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Creamed Spinach and Wild Rice Casserole. A mix between your classic green bean casserole, a spinach soufflé, and a bowl of French onion soup. It’s not your traditional side, but it’s so delicious. Caramelized yellow onions with baby spinach (or use kale) in a cream sauce with fresh thyme and sage. Wild rice is then mixed in and the casserole is topped with Gruyère cheese. When baked together the creamed spinach and nutty wild rice create the perfect balance. The cheese just makes the casserole even yummier. Make this casserole ahead of time for an easy holiday side that everyone will love.

Creamed Spinach and Wild Rice Casserole |

Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Not sure how we got to this point of the year already, but the holidays are here. The stores are filled with Christmas decorations, gifts, and toys. Turkeys, yams, and hams are everywhere. There’s a lot of rush-rush, stress, and excitement.

I love every minute of this season. Even with some of the stress, it’s fun having so much happening. So many things to share, cook, bake, eat, and hopefully enjoy. The holidays are magical in my eyes!

I’ve been enjoying sharing Thanksgiving dishes all week long. This is the last side dish I’m sharing before the Thanksgiving holiday and it’s such a yummy one! Next week I’ll focus on easy dinners and quick appetizers to share with our guests and family. Everyone will be arriving soon!

Creamed Spinach and Wild Rice Casserole |

When it comes to Thanksgiving dishes, I grew up with the basics. Roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes and rolls. My brothers and I never bothered with the green beans or any of that other “adult” food.

When we moved to Colorado I started cooking a lot of the Thanksgiving meal. I became a little more adventurous. I was baking popovers and roasting spaghetti squash. But truthfully, the green bean casserole has never been of interest to me.

So instead, one year I made a version of this wild rice casserole. Ever since that year, I’ve made it every Thanksgiving! It was inspired by the classic green bean casserole, but in reality, it’s pretty different

It’s loaded up with creamed spinach (or kale), wild rice, and plenty of melty cheese on top. It’s kind of a mix between a spinach soufflé and yummy French onion soup!

Creamed Spinach and Wild Rice Casserole |

Here are the details

Step 1: caramelize the onions and cook the greens

Use sweet yellow onions and begin cooking them down until they are soft. Then add all of the spinach, or try using kale. Allow the greens to slowly cook along with the onions until they are wilted.

At this point, the onions should be pretty caramelized. Add a couple of tablespoons of butter, garlic, fresh thyme, sage, and poultry seasoning.

Step 2: add the cream

Next mix in the cream cheese, cream, and milk. Simmer the cream sauce until it thickens just a bit.

Then remove the creamed spinach from the heat.

Step 3: mix in the wild rice

Spread the cooked wild rice out and into a casserole dish. Pour the creamed spinach over the rice, gently mixing to combine. You can cook the wild rice at home or use precooked wild rice. Many stores like Trader Joe’s sell cooked, frozen wild rice. That works perfectly too!

Next, add the cheese. I love to use melty, sweet, and sharp Gruyère cheese. It’s a great cheese to pair with the onions and rice.

Creamed Spinach and Wild Rice Casserole |

Step 4: bake

Bake the casserole until the cheese is melty and the edges begin to crisp.

It might seem simple, but that browned, golden top really adds another layer of deliciousness to the rice that makes everyone want more.

Serve this up warm with some fresh thyme for added color.

I’m excited to share this recipe with not only you but family and friends as well. This is one of my mom’s favorite sides.

The next question is, what will you be pairing this casserole with? The obvious answer for Thanksgiving is turkey. But come December, over here it will be the pot roast I can’t stop making it.

