This Whole30 casserole is a perfect Whole30 fall recipe, loaded with warming and filling ingredients. This Whole30 casserole is made with chicken, broccoli, cauliflower rice, and mushrooms, making it full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats! This Whole30 casserole makes plenty of leftovers, making healthy lunches easy. With a homemade cream of mushroom soup, you’ll love this Whole30 casserole on a round or anytime.
My mother’s made this one recipe for decades, a creamy chicken and rice casserole with crunchy water chestnuts and dark grains of wild rice speckling the dish. There’s nothing, and I mean nothing, more comforting than a bowl of this stuff, warm and creamy and filling, except for maybe a bowl of cream of wheat, warm and creamy and filling, covered with melting brown sugar and served alongside a couple pieces of buttered toast cut into squares.
Oh, and one pretty intense condition: my mom has to make both.
I made an exception, though, when a good friend of mine had her first baby. It was before Leo, so I had plenty of time to rush to the grocery store after visiting them at the hospital and whip together a batch of this creamy chicken casserole, making, no shit, homemade yeast rolls to go with.
Pretty sure I also slept in the morning after. And drank my coffee without a toddler claiming “I need coffee! I need coffee!” and tugging on the arm trying to inch the stuff to my lips whilst keeping it high enough to avoid burning my own child.
So basically, an entire lifetime ago.
But in this life? We’ve made a few changes, not all of them centered around chronic sleep deprivation and acrobatic coffee-drinking. Since Leo turned one, we discovered the Whole30 (or, rather, gave in to it), realized how amazing we felt when avoiding grains, gluten, and dairy, and have continued a mostly-paleo diet since. But when it comes to craving comfort food? Nothing has changed. I still crave bowls of chicken and rice casserole, warm and creamy and filling, when the air gets just the tiniest bit cooler, when pumpkins show up in giant cardboard bins at the grocery store, when football plays on the TV in the family room like the soundtrack to our lives.
I stand there stirring my cooked chicken, frozen broccoli, cauliflower rice, and cream of mushroom soup together, mimicking the ref’s hand motions for a false start, on the offense, 5 yards! It never gets old (to me). And then it’s opening the windows by the breakfast table, planning our family Halloween costume and did you get tickets for the Hocus Pocus showing at the Shell? and spoon our one-dish dinner that’s so rich and full of flavor yet light and nutrient-dense to our mouths.
And then it’s packaging up a bowl for O to take to work the next day, the Whole30 casserole, like my ability to give no bothers, only getting better as it ages. What I’m saying is: this is the perfect Whole30 casserole. No, this is the perfect Whole30 dinner recipe.
No. This is the perfect Whole30 recipe.
I’ve done enough Whole30s to know that you tire of cooking 3 meals a day by day, like, 2, and leftovers will save you. That one-pan or -pot dishes are your lifeforce, and that comfort foods are your prana. That easy is better and better is best.
This Whole30 casserole with chicken, broccoli, rice, and mushrooms is pretty damn easy, requiring only a bit of effort when it comes to making the cream of mushroom soup from scratch. And even that is simple: sauté some stuff, add some liquid, blend some of it, tada! The only can of soup you’ll end up with in your house is that Warhol print in the bonus room.
The rest couldn’t be simpler: frozen broccoli florets + cooked chicken + frozen cauliflower rice = dinner’s taken care of. And bonus, it’s amazing. It’s rich and creamy and fortified with plenty of herbs and earthy mushrooms and creamy Whole30 mayo, and your whole family will buy into it.
This Whole30 casserole is just perfect for fall. Will you make it soon?
To make this Whole30 casserole, I used…
Whole30 Casserole with Chicken, Broccoli, Rice, and Mushrooms (Paleo)
- 2 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded
- 1 12-ounce bag frozen chopped broccoli or about 2-2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, steamed until tender-crisp
- 1 12-ounce bag frozen cauliflower rice or a small head of cauliflower, riced
- ½ cup paleo mayonnaise
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 pinch salt to taste
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter if not on Whole30
- 8 ounces mushrooms diced
- ½ large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup chicken broth if not only Whole30 and using white wine, use 1/2 cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup white wine skip if Whole30
- 1 cup coconut cream
- ¼-1 teaspoon dried thyme or other dried herb like tarragon, basil, etc. If you use dried herbs rather than ground, use ½-1 teaspoon. If using ground herbs, use ¼ teaspoon
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- In a large saucepan, heat ghee or butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and sauté 5-10 minutes or until softened. Add minced garlic and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, or until fragrant.
- Add chicken broth and white wine (if using) and use a whisk to loosen the browned bits on the surface of the saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle in arrowroot powder, salt, dried herb, and nutritional yeast, then boil mixture until reduced by about 1/3 or 1/2. Use an immersion blender to blend mixture until about half smooth, leaving a a few pieces of mushroom.
- Add in coconut cream and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.
- Combine cooked chicken, broccoli, cauliflower rice, mayonnaise, and cream of mushroom soup in a 9×13" casserole dish and stir to combine. Top with sliced almonds then bake 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.