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don't miss dairy

Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Almond Milk

 
I’m still waiting for Campbell’s to come out with a soy or almond milk based cream canned soup. I’d be able to make all of my favorite comfort food recipes in a cinch. Although, making it yourself is probably healthier and more delicious, even if it’s a bit more time consuming.
 
I love this chicken and rice casserole dish because it’s basic and simple. The almond and broth base is just what I use in my Dairy Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Green Bean Casserole recipes, and it’s applicable to any recipe that calls for a cream based condensed soup.
 
I usually stick with the simplest form of this recipe since I am a busy working girl and have little patience for vegetable peeling and chopping, but you can add other vegetables to this dish to make it colorful. Chopped celery is an easy one, but I also thought of using frozen mixed veggies, broccoli, kale, and even sun dried tomatoes. Mixing in some fresh chopped herbs makes it fragrant and pretty. The recipe I used here is the most basic way I would make it. 
 
The most important aspect is the flavoring and thickening of the almond milk, to give it the consistency and taste of a cream of chicken soup. I definitely recommend almond milk over another dairy free milk for it’s flavor. I used short grain brown rice in this recipe. Long grain may require more liquid.
 

What you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
*Optional: chopped carrots, chopped celery

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika and cook for about five minutes or until onions are tender. This is also where you should add any other vegetables you wish to include in the dish. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the onion and spices mixture, stirring quickly to combine. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, and then slowly whisk in chicken broth until well combined.

Next, stir in almond milk and 1 cup of uncooked brown rice. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a large casserole dish.

In a nonstick pan, heat additional olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and a dash of chicken broth and sear until lightly browned, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from heat and place chicken breasts on top of rice mixture in casserole dish. 

Cover the casserole dish in foil and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Cooking time will depend on what rice you use. White rice will cook much faster than brown if you’d like a quicker meal. Rice will be fluffy and chicken moist. Top with fresh parsley.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Almond Milk
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  3. 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  4. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 yellow onion, chopped
  8. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  9. 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, quartered
  10. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  11. 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  12. 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  13. 1 cup sweetened almond milk
  14. 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika and cook for about five minutes or until onions are tender. This is also where you should add any other vegetables you wish to include in the dish. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the onion and spices mixture, stirring quickly to combine. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, and then slowly whisk in chicken broth until well combined.
  3. Next, stir in almond milk and 1 cup of uncooked brown rice. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a large casserole dish.
  4. In a nonstick pan, heat additional olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and a dash of chicken broth and sear until lightly browned, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from heat and place chicken breasts on top of rice mixture in casserole dish.
  5. Cover the casserole dish in foil and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Cooking time will depend on what rice you use. White rice will cook much faster than brown if you'd like a quicker meal. Rice will be fluffy and chicken moist. Top with fresh parsley.
Notes
  1. Optional add-ins: chopped carrots, chopped celery.
  2. This recipe is also great in the slow cooker! No need to pre-thicken the almond milk. Just whisk flour with cold almond milk and pour into crockpot with other ingredients. Make sure to stir everything together before placing chicken on top. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4.
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7 thoughts on “Chicken and Rice Casserole with Almond Milk

  1. When you did this in the slow cooker, did you still sear the chicken breasts before putting them on top of the rice?

  2. This recipe was great. However, what type of brown rice did you use? I used long grain, and it didn’t cook all the way. Should I be using instant? I am going to try your pot pie recipe this weekend, very excited (so is my hubby)!

    1. Hi Maggie, I’m so glad you liked it! I used Lundberg Organic Short Grain Brown Rice. Maybe that makes a difference? I believe long grain rice requires a little bit more liquid. I’ll make sure to make note of it in the recipe, thanks for letting me know! I can’t wait for you to try the pot pie–it’s one of my favorite recipes!

      *Scratch that. I made this again and the Lundberg rice took forever to cook, although the amount of liquid was still right. The only other brand I can think of using was Mahatma. I will make it again with that and update.

        1. Hi Erin, I bet it would be great in a slow cooker. I’ve never tried it, but I’m guessing it would require a bit more liquid than this recipe calls for. You make me want to experiment though. When I try it I will let you know!

          1. Update: this is excellent in a slow cooker! I followed the recipe exactly, did not even need to pre-thicken the almond milk base. I simply mixed the cold almond milk with the flour and poured into the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. I stirred everything then placed the chicken breasts on top. Cooked on low for seven hours and it was so delicious and moist.

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