I’ve been making a lot of soups lately and not being very diligent about chopping and freezing my leftover vegetables, so I found myself this week with a refrigerator full of vegetables and wondering what to do with them. I also remembered that I had bought a wild rice mix from Aldi a few weeks back, so I decided to combine the vegetables with the cooked rice medley and some yummy creamy sauce to make a delicious Wild Rice and Vegetable Casserole. And OMG I can’t stop eating it!
Wild Rice and Vegetable Casserole
What Type of Rice Should I Use?
You can use any type of rice mix for this, just make sure you use 3.5-4 cups cooked rice. The rice mix that I had was a mix of wild rice, brown rice, white rice, and I think another variety. Buying a mix like this instead of straight wild rice will definitely be more cost effective. Stores like Aldi and Trader Joes usually have these rice mixes for a decent price and you may even be able to find something similar in the bulk bins at Whole Foods.
I topped my casserole with the leftover fried onions from my green bean casserole and they really took the dish up a level. If you don’t like fried onions, you could always make a tasty bread crumb topping by mixing seasoned bread crumbs, some grated Parmesan, and a little melted butter.
Wild Rice and Vegetable Casserole
- 4 Tbsp butter ($0.52)
- 1 onion ($0.28)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 2 carrots ($0.22)
- 2 stalks celery ($0.37)
- 8 oz. button mushrooms ($1.80)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme ($0.03)
- 1/4 tsp dried sage ($0.03)
- 4 Tbsp flour ($0.04)
- 1 cup vegetable broth ($0.13)
- 1 cup whole milk ($0.31)
- salt, to taste ($0.02)
- 4 cups COOKED wild rice blend ($1.20)
- 3 oz. fried onions* ($1.75)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the butter, onions, and garlic to a large pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent.
- While the onions and garlic are sautéing, Slice the carrots and dice the celery. Add the carrots and celery to the pot and continue to sauté.
- While the carrots and celery are sautéing, wash and chop the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the pot along with the salt, pepper, thyme, and sage. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms have turned brown and completely wilted.
- Add the flour to the pot and continue to stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes more, or until the flour coats the bottom of the pot and begins to turn a light golden color. Whisk in the vegetable broth, making sure all the flour dissolves from the bottom of the pot. The mixture should thicken fairly quickly.
- Once thickened, whisk in the milk and allow it to come up to a simmer again. Once simmering, turn the heat off, taste, and add more salt or pepper if needed. You want the sauce to be slightly on the salty side so that the flavor doesn't dilute too much once the rice is added.
- Stir the cooked rice into the pot with the sauce and vegetables. Transfer everything to a 2 to 3 quart casserole dish and top with the fried onions. Bake the casserole in the preheated 350ºF oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling up around the edges and the fried onions have turned deep golden brown. Serve hot.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
Step by Step Photos
This is the wild rice mix that I used. You can pretty much use any rice mix, just make sure you have somewhere between 3.5 and 4 cups cooked rice.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Dice an onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and 4 Tbsp butter to a large pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent.
While the onions and garlic are sautéing, Slice two carrots and dice two stalks of celery. Add them to the pot and continue to sauté.
While the carrots and celery are sautéing, wash and chop 8oz. mushrooms. Add them to the pot along with 1/2 tsp salt, some freshly cracked pepper, 1/4 tsp dried thyme, and 1/4 tsp dried sage. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms have completely wilted and turned brown.
Add 4 Tbsp flour to the pot and continue to stir and cook until the flour coats the bottom of the pot and turns golden brown.
Whisk in 1 cup vegetable broth until all of the flour is dissolved off the bottom of the pot. The broth should thicken very quickly in the hot pot. Once thickened, whisk in 1 cup whole milk and then allow the mixture to come up to a simmer again. Once it reaches a simmer, turn the heat off and add more salt and pepper if needed. You want it to be slightly on the salty side so there is enough salt to flavor everything after the rice is added.
Finally, stir in about 4 cups cooked wild rice medley. The amount of rice is a little flexible, so if you have a little less or a little more than 4 cups, you’ll be okay.
Transfer the mixture to a 2-3 quart casserole dish and top with 3oz. fried onions (that’s half of a 6oz. container). Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling up around the edges and the onions are golden brown. This photo is AFTER baking.
😍 Seriously. I’m about to go dish out some more of this Wild Rice and Vegetable Casserole for lunch today! Leftovers reheat very well. 👍
Yum, this was very good and hearty. I used frozen peas and carrots for veg and onion powder instead of an onion (cuz that’s what I had on hand). It was easy to throw together and felt really satisfying to eat.
