Chicken and Rice Casserole /Dairy Free

Happy Wednesday! I am so excited to be sharing this casserole recipe with you from Jen @ Gluten Free and Dairy Free Living!   When Dan and I were brainstorming on what to make this week, he had asked for chicken tetrazzini.  Having no idea what the ingredients were until I googled it, I quickly ruled it out because of all the dairy in it ( sorry hun ).  I really wanted to make some kind of casserole so on I searched for something dairy free.  After about 15 minutes, I came across this one for Chicken and Rice. The ingredients were simple (no cream of something soup, milk and a ton of cheese needed).

          I do not think it’s the lighting in the photo this time… it really did turn out this odd brown color


  • 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 (I used baby bellas 1 -8oz pack)
  • 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.  Sauté 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.  Sauté onion until translucent.  Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Place in casserole dish.
3. Dry sauté 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. (mine took an additional 10 minutes)

I have never used mayo in a dish like this so it did scare me a bit.  Going into making it, I was not expecting too much in the outcome.  I don’t think Dan was either. However, we were both blown away at how good this was! It tastes just like chicken and stove top stuffing.  Dan went back for seconds and I had to remind him to take it easy since this was supposed to last all week.  He then said, “Yeah, that’s not happening.” LOL  That’s when I knew this was a keeper.  I definitely will be making this one again soon. 

One thing I want to learn is how to make creamy, delicious dishes but with dairy free ingredients. Some times I miss that quality in my food. I know that once I make some of these recipes, it will get easier to make substitutions.

How about you? Are you a whiz at altering recipes?


Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas

Day five of Blogember is to share a favorite recipe: Either my own or someone else’s. This one was hard to choose.  I have shared a few recipes on here in the past (remember mango chutney slaw ?).  Should I pick a healthy recipe? A fan favorite? I decided to go with this one…  This recipe for Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas is from the queen of Italian cooking,  Giada De Laurentiis.  Here is the link to Food Network if you decide you want to print it out for yourself!  I have made this recipe so many times.  It is an easy to make, savory, melty, gooey, comfort food recipe at it’s best – A grown up Mac N’ Cheese.  Sometimes we would pair it with chicken.  Other times we would have it alone with just a glass of white wine (ok- two). Dan and Al really love it!  I have even taken it to put luck with friends as well.  I normally use a glass 9×13 baking dish.  However, when I need to travel with the dish, I will mix everything up and put it in a crock pot with a ceramic insert that allows me to put it directly in the oven to brown the topping just before serving.  Even though I can not eat this one any more (dairy issue), it is still one of my favorites to make and share with you all.   Buon Appetito!

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus more to grease the baking dish
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces shredded fontina cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 4 ounces diced fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (I actually use fresh thyme instead)
  • Directions

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
    Bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Pour the orzo and the broth into a large bowl. Set aside.
    Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms are beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 7 minutes. Add the Marsala. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and cook until the Marsala has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the mushroom mixture to the orzo in the large bowl. Add the cream, fontina, mozzarella, peas, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
    In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and dried thyme. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of the pasta. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.