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!
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.
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How to Make Wild Rice Casserole – 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. 👍