Cheesy Brown Rice Casserole with Kale

4.62 from 21 votes
1 hour 15 minutes
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Cheesy Brown Rice Casserole with Kale is the perfect meatless comfort food that’s also super versatile!  Vary the grains and vary the greens!

Photo of Brown Rice, Cheddar Kale Casserole in white pan with striped towel on wood trivet with white spoon.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

If you’re getting back in the swing of things after the holiday season, here’s something that tastes good anytime:  Cheesy Brown Rice Cheddar Kale Casserole.

I had brown rice left from my Spicy Asian Pork Cabbage Rolls and kale that was crying out to get used.  Because we’re both cheeseheads from Wisconsin, we ALWAYS have a wide variety of cheese in our house.

We generally only buy grape or cherry tomatoes this time of year.  However, the tomatoes I found weren’t bad and they made a great topping for this casserole.  Other tomatoes that are okay in the off-season are Campari or Roma (plum) tomatoes.

Photo of Brown Rice, Cheddar Kale Casserole in white pan before being baked.

Tips for making Cheesy Brown Rice Casserole with Kale:

  • Similar to my Grains and Greens Casserole, you can vary the grains and vary the greens.  Quinoa or lentils will also work and spinach, Swiss chard or broccoli raab work well instead of kale.
  • When I cook brown rice at home, I always cook extra so that I can freeze it and have it available when needed.
  • My favorite way to cook brown rice is to get a large saucepan of water boiling, add some salt then the rice and simply boil it until it is tender—I don’t even measure.
  • Drain thoroughly in a sieve and the result will be beautiful, fluffy brown rice.

Photo of Brown Rice, Cheddar Kale Casserole on white background with striped towel on wood trivet after being baked.

That’s it!  Easy, cheesy, pleasey hearty vegetarian comfort food that you can also make ahead of time and bake at a later time.

Photo of Brown Rice Cheddar Kale Casserole on white background with striped towel and white spoon with some served.

For more great vegetarian casserole recipes, try my:

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Brown Rice, Cheddar and Kale Casserole on white background with striped towel on wood trivet after baking.

Cheesy Brown Rice Casserole with Kale

4.62 from 21 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
Brown Rice Cheddar Kale Casserole is perfect meatless comfort food that's also super versatile! Vary the grains and vary the greens!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Vegetarian / Vegan Entrees
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 392 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil plus more for oiling baking dish - plus more for oiling baking dish
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 large bunch kale - stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 4 large eggs - beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 medium tomatoes - sliced to create 12 slices


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking dish such as a 13 x 9-inch pan.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the garlic and kale. Continue cooking, stirring often until the kale is wilted. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
  • Add the brown rice and Cheddar cheese. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Stir in eggs and milk.
  • Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Top with sliced tomatoes.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until set.


Prep time does not include cooking the brown rice. To make 3 cups of cooked brown rice, use the instructions for 4 servings on the package of uncooked brown rice.
MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made ahead and assembled 1 day ahead of time.  Let sit at room temperature while the oven preheats.  Bake as directed.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Can be frozen after being baked.  Cut into portions or freeze whole for 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave or oven at 350 degrees until heated through.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 464mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3268IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 368mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.62 from 21 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight but I cut up some bacon and I used white rice…I guess I Americanized it…lol The only reason I changed it was because my husband is a meat eater and all I had was bacon and the only rice I had was white…it was delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this and it was awesome! It’s a makes great vegetarian dinner. The only thing I did different was to add a can of kidney beans. It gave it nice color and boosted the protein. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Love it! Thanks, Mark and so glad you enjoyed! It really is a great vegetarian casserole. I froze part of it and it worked out great.

  3. I got so inspired by the dish that I made one right away.. albeit different. I had some leftover spinach and corn dish and I made a rice casserole with that! I skipped the eggs though as I wanted to keep it vegetarian.

    Thanks for sharing.