonderful winter treat.5 stars

  22. This is absolutely de-lish! I didn’t find the prep work cumbersome at all. I replaced the parmesan with gruyere (I love gruyere) and added brussel sprouts in with the squash. Easy to make & plenty of leftovers. Thank you for sharing this yummy goodness!5 stars

  23. Anyway I can turn this into a freezer meal that would be good? I searched freezer meals to make today and now I want to make this but didn’t realize it wasn’t until I got to the end5 stars

    1. Kendra, casseroles like this one make great freezer meals! I would suggest making it all the way through, letting it cool, then covering it tightly and putting it in the freezer. You can also freeze it unbaked. In either case, just be sure that you let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating, covered, in the oven.

  24. Made this for dinner last night. The hubby & I loved it! All the flavors coming together were delicious. Now it’s probably something I did but I felt like it needed more rice. There were so many pieces of chicken & squash. I used about 2 breast & a box of wild rice. Next time I’ll make more rice to stretch the meal a little further but great recipe! Don’t skip on the cranberries! I even added a few pecans in it…3 stars

    1. Hi Marlene, I’m so glad to hear you and your husband enjoyed the recipe! Adding pecans is a fantastic idea. Thanks so much for leaving this wonderful review!

  25. This looks amazing! We are doing a gluten-free casserole exchange with some ladies and this looks like a winner! My question is, would this freeze well? And do you have any cooking instructions for a frozen version?

    1. Hi Rhonda! Yes, this casserole makes a great freezer meal! Please see the recipe notes for specifics. Thanks and I hope you love it!

    1. Whooo hooo! I’m so glad to hear that Stephanie. Thanks so much for trying the recipe and taking time to let me know how it turned out.

  26. Yummm!!!  I cooked the wild rice in chicken stock to give it added flavor. We’re trying to start eating healthier and with more Whole Foods this year and this was a great find. My whole family loved it, and I crave it now!!5 stars

    1. Hi Valerie, cooking the rice in chicken stock is an excellent idea. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for leaving this wonderful review!

  27. Soooo tasty! Thank you! Husband asked if this can become a regular in the winter rotation. I made a couple changes- used a small sweet potato & 1 chicken breast to stretch our meat a little more. I’m so excited I stumbled upon your website. Can’t wait to try some of your spring recipes! 4 stars

    1. Cindy, I’m so glad you stumbled on my website too! Thanks for giving the recipe a try and reporting back with the tweaks you made! I’m so happy to hear it was a winner.

  28. This sounded interesting, but I altered it some, just because, I guess. Instead of using a wild rice mix (not a big fan and it seemed to be in everything a few years ago, I guess I just got tired of it), I substituted Farro cooked in chicken stock. I used about double the squash, and substituted breast for thigh (my wife doesn’t like thigh meat), and increased that to about double. I used a parmesan/romano blend for the cheese and added about double the amount. All other quantities I kept the same. I also added 2 cloves of garlic, which I cooked with the chicken and left the garlic bits in the pan when cooked the remaining ingredients. It turned out well, made more than enough to eat, and to freeze, and to have a couple lunches too. Its easy, economical, and turns out very well. I will add this recipe to our rotation, for sure. Great winter vegetable treat. May try to work in Parsnips in the next time, and roast them with the squash. I may finely chop some candied ginger and add a few chopped apricots as well next time too.

  29. Turned out perfect! This was my first time doing anything with butternut squash and wild rice. I enjoyed this and will def be revisiting it in the future!5 stars

  30. I made this as a meal prep for the week. Usually I get sick of a meal by the third day but I ate this for both lunch and dinner some days! It is sooo delicious and I lost 3 pounds by not eating out for a week5 stars

  31. Great recipe!! I didn’t have any cranberries, so I made it without… my husband and I loved it, thank you!! Bringing leftovers to work for lunch tomorrow :)5 stars

    1. Sarah, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  32. So after reading all the wonderful reviews, I was wondering if cauliflower rice would sub? We are a carb and sugar free family. rice is the only ingredient I’m not sure how to swap out in this type of dish. Any insight would be lovely. :) thank yoy

    1. Hi Paige, I haven’t tried this recipe that way, and I worry that cauliflower rice would turn mushy. You could try combining all the ingredients together and not putting it in the oven, but it won’t have the same flavor since wild rice is a bolder flavor than cauliflower rice, which is fairly neutral. Since I haven’t tried it that way, it’d be an experiment!

