I'm a casserole girl. I love how with a casserole you can prep for 20 min, let it sit in the fridge all day, and then, when you're ready, put it in the oven and like magic you have a warm, satisfying meal. Casseroles and winter seem to go hand in hand. Everything outside is quiet and cold and inside it should be like one of those Campbell's soup commercials where everyone is passing around a big dish of something good with smiles on their faces.
For a long time I thought no gluten and no dairy meant no casseroles. And then I figured out how to make a pretty decent cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup substitution (see my chicken pot pie and my chicken divan recipes). However, there was one big problem with that - making homemade cream soup meant saying goodbye to the easy 15 minutes it used to take to put a casserole together.
And then I found a recipe on Simply Recipes for a chicken and rice casserole that didn't call for condensed soup (thank goodness!). However it still called for things like cream and sour cream. So I experimented a bit to come up with a dairy free version. And of course it was magnificent. Best dairy free/gluten free casserole I've ever made. In fact it blows everything else so far out of the water that I'm almost ashamed of my old chicken and rice casserole recipe on this site (the chicken divan). The credit for this recipe of course goes to the recipe author, but here it is again with my tweaks that made it dairy free.
- 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces, patted dry
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 lb cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine (I just used extra chicken stock)
- 1 1/3 cups chicken stock (more if you are making this with brown rice)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 cup raw, medium or long grain, white rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Saute chicken over medium high heat in olive oil until it turns golden brown. The chicken doesn't have to be cooked through, just browned on the outside
2. Reduce heat to medium. Saute onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Place in casserole dish.
3. Dry saute the mushrooms until golden. Place in casserole dish
4. De-glaze the pan with chicken stock or sherry. Place in casserole dish
5. Add mayonnaise, coconut milk, lemon juice, rice, salt, Italian seasoning, and paprika to casserole and mix well.
6. Place chicken on top and cover tightly. Bake for 45 min (longer for brown rice) at 375 degrees. Bake for an additional few minutes uncovered if there is still liquid that needs to be absorbed.