Elegant Creamy Asparagus and Rice Casserole is a delicious, creamy make-ahead side dish that’s perfect with anything you’re serving! Add chicken or shrimp to transform it into a lovely entree!
Here’s a side dish you’re going to want to put on repeat! Whether it’s for your own elegant get-together or for something impressive to take to a friend’s, Creamy Asparagus and Rice Casserole is perfect every time!
Best of all, it can be made ahead and even transformed into a hearty entree by adding chicken or shrimp.
AND NO CANNED SOUP!
How to make Creamy Asparagus and Rice Casserole:
- Gather and prep all the ingredients:
- Converted white rice (1 cup uncooked or 2 ½ cups cooked)
- Canola oil
- All-purpose flour
- Dry white wine
- Chicken broth (may also use water or vegetable broth)
- Heavy cream
- Cream cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Cook the rice according to package directions or use 2 ½ cups plainly cooked rice.
- Cut the asparagus into 1 to 2-inch lengths, reserving some full stalks for garnish.
- Blanch the asparagus, drop into an ice bath then drain.
- Make the creamy sauce.
- Heat butter and oil and cook the shallot until soft.
- Add the garlic and flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook briefly.
- Add the chicken broth and cream.
- Bring that to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until it thickens.
- Take it off the heat and whisk in the cream cheese and half the Parmesan cheese. (NOTE: The sauce won’t be all that thick which is how you want it. The rice will soak up some of the sauce which helps to bind it. If the sauce is too thick, the casserole will be dry.)
- Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
- Combine the cooked rice, asparagus and cream sauce.
- Transfer to a prepared baking dish and mix up the Parmesan, panko and parsley topping.
- Top with the whole stalks and sprinkle more topping over them.
- The casserole can be covered and refrigerated at this point and baked later.
Bake and that’s it!!
More lovely asparagus dishes!
- Chicken Asparagus Divan
- Breakfast Strata with Asparagus Artichokes Ham and Gruyere
- Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese and Walnut Lemon Gremolata
- Lemony Lentil Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese
- Asparagus Cordon Bleu
- Asparagus Prosciutto and Fontina Tortino
- Arugula, Egg and Asparagus Salad with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
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- Cooking spray, for baking dish
- 1 cup converted white rice (or 2 ½ cups plain leftover cooked white rice)
- 2 pounds thin (not pencil-thin) fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed (approximately 2 bunches)
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped (approximately ½ cup)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- White pepper, to taste
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook the rice according to the package directions. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Cut all but 7 stalks of asparagus into 1 to 2-inch lengths. (The whole stalks will be used as a garnish.)
- Prepare an ice bath. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt (approximately 1 tablespoon).
- Drop the asparagus into the boiling water by the handful. Cook 10-15 seconds or until it turns bright green. Scoop out with a sieve or large slotted spoon and drop into the ice bath. Repeat with remaining asparagus. Drain the asparagus and blot dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter and the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the shallot, reduce heat to low and cook approximately 3-4 minutes or until softened, being careful to not let the shallot brown or burn.
- Add the garlic and cook briefly, approximately 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly for approximately1-2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook, whisking constantly for approximately 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in the chicken broth and the heavy cream (or half-and-half). Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the mixture thickens (approximately 5 minutes). Remove from the heat.
- Tear the cream cheese into small pieces and whisk into the sauce until blended and smooth.
- Add ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and whisk until blended.
- Combine the rice, cheese sauce and asparagus pieces in a large bowl and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top and arrange the 7 reserved asparagus stalks over the top as desired.
- Combine the remaining Parmesan cheese, panko, parsley and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl until the cheese and breadcrumbs are coated with the butter.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the casserole.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking another 20-25 minutes or until topping is browned and casserole is bubbling and thoroughly heated through.
MAKE AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead of time up to the point of topping with the breadcrumbs. Cool and refrigerate. Let sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes then add the breadcrumb topping. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking another 30-35 minutes until bubbling and heated through.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 370Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 758mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.