    2. Did you end up trying it with cauliflower rice? I wanted to try it this weekend but am afraid it won’t turn out right 

  33. I just made this for dinner tonight. It reminded me so much of stuffing, probably because of the thyme. And I immediately thought of toasted pecans. I wanted to tie the ingredients together though, and we added a fried egg with very lose yolks and topped the dish with them. When you broke the egg up, the runny yolks ran through everything and was delicious.4 stars

  34. This was amazing! I made one to eat and one to freeze for while I’m on maternity leave. I was not expecting that much flavor from a healthy dish, this was awesome! Thank you.5 stars

    1. Lu, healthy with big flavor is my FAVORITE way to cook, so it means so much to know that this recipe hit the spot for you. Thank you!

  35. Made this for dinner the other night and it was wonderful.  I love butternut squash and am always looking for different ways to use it.  The only downside was I thought it was a little dry.  Next time I make it I will squeeze fresh orange juice over the top after it comes out of the oven, or I’ll make a sauce with homemade chicken stock and a hint of orange juice.  This one will go in my cookbook.  Thanks for sharing.5 stars

    1. Jacque, thank you for taking the time to write this great review! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the casserole, and I think your sauce ideas sound great!

  36. The perfect winter/fall comfort food without being horrible for you! My casserole search was making me sad because everything was doused in things I shouldn’t be eating every day (I mean, I love butter and cream even more than the next guy, but I have being treating myself far too often). The flavors were so good. I love butternut squash with onions and thyme already. They were elevated by the tender, juicy thighs, hearty wild rice blend, and tart/sweet cranberries. And you can never go wrong with parm. This dish warmed my soul. 5 stars

    1. YAY Hannah, I’m so glad to hear this recipe was a winner for you! Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to leave this thoughtful review!

  37. Hi Erin – I tried your creamy chicken and wild rice soup and it was delish! I love that it has the calorie count do you by chance know the nutrition info for this recipe?

    1. Hi Elyssa, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the soup! Nutrition information is something I started adding to my recipes in January 2016, but unfortunately the process is time consuming, so I’m unable to go back to past recipes to add it. I use My Fitness Pal for calculating, and if you’re curious about the count for this or other recipes, I recommend checking it out. It’s free to use, and while I’m sorry I’m unable to provide specific information for this recipe, I hope My Fitness Pal can be a helpful resource for you!

  38. This was super yummy! I used fresh cranberries (chopped) since that’s what I had on hand.  Even my husband (who is NOT a cranberry fan) went back for seconds!5 stars

    1. Hooray Amanda! I’m so glad to hear the recipe was a winner. Thanks for sharing your tweaks and taking the time to leave this great review!

  39. Great recipe for leftover roast chicken! I love this and it feels healthy and clean too. I’ve made it 3 times in the last 4 months. Thank you for sharing!5 stars

    1. Cass, I’m so glad to hear this recipe is a hit! Thanks for giving it a try and taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  40. This is one of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes. I make it at least once a month. It’s easy, filling and delicious. I follow the recipe exactly except for I add mushrooms and I love it!5 stars

  41. Oooh, this looks lovely! If I don’t have any wild rice in the house (and no car to fetch some), could I substitute something else, such as jasmine or brown rice, qunoi, or millet? Thanks!

    1. Hi Amy, yes, I think you could swap the grain of your choice! Just follow the package directions for cooking so you end up with about 3 cups. I hope you enjoy!

