Cheesy Brown Rice and Greens Casserole

4.48 from 19 votes
1 hour
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Cheesy Brown Rice and Greens Casserole is a delicious, hearty, vegetarian casserole that’s also super flexible!  Use any kind of grain such as quinoa, barley or lentils and any type of leafy green.

Photo of Cheesy Brown Rice and Greens Casserole in brown clay baking dish.

Cheesy Brown Rice and Greens Casserole is super-flexible.  I used brown rice here, but you can use any grain you’d like such as barley, lentils or quinoa and any greens that you’d like.  I used kale, bok choy and baby spinach here.  Love me some greens no matter what they are!

You could also add leftover turkey or chicken, too!

Photo of a spoonful of Cheesy Brown Rice and Greens Casserole being lifted out of brown clay baking dish.

Tips for cooking brown rice:

Here’s the easiest way I have found to cook brown rice (and I’ve cooked a ton of brown rice in my time):

  • Get a saucepan of water boiling
  • Add some salt then add the brown rice.
  • Let it boil away uncovered!
  • Check it after about 20 minutes and if it’s done the way you like it, then drain in a sieve.  If not, let it keep boiling.  Some brands can take longer to cook than others.
  • Add water as necessary to keep it cooking in plenty of water.

Yes, that’s right–no measuring, no timing, no possible burning the rice on the bottom–just boil it like pasta and keep it moving.

  • As with pasta, if brown rice is cooked in a small amount of water it gets gummy and sticky.  Basically, it has cooked in its own starch.  With this method, you will have beautiful, fluffy brown rice each and every time!
  • Because the “pasta method” for brown rice is so easy and fool-proof, I always cook extra brown rice so I have it on hand for a casserole or a side dish–it freezes beautifully.
Photo of Cheesy Brown Rice and Greens Casserole with some removed to show interior of casserole.

The texture of Cheesy Brown Rice and Greens Casserole is slightly different from most casseroles you may be used to.  There’s no creamy “binder,” which in the South often involves a can of cream of mushroom soup, sour cream or mayonnaise.  It’s just eggs and cheese for a delightfully chewy, crunchy texture.

A slightly spicy homemade tomato soup is perfect on the side!

More great vegetarian casseroles you’ll love!

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Cheesy Brown Rice and Greens Casserole

4.48 from 19 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Cheesy Brown Rice and Greens Casserole is a delicious, hearty, vegetarian casserole that’s also super flexible!  Use any kind of grain such as quinoa, barley or lentils and any type of leafy green.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Vegetarian / Vegan Entrees
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 340 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil - plus more for pan
  • 1/2 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 8 heads baby bok choy - sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch kale - stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bag (10-ounce) baby spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice - or barley, lentils or quinoa or a combination
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 3 large eggs - beaten
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saute pan. Add onion and cook until softened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the bok choy and kale in batches; cook each batch until wilted. Stir in garlic. Transfer to a large bowl. Add spinach to wilt slightly.
  • Stir in cooked brown rice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Stir in eggs and cheese.
  • Transfer to prepared baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese and top is lightly browned.

Recipe Notes

Prep time does not include cooking the rice.
MAKE AHEAD:  Assemble, cool and refrigerator up to 2 days ahead.
TO REHEAT LEFTOVERS:  Cut into squares, wrap loosely in aluminum foil.  Reheat at 325 degrees until heated through.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cut into pieces as desired.  Place in airtight containers.  Thaw in the refrigerator then reheat in a 325-degree oven until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 6 | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2674IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 348mg | Iron: 1mg

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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4.48 from 19 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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20 Comments

  1. Nice combination, makes for a very nice dish. This is the classic example of why “Salt and Pepper to Taste” is a lazy cop-out. There is no way to “taste” a mixture with raw eggs in it, so everybody is guessing. Just do the extra work, Chef Carol, and write a recipe that is reliably seasoned. If people like a heavy hand with the salt, they can add more at the table, but it is your responsibility to insure a recipe works without setting up a guessing game for your readers. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Scott, Please reread the directions: “Stir in cooked brown rice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in eggs and cheese.” I tell people to add salt and pepper to taste BEFORE adding the eggs. Because I’ve cooked professionally for the past 22 years, I know everyone has different taste preferences. Please start a food blog so the world benefits from your vast cooking knowledge. Adding salt ON TOP of food is never the right way to season food.

  2. I wanted to point out that unlike pasta, rice IS supposed to be sticky. Cooked your way you a boiling out and throwing away much of the nutritional value of brown rice.

  3. I have just found your blog after searching for a grain casserole. What an inspiring blog! We have just eaten your grains and greens casserole it was delicious. I used brown rice, barley and green lentils I also chopped a bunch of fresh sage in there and added some sliced tomatoes on the top and served it with a dish of roasted veg. It looked fantastic too and my all-male family didn’t complain that it was meatless
    I really love the combination of meat and vegetarian dishes that you have on your blog. I shall be working my way through your recipes. Thank you for sharing !!

    1. I made it with a little blended tofu instead of eggs and plant-based cheese shreds. No cholesterol or cruelty involved, but really delicious!! Thanks!!