I wanted to add that I used chayote (an onion-ish gourd that’s mild with a texture like jicama) in place of onions and it was delicious. Wanted to mention it in case anyone comes across it in a grocery store and wants to use it. It’s also called mirliton, chocho and a bunch of other names across the world.
Is there a way to make this without flour? My MIL has Celiac’s and I’m trying to come up with things she can eat with us. Thanks!
Hi Montgomery. You can leave the flour out, add the milk, and then add a slurry of cornstarch. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in about 1/4 cup of water. Add it to the milk and stir until it thickens. XOXO -Monti
Hey, could I add broccoli to this?
I would probably use frozen broccoli, since it’s already par-boiled, then chop it into smaller pieces and stir it in with the rice. If you want to use fresh broccoli, I would partially steam it, chop it into smaller pieces, then stir it in with the rice.
I added canned chickpeas to make it a more full meal on its own, and left off the fried onions so it would heat up nicer for leftovers. I also just let it simmer covered on the stove rather than dirtying a big casserole dish and baking it in the oven. I loved the flavors, very hearty and perfect leftovers.
What a great clean-out-the-fridge-and-pantry master recipe! Cooked grain of choice + vegetables of choice + dried herbs of choice + roux/white sauce + topping of choice. I made it pretty much as described, but also added some dried kale that I’m trying to use up. I don’t love the kale, but I’m too cheap to throw it out! It disappears nicely in this recipe.
Pretty good! Basically tastes like a casserole version of wild rice soup. The fried onions on top definitely took it to the finish line, but they don’t hold up in the fridge so leftovers weren’t as good.
BTW – I took your idea for cutting up my extra celery and carrots and putting them in the freezer. Used a bag for the first time in this recipe, straight out of the freezer and into the pot, and it turned out just fine! Couldn’t tell they had been frozen.
How do you figure out 4 cups cooked rice??
I figured it out… I got 3-4 cups.. I didn’t measure.. very good recipe!! Everyone loved it… Do you have a particular place you buy your rice??
This particular wild rice blend was from ALDI. :)
I would check the package instructions for the rice to see what the serving size is or what the cooking instructions say because they usually include the yield.
I made this last night, following the directions apart from omitting the fried onions (hard to obtain here in Scotland), and I used double cream rather than milk to add calories for an ill relative. It was a big hit, and our relative really liked it.
This is delicious!!! I used 1/2 and 1/2 instead of milk; added some chopped broccoli, and 4 oz of grated smoked gouda. Fabulous. I will definitely make it again. Don’t forget to plan enough time to pre-cook the rice (50 min)!
This was SO delicious!!! I served it on Christmas and it was a huge hit with everyone. I will make it again in the near future.
Holy crap this was delicious. I almost never remember to go comment on recipes I try… but I loved this so much I had to. Thank you!! Yummmm
Is there a dairy free substitute for the whole milk?
I find most dairy milk substitutes to be too watery for sauces like this, but if that’s what you’re used to, you may not mind. I think a couple other people have left comments saying they have used unsweetened dairy substitutes and they enjoyed it, but I personally don’t think I’d like that.
I have been using oat milk in a lot of recipes in lieu of milk, and I have had no issues doing so. I have done this with multiple brands of oat milk with similar results.
This was great! I forgot to comment on this earlier, but I made it after Thanksgiving and added in some chopped turkey – a great way to repurpose leftovers. It would also work well with chopped rotissery chicken or other kinds of meat. Instead of the fried onions, I topped it with Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesan. Also, I’ll have to try this roux-substitute (the flour and milk and broth) in other recipes – what a great combination, and way easier than most things of this sort!
Beth, this recipe was fantastic! I have never made a casserole before but I decided to try this one. We don’t like mushrooms so I subbed in one sweet potato, tossed with olive oil and S&P then roasted for 25 min before adding into the recipe in place of the shrooms. Subbed the sage (didn’t have any) for marjoram and also used italian seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesan for a thin topping. Everything was delicious! Such a hearty meal, and vegetarian too.
I have been using your recipes for the past few weeks to do my meal planning and my boyfriend thinks I’m magical now. Thanks again!
I wanted a vegetarian dish I could make ahead and have my husband throw in the oven while I was out. Delicious! I wanted an extra vegetable and threw in green beans because thats what I had and it really made the dish. My husband said it really wouldnt have been right without them and it reminded him of green bean casserole! I was looking for an extra crunch so I added sliced almonds, even better! The two of us could easily get through all these leftovers throughout the week. Thanks for the recipe!