  42. This was SO good and easy to make! The cranberries were the key, i think. I’m not sure the parm was necessary…tho it may be the low-end quality of the cheese i got. I’m coming back to your site next time i’m needing a great new recipe.5 stars

    1. This makes me so happy to hear Janet (and definitely try it with good quality parm. It makes all the difference!)

  43. Does anyone know the nutritional value of this recipe? I am a weight watcher and count Calories,

    Sat. Fat. , Sugars, and Protein on the new Free Style program. This is delicious as is!5 stars

    1. Hi Betsy! While I have calorie counts on my recipes starting in 2016, unfortunately I’m not able to go back and add them to older recipes. You can calc the nutrition for free if you like at

  44. Made this as a freezer meal(s) for my college student when she moved into her student apartment. She has MANY allergies, so healthy casseroles that she can eat are always very hard to find. Happened upon your recipe and must say she LOVED it. I made it as written with the exceptions of using a vegan/dairy free parmesan and leaving out the black pepper due to her allergies.  This will definitely go into her recipe book and mine as well. Thank you!!5 stars

  45. Erin, Brava and thank You! This delighted my husband, mamma & daddy. Our folks even took home leftovers; only because I tripled your recipe. Without parmesan and butternut, potatoes and pepperjack were substited, with 1 grated carrot balancing the color. Prepared exactly as you designed. We all appreciate you!

  46. Erin, this recipe sounds amazing and I plan on serving it to my book club next week.  What would you suggest I serve with it?  Thank you so much!  

    1. Hi Marilyn, since it’s an all-in-one dish, I think it’d be great with a simple green salad alongside. (Here’s one idea: I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  47. Another AMAZING recipe! I made this the other night while my parents were staying with us. Not only did my hubby love it (he also raved about Italian sausage butternut squash gnocchi!), but both of my parents loved it as well. In fact they couldn’t wait to eat it for lunch the next day! My mom copied the recipe and then after listening to me ramble on and on about your food blog she signed up for your emails too! And thank you in advance for having a diary free recipe section. We recently discovered our baby girl has an aversion to diary in my breast milk so I’ll be diary free from here on out. So long cheese…it’s been fun.
    P.S. I hope you are loving your new house. Congrats!5 stars

    1. Jessica, I’m so happy to hear you loved the recipe! And thank you so much for the kind words about my blog—I truly appreciate it and am so happy to have your mom as a reader too!

  48. Made this for my family, everyone loved it! Even better the next day.   The only changes I made were adding spices to the chicken and a lot of fresh chopped herbs. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  49. I made this tonight. Delish! I made a few swaps – used a 7 grain blend instead of regular wild rice, added a little chicken stock and some roasted sliced almonds. They gave it a really nice crunch! This would be even better as a side dish – I want to be able to eat more without getting so full with the Chicken!5 stars

  50. Ive made this a few times. It’s always delicious!  I do add some chopped pecans to it just because I also love nuts.  Im going to make it for a vegetarian Thanksgiving lunch Ive been invited too. I hope it tastes good with veggie chicken strips??  Wondering if I shoukd just skip the chicken all together this time??  Any suggestions?  Thanks for an awesome recipe?5 stars

    1. Hi Valerie! I haven’t tried either way, so you are welcome to experiment with whichever sounds best to you! I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the recipe.

  51. I can’t stop making this!  Absolutely, love the flavors and it is so easy to make.  I’ve shared it with my mom and a couple other friends because I can’t stop raving about it!  It’s comforting, yet not heavy.  Making it again today.   Thanks you!5 stars

    1. Hi Sara! While you could make all of the ingredients separately, then heat them in the crock pot instead of the oven, I honestly think it would be more work. I don’t have a way to adapt the whole recipe to the crock pot. Instead, I’d recommend checking out these crockpot recipes:

    1. Hi Kimberly! I have nutrition facts calced for my last few years of newer recipes, but I haven’t been able to dive into the archives to update older ones like this. The good news is, you can calc it yourself fairly quickly and for free at I hope that is a helpful resource for you!

    1. Hi Wendy, I began adding calorie estimates to my recipes beginning in 2016, but unfortunately it’s too time consuming to go back to recipes before that time to add it. You can use an online calculator such as My Fitness Pal to estimate! I hope that can be a helpful resource for you.

