Prep 20 mins
Cook 50 mins
This layered casserole recipe starts with raw rice unlike many that use cooked rice. It's an updated version from those recipes of the 1960s-70s using canned soup. Cook's Country Magazine, Feb/March 2013.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme, minced (fresh)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 slices white bread, torn into quarters (hearty sandwich bread)
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- 1 1⁄4 lbs frozen spinach, chopped thawed and squeezed dry
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees with oven rack in upper-middle position.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add chopped onion and 1/2 tsp salt; cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat.
- Pulse bread, Parmesan, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in food processor until coarsely ground, 8 to 10 pulses; transfer to bowl and set aside.
- Combine spinach, cream cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in the now-empty food processor bowl and process until smooth, about 10 seconds.
- Spread spinach mixture in even layer in 13 by 9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle rice evenly over spinach mixture. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over rice. Pour broth mixture into baking dish, cover tightly with double layer of aluminum foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove casserole from oven, remove foil and stir to redistribute ingredients. Return casserole to oven, increase temperature to 450 degrees, and continue baking, uncovered, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture over top and bake until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let casserole cool for 20 minutes before serving.