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Cheesy Rice Casserole

Updated on April 10, 2010

Simple, Easy, Filling, and Gluten Free

I have been trying to put together a collection of gluten free recipes that we enjoy in our house. When you are just learning to prepare and eat food without gluten in it, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Many people have found it quite a challenging transition to make.

I hadn't even thought to add this recipe until someone asked what our cheapest dinners were. This one ranks as an easy favorite in that category!

This is an adaption of an old standby that I have enjoyed since childhood. I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do.

What Do I Need?

This is one of those incredibly simple recipes that is often overlooked. You may even have the ingredients already in your cabinet. If you don't, they are quite inexpensive to pick up at any grocery store! This recipe feeds our family of four with leftovers for quick lunches the next day.


  • 2 Cups Brown Rice
  • 1 Cup Frozen Veggies
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 4 oz. Shredded Cheese

We usually use what we call "small veggies" such as pea and carrot blends, corn, or mixed veggies. We have used larger vegetable blends such as California blend upon occasion. We seem to use whatever is in the freezer. Sometimes we add the last bits of any open bag!

When you are buying your sour scream and cheese, be careful of the quality, and food additives used. We always use sour cream with no rBGH, and our cheese must use annatto for food coloring because of our household food allergies.

Brown Rice, Really?!

We have really come to enjoy the taste of brown rice. Since brown rice is a whole grain, with all of its nutrients intact, I heartily recommend it. Some people find that brown rice is too tough, or gives them gas.

Here is the secret to make perfect brown rice that everyone will enjoy....

Soak it. 

That sounds so simple, and yet it can have such a profound effect!

By the way, it is really SIMPLE to do. This is a great quick dish after a long day out of the house, because you start it before you leave the house, and throw everything together and rest from your day out while it is cooking!

Put the rice in a casserole dish and cover with at least double as much water, then put a lid on it. Leave it on your counter while you are gone (at least 2 hours, but 8 hours is better).

When you get home, drain the rice. Now add just enough fresh water to cover the rice. Cover with a lid, and cook either on the stove top (medium heat) or in the oven (325 degrees). (Rice is so easy!) Depending on how long you have soaked the rice, your cooking time will vary. If you have soaked it for 8 hours, your cooking time can be as short as 30 minutes! If soaked for just 2 hours, you may find it takes an hour for your rice to be soft and fluffy. (And it might require a bit extra cooking water too.)

Putting It Together

Once you rice is done, pull it out of/off the heat. Uncover, and mix in the sour cream and cheese. Thoroughly mix together before adding in frozen vegetables.

It is important to add your frozen vegetables after everything else is already mixed together, because they can cool your casserole down too much to melt the sour cream and cheese. If your casserole has become too chilled, simply put the lid back on and add heat for another 10-15 minutes.

If you are using small veggies, your casserole should be ready to serve. Check that your vegetables have thawed, and if not, just add heat for a few minutes longer.

This is one of those wonderful one pot meals that is incredibly easy, cheap, and filling. After a long day, this comfort food will bring the family together, and put a smile on your face.
Did I mention it's DELICIOUS?


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    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 6 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      lauralolita, This has been one of our favorite recipes over the years! We adjust it, change ingredients, and continue to enjoy it again and again!

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 7 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Travis.. although we have a sensitivity to dairy in the household, it is not one that all of us share.

      We have also found that when properly rotated we can often handle fermented dairy (sour cream and cheese). I am labeling cheese as fermented because an outside agent is added to dairy to produce the results.

      Another thing to note is that the QUALITY of the food is very important. I will often react to lower quality foods, when their higher quality counter part doesn't bother me. I made note of the fact that we only use sour cream with no rBGH in it, and that we must look for a particular natural coloring agent for the shredded cheese.

      I have found that by rotating the types of food we are eating, and finding substitutes for whoever can not handle the dinner that night, that we get by just fine.

      I never planned to be a short order cook when I became a mother, but when dealing with multiple food allergies over multiple people, some times it is just the best solution!

    • profile image

      Travis 7 years ago

      What about you dairy allergy?

    • lauralolita profile image

      lauralolita 7 years ago from Florida

      This sounds good and easy! Thanks for this recipe, I'll definitely give it a try!