  52. Hello….I’ve been using some of your recipes for the past couple of months and have really enjoyed them.  We’re back to meal planning and prepping so I’m trying to watch calories, carbs, fat, and protein as I’m training for a triathlon sprint and a half marathon.  I noticed on this recipe you didn’t include nutrition information…is there a reason for that?  Just curious.  

    1. Hi Annette! Thanks so much for your kind words about my recipes! I began adding nutrition info in 2016, and this recipe was published just before that. Unfortunately it’s too time consuming to go back and add it to previous recipes, but if you’re interested, online calculators like MyFitnessPal are available. I hope that helps!

  53. This is amazing! Me and my husband gobbled it up. Since it’s just the 2 of us I halved the recipe. I also made 2 sunny side eggs and put them on top once it was baked. Mixing in the soft whites and runny yolks to bake pushed it way over the top to perfection. Would recommend the egg addition 110%!5 stars

  54. Absolutely delicious as written — thank you! My husband and I really enjoyed it and our 11-month old ate it happily, no fussing. :) It’s a healthy, easy-to-assemble, comforting dish.5 stars

  55. This has been sitting on my Pinterest board for years, and I finally made it last week. I wish I hadn’t waited so long! It’s absolutely delicious. I added some kale along with the squash for some extra veggies, but otherwise followed the recipe as-is. Great fall flavor!5 stars

  56. Loved it!! Everything is easy, but between the rice, chicken, and baking, it took me awhile. Results were a hit!5 stars

  57. A couple of tips on this recipe…  Cook chicken in a crockpot ahead of time (I make mine a day or two in advance so it’s done & ready).  Having super moist chicken in this recipe is a must. I usually cook up a large breast and about 6-8 thigh pieces (boneless skinless).  I also add toasted slivered almonds or pecans for some crunch.  :). Very yummy recipe – especially for Fall.5 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Kaycee! Thank you for taking the time to share your tips and this kind review!

  58. This was super tasty, but we definitely found the butternut squash needed a lot more cooking time. We ended up having to do an extra twenty minutes in the oven to get it soft. The taste otherwise was super delicious and it’s a great combination of flavors! 4 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Julia! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  59. Delicious! Cooked the rice in my Instant Pot for ease. Next time I’ll make the squash in there as well. Super easy and delicious. My husband loves it! Thank you 5 stars

  60. This recipe was delicious! I changed up a bit by using breast meat(because that’s what I had). I also did not clean out my cast iron pan that I fried the chicken in. The cast iron pan went right into the oven too. Leftovers were maybe even more delicious the next day! Make this, you won’t be sorry. 5 stars

  61. I love this recipe and love even more that it’s very healthy. However I meal prep and make freezer meals so unfortunately this dish can become very dry and not so exciting to eat. Can you recommend something that would prevent it from tasting so dry? Otherwise this dish is delicious coming right out of the oven

    1. Hi Sam! You could try freezing this unbaked to see if that helps keep it from becoming dry. Then, when you’re ready to eat it, you can thaw and bake as directed. I hope this helps!

  62. I’ve made this several times for my sister as a freezer meal, and her family loves it! I always double or triple the recipe because it is delicious!
    I’m about to make it for ourselves again, and will divide it into smaller portions to freeze.

    Thank you so much for this recipe! <35 stars

    1. I’m so happy that it’s been a hit, Lianne! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

    2. I’ve made this several times and we LOVE it! I do make one substitution: I swap the wild rice for a tri-color quinoa blend. Thank you, Erin!5 stars

  63. Amazing! My boyfriend and I both went back for seconds and totally fought over the leftovers! 
    This was a nice autumn like dish that’s fast and easy to make and is sure to impress. Will definitely be making again 5 stars

  64. So mine was a bit dry – I added a can of pacific cream of chicken soup to help moisten this up a bit and it was deliciousness. I’ve also added roasted sweet potatoes… yummm. Thanks for the recipe! 5 stars

  65. It was good. But not having nutritional information is a bit frustrating.  Maybe I missed it.  Bought your cookbook, follow you everywhere. ?  This is an issue with others folks I follow as well.5 stars

    1. Hi Katie! Nutritional information is something I started adding to recipes in January 2016. Unfortunately, it’s a time-consuming process, so I’m unable to go back to all my past recipes to add it. The good news is that you can calculate the calories for free at MyFitnessPal (there are other similar sites too). I hope that can be a helpful resource for you!

