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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Looking for other easy Thanksgiving sides?? Here are my favorites:
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
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.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 4-5 cups baby spinach/chopped kale
- 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (optional)
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 4 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
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- 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!