Creamy chicken casserole with kale and rice is a comforting dish to make this weekend! This is a hearty casserole that’s great for a family dinner at home or for taking to a potluck. With a creamy, flavorful sauce and a crispy breadcrumb topping, this dairy free, gluten free dish is sure to be a favorite.
Don’t you love a good casserole? It’s always nice to be able to make a hearty and filling meal that everyone loves.
So many recipes for comfort food are loaded with allergens. Whether it’s dairy, gluten, eggs, or a combination of all of these, many casseroles are just not allergy friendly.
The good news is that it’s pretty easy to make an amazingly comforting dinner without any allergens. You just need the right ingredients and a great recipe. This creamy chicken casserole with kale is just the thing to make when you’re in the mood for a cozy dinner.
- Onion and Garlic – Chopped onion and minced garlic add lots of flavor to this casserole. If you have an onion or garlic allergy, you can use chopped celery, chopped green pepper, or herbs to add flavor to this recipe. If you decide to use herbs like parsley, oregano, or sage, add them to the chicken mixture right before placing in the oven.
- Kale – I used curly kale, and it worked out well. You could also use dinorsaur kale, which is a little tougher, but since you are going to blend it into the sauce, it should be okay. Spinach would also be a fine substitution.
- Dairy Free Cheese – I used Daiya Mozzarella style shreds, because that’s the brand that works for our family. Any dairy free cheese shreds should be fine in this recipe as long as they melt well.
- Breadcrumbs – Making your own allergy friendly breadcrumbs is pretty easy. There are some brands of gluten free breadcrumbs available in the stores, but if you have a bread that’s safe for your family, it’s very simple to make your own homemade breadcrumbs.
Store leftover casserole in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for about 4 days.
You can freeze this chicken casserole if like. If you want to freeze the entire casserole, bake as directed, then allow it to fully cool before covering the pan in foil and placing in the freezer. Make sure to bake the casserole in a freezer safe pan.
When you want to reheat the casserole, put it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- If you can’t have rice, try using quinoa instead.
- If you’re vegan, you can leave the chicken out. Try adding mushrooms or broccoli instead. You could also use a plant based chicken substitute.
- You can top this casserole with the breadcrumbs of your choice, or you could use cracker crumbs if you like.
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Creamy Chicken Casserole with Kale (Gluten Free, Dairy Free).
A hearty chicken casserole is made even better with a creamy kale sauce. This dairy free casserole is filling and delicious, and topped with crispy bread crumbs.
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup vegan buttery spread
- 2 Tablespoons gluten free flour blend
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups curly kale leaves
- 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into one inch pieces
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups cooked white rice I used Basmati rice. Use any rice you like.
- ½ cup dairy free mozzarella shreds I used Daiya brand mozzarella style shreds
- 1 ½ cups gluten free garlic breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Wash the kale, and remove the stems. Tear the leaves into smaller pieces and set aside.
In a large frying pan, cook the chopped onion and minced garlic in the vegan buttery spread. Cook over medium heat until the onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the gluten free flour blend, and allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes to get rid of the raw taste.
Add the chicken broth and seasonings, then add the kale leaves. Allow the kale to cook in the sauce for about 5 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce in the pan. Make sure the kale gets finely chopped.
Add the pieces of chicken breasts. You can use kitchen scissors and cut the chicken breasts right into the skillet (so you don't have extra dishes to wash).
Stir in the cooked white rice and dairy free cheese shreds.
Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish, then cover the dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes.
While the casserole is baking, make the garlic breadcrumbs if you are doing that from scratch.
After 45 minutes, carefully remove the foil from the dish and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the casserole. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Make sure you cook the rice before you prepare this dish. You can use pre-cooked rice from the store, or make your rice ahead of time on the stove or in a rice cooker.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for about 4 days.
If you don’t have a brand of dairy free cheese that is safe for your needs, you can leave that out. This casserole will still taste good without the cheese.