  66. What can I substitute butternut squash with. My kids refuse to eat squash or sweet potatoes. Would mushrooms work with cranberries?

    1. Hi Alla! Since the butternut squash is a pretty big flavor component in this dish, I’ve never tried it without it. If you decide to experiment with any swaps, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  67. This is so tasty with all the fall flavors of chicken and stuffing — without the bread! I added one stalk of diced celery and used chicken breast (hubs prefers) and it was perfect! I was careful not to overcook the chicken before baking so it would not dry out. I didn’t have rice blend, but had each on their own so cooked them separately, then mixed half and half to make 3 cups. Definitely adding this to my collection of favorite recipes. Healthy and comforting! Thank you!5 stars

  68. I love this recipe. It’s on repeat at my house ! I use rotisserie chicken, pre diced butternut squash from grocery (I roast squash in oven for more flavor depth) and it is superb. My elderly mother loves it And we freeze in individual portions for her to reheat !5 stars

  69. Fantastic! It came out beautifully and the flavors were identifiable while still combining for a complete dish. Everyone loved it. Definitely going into the dinner rotation.5 stars

  70. This was delicious and easy! I couldn’t get wild rice at the store but had black rice in the cupboard, which was tasty and visually striking. Especially grateful for a recipe that will get my husband to willingly eat squash.5 stars

  71. I was very skeptical trying this recipe. It just didn’t seem to have enough ingredients to make it tasty.
    But was I wrong. It was absolutely delicious. I did add a few carrots, because I didn’t think I had enough butternut squash, other than that I followed recipe. I cooked the rice until just done. Undercooked chicken a little too, so the dish was super moist. My husband raved about the flavor.
    Can’t wait to have the leftovers tonight.5 stars

  72. Low carb modification: sub 1 bag if cauliflower rice for regular rice- then we just sprinkle a little extra asiago cheese on top in the final bake. I also triple the thyme and double the salt and it’s really tasty.5 stars

  73. I love butternut squash and am always seeking recipes so this was a no brainer for me. All the ingredients are great, and it’s definitely a flavorful dish. But…it’s VERY dry. Any suggestions – healthy and low calorie – on what I can add to moisten the dish?4 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed it overall, Connie! While I haven’t tried it myself, you could experiment by adding a little chicken or vegetable broth at the end to moisten it up. I hope this helps!

  74. The prep time of 25 minutes is way off. It took more than 2 hours of prep time! The sweetness of the cranberries did not work for me. I won’t be making this dish again.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that the prep time and flavors weren’t what you expected, Maureen. I know it’s frustrating to try a new recipe and not have it turn out, so I really wish you would’ve enjoyed it!

  75. Very tasty!! Reminds me of Thanksgiving all in one!! Perfect for a cold northeast day!! Recipe was perfect, moist and yummy! Thank you!!5 stars

      1. Absolutely delicious, made it a number of times now, but tried it with leftover Christmas Turkey and it was amazing! Thanks.5 stars

  76. Yum! This a terrific dish. I added some Brussels sprouts just because I had a few left in the vegetable drawer. I cut them in quarters and sautéed with the other veggies. This casserole hit all the right notes with me. Thank you.5 stars

  77. Dropped off this delicious casserole to my in-laws who are recovering from being sick and they!! As soon as I took it out of the oven I instantly regretted not making one to keep lol! well done! This recipe is outstanding! Thank you!!5 stars

  78. Very enjoyable and adaptable to different diet preferences in our family. I added a bit of tumeric to the meat for a little extra health and flavor. The rice in my frig was half brown half wild.4 stars

  79. Five stars for taste. For ingredients that are yummy. 4 stars if I could for the instructions that seem to not include all the prep time for the ingredients. But I also think I could have upped the moisture content a little, and more than just Thyme, salt, pepper for the next time I make it. I did it in 4 small- 5×7 food pans as a few of us decided to try it. I cooked, they bought ingredients, pans. All asked if there was a ‘sauce’ missing. When I do this again, I will add some more sauce/ liquid to the plated item. 4 = 5⭐🌟⭐🌟 overall. 👍5 stars

  80. Any idea how this could be adapted to a slow cooker/crock pot? Would really like to make this for a friendsgiving but I am using my baking dish elsewhere lol. TIA!

