Mushroom Spinach and Brown Rice Casserole

I don’t think that I’ve ever tasted a rice dish that was quite so tasty before.

Maybe it’s ‘cuz I was really hungry when I took the pictures, but I had the hardest time ever not eating wolfing down the entire dish right then and there. The first 5 minutes what felt like an hour and a half, during which I couldn’t even take a bite but yet, had to look and stare and SMELL this baby from an inch away, were just excruciating.

I only had one thing in mind: DIG IN!

To be honest, I don’t think that I’ve ever been so eager to taste any of my dishes. But this one smells SOOO GOOD, that alone will almost certainly knock your socks right off.

Imagine when you finally get to tasting it.

What happens is, you take a bite, you roll your eyes, you stop breathing, you die. This is just so good, so tasty! With so many different flavors and textures going on, you have to give it another try.

Like, NOW!

So you have another bite, and another, before you know it, you’ve already engulfed the entire portion that you’d plated for photo purposes only because, well, it isn’t even dinner time yet and well, you’re only taking photos for now and then you’re supposed to wait another hour or so…

Oops, too late. See that bowl? It didn’t last long.

If you’re going to make that one, make sure you schedule it right, or be prepared to eat early that night!

Now this makes for a great side dish, but you could also have it as a main, with a side of vegetables. I personnally chose to have mine as a main dish, with a very generous side of steamed rapini.

Well, the second night, that is. When I had the leftovers.

Because on the first night, I didn’t even bother with a side dish.

Or with sitting down, for that matter…

Mushroom Spinach and Brown Rice Casserole

Yield: Serves 4-8, depending on whether you are serving as side or main dish - Nutritional information is based on 4 servings.

Mushroom Spinach and Brown Rice Casserole


  • 225g button mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 225g baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, at room temperature
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, at room temperature
  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup 1% fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 50 grams sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1-2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish.
  2. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and, over medium heat sauté the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are nice and golden, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the rice, quinoa and hazelnuts to the skillet and stir to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, egg whites, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, salt and pepper, until smooth.
  5. Add in the rice mixture and stir gently until well blended. Transfer to reserved baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top, cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.
  7. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.


Baked Brown Rice Casserole | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie


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  1. says

    This meal makes me remind of my mom. She used to prepare meals like this one. The only problem with this recipe is my oven. It often heats more than it should and the food burns to the bottom of the baking dish. Anyway, thanks for your wonderful recipe. JS

  2. says

    Oh my, does that ever look delicious. I know exactly what you mean about wanting to dig in when something smells so good! It’s so hard! It might be weird, but I was just thinking that yesterday, the smell of rice cooking makes me so hungry. I don’t know why, but I love that smell! The mushrooms and spinach in this sound great, but I’m so curious about the hazelnuts – those sound really yummy!

    • says

      The hazelnuts just do so much for this dish. Combined with the taste of the brown rice and the sharp cheddar, they were out of this world crazy yummy. I highly recommend leaving them! (if you like hazelnuts, that is!) ;)

  3. Donna says

    Craving this big-time right now!! Living in France, I have an extremely difficult time finding cottage cheese…any ideas for substitutes?…Ricotta, fromage blanc (although that would probably be a better sub for the greek yogurt?…Continued thanks for such a consistently creative blog and sharing.

  4. says

    I made this from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day book the other week. I was really sceptical – cottage cheese, mushrooms, rice?! – but the photo looked quite appetising, so I made it and definitely didn’t regret it. My favourite bit is the crust that forms on top…yum! Love your tweaks to the recipe though – hazelnuts and spinach sound like a great idea (I think I ate mine with baby spinach, actually, when I cooked it).

  5. Joanna says

    I made this last night for my husband and he loved it! We will definitely be making it again.

    My opinion to answer a few of the previous comments: if you don’t have hazelnuts I think almonds would work well as well (although, I agree, the hazelnuts are worth the trip to the grocery store). I don’t see why you couldn’t use all greek yogurt if you can’t find cottage cheese.

    Great recipe. Thanks!

    • Joanna says

      Oh sorry, one more thought. To the person whose oven keeps burning their food… my mom had this problem. We avoided the dreaded burn by doubling up underneath – put a sheet pan under your casserole dish, or put the casserole dish into another casserole dish. I do this all the time for cookies now and you will never burn the bottom!

  6. Nikita says

    Hi, I am lactose-intolerant so I was wondering if you have a substitute for the yoghurt and cottage cheese?!

  7. rebecca says

    do you think that this will freeze wel?
    l being the only veggie in my house its often easier to freeze meals but looks lovely can’t wait to try it

  8. Lauren says

    I would love to include the hazelnuts, but my son is allergic to nuts… do you think they make or break the dish?

    • says

      Well, to be honest, Lauren, I find that the hazelnuts did A LOT for that dish, but they are not a total deal breaker either. You could very well leave them out. Is your son also allergic to chestnuts? I’m thinking those would make for a glorious replacement!

  9. Jenna says

    Ok, so first of all, thanks Sonia! This is just delish! I made one little addition…some broccoli that needed to be used up…and oh my, the result is a replacement for my family’s long loved broccoli rice caserole that is full of “cream of…” Soup and sour cream and an entire block of Gouda…I will never make the original again, it’s your recipe from now on! :)

    • says

      Broccoli must be absolutely delicious in this! Oh, now you had me craving a bowl… I get the feeling it’ll be added to my menu fairly soon!

      And an entire block of gouda? Seriously??? OMG! On top of the cream of whatever soup? Yikes! I think my arteries are blocking just by reading this! ;)

      Thanks a bunch for your awesome feedback Jenna. Real glad you liked the recipe and that you are considering replacing your original long loved family recipe. I am truly flattered and honored! :)

  10. Stephanie says

    This dish has become a staple in our house. Last night my husband and I brought this to a dinner party and everyone flipped out and demanded the recipe. We use pine nuts instead of hazelnuts and use a bit more Greek yogurt and less cottage cheese. So good, so earthy, you just dream about those aromas at night…

    • says

      So happy to hear that, Stephanie, that is music to my ears! I really love the idea of using pine nuts, too! Now you got me wanting to eat some of this right now… I think I might very well whip up a batch this week-end! It’s been way too long since I last had this!

      Thanks a bunch for sharing this, Stephanie. You truly made my day! :D

  11. Sandy says

    3rd time I have made this, its such a winner. So hearty, delicious and healthy…thanks Sonia : )

  12. Shana says

    what a fun, adaptable recipe. I used pepitas instead of hazelnuts, and added broccoli to the spinach. it already smells great!


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