Green Bean Wild Rice Casserole is a deliciously cozy vegetarian dinner or side dish on cold winter nights. Made with a wild rice blend, fresh green beans, and homemade cream of mushroom soup. It’s savory, comforting, and hearty.
When it comes down to it, this green bean and wild rice casserole is one of the ultimate Midwest comfort foods. It’s rich and savory, and creamy. It has texture and a bit of hearty chewiness thanks to a good ol’ Minnesota wild rice blend.
It’s right up there with tater tot hot dish and scalloped corn. Easy, hearty, budget-friendly meals are what us Midwesterns live off of in those frigid winter months — and let’s make them as delicious as possible!
I’ve loved this recipe for years. What once started out as a simple green bean casserole has turned into a hearty meatless meal with the addition of wild rice. It’s easy to make, loaded with texture, and can be enjoyed as a main dish or a hearty side dish.
Green Bean Casserole Ingredients
First things first: use a wild rice blend. Lundberg’s (and many others) blend is a combination of wild rice, brown rice, red, and black rice.
I’ve found that using a blend reduces the cooking time and provides a much more casserole-like texture to the dish. It’s also cheaper.
If there’s one thing that’s better than a cozy comfort-food meal, it’s knowing you made it within budget – am I right?!
If you do want to use 100% wild rice, I recommend cooking it to al dente on its own first, then adding it to the casserole mixture before baking; this will give it a head start in the cooking process.
Now, the rest of the simple ingredients include:
- Fresh green beans: as long as you can get them, use them! They hold their structure in the casserole, resulting in a really good texture and