Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole
Creamy sauce surrounding nutty wild rice and earthy broccoli. Hearty meatballs nestled in. Oh this casserole is so yummy! Your family will love it!
There’s something classic about broccoli and wild rice together. When I first became a vegetarian I made a broccoli and wild rice soup that was amazing!
I recreated it for the blog as Creamy Broccoli and Wild Rice Slow Cooker Soup, you’ll find the recipe here.
If you can’t find plain wild rice at the store, you can use a rice blend instead. I saw many rice blends that had wild rice in them when I was shopping for the ingredients. I have to go to Trader Joe’s to get the plain wild rice, as my grocery store doesn’t carry it. If you can find it, I highly recommend getting it, as the nice nutty flavor is so good! I’ve seen already cooked frozen wild rice at some stores as well; if you get this, just defrost it before throwing it in this casserole. That’s a nice time saver!
I’m a big believer in using what already tastes good to you.
As for the meatballs, use your favorites! I love Trader Joe’s meatless meatballs. In fact, my whole family loves them. Most of them like the meatless ones better than the meaty ones. But, if you prefer, use your favorite – beef, pork, turkey, chicken, or homemade. Anything will work here.
Use the milk of your choice, dairy, plant-based, it’s all good. I recommend whole milk for this recipe. The big rich taste helps carry the casserole. If you want to use plant-based milk, I’d recommend almond milk to carry over some of that nutty flavor, or a nice neutral soy milk would work.
I chop the mushrooms into really fine tiny pieces, that way my husband doesn’t mind them being there. He likes the taste of mushrooms, but not the texture. You can chop them by hand or in a food processor; either way works well. If you pop them in the food processor, be sure to quarter them so they don’t just bounce around in there.
Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole Recipe
Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole
- 1 ½ cups uncooked wild rice, 3 cups cooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned and sliced
- 4 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped, about 1 ½ cups
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 ounce cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 16 ounces frozen meatballs
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup sliced almonds, optional
- If the wild rice is uncooked, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the wild rice according to package directions, about 45 minutes. Drain cooked wild rice.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- While wild rice cooks, heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add leeks, and cook until leeks begin to wilt, about 3-5 minutes. Add chopped mushrooms, carrots, and thyme, and cook until all the liquid from the mushrooms has released, and the rest of the veggies are browned and tender, about 10-13 minutes.
- Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk; cook 3 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until smooth, and cook a couple of minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Remove pot from heat, and stir in cooked wild rice, meatballs, broccoli, green onions, salt, and pepper. Taste for salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a 13x9-inch pan, and bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with almonds. Return to oven and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and almonds are toasted.