Smoky spinach rice casserole – this family favorite recipe is full of greens, yet tastes like comfort food, and will convert even picky eaters to spinach lovers.
Today’s post is about a trusted old recipe for smoky spinach rice casserole that I keep in rotation often, and I’ve been meaning to share with you forever. It’s a dish full of greens, and to this day I marvel at its power to disarm even the pickiest of eaters (among the young), and the most fervent opponents of vegetarian dishes. It’s one of the best ways I know to sneak some greens into a meal, without anyone noticing (or complaining about it).
The secret ingredient? Smoked mozzarella cheese. It can fool people into thinking it’s a meaty dish. Apart from all that trickery, the dish is absolutely delicious, especially when you serve it with some yogurt on the side.
It’s a quick and easy recipe you can prepare on a week night, and it feels like comfort food but almost guilt-free (all that spinach counters the cheese, right?). If you are not a fan of smoked cheese, regular mozzarella will do too. You can make it with frozen spinach, or sub the spinach for kale, chard, or other greens of choice.
The type of rice you use, matters in this recipe – go for the short-grain or medium-grain varieties, as they are moist and sticky, and create a creamier texture. I love jade rice, a pale-green rice, dyed with bamboo juice, which gets soft and chewy when cooked, and tastes amazing.
Smoky spinach rice casserole - this family favorite recipe is full of greens, yet tastes like comfort food, and will convert even picky eaters to spinach lovers.
- 1/2 cup medium or short grain rice *
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbs butter + more for greasing the baking dish
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 lbs spinach
- 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs, or homemade garlic breadcrumbs
- 4 egg
- 100 g smoked mozzarella cheese
- 100 g milk
Melt 1 tbs butter and saute the onion for 5 minutes.
Add the rice and vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook for 15-18 minutes. Remove rice from heat, and let cool.
Meanwhile, saute the spinach in 1 tbs olive oil, with salt and black pepper.
When the cooked rice cools off, add 1 raw egg, the bread crumbs, smoked cheese, and spinach. Mix well.
Butter a casserole dish and pour the mix in.
Beat 3 eggs and 100g milk with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and pour over the rice.
Bake at 400° F for 30 minutes. Optionally sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on top a few minutes before it's ready, and return to the oven until cheese melts.
Serve with gold yogurt on the side.
* I used jade rice, which you can buy in the bulk section of health food stores, or online .