savory brown rice casserole

by Laura on June 13, 2012

in food, recipes

I have been busy in my kitchen, so I have another really good recipe to share!

This is a recipe for rice casserole – that my grandma Betty June makes (remember her cornbread?) makes. My grandma actually just started making this casserole within the last 5 years or so, so it feels a little weird that it’s become a family staple. She’s such a great cook, but rarely cooks anymore – however this casserole is always part of her rare meals.

The original recipe is SO good, but not very nutritious. She frequently uses white rice, because it’s cooks much easier and comes out better. I’ve tried for years to re-create it in a healthy way, but never had much luck. I tried again a few weeks ago and came up with the perfect combination!

Unless you have a dietary restriction/preference, I urge you to use beef broth in this recipe. It makes ALL the difference in the world and will really bump up the savory flavor of the dish. If you are vegetarian/vegan, I would try a mushroom broth instead (if your store carries one), because it will give you a similar savory profile.


Savory Brown Rice Casserole

Serves 6
Print this Recipe

This is a much healthier version of a savory rice casserole that’s become a family staple. The casserole features brown rice, a whole grain, which is full of vitamins, protein and fiber. Onions and celery also improve the nutrition, while providing a natural savory flavor.

Beef broth or mushroom broth is a necessity in this recipe to ensure a classic, rich flavor.

Serve this alongside your favorite protein and easily reheat for leftovers the next day.

This casserole is 5 points plus a serving.


  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, rinsed
  • 5 stalks celery, rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1 4oz can mushrooms (I omit, but feel free to add these or fresh)
  • 32 oz low sodium beef or mushroom broth


  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Medium saute pan
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Casserole dish
  • Can opener (optional)


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Pre-heat medium sized saute pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, mince onion and celery.

3. Add olive oil to saute pan and add onion and celery. Saute for three to five minutes, or until slightly softened. (If using fresh mushrooms, add in this step)

4. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Add cooked onion and celery, scraping excess oil into the dish.

5. Add remaining ingredients and stir slightly to combine.

6. Place casserole dish in oven and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. After this time, bump oven up to 375 degrees F and cook for additional 30 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is soft.

Note: if using white rice instead of brown, use 28 oz liquid and cook for one hour at 350 only.


My casserole had a slight amount of liquid left after cooking for two hours, but it made it perfectly creamy when I served for dinner that night!

This casserole is amazing. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest rice fan – but this is my favorite way to eat brown rice. In fact, I woke up the next day and ate the rice for breakfast! You must make this casserole!

What is your favorite way to eat brown rice?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sarah @ sarah learns June 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

ohhhh, yum. thanks for sharing this recipe – it’ll be great to keep on hand as a side dish all week! i’m definitely going to make it!


2 Tori June 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

1 C. of rice for 6 servings?? Do you eat this as a side or a main meal? My bf could eat 2 C of rice easily, lol. It sounds really yummy though! May have to try it out. Thanks for sharing!!


3 Laura June 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

1 cup raw rice is technically 4 servings once cooked. I stretch it out though and we definitely have this as a side dish.


4 Miranda @ Biting Life June 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Can’t wait to try this! It looks delicious. I suck at making brown rice. I hope baking it will make it turn out better.


5 Michelle @ The Running Jewess June 16, 2012 at 11:43 am

This looks absolutely fantastic! I think this will become part of my repertoire just like your bulgur pilaf. :)


6 Diana @ VeggieNextDoor June 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Yum! It sounds sort of like all the best parts of Thanksgiving Stuffing :-)


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