Turkey Wild Rice Casserole

Would you like to know my number one reason to cook a turkey and a turkey breast? To make sure there's enough turkey! For midnight sandwiches, sure, but then for this, the best turkey casserole ever. It's packed with vegetables and also calls for wild rice, either the natural wild rice from my home state of Minnesota where it's still harvested by Native Americans or cultivated wild rice which is easier to find and less expensive. I l-o-n-g for this casserole, it's such belly-warming comfort food.

Turkey Wild Rice Casserole ♥ KitchenParade.com, my long-time go-to wild rice casserole, perfect with after-Thanksgiving leftover turkey.

Real Food, Fresh & Comforting. One-Pot Meal or Put Aside Half for the Freezer. Great for Meal Prep. How to Feed a Crowd. Potluck & Party Friendly. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.


So Let's Talk Turkey.

We perch in separate broods, the crowd which loves Thanksgiving dinner and the gang which holds out for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Last year, I might have been the happiest person not cooking a turkey. That’s because I stuffed myself at dinner with friends and then came home with the carcass of a fifteen-pound bird that the next day yielded ten cups of stock and nearly as much meat.

So keep your brined and roasted and smoked and deep-fried turkeys fresh-sliced for the holiday table.

Just send me home with nothing but bones to feast for weeks, starting with sandwiches and warmed-overs before moving onto hot soup and pot pie and exotic-sounding, if you think about it, plain-fare turkey tetrazzini and turkey enchiladas.

But most years? The choice is a comfort-food casserole, a one-dish supper that’ll hold over the leftover-lovin’ turkeys until next year.

I Sure Hope You Have LOTS of Leftover Turkey :-)

Who's with me here? Every year, the turkey runs out well before my appetite for turkey abates. So it's no wonder that over the years, I've collected so many ways to take advantage of all that inexpensive lean protein.

I'd love to know your family's favorites! Let me know in the comments!

Turkey Wild Rice Casserole ♥ KitchenParade.com, my long-time go-to wild rice casserole, perfect with after-Thanksgiving leftover turkey.

What's In Turkey Wild Casserole? Mostly Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • Cooked Wild Rice Wild rice simultaneously adds bulk and lightens the casserole's texture. This is no weighty casserole. Could you use another rice? another grain? I think white rice would work though would be slightly heavier. How about brown rice or a mix of brown rice and wild rice? Or a mix of rices and whole grains, like the wonderful quinoa-barley-kamut pilaf? Yes! You'll want about 3-1/2 cups of cooked rice or similar.
  • Healthy Vegetables! There's more than a pound and a half of onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms in this casserole. These are the "aromatics" and the mushrooms also add that elusive sense of deliciousness called umami.
  • Liquids The liquids keep the casserole moist, there's enough for the rice and other ingredients to absorb and become plump and flavorful. I use a mix of turkey stock and milk or half & half. No turkey stock? Use the rice's cooking water!
  • Cooked Turkey This is such a great way to use up leftover turkey but really? I'd cook a turkey just to make it! A natural substitute? Rotisserie chicken!
  • Flavorings There's so much flavor from the ingredients, little more than salt and pepper is needed. That said, I love to add a splash of dry sherry to mushrooms, especially with milk or cream.
  • Toasted Almonds The nuts add a welcome texture change but really, to save some calories, just toss some panko with melted butter for a crisp topping. I'd add this for the last 15 minutes in the oven.
Turkey Wild Rice Casserole ♥ KitchenParade.com, my long-time go-to wild rice casserole, perfect with after-Thanksgiving leftover turkey.


Hands-on time: 50 minutes (40 hands-on)
Time to table: 90 minutes
Makes 8-1/2 cups
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup wild rice (either natural or cultivated, see about wild rice), rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups, about 225g)
  • 4 ribs celery, diced (about 2 cups, about 225)
  • 1 large carrot, grated (about 1 cup, about 65g)
  • 8 ounces (225g) fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups turkey stock or chicken stock, preferably homemade like my No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup whole milk whisked until smooth with 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked turkey (about 3/4 pound), diced
  • If needed, another 1 cup whole milk
  • Cranberry sauce, for serving (don't skip!)

Heat the oven to 375F/190C.

COOK THE RICE Bring the water to boil in a saucepan. Stir in the salt and rinsed rice. Simmer until the rice is tender but still chewy, about 20 minutes for natural wild rice and 40 minutes for cultivated wild rice.

SAUTÉ Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, melt the butter and sauté the onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms until soft. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the milk/flour mixture and bring the mixture back to a boil, it should thicken. Add the sherry, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the turkey and let simmer slowly while the rice finishes.

Gently stir the cooked rice into the turkey mixture. If the mixture is quite thick, add additional milk.

If your skillet is oven-safe, top the mixture with the almonds and move, uncovered, to the oven. Otherwise, transfer to two-quart greased casserole dish. (See ALANNA’s TIPS.) Top with almonds.

BAKE until hot and bubbly, about 35 – 40 minutes.

Serve hot with cranberry sauce on the side.

ALANNA's TIPS To feed more mouths, add frozen corn or peas or stir in dollops of mashed potatoes. For good crunch, chop up a can of water chestnuts, stir them in with the turkey. For a festive variation, add dried cranberries! I keep thinking that a surprise layer of cranberry sauce would be wonderful. To stock your freezer without an inventory of dishes, try this technique. Line a casserole dish with plastic wrap, spray lightly with cooking spray. Add the casserole contents and freeze overnight. Lift the frozen casserole out of the dish, wrap it with foil and return to the freezer without the dish. Two days before serving, peel off the foil and plastic wrap, tuck the perfectly shaped casserole back into the dish for thawing and cooking. It’s a snap!
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup (assumes whole milk and turkey breast): 164 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 19mg Cholesterol; 569mg Sodium; 20g Carb; 3g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 11g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 5 & Freestyle 4 & myWW green 4 & blue 4 & purple 2

More Wild Rice Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Wild Rice Salad Creamy Wild Rice Soup Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (Turkey & Wild Rice Soup)
~ wild rice recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Pioneer Woman's Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole ~
from A Veggie Venture

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ wild rice ~
~ turkey recipes ~
~ nut recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/17/2007

    My favorite use for a turkey carcass is lentil soup -- even better if the turkey was smoked. Lentils and turkey get along like gang-busters.

    Happy T'day!


  2. Thank you for this wonderful site. I especially enjoy the readers response to recipes and the "how to print" section is most helpful to me....I look forward to browsing more when snowed in.Ha
    Thanks again .We have snow in Kentucky.Suzanne


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna