One Pan Wild Rice and Cheesy Broccoli Casserole with buttery mushrooms, fresh thyme, and toasted pecans. This hearty vegetarian meal is weeknight-approved and will become an instant family favorite. This recipe post is sponsored by The USA Rice Federation. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions are my own.
One Pan Rice Dinner:
Today, we’re celebrating National Rice Month with a true one-pot wonder. This rice dinner offers big flavor with minimal cleanup since it comes together in one cooking vessel from start to finish. A mix of whole grains and veggies bound by a creamy, cheesy sauce with a finishing garnish of toasted pecans and herbs. It’s a pot of pure comfort, and sure to win over the taste buds at everyone at your dinner table.
September is National Rice Month, which celebrates the U.S. rice industry, including farmers, producers and manufacturers. My kitchen stays stocked with myriad varieties of U.S.-grown rice to complement different dishes I cook. This recipe calls for wild rice blend, which I love for its nutty flavor and chewy texture.
Health Benefits of Rice:
U.S.-grown rice is sodium-, cholesterol-, trans fat, and GMO-free, and offers more than 15 vitamins and minerals. For example, folic acid and other essential B-vitamins, as well as iron and zinc. Rice is comprised of complex carbohydrates, which are more slowly digested and provide sustained energy to fuel your body’s physical needs. This type of carbohydrate also aids in satiety and helps keep you full longer.
Wild rice, in particular, is a good source of both protein and fiber. Additionally, it’s rich in energy-supporting B-vitamins such as thiamin and riboflavin, a protein-building amino acid called lysine, and vital minerals such as iron.
What is Wild Rice?
Technically, wild rice is not a rice, but rather a semi-aquatic grass native to North America. U.S. wild rice is grown in California and Minnesota, and you can typically find it in the bulk bin section or grain aisle of most well-stocked grocery stores. Cooked wild rice has a cream-colored interior and deliciously nutty flavor. It’s fantastic in pilafs, stuffings, and casseroles, and also gives heft to chowders and soups.
Due to its hearty texture, wild rice takes longer to cook than most other rice varieties. However, the finished result is always well-worth the extra stovetop time.
What is in Rice Casserole?
This fresher take on casserole is loaded with vegetables and comes together with a homemade sauce instead of sodium-laden canned soup. Mushrooms and parmesan cheese enrich the whole pot with umami depth, making this vegetarian meal supremely satisfying. Mushrooms are brimming with phytochemicals, antioxidants, and a fiber called beta-glucan, all of which have anti-inflammatory properties.
To further up the veggie ante, broccoli florets are added right before the casserole is transferred to the oven. Adding the broccoli last helps it retain some crunch, creating some textural interplay in the meal.
This mix of nourishing whole grains, veggies, and cheese (of course) create a kid-friendly family dinner without the fuss.Lastly, if you give this recipe a try, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
More Easy Rice Dinner Recipes:
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
- ½ cup chopped shallots
- 1½ cups U.S.-grown wild rice blend
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if making vegetarian)
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
- Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch oven safe pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots; cook until mushrooms are golden brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes. Add rice and garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes, until rice is toasted. Add thyme, broth, mustard, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 40 to 45 minutes, until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Remove thyme sprigs and stir in broccoli. Add milk and Parmesan and stir until combined. Scatter cheddar cheese overtop and transfer pan to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted. Scatter pecans overtop and serve.