Chicken and Wild Rice Bake

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Dinner comes together quickly and easily with this one-dish dinner of chicken, vegetables, and rice. Your family will gobble down this Chicken and Wild Rice Bake.

dinner plate with chicken and rice

Don’t you just love being able to throw ingredients in a pan, slide it in the oven and walk away?

There are so many other things you’d rather do than stand over a stove and babysit dinner. Am I right?

This Chicken and Wild Rice Bake is one of those “fix it and forget it” kind of recipes. The rice and chicken bake while you do other things. Serve with a quick salad or other vegetable side dish and you’re all set.

What could be easier?

baking dish of chicken and rice

Chicken and Wild Rice Bake

This recipe is based on one that I found in my mom’s yellow, weathered, Pillsbury Family Cookbook, circa 1972. LOVE that cookbook!

You can still find them on eBay. I bought my sisters each one, so that the family copy could be mine.

The original recipe called for cornish game hens and a packaged wild rice mix, but I’ve adapted it to use chicken breasts as well as regular rice and spices.

I’ve given directions for preparing this as a freezer meal at the bottom. Having all the components ready in the freezer is so nice!

dinner table with chicken and wild rice bake

What is wild rice?

Wild rice isn’t really a rice. It’s a long-grain marsh grass that originally grew near the Great Lakes. It’s now grown commercially in California and in some Midwest states. It takes a bit longer to cook than regular rice.

Can you bake rice?

Rice bakes up beautifully, with chicken and without. Check out how to bake perfect rice here.

Can I use other chicken pieces in this Chicken and Wild Rice Bake?

As I mentioned, I adapted this from a recipe that called for Cornish game hens, a miniature chicken. You can use any bone-in chicken pieces you like in this recipe.

Since commercial chicken breasts are so large these days, I recommend cutting them in half for serving.

Can I use brown rice?

You can use brown or white rice in this recipe. I’ve tested it with both. If you use white rice, know that it will have a soft texture once finished.

baked chicken rice and salad

Can I freeze this Chicken and Wild Rice Bake?

While this recipe won’t do well freezing after baking, you can definitely make it as a “freezer kit”.

  1. Assemble the chicken and marinade in a ziptop freezer bag.
  2. Combine the rices and spices in a second bag.
  3. Lay out the onion, celery and mushrooms in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Flash freeze. Place the frozen vegetables in a third bag.
  4. Place all bags together in a larger bag, labelled Chicken and Wild Rice Bake. Be sure to include baking instructions. Freeze.
  5. Thaw chicken before baking. Bake as directed.

How to make this good and cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on chicken breast, I’ll buy several packages and plan my meals around them.
  • Use a whole chicken! Cooking a whole chicken (or buying one that Costco roasted for you) can be more economical than buying chicken pieces. Plus, you can use the carcass to make homemade stock

How I make this recipe easy:

Having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

chicken on bed of rice in baking dish

If you prepare this recipe, be sure to take a picture and hashtag it #GOODCHEAPEATS. I can't wait to see what you cook up!
0 from 0 votes
Chicken and Wild Rice Bake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Marinating Time
2 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 45 mins
Dinner comes together quickly and easily with this one-dish dinner of chicken, vegetables, and rice. Your family will gobble down this Chicken and Wild Rice Bake.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken and rice bake, chicken and wild rice, rice bake
Servings: 8
Calories: 406 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces can also use 4 bone-in-chicken breasts
  • 1 batch herbed vinaigrette or 1/2 cup your favorite oil and vinegar dressing
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons wild rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 rib celery chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms optional
  • 4 cups chicken broth water, or a combination
  1. Combine the chicken pieces and vinaigrette in a large ziptop bag. Seal and massage the bag and place it on a tray. Refrigerate and allow the chicken to marinade 30 minutes to several hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Combine the brown rice, wild rice, thyme, pepper, onion, celery and mushrooms in the pan. Stir in the broth.
  4. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place them atop the rice mixture.
  5. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  6. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until the rice absorbs the liquid and chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. If using chicken breasts, cut each one in half prior to serving.

  7. Serve the chicken alongside the rice.

Recipe Notes

To prepare this as a freezer meal: Combine chicken breasts and vinaigrette in bag. Label. Combine rice and spices in a second bag. Label. Lay out onion, celery and mushrooms in a single layer on a baking sheet. Flash freeze. Place vegetables in a third bag and make sure to label them. Place all bags together in a larger bag, labelled Chicken and Wild Rice Bake. Be sure to include baking instructions. Freeze. Thaw chicken before baking. Bake as directed above.

