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Cooking with Kids: Easy Veggie, Rice & Cheese Casserole Dinner

Updated on February 27, 2012

This is a great recipe to cook for your family because it is easily customizable for picky eaters or those with dietary restrictions (it is gluten-free). If you cook regularly, there is a good chance you already have all of the ingredients needed to make this nutritious supper.

Many kids really like to help out in the kitchen and it's an easy meal for you and your children to prepare together. Spending this extra time will give you each the opportunity to catch up on how you spent your day.

If your a stay at home parent with younger children, you can prepare this dish ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.

Ingredients

The key ingredients are pretty basic, you will need:

  • cooked rice
  • vegetables (shredded or chopped)
  • cheese (shredded or crumbled)
  • 2-3 eggs
  • seasonings to taste

My boys and I decided to make two versions of this meal for dinner; one that was slightly more bland for their young taste buds, and one with a more rich taste for my husband and I.

Below are the ingredients listed for each one. You may choose to duplicate it as is, or make your own version. Some additional combination suggestions are written below the recipe instructions.

Carrot, Broccoli, & Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend with Jasmine White Rice Casserole
Carrot, Broccoli, & Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend with Jasmine White Rice Casserole | Source

Carrot, Broccoli, & Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend with Jasmine White Rice

  • 2 cups cooked jasmine white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (approx 5 carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly steamed & chopped broccoli
  • 2 cups Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Spinach, Zucchini, Mushroom, & Feta Cheese with Brown Rice Casserole Topped with Diced Tomatoes
Spinach, Zucchini, Mushroom, & Feta Cheese with Brown Rice Casserole Topped with Diced Tomatoes | Source

Spinach, Zucchini, Mushroom, & Feta Cheese with Brown Rice

  • 2 cups cooked brown basmine rice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped portabello mushrooms
  • 2 cups Earthbound Farm Power Greens
  • 1 shredded zucchini
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • small can of sliced black olives (3.8 oz)
  • diced tomatoes (for topping)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cooking with Kids Tip

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Children who can read and do basic math can enjoy following directions & measuring.Have younger children help with tasks, such as rinsing rice.Younger children can "help" you cut vegetables, by placing their hand on top of yours.Older children can help stir things on the stove top.Kids should crack eggs into a separate container, so it is easier to remove any shells that sneak in.
Children who can read and do basic math can enjoy following directions & measuring.
Children who can read and do basic math can enjoy following directions & measuring. | Source
Have younger children help with tasks, such as rinsing rice.
Have younger children help with tasks, such as rinsing rice. | Source
Younger children can "help" you cut vegetables, by placing their hand on top of yours.
Younger children can "help" you cut vegetables, by placing their hand on top of yours. | Source
Older children can help stir things on the stove top.
Older children can help stir things on the stove top. | Source
Kids should crack eggs into a separate container, so it is easier to remove any shells that sneak in.
Kids should crack eggs into a separate container, so it is easier to remove any shells that sneak in. | Source

Preparing Vegetables

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Slicing ends of zucchini before shredding.Shredding carrots using food processor.Mincing garlic.
Slicing ends of zucchini before shredding.
Slicing ends of zucchini before shredding. | Source
Shredding carrots using food processor.
Shredding carrots using food processor. | Source
Mincing garlic.
Mincing garlic. | Source

Mixing Casserole

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Shredded carrots & chopped broccoli in large mixing bowl.Mixing all casserole ingredients in a large mixing bowl.Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the casserole into the dish.Finished veggie, rice & cheese casseroles.
Shredded carrots & chopped broccoli in large mixing bowl.
Shredded carrots & chopped broccoli in large mixing bowl. | Source
Mixing all casserole ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Mixing all casserole ingredients in a large mixing bowl. | Source
Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the casserole into the dish.
Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the casserole into the dish. | Source
Finished veggie, rice & cheese casseroles.
Finished veggie, rice & cheese casseroles. | Source

Directions

  1. Cook the Rice
    Have older children read & follow the directions based on the type of rice you have chosen to use.

    Younger children can also help with measuring & rinsing the rice before cooking.

  2. Prepare Your Veggies
    Kids love to help and as long as you are right there to assist and monitor, they really can do many of the tasks involved in preparing the vegetables you have chosen.

    My boys really enjoyed shredding the carrots and zucchini using a food processor, mincing the garlic, & chopping the broccoli.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°

  4. Mix all Ingredients

    1. Grab a big mixing bowl and add all of your cooked rice & vegetables
    2. Crack open 2 eggs (tip: children love to break open eggs, but be sure to have them crack the egg into a separate container, so it is easier to remove any shells that sneak in)
    3. Add seasoning to desired taste (salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.)
    4. Mix well
  5. Put in Casserole Dish (lightly oiled with cooking spray)
    Place all ingredients in glass casserole dish (8x11). Press down casserole with the flat side of wooden spoon & put in the oven.

  6. Cook for about 45-50 minutes.

  7. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Clean up Time

It's a good habit to get kids involved in cleaning up after cooking. While the casserole is in the oven, have your children help you clean up any dirty dishes and set the table for dinner.

Suggested Combinations for a Veggie & Rice Casserole

  • spinach, black olives, & feta cheese
  • zucchini, mushrooms, & monterray jack cheese
  • broccoli & cheddar cheese
  • gimme lean vegetarian sausage, sweet bell peppers, & mozzarella cheese
  • black beans, avocado, tomato, & mexican shredded cheese blend
  • soy crumbles, taco seasoning, tomato & shredded cheddar cheese topped with non-fat plain greek yogurt

More Kid-Friendly Cooking Hubs by Veggie-Mom

  • Making Pizza 101 with Kids in the Kitchen
    Pizza is generally loved by many and it turns out that making it is quite easy and inexpensive. It's a great meal to prepare with children and to share with your family or at a potluck with friends.
  • Get Your Kids to Eat Leafy Greens Recipe
    Many children do not like the taste of leafy green vegetables, but adding spinach to my egg & cheese wrap recipe will have them asking for more!
  • Mexican Pizza (Vegetarian)
    Try on new twist on taco night & create Mexican pizzas with refried beans, handmade tortillas, & shredded cheddar cheese.

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    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 3 years ago

      These recipes look yummy! I love that you have your children help you! It so nice to see parents taking time to connect and teach their kids :) Voted up and pinned.

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