Y’all, this Creamy 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 holiday meal, or even a family get together you want to be able to enjoy instead of slaving away in the kitchen.
Wild rice is the star of this dish. While wild rice technically isn’t classified as rice, it’s a cereal, I will still refer to it as rice throughout the recipe for familiarity’s sake. 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. The baking time isn’t enough to cook it enough, so cooking beforehand is necessary.
Next bring your stock, water, or a mix of both to a boil. Add in your wild rice and cook about 30-35 minutes on low. Be mindful you don’t cook it until it is mushy, as we will be baking it as well. 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.
Here is what you will need for your wild rice bake:
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. No scrambling at the last minute looking for/ or prepping an ingredient. I cut up all my ingredients and had them ready to go.
It is important to have everything ready as this bake will come together quickly. 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.
At this point, the mushrooms are softened and tender.
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. Mix it in as shown below.
The last step before baking is everything goes in the pot. The heavy cream, cooked wild rice, cheeses, thyme, and kale. The hardest part is over! On to the bake.
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!
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.
If you are looking for and needing a comfort dish for your next get together or holiday meal, this Creamy Wild Rice Casserole with Mushrooms is it!
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?
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!
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.