Promptly store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1 piece of chicken and 1/8 of the rice mixture.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken and Wild Rice Bake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 406 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 501mg22%
Potassium 475mg14%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 133IU3%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post was originally published on February 26, 2010. It has been updated for content and clarity.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Nicole says

    I have had this bookmarked for ever and just tried it tonight! It was very good! I added some canned artichoke hearts I had in the fridge and finished it with squeeze of lemon juice .. . yum! I made it with skinless chicken thighs (4 of them) and I think for us next time I will halve the rice as it made a lot. But I will freeze the excess for an easy side dish on another night!…so maybe I won”t halve it next time :0)

    Thanks! I can always count on your recipes to be tasty!

  2. Fleur says

    Great recipe & super easy! I made this last night (using chicken drumsticks) and the whole family loved it! Yeah!! I found it needed longer than 90 mins for all the liquid to cook down – perhaps I wouldn’t cover it for as long next time. I have noted the suggestion above & frozen the leftover rice (2 portions) to serve another time. Great recipe – I will definately make again!

  3. Michelle says

    I tried this recipe tonight. The rice was great, however, the chicken was dried out. Any suggestions on how to get the chicken done right?

    • Jessica says

      Maybe keep the chicken covered and uncover the rice? Or remove the chicken once it’s done and tent with foil, then let the rice keep cooking.

  4. jan says

    I used to make this years ago. Forgot all about it and never thought of it as a ‘freezer’ dish. Thanks for bringing it up!

  5. carrie says

    just wondering if you could make this with boneless, skinless breasts? Or would it take away from the moist quality?

    • Jessica says

      They would dry out. But, you could probably add them near the end of cooking. If you try it, let me know!

  6. Ellen says

    Can you tell me what brand of brown rice you use? I’ve had trouble with brown rice not cooking well in the past. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I’m wondering if a name brand like Uncle Ben’s might work better…

    • Jessica says

      @Ellen, I usually just buy the bulk long grain brown from my health food store.

  7. Gen says

    Just a suggestion that this is a good recipe for people with hypertension (since it has little salt).

    I recommend lightly salting the chicken and adding 1/4 teaspoon salt to your rice mix for more flavor. Rosemary works well on chicken with thyme or instead of thyme.

  8. beth says

    Very simple and yummy. I used chicken thighs and found that there was too much liquid after cooking. I just drained some of it off and baked it a bit longer to dry up the rice a bit. Everyone loved it including my 7 & 2 year old.

  9. Lynn says

    Can’t wait to try this! LOVE the freezer instructions & it will be added to my list. Thanks so much for sharing all your great recipes & ideas!!! Your blog is one of my favorites!

    • Jessica says

      Thanks for your kind words. Enjoy!

  10. Connie says

    In the ingredient list, is that cooked rice or raw rice?

  11. Jamie says

    We have special diets going so we used 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halfs, chopped them into 1/2″ pieces and increased the celery and mushrooms and added some carrots, we left out the marinade, but it looked very yum. I stirred every 30 min instead of foiling. I think next time I would reduce liquid by half and put this in the crock pot as I ended up adding 2 cups extra liquid.

  12. Pam says

    Stupid question: IF I did this with a packaged rice box (Uncle Ben’s Long Grain Wild Rice) how would that change the baking instructions? Thanks!!

    • Jessica says

      I am not sure. I used that 20 years ago, but I don’t know how the product has changed? Maybe just check for the baking time about ten minutes before it should be done?

  13. Terri says

    We usually get frozen chicken breasts unless there is a really good sale for fresh chicken. I was thinking I didn’t want to thaw the chicken to put it in a bag with marinade, then refreeze. I realized that perhaps I can just take out the frozen chicken and put as much as I need in a bag of marinade without even thawing the chicken. When I eventually thaw the chicken and marinade will the flavors penetrate as well as if it had been thawed chicken that went into the marinade? (Bag of marinade-put frozen chicken in it-put this bag in freezer)

    • While I don’t remember having done this, I don’t see a reason why it wouldn’t work. I’ve suggested it to folks before and not heard complaints. I say go for it.

  14. Rebecca says

    Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts?

    • The chicken will cook faster than the rice if you use boneless, skinless chicken breast. So, I’m not sure how the timing should adjust.

  15. Melody Pakeltis says

    Hi! I am soo glad I found your site with soo many helpful meal plans! As a new mom and full time worker having someone else do the planning is fantastic. Thank you so much! Question about this recipe. Could I make it in the crock pot? If so, would I need to adjust ingredient amounts?

  16. becka says

    Happy to have come across your site!

    For the freezer meal version, do I pre-cook the rice and spices or freeze it uncooked? Thanks!

    • You’ll put those in the bag, as specified, uncooked. Let me know if you have more questions. Welcome!

  17. This looks SO good! Thanks so much for the recipe, Jessica. Pinning it now.

  18. Morgan gibson says

    Loved the chixken and wild rice bake. I know it was a take on the old yellow cookbook. I was wondering what the cover looked like. Couldnt find it on ebay. I love old cookbooks…
    Could u post.
    thanks Morgan Gibson

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