This Wild Rice Casserole With Mushrooms bake has so much goodness loaded in it. The combo of the wild rice, mushrooms, kale, and creamy sauce blend perfectly together. It makes the perfect side but is also hearty enough to stand as a meal.
Even though this meal is hearty, it is also an amazing vegetarian wild rice dish as well. Another thing I love about this recipe is everything is made from scratch, but don't' be intimidated, it will be much easier than you think!
One of the great things about this recipe is it can be made entirely in advance, then baked the day of.
This is especially helpful when you are prepping for a busy Thanksgiving meal, Christmas, or even a family get-together you want to be able to enjoy instead of slaving away in the kitchen.
- Cooked Wild Rice
- mushrooms of choice. I used a portabello, and baby bella mushrooms.
- parmesan cheese
- gruyere cheese
- fresh thyme, if you have it. If not, dried is great too.
- heavy cream
- vegetable stock
- olive oil
- kale- this is optional, but I really recommend it
Making The Recipe
- It is always best to prepare all ingredients. This is referred to as mise en place, a French term meaning- having everything in place. This makes cooking and baking so much easier. I cut up all my ingredients and had them ready to go.
- Start by cooking your rice. The baking time is not enough, so you will need to cook it first. This is done by bringing your stock to a boil then add the wild rice. Boil until it is tender.
- Once it is done, remove the lid and allow it to cool. The rice can easily be cooked the day before and store in the fridge covered.
- Heat your olive oil over medium heat. Once it is ready to go, add in your chopped onions. Saute these for a minute or 2.
- Next, add in your mushroom and mince garlic. Saute for about 3-5 minutes.
- This dish is thickened in 2 ways. The first is with flour. So, sprinkle it on top of the sautéed veggies. Cook this for several minutes over medium. This step is really important as you need to cook out the flour taste. It won't take too long, but probably at least 3 minutes.
- This is called a roux and is my preferred method for thickening most things. A roux is a method of combining oil and flour to create a thick paste, thick in turn will thicken your dish. It can also be made with sauteed veggies too. So, add it on top and cook.
- After a few minutes, this is what it will look like below. As a note, make sure you have a good heat-proof spatula or are using a metal spoon here. You don't want to melt your spatula in the process.
- Now, add in your stock and mix.
- Everything into the pot. The heavy cream, cooked wild rice, cheeses, thyme, and kale. The hardest part is over! If you are prepping the dish, wrap in saran wrap and into the fridge.
- The last step is optional, but I think it shouldn't be skipped- add a little more cheese on top. This dish isn't low calorie, but definitely an indulgent dish you will love!
- Bake until the cheese is golden brown and it is heated through. This won't take long if you are baking the day you have made it. If it is chilled it will take a little longer.
- That is it! Your family and friends will be so impressed!
You could also use a wild rice blend, but I personally prefer only wild rice. To prep your rice for cooking, first, rinse it well. The rice for this dish HAS to be cooked first.
This dish reheats REALLY well. Throw it in the microwave and it is good to go. It is perfect for leftovers or even to use as meal prep.
Although I call this a side, it really is hearty enough to use for the main dish.
The Finished Bake
That is it. I know it might have seemed complicated, but it really is so simple!! Any effort you make to cook this will be worth it, and it is so comforting and delicious.
FAQ Wild Rice Casserole with Mushrooms
Well, I mean if you don't, it would take al dente to a whole new level. I really do feel you need to boil the rice first. The baking time will not cut it.
No. It has heavy cream and gruyere in it. It will separate and not turn out well if you do.
You can do it in 2 ways. One is in the microwave. This is the simplest. Just put it in for a minute or so, depending on how much you reheating. You can also put it in a small ramekin or another oven-safe dish, cover it, and reheat at 350 degrees.
More Side Dish Options
If you need another side dish option, this Autumn Kale Salad with butternut is a great, healthy option. Another, lighter dish to pair it with is this fall fruit salad. A quick one would be this simple pea and potato side dish! If you want another carb side dish with this one, how about these twice-baked potatoes with broccoli and cheddar? Another favorite is this Acorn Squash in a Slow Cooker.
If you need some great drinks to go with this meal or your next holiday gathering, I have a few mocktail ideas. A Pomegranate Vanilla Fizz is one of my favorites! Or a virgin sangria is also a really good idea!
Creamy Wild Rice Casserole with Mushrooms
- 2 ½-3 cups cooked wild rice I cook it with 1 cup wild rice and 3 ½ cup vegetable stock for 30 minutes on medium. Bring the stock to a boil, then add the rice. Reduce heat and cook covered.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup chopped onions
- 4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms I used a portabello and baby bella mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¾ cup vegetable stock you could also use chicken or beef if you prefer.
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 3 cups roughly chopped kale
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 1 ½ cups grate gruyere Divide this. 1 cup is used mixed in, the other ½ cup is for topping.
- ½ teaspoon frshly ground pepper
- salt to taste
- Make sure to have all your ingredients ready to go befreo starting. It is also important to read through the instructions carefully before beginning. Instrictions for prepping the dish in advance are at the bottom. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan, bring heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add your onions to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally for about 2-3 minutes. To the onions and olive oil add in your mushrooms and garlic. Allow them to cook, stirring occasionally for about 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms have softened. Now, sprinkle your flour over the top. Continue to mix, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Pour in your stock and mix well. Next in is your remaining ingredients. Remember to only add in 1 cup of your gruyere cheese. Mix them well and taste. Adjust salt and pepper. Pour the casserole mix into your baking dish. Top with the remaining ½ cup grated gruyere. Place in oven and bake about 10-15 minutes. The dish is cooked all the way through, it just needs to be heated together. Once the cheese is melted and the dish is bubbly, it is ready to go!!Now, if you want to prep this dish in advance, it is very simple. Make the dish as above. When you finish assembling the dish, pour it into your baking dish. At this point, wrap with saran wrap or foil and place in the fridge. The dish can be made up to 2 days in advance. On the day of baking, preheat the oven. Add the casserole and bake until the cheese is melted and the dish is bubbly all the way through. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
It is great cheese to use, but let me give you other options you might be interested in. What you are looking for a cheese that melts well and is creamy. Jack cheese is great cheese. Mozzarella is a great cheese as well. Fontina is awesome. American is even a good option. I went with a milder cheese, as I wanted the wild rice and mushrooms to be the star.
Yes!! Other options would be spinach or another leafy green.
For sure. Brown rice is great, as is a white rice. Just be mindful of cooking times. Other grains are also really good too. Farro, spelt, and barley would be great options is you are looking for whole grains.