Spinach rice casserole is full of creamy cheese and rice mixed with fresh spinach, red bell peppers and red onions. Even if you think you don’t like spinach, this hearty casserole is sure to win you over!
I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve got one kid that won’t eat meat. Well…she just recently has added a little bit of meat into her diet, but for the most part nada. Like when I say she’s added a little bit, I mean she’s taken one bite or so. It makes feeding my crew a challenge because the majority of the group are meat loving growing boys.
Every week she’ll give me a list of items to put on the grocery list that are just for her and usually fresh spinach is on that list. Now, bless her heart, if she doesn’t have the best of intentions of eating that fresh spinach, but she’s a busy college student so it often doesn’t happen and the spinach goes bad before it gets eaten. This scenario has happened enough that I’ve had to come up with some recipes that use an entire bag of fresh spinach that are hearty and tasty enough that even my meat eating boys have been won over.
Enter our hero dish, spinach rice casserole. Spinach rice casserole has moved into a regular rotation at mealtime in my house. It’s hearty and filling, full of veggies, rice, eggs and cheese. It completely fits the bill for my veggie loving daughter. But it also makes a great side dish when paired with a main dish meat, like my cranberry meatballs or crockpot roasted chicken.When I have this casserole in the weekly meal plan rotation I like to make up a giant pot of rice and keep some leftover rice for other recipes, like fried rice or sweet potato sweet chili bowls. Leftover rice keeps well and makes meal prep amazingly easy, perfect for when you know you’re going to have an insanely busy week.
This casserole starts with a whole bag of fresh spinach, red bell peppers, and red onions sauted in butter, this is literally the hardest part of the recipe. Once you get past that, it’s easy peasy. Just mixing together the veggies, cheese and rice and then pouring the evaporated milk and egg mixture over the top. That evaporated milk and egg mixture makes this casserole so rich and creamy. It’s really the glue that holds it all together. (probably not the best descriptive word for a recipe, but you get it.)
Spinach rice casserole would make an excellent side dish for the holiday table, especially if you have vegetarian family members. But if you wanted to change it to a main dish, just add chopped ham or chicken for a meal in one!
- 1 (10 ounce) bag fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 5 large eggs
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups cooked rice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and red bell pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Add the spinach and cook until wilted down. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the evaporated milk, salt, and eggs.
- Combine the veggies with the rice and cheese. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Evenly pour the milk mixture over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the center of the casserole is set.
- If your casserole is browning too quickly on the top, cover it with aluminum foil.
- To make this casserole into a main dish, try adding shredded chicken or cubed ham.