    1. Hi Tiki! While you could make all of the ingredients separately, then heat them in the crock pot instead of the oven, I honestly think it would be more work. I don’t have a way to adapt the whole recipe to the crock pot. Instead, I’d recommend checking out these crockpot recipes:

  81. can you do this recipe with veggies you e frozen? I had sweet potatoes, butternut squash and purple potatoes I wanted to save before going bad. They’re already chopped. Should I defrost them before cooking?

    1. Hi Nikki! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so I am unsure if frozen vegetables would work. I think with the frozen vegetables you would not have to defrost first. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this dish, Lj. I understand that tastes differ. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it work out, so I am sorry that happened here!

  82. Just wanted to say thanks for this recipe. My dad harvested a haul of wild rice in Northern Minnesota and my husband and I were lucky enough to receive some. This hot dish has been the perfect use for it and tonight is the second night we’ve made it in a week. I added a couple stalks of diced celery and cooked the rice in reduced sodium chicken broth. A delicious comfort dish and one we’ll be returning to over and over.5 stars

  83. Great way to use leftover turkey. I made this using about 1 lb of leftover turkey meat and in addition to the squash I threw in all the veg that needed to be used in my fridge: a stalk of celery, a bit of broccoli and some mushrooms and cooked them with some baharat spice. It doesn’t need a sauce, it wasn’t dry at all but I had leftover gravy so I served it with that. Used a combo of cranberries and barberries and topped it with crispy fried onions because they’re so yummy. As you can see it’s totally customizable, comes together pretty quick using leftover turkey and everyone thought it was delicious. Great recipe! Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Sarah! I’ve only tested this recipe as written. If you decide to experiment with either, let me know how it goes!

  84. Made it and pretty good still have another half of squash so may make it again soon. Thinking of using it to stuff a bird. Let you know5 stars

  85. I made this for the first time and thought it was delicious. I did use some chicken breast from a chicken I roasted the night before, as well as some drippings that were chilled and the fat removed. I used genuine, hand harvested wild rice from northern Minnesota. I also halved the recipe since I didn’t have enough chicken breast for the full amount, and used a garnet yam because the butternut squash at the market were enormous. I think the chicken breast may have made it a bit dry, and next time I will use chicken thighs, which should provide moisture. But, the flavor was great. I could envision making this as the main entree for a holiday, with sides to make a great meal.5 stars

  86. I love this healthy colorful casserole! I used fresh cranberries instead of dried and added 1/2 TBS maple syrup. I don’t have a big enough pan to accommodate all of the ingredients so I work in batches as directed putting all into a bowl to combine well and pour into a casserole. I found in easier on the second go-around to saute onions and butternut squash first, pour into my bowl, then saute chicken in the same pan without wiping it out. One dish for family dinner, one dish for my daughter’s freezer for post-baby complete dinner <3 Thanks for sharing a healthy chicken casserole!5 stars

    1. Hi Marie! Since this recipe is older, it didn’t have any nutrition information listed. I have now updated the recipe to include the nutrition information. I hope this helps!

