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Chicken Fontinella

Chicken and rice is the ultimate comfort food, add cheese to it and its perfection! This satisfying creamy, cheesy chicken and rice dish is a family favorite. My kids never even notice that there’s spinach in it! It is a great meal to double and freeze, or bring to someone in need.

Chicken Fontinella how I love thee let me count the ways. The fontinella cheese gives it a buttery nutty flavor that sets it apart from other cheesy rice dishes. I have made this so many times, I think I could do it in my sleep. Its a family favorite. Even when my kids where really little they would eat it, they never even asked what the “green stuff” was. Besides the fact that my family loves it, everyone I have ever served it to asks for the recipe. Its the perfect meal for sharing!

Side-bar: I have always let my kiddos choose what they wanted to eat all day long on their birthday. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert. I slap my heals together, wiggle my nose, salute the birthday child and get to work! This one day they are allowed to bark out orders. Monkey Bread for breakfast! Hot dogs for lunch! Yes, birthday child I am on it!! This year my junk eating youngest child was turning 7 and for dinner she requested “that one thing with chicken in it”. ( Insert me staring blankly thinking kid this could be a bazillion things.) So we proceeded to play the game of “you mean that one chicken thing I made for, “NO” Oh that one casserole I made when we had so and so over?, “no”, HMMM you mean the one we had a couple weeks ago with mushrooms, I thought you didn’t like mushrooms?, “NOooo (whining/irritated with me). “I want the one that’s cheesy too!”. Oh yeah with spinach in it? “Yeh only I don’t want the spinish in it”. Well truth be told I made it with the spinach not to be confused with spinish.

ingredients for chicken fontinella on a wood cutting board
  • 2 boxes of Uncle Bens Long Grain Wild Rice
  • butter
  • chicken breast
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • spinach
  • milk
  • ham steak
  • fontinella, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a 3 quart sauce pan add both boxes of rice, seasoning packets, and 4 cups of water. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, when it starts to boil cover and turn down to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add 1/4 cup of butter, set aside.

3. Cut your ham steak into cubes. Remove any fat or gristle (otherwise known as grizzle in my language).

4. Cut chicken into small pieces. Mince garlic. Heat olive oil in pan and add chicken and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes or until you are sure the chicken is cooked through.

chopping spinach on a wood cutting board

5. Wash and dry spinach and give it a rough chop. You can chop this as finely as you like.

6. Measure out your cheese, first grate your fontinella cheese, and add to the mozzarella, and Parmesan.

wild rice, cheese, chicken, ham , spinach in pan

7. Now comes the easy part, add cooked rice with the butter that should have melted into it, cooked chicken and garlic, cheese, spinach, and milk to a large bowl or pan and combine. Spread into a 9×13 casserole dish or baking pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Everything is already cooked so you just want to cook it until it starts to bubble up and and get a golden brown cheesy crusty top.

pan of chicken fontinella and a aluminum pan with chicken fontinella on a table

I doubled this recipe and baked one for our dinner, and I put one in a disposable pan covered with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and put it in the freezer for another meal or for sharing with someone in need.

aluminum foil covered pan with freezer/baking directions written on it
  • What if I cannot find Uncle Bens Long Grain Wild Rice? Rice A Roni also makes a Long Grain Wild boxed rice. If you use Rice A Roni you will need 3 boxes because it is a smaller box of rice than the Uncle Bens brand. If you cannot find either one of these brands I would go with any variety of Long Grain Wild Rice with herbs. You want to make sure you end up close to 12 ounce of boxed rice. Also DO NOT use quick cook rice.
  • Can I use another protein? I have never made this recipe with anything but chicken or turkey. I have used 1 pound of ground chicken or ground turkey in place of the chicken breast and it works perfectly!
  • Where do I find fontinella cheese? If you are unable to find fontinella cheese you can substitute gruyere or a gouda. If all of these cheeses are too expensive or too hard to come by use 1 3/4 cups Italian blend shredded cheese or all mozzarella works too. The fontinella adds a nutty buttery flavor to the dish, but honestly I have made this with all the cheese options above and it is always delicious.
  • I really do not like spinach and I know my kids will not eat it if I put it in, can I leave it out? Well of course!! I would suggest you at least try it, unless you are allergic. Expand your palate!!
  • Does this meal freeze well? YES! This is one of my favorite meals to double and put one in the freezer for a future meal, or to have on hand if someone I know needs a meal. Place in a freezer safe pan, I like to use disposable pans like in the photo above. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap press it down onto the surface of the casserole so no air can get to it, now cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Meal Prepping: This casserole works great if you meal prep. The leftovers are delicious and perfect for lunch.
  • Leftovers: Chicken Fontinella is delicious the next day! We usually are all fighting over who gets the leftovers for lunch the next day. This also makes it a great meal for meal prepping if you are good with eating the same thing two days in a row. You can make two or three days ahead, refrigerate and then pop it in the oven when you are ready.
  • I do not eat pork, what can I substitute for the pork? Leave it out completely you can double up the chicken for more protein.
  • Be careful with the salt. If you notice there is no salt in the ingredient list of this recipe. The flavor pouch in the rice has salt in it, the ham is salty, and the cheese can also add some salt to the dish. If anything add black pepper, but I would not salt this dish prior to it being on your plate.
chicken and rice cheesy casserole, spoon serving scooping chicken and rice out of dish

Chicken Fontinella

Satisfying and creamy chicken and rice dish is made with Uncle Bens boxed wild rice, spinach, chunks of ham and fontinella cheese. It's one of our familys favorites I hope it becomes one of yours.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 595 kcal


  • 9×13 casserole dish
  • 3 quart sauce pan
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • cheese grater


  • 2 boxes Uncle Ben's original recipe long grain wild rice not the fast cook
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 oz ham steak cubed approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 lb. chicken breast or ground chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup fontinella cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan grated
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups of spinach washed and chopped finely


  • In a 3 quart sauce pan add both boxes of rice as well as the seasoning packet, measure out 4 cups of water, add this to pan, turn heat to medium high. Bring to a boil, then turn low, cover and cook for fifteen minutes, remove from heat, add in butter, and set aside until you have all other ingredients prepped.
  • Cut ham steak into small cubes, remove any grizzle or fat. Set aside.
  • Grate fontinella cheese and measure out Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Set aside.
  • Wash and dry spinach and chop, set aside.
  • Cut chicken into small cubes or thin slices. Mince garlic. In a medium sized saute' pan add olive oil chicken and garlic saute until chicken is cooked through about 10 minutes.
  • When rice and chicken are both done add all the ingredients together mix well, spoon into a 9×13 casserole dish and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browning around the edges.


Other meat options: Ground Chicken or ground turkey work perfectly in this recipe. Follow the directions add oil to pan, and cook chicken and garlic until completely cooked through. 
Freezing: This is the perfect freezer meal. Double the recipe place half in a freezer safe pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Remove from freezer let thaw and cook.  
Perfect Meal to bring to a friend or someone in need!


Calories: 595kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 29gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 198mgPotassium: 32mgFiber: 0.02gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 349IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 118mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword cheese, chicken, ham, spinach, wild rice
Tried this recipe?Mention @eat2gather or tag #eat2gather!

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  1. I would just leave out the chicken and call it good, if you add anymore ham I think it would be too salty.

  2. This looks really good and I'm a sucker for wild rice in casseroles with NO cream of whatever soup! If I was to leave out the chicken, and just do ham, how much would you recommend I add?