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Dairy-Free Creamy Mushroom Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole

Dairy-Free Creamy Mushroom and Chicken Brown Rice Casserole is a feel-good meal and healthy comfort food at its finest. Gluten-free and dairy-free, this cream of mushroom casserole contains all the familiar flavors of your favorite cream of mushroom soup.

Large cast iron casserole dish full of chicken, rice, mushrooms, and creamy sauce.

If you love cream of mushroom soup, chicken and rice, this casserole will be your new obsession!

Made with simple, wholesome ingredients, this easy mushroom chicken and brown rice casserole requires zero fancy maneuvers. 

I love that this easy healthy casserole recipe contains a good balance of all essential micronutrients. Slow-burning complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats yield a highly satiating meal.

I make this casserole dairy-free and gluten-free, but you can absolutely add cheese and use regular milk if you aren’t dairy-free. 

The casserole has a cream of chicken soup vibe with tender chicken and creamy rice, but is made with all clean ingredients that the whole family will love.

This easy meal is a great recipe for meal prep or making for family dinner any night of the week.

Finished chicken mushroom casserole, fresh out of the oven.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients involved in this yummy casserole recipe. 

Ingredients for Dairy-Free Creamy Mushroom Chicken Brown Rice Casserole:

Brown Rice: Bringing complex carbs and delicious squishy texture to the casserole, brown rice plays a key role in bringing thick texture to the meal. 

We need 1 cup of uncooked rice, which gets prepared ahead of time, resulting in about 3 cups of cooked rice.

You can absolutely use white rice, in which case you don’t need to cook the rice ahead of time. If you use white rice, bake the casserole for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Avocado Oil: Used to sauté the onion, garlic, mushrooms and brown the chicken, we use avocado oil. You can also use a little bit of olive oil if it’s what you regularly use.

Onion & Garlic: Onion and garlic play the important role of adding bold flavor to the casserole. Feel free to increase the amount if you love onion and garlic.

Mushrooms: The real star of the show, mushrooms bring that earthy, nutty flavor to this easy casserole recipe. If you’re obsessed with mushrooms, use 16 ounces (1 pound) instead of 8 ounces.

I use baby bella mushrooms, but white mushrooms or portobello mushrooms work too.

Chicken: Boneless chicken breasts get chopped up into bite sized pieces to go into this delicious casserole. You can also use boneless skinless thighs if you prefer. If you have leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken, feel free to use 3 to 4 cups of cooked chopped chicken pieces.

Full-Fat Canned Coconut Milk: In order to keep this recipe dairy-free, I use full-fat canned coconut milk. This provides luscious creamy flavor, similar to the effect of using heavy cream. If you aren’t dairy-free, feel free to replace the coconut milk with whole milk or half & half.

I don’t recommend replacing the full-fat coconut milk with any other non-dairy milk because you’ll lose the fat content, which is what brings rich flavor to the meal. Without that fat, the casserole will not have as creamy of a texture and will taste a little bland, so for the best result, stick with the canned coconut milk.

Apple Cider Vinegar: To mimic the flavor of cheese, a touch of cider vinegar brings a tanginess that when combined with the full-fat coconut milk gives a flavor that mimics cheese. 

Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce: A touch of liquid aminos or soy sauce adds umami flavor to make the casserole taste more full-bodied. 

Gluten-Free Flour: In order to thicken the sauce, a little gluten-free all-purpose flour is added to the cream of mushroom and chicken mixture. You can use regular all-purpose flour if you aren’t gluten-free. 

Sea Salt: Add salt and pepper to your personal taste! If you feel the casserole tastes bland, add salt until it tastes nice and rich.

Baby Spinach: While baby spinach is an optional ingredient, I like adding it to infuse the casserole with a vitamin-rich vegetable. Feel free to omit it or replace it with kale or broccoli.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Mix in 2 to 3 cups of grated cheese into the rice mixture if you aren’t dairy-free. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top of the casserole as well. The combination of parmesan cheese and sharp cheddar cheese would be perfect here.
  • Replace the coconut milk with 2 cups of whole milk or half & half (I would recommend half & half or a combination of half & half and milk) if you aren’t dairy-free. For a chicken stroganoff vibe, use , use 1 cup of sour cream and 1 cup of milk.
  • Use 1.5 pounds of ground turkey or ground beef instead of chicken breasts if you prefer. 
  • You can use boneless chicken thighs instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts if you’d like.
  • Add any vegetables you like, such as green beans, peas, carrots, bell pepper, broccoli florets, etc.
  • If you don’t have garlic on hand, use 1 to 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. You can also add 1 to 2 teaspoons of onion powder.
  • Add 1/3 cup of white wine for a fancy flavor.
  • Feel free to add a frozen mixed vegetable blend to the healthy brown rice casserole.
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning or fresh parsley or fresh thyme for some herby flavor.
Bowl of chicken, mushroom and rice casserole, ready to eat.

Now that we’ve discussed the ingredients list and optional changes for this easy chicken casserole, let’s make it!

How to Make Creamy Mushroom Chicken Brown Rice Casserole:

Cook the brown rice on the stove top according to the package instructions. I like boiling the rice in chicken broth instead of water for added flavor.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly spray a large 13” x 9” casserole dish or large baking dish with cooking spray (this makes for easy cleanup once the casserole is finished).

Pour one tablespoon of avocado oil or olive oil in a large skillet and heat to medium-high heat. I use a 12-inch nonstick skillet. If you don’t have a large skillet, use a large pot such as a Dutch oven. 

Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Chopped onions cooking in a skillet.

Transfer the minced garlic and mushrooms to the skillet, cover, and cook until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Onions and mushrooms cooking in a skillet.

Add the remaining ingredients except for the spinach to the skillet (chopped chicken breasts, coconut milk, all-purpose flour, cider vinegar, liquid aminos (or soy sauce), and sea salt).

Onions, mushrooms, and raw chicken breast in a skillet.
Coconut milk being poured into the large nonstick skillet with onions, mushrooms, and chicken.
Onion, mushroom, chicken, coconut milk, flour, pepper, and salt in a large skillet.

Bring everything to a full boil. Once boiling, immediately add the spinach and cover the skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the spinach stirs into the mixture easily. It’s completely fine if the chicken and spinach aren’t cooked all the way through at this point. We’re going to be baking the casserole in the oven, so the chicken will finish cooking then. 

Creamy chicken mushroom and spinach sauce for the casserole.

Pour the cooked brown rice into the prepared baking dish.

Large casserole dish with brown rice.

Transfer the creamy mushroom chicken mixture to the casserole dish on top of the rice and stir everything well until the rice is well incorporated into the saucy mixture.

Chicken mushroom mixture being poured over the brown rice.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the casserole is very bubbly. Switch the oven setting to the High Broil setting and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the top of the casserole is slightly crispy.

Rice mixture in a casserole dish to make chicken and rice casserole.

Serve casserole and enjoy!

Large casserole dish full of chicken and mushroom casserole with creamy rice sitting on a rustic wood background. A wooden spoon in the casserole for serving.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

And that’s it! A delicious casserole recipe that’s reminiscent of cream of mushroom soup for that familiar comfort food vibe. 

If you love casserole recipes, also try these gems!

More Healthy Casserole Recipes:

Chicken and rice forever!

Large casserole dish full of chicken and mushroom casserole with creamy rice sitting on a rustic wood background. A wooden spoon in the casserole for serving.
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4.35 from 26 votes

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Brown Rice Casserole

Rich and creamy dairy-free chicken mushroom and brown rice casserole is reminiscent of your favorite cream of mushroom soup but in the form of a homemade casserole. The best comfort food!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Chicken Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 to 8 Servings
Calories: 496kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cook the brown rice on the stove top according to the package instructions. I like boiling the rice in chicken broth instead of water for added flavor. You will need 3 cups of rice – you can use leftover rice if you have some already made.
  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly spray a large 13” x 9” casserole dish or large baking dish with cooking spray (this makes for easy cleanup once the casserole is finished).
  • Heat avocado oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
    Chopped onions cooking in a skillet.
  • Transfer the minced garlic and mushrooms to the skillet, cover, and cook until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
    Onions and mushrooms cooking in a skillet.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the spinach to the skillet (chopped chicken breasts, coconut milk, all-purpose flour, cider vinegar, liquid aminos (or soy sauce), and sea salt). Bring everything to a full boil.
    Onion, mushroom, chicken, coconut milk, flour, pepper, and salt in a large skillet.
  • Once boiling, immediately add the spinach and cover the skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the spinach stirs into the mixture easily. It’s completely fine if the chicken and spinach aren't cooked all the way through at this point. We’re going to be baking the casserole in the oven, so the chicken will finish cooking then. 
    Creamy chicken mushroom and spinach sauce for the casserole.
  • Pour the cooked brown rice into the prepared baking dish.
    Large casserole dish with brown rice.
  • Transfer the creamy mushroom chicken mixture to the casserole dish on top of the rice and stir everything well until the rice is well incorporated into the saucy mixture.
    Chicken mushroom mixture being poured over the brown rice.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the casserole is very bubbly. Switch the oven setting to the High Broil setting and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the top of the casserole is slightly crispy.
    Rice mixture in a casserole dish to make chicken and rice casserole.
  • Serve casserole and enjoy!
    Finished chicken mushroom casserole, fresh out of the oven.

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6) | Calories: 496kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 975mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g

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Recipe Rating




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Chrissie

Sunday 2nd of April 2023

I'm the person in the house who cannot have dairy, and my children sometimes feel they're missing out.

Made this for dinner tonight. Used left over roasted chicken, quartered the mushrooms and everything else was spot on to the recipe. The vinegar and soy cut down the flavor of the coconut milk, but it was still apparent. I sprinkled some fresh parmesan on top of the plates for those who can have dairy to add a little something just for them.

We all found this dinner to be very satisfying, which with picky eaters in the house is hard to find!

Next time, I'll add the an additional green vegetable (most likely zucchini)to just increase the veggies as we all love our greens!

Thank you for taking the time to create, blog and share family recipes we can all enjoy! I will be back to find inspiration in your recipes.

Julia

Monday 3rd of April 2023

Thanks so much for sharing this, Chrissie! I'm happy to hear everyone enjoyed it and love that the littles enjoyed it too! Love the idea of adding various veggies like zucchini. Appreciate you swinging back around to provide your feedback! :)

Pam Bland

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

"Could I make in 2 containers and freeze one for use later?

Molly

Monday 6th of February 2023

Easy and delicious! I forgot to pick up spinach so I added asparagus and zucchini instead.

Julia

Friday 10th of February 2023

Ooh, yummy! Asparagus and zucchini sound like great additions! xo

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