  87. Excellent recipe. We have this every time fall hits. It’s just a yummy beginning to our comfort foods.
    We’re taking it to our Halloween party this year.5 stars

  88. This recipe is great! Comforting fall flavors! To start, I hate when people leave reviews for recipes but change everything about it! So although I didn’t make changes, I 100% believe this recipe would be amazing as is, but I was feeding a crowd and 2 picky children so I had to make some changes. I used 90 second wild rice, mixed with brown rice I cooked in chicken broth. I had one small bag of frozen butternut squash so I chopped up a sweet potato and baked in the oven to soften while I prepped everything else. Another person commented that they seasoned the chicken with turmeric which sounded lovely so I did the same. I only had chicken breast so I cubed it and seared it in the pan instead of cooking it through so it wouldn’t get too dry. As I was mixing everything together it’s starting to look a little dry so I threw in some apple juice. Then I thought what the heck i’ll throw in some apple too since my children love it. It was absolutely delicious. We will be making this many many more times. I love how healthy it is too!5 stars

    1. Hi Lindsey, I have not but others have with great success! If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  89. This was so delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except I didn’t have parm. I subbed some monterrey jack cheese and it worked beautifully. This one is now a regular in our fall menu rotation. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Kathy, I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online ( is popular). I hope that helps!

    2. We are on a low sodium diet as well. I can estimate based on what I use. The chicken I buy is 80 mg per 4 ounces, Diamond Crystal kosher salt is 280 mg per 1/4 teaspoon which is what I use and I would not use the parmesan. I’d use shredded Swiss or mozzarella or both , or the bagged shredded cheese I like is Swiss and Gruyère is 170 mg for 2 ounces. I don’t count the sodium in fresh vegetables. I’m calculating about 530 mg per the entire casserole so divide by number of servings. Adjust depending on what you use.

    3. My previous calculations mixed apples and oranges ! I figured the chicken per serving but the result for the entire casserole. 1 and 1/4 pounds thighs are more like 400 mg sodium so add 320 mg sodium to casserole total. It’s still pretty low sodium per portion.

    1. Hi Diane! You should be able to do that. I haven’t tried it myself but would love to know how it turns out if you give it a try!

  90. I made this casserole today and it is absolutely delicious!!! I mixed in 1/2 cup of grated Gruyère cheese and thought it was a lovely addition. I made a double recipe and took one casserole to a friend who is undergoing cancer treatment. I divided my recipe into two 9×9 casseroles and froze one. Fantastic recipe!!5 stars

  91. Very tasty… I had one big chicken breast. I cut up 3 Pieces of thick bacon and cooked that up. Greased my casserole dish with some bacon grease. Drained the grease from pan and then cooked my cut up chicken in the dirty pan. After meat was cooked I removed from the pan.I then added 1 teaspoon more of bacon grease. I did not wipe out the pan. Then added the squash and 2 chopped onions. I used 1/4 cup Asiago cheese and 1/4 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese. I was very sad I didn’t have any craisens. Also had to use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, didn’t have fresh. So good.5 stars

  92. Followed the recipe! Very bland. Before reheating the leftovers I sautéed a minced clove of garlic and added it to a light white sauce. That helped. I am not a fan of Parmesan cheese. I used it anyway.
    Seems like it is hard to find a casserole that doesn’t call for Parmesan cheese.

    I won’t make it again.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear that this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, JHP. I (and many other readers) have really enjoyed the flavors in this dish, so I wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

  93. I’ve made this casserole several times, and it is delicious. It has all the flavors of fall and is perfect when the weather gets crisp.5 stars

  94. Unbelievably good. The only change I made was to use dried cherries instead of the dried cranberries- because I love dried cherries and always substitute them. I’m wondering if I can make it without the cheese for my df daughter.5 stars

  95. I’m planning to try this with already roasted butternut squash cubes. Perhaps I’ll just cut down the oven time to 15-20 minutes in total?

  96. It’s a cold day in Indianapolis, time to fire up the oven and cook up this casserole. One word…YUM! I almost went with brown rice but decided to go with the wild rice and I’m glad I did. It adds a different flavor that really complements the dish. Thanks, Erin, for yet another terrific recipe.5 stars

  97. Absolutely love this recipe! A coworker introduced me to WellPlated a few years ago and since then I’ve purchased Erin’s cookbook and continue to love all of her recipes! This one is such a great fall/winter weeknight dinner or meal prep option.5 stars

  98. This is a definite go to recipe! Not only is it insanely tasty, it’s also beautiful. All the flavors go together perfectly. It’s truly a casserole full of flavor. I’ve made it multiple times and it’s always a hit!!5 stars