This Turkey Wild Rice Casserole is such a delicious way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers! Prepared with a wild rice blend, mushrooms, cream, and melty cheese. It’s easy, it’s satisfying, and it’s going to become your new favorite leftover turkey recipe!
We always have a ton of leftovers after Thanksgiving, and this Turkey and Wild Rice Casserole is exactly how I will use them up. It’s totally filling, creamy, delicious, and hearty. And, if you have house guests for the weekend, this easy casserole will make dinner a breeze.
Why We Love This Rice Casserole
- Comforting: Its creamy, cheesy, and indulgent nature makes this casserole a hearty and fulfilling dish, perfect for post-holiday meals.
- Convenient for Hosting: The ease of preparation makes it an ideal choice for feeding house guests.
- Versatile: Its adaptability allows for incorporating various leftovers, making it a versatile option for different tastes and available ingredients.
Ingredients For Turkey Wild Rice Casserole
- Long Grain Wild Rice Blend: Cooked according to the package directions.
- Butter: Used for sautéing vegetables, adding flavor and richness.
- Yellow Onion & Garlic
- Celery Stalks
- Canned Mushrooms: Offer an earthy flavor and meaty texture.
- Cooked Turkey Meat
- Shredded Swiss Cheese: Adds creaminess and melts into the casserole, but can be substituted with other cheeses.
- Milk & Heavy Cream: Provides a creamy base for the sauce.
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth: Enhances flavor while keeping the dish moist.
- Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and ground nutmeg.
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese (Optional): Used for topping, adds a salty, nutty flavor.
How To Make Turkey Rice Casserole
- Rice. First, you will need this brown rice with wild rice blend or this long grain rice with wild rice. Prepare the rice according to the instructions; you will need to cook 3/4-cup of raw rice for the casserole.
- Turkey: In the meantime, take that leftover turkey and cut it into cubes. We will need 2 to 3 cups of it.
- Sauté: Then, heat up a skillet and cook down some onions and celery. Stir in mushrooms and garlic and cook for a few more minutes; remove from heat.
- Prep the Casserole: Add prepared rice to a casserole dish and stir in the mushrooms mixture, cubed turkey, and some shredded mozzarella or Swiss cheese.
- Make the Creamy Base: Combine milk and cream in a mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and nutmeg. Stir the cream mixture into the turkey rice mixture.
- Bake: Sprinkle with more cheese and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. I stirred all the cheese in the casserole and didn’t put any on top, but I’ve done it both ways, and it’s fantastic.
- Rest and Serve: Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Tips And Variations
- Rice: Ensure the rice is cooked before using it in this recipe.
- Cheese: Layer some of the cheese within the casserole as well as on top for extra gooeyness. Also, try it with different types of cheese like Gouda, Cheddar, or a blend for varied flavors.
- Resting Time: Allow the casserole to rest for 5 to 10 minutes after baking for flavors to settle and for easier serving.
- Vegetable Add-Ins: Consider adding other vegetables like chopped bell peppers, spinach, or broccoli for extra nutrition and flavor.
- Protein Swap: If turkey isn’t available, chicken or even ham are great substitutes.
- Crunchy Topping: For added texture, sprinkle breadcrumbs or crushed crackers mixed with melted butter on top before baking.
- Make Ahead: Assemble all ingredients up until the baking part; cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed.
Storing And Reheating
Transfer the casserole to an airtight container or cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat, bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes; remove cover, stir, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, uncovered.
More Turkey Leftovers Recipes
- Wild Rice and Kale Chicken Casserole
- Butternut Squash and Rice Casserole
- Garlic Butter Chicken and Rice Recipe
Turkey Wild Rice Casserole
- 6 ounces or 3/4-cup long grain and wild rice blend, cooked according to package directions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces canned mushroom slices, drained
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 to 3 cups cooked turkey, cubed
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, divided (you can also use mozzarella or whatever shredded cheese you have on hand)
- ½ cup 2% milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup low sodium chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese, for topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
- In the meantime, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and celery to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, or until softened, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the mushroom slices and garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add the cubed turkey and mix; remove from heat.
- Transfer the mushroom mixture, prepared rice, and 1/2 cup shredded cheese to a 2-quart baking dish; stir and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together milk, heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika salt, pepper, and nutmeg; whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the milk mixture to the baking dish and mix until everything is completely combined.
- Add remaining cheese on top.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let stand 5 to 8 minutes.
- Rice Cooking: Ensure the rice is cooked before adding it to the casserole.
- Layering for Flavor: Layer some cheese within the casserole and on top.
- Resting Time: Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes after baking for flavors to settle.
- Vegetable Add-Ins: Mix in other veggies like chopped bell peppers, spinach, or broccoli.
- Protein Swap: Chicken or ham can be great substitutes if turkey isn’t available.
- Herb Infusion: Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage can add a fresh touch to the casserole.
- Spice It Up: Add a dash of cayenne pepper or diced jalapeños for a bit of heat.
- Storage: Store leftovers in the fridge, airtight, for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.