Creamed Spinach and Wild Rice Casserole |

Looking for other easy Thanksgiving sides?? Here are my favorites: 

Make Ahead Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Crispy Parmesan Thyme Sweet Potato Stacks

Crispy Cheesy Potato Stacks

Sweet Potato Casserole with Sweet ‘n’ Savory Bacon Pecans

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Lastly, if you make this Creamed Spinach and Wild Rice Casserole, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Creamed Spinach and Wild Rice Casserole

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 612 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
    2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the olive oil and onions until the onions are soft, 5 minutes. Add the spinach and or kale (I like to use a mix), and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the spinach is wilted, another 10 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, thyme, sage, poultry seasoning, and cayenne.
    3. Reduce the heat to low. Mix in the cream cheese, stirring until melted. Add the cream and milk. Simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens a bit, then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Spread the wild rice out into a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Pour the spinach and cream sauce over the rice, gently mixing to combine. Top the casserole with Gruyère cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling on top. Serve with sea salt on top!
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  1. Tieghan, I’m a big fan of your blog (the vegetarian recipes!) and I’m about to try this recipe having just found kale, which is not easy to find here. Can I substitute the fresh thyme with dried zaatar? And, if so, would it be the same amount?

    1. Hi Dina,

      They are really not the same thing, but if your zaatar is thyme heavy it should be fine. I would use 1 teaspoon. I really hope you love this and thank you for the kind words!

      1. Thanks for the tip, Tieghan! I managed to get fresh thyme. I used a wild rice and brown rice blend and it was absolutely delicious. My husband and I couldn’t get enough of it. We barely managed to leave two portions for tomorrow – yum!

  2. Thanks to Instagram, I found your site and everything you make are alk amazing and right down my alley! 🙂 I will be hosting a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner for 11 on Sunday and will definitely include this in my menu. Would Parmigiano Reggiano work instead of the gruyere?


    1. HI! Parmesan would work, but a melting cheese would be better. Could you use cheddar?? If not parm will be fine. Hope you love this dish and have a great Thanksgiving!! 🙂

  3. So I am vegan and I have made this a few times as a main dish using cashew cream instead of cream. I also added some green beans tonight and It was delish. I just can’t quite figure out what to serve this with. I have tried escarole and beans But my boyfriend isn’t a fan of that. Any thoughts on a vegan side to serve with this or something I can easily veganize?

    1. Hi Alexis!!

      So happy you adapted this to your needs!! Hmm, what to serve as a vegan side. What about a soup?

  4. Hi, Tieghan, I made this last night, and it was phenomenal — so tasty! Thanks so much for the great recipe! Nicki

  5. What is the volume of chopped kale? 2 bunches is a bit vague, depending on the size of the bunches.

  6. Beautiful dish – both! Am making this recipe today! Could have used parchment paper for a liner oe even foil.

  7. May try…but being lo carb, I may have to replace that white flour with almond or coconut flour and the milk with more heavy cream….but certainly looks good….not sure what I could replace the rice with tho….

  8. Okay people, if you’re seriously considering making this…DO IT. When I discovered this recipe the Fall of 2014 (via a Huffington Post article), I tried it, and it was love at first bite. Considering the cream, rice, and cheese, you’ll be amazed at the balance–it’s definitely not heavy! Personally, when I make this for myself, I eat this as an entree.

    But! If you’re looking for something to make at a potluck, this is the perfect recipe (especially if you’re catering to vegetarians and those with celiac disease) and easy to manipulate ingredients for a larger group. People will oooh and ahhh when they ask you what you made. The nutmeg, gruyère, and caramelized onions are what make this dish the star and flavor-lishious (in my opinion).

  9. I saw this over at Pinterest. I love that you make kale the star of a casserole. It looks amazing, and definitely a nice change from spinach.

  10. I found this recipe googling kale recipes, since I have so much of it and wanted to cook it different and came across this one. It’s amazingly delicious. I did add some extras, broccoli and chicken with it all. Thanks for the recipe

  11. I have been reading all of the comments and see that you have said it is ok to make this ahead. I wanted to verify, since this will be my first time making this dish, that it would be ok to make this around noon on the 24th ,put it in the fridge, and then take it out and bake it on the 25th? Thank you and Merry Christmas!