Chicken Stuffing Casserole is a satisfyingly cozy and super easy-to-make hot dish with rotisserie chicken, wild rice, stuffing mix, kale and cranberries, topped with shredded cheese and toasted almonds. Easy enough for weeknights, special enough for the holidays.
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You’re going to love this
Easy, easy, easy. This chicken stuffing casserole comes together with minimal effort on your part, but it looks and tastes like you were prepping for hours. No one needs to know you just chopped some kale and shredded some cheese.
Leftover rotisserie chicken recipe. This is a perfect clean-out-the-fridge kind of recipe because you can use up your leftover rotisserie chicken, turkey, ham, or really any protein, rice, hardy leafy greens, and cheese.
Cozy fall flavors. Wild rice, cranberries, thyme, kale, almonds, nutty cheese — this chicken stuffing casserole brings all of these meant-to-be-together earthy flavors into this warm and cozy dish that is super satisfying and warms the soul.
Make-ahead holiday side dish. You can easily assemble this dish a day or two before a holiday or party, then throw it in the oven day-of.
Comfort food at its finest. Midwestern hot dishes aren't just a thing of lore, you know. We actually eat them. All the time. Because they’re filling, easy to make, super flavorful, and a great way to feed an army with whatever you have in your fridge and pantry. And this chicken stuffing casserole is no exception. Although it is missing the cream-of-something soup that’s so often found in hot dish, that’s okay. No one will miss it.
Ingredients, Notes & Substitutions
Rotisserie chicken. If you picked up one too many rotisserie chickens from the store, this is an excellent way to use it. Since the average rotisserie chicken yields about 3 cups, which is exactly how much is needed in this chicken stuffing casserole recipe. You can also use leftover turkey or ham, or brown some sausage for this casserole.
Chicken broth. You can use chicken broth or stock or vegetable broth in this recipe. Beef broth can be a little overpowering, but if that’s all you have, you may want to dilute it with some water. You can also keep your eye out for turkey broth, which usually hits the shelves during the holiday season.
Stuffing mix. This chicken stuffing casserole is a fast and easy recipe, filled with convenient shortcuts. So I used seasoned stuffing mix from the grocery store.
If you prefer to use fresh bread cubes, first place them on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until dry, then toss them with dried parsley, minced onion, celery flakes, thyme, sage — you know, all those savory stuffing flavors.
Wild rice. For another convenience shortcut, I used canned wild rice. Just because it’s so goshdarned handy. Of course, you can cook your own wild rice — or a wild rice blend. Whenever I use canned wild rice, I treat it like canned beans and rinse it before using to wash away as much extra sodium as I can.
Kale. Kale adds nice flavor and texture to this dish. But if you’re not a fan, spinach or any other hearty leafy green will taste delicious in this chicken stuffing casserole. But even if you’re a little on the fence about kale, I’d encourage you to try it. I don’t love kale in everything, but it goes really well with all of these flavors.
Dried cranberries. Dried cranberries add surprising little bursts of sweetness throughout this chicken stuffing casserole. But if you prefer dried cherries or blueberries, use what you like. I haven’t tried fresh cranberries in this recipe yet, but I think they would work really well. I’d just coarsely chop them first to ensure they cook completely.
Fresh thyme. You can easily substitute one teaspoon of dried thyme for the tablespoon of fresh thyme.
Kerrygold Dubliner cheese. I chose this cheese because it was more affordable than Gruyere, but offered similar nutty flavors and melty qualities. You can use Gruyere or any kind of melting cheese you love.
Sliced almonds. The almonds provide a crunchy texture to this otherwise all-soft stuffing casserole. But you can use pecans, walnuts, or your favorite kind of nuts.
How to make Chicken Stuffing Casserole
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
Bring 2 ½ cups of chicken broth to a boil.
Add 3 cups stuffing mix. Stir until stuffing is completely moistened, adding more broth if needed. You want the bread to completely absorb the broth, with no pools of liquid left over.
Stir in one can of drained wild rice, 3 cups cooked chicken, 2 cups chopped kale, ⅓ cup dried cranberries, and 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme.
Place the chicken stuffing mixture into your casserole dish. Add the shredded cheese and almonds.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20-25 more minutes. If the top starts to brown too quickly, put the foil back on. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 165 and the cheese is melted.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Chicken Stuffing Casserole (No condensed soup)
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- 3 cups stuffing mix
- 1 15 oz. can wild rice
- 3 cups rotisserie chicken
- 2 cups kale
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 cup shredded cheese (like Kerrygold Dubliner or gruyere)
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Bring 2 ½ cups of chicken broth to a boil.
- Add 3 cups stuffing mix. Stir until stuffing is completely moistened. Add more broth, if needed. You want the bread to completely absorb the broth, with no pools of liquid left over.
- Stir in one can of drained wild rice, 3 cups of diced, cooked chicken, 2 cups chopped kale, ⅓ cup dried cranberries, and 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme.
- Place the chicken stuffing mixture into your casserole dish. Add the shredded cheese and almonds.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20-25 more minutes. If the top starts to brown too quickly, put the foil back on. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 165 and the cheese is melted.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
You can do both! Prepare the stuffing up until baking, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, then foil and throw it in the freezer. Thaw it in the refrigerator and bake as usual. You can also freeze the leftovers. Just wrap them in plastic, then foil, freeze, and thaw in the refrigerator.
There are a few ways you can reheat stuffing: in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. In the microwave, heat it on high, loosely covered, for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute. On the stovetop, place it in a saute pan and heat until warm and the edges are crispy. In the oven, cover the stuffing with foil, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Whichever method you prefer, be sure to check if you need to add a little more broth to it first, and cook it until the internal temperature reaches 165.
Oof. No one likes dry stuffing. But it happens. Just stir in some more broth, a little at a time to allow the bread to soak it up. You don’t want to add so much that there is a pool of liquid in your casserole dish.
Double oof. No one likes soggy stuffing, either. But if you accidentally went a bit overboard with the broth, just ditch plan A to bake the stuffing in a casserole dish. Go with plan B and spread the stuffing out on a sheet pan and bake it at a higher heat to dry it out. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Or dry out. But if it does happen, that's okay, just add more broth.
Casserole Dish Set
It’s fun to make your chicken stuffing casserole in a dish that’s cute enough to go straight from the oven to your holiday table. The one I used for this recipe was from a 3-piece set I snagged at my local Tar-zhay, but this one is pretty darned close. I love it because the three sizes are super handy — I’m already planning on using the middle one for a corn casserole and the small one for buffalo chicken dip. I just wish they had lids. Oh, well. Tinfoil, I guess.
Keep your leftovers stacked and where you can see them in these glass food storage containers. I bought one set, then got rid of all my mish-mash random storage containers to make room for another set of these. And don’t be fooled by “hand wash” only. I’ve never done that — they always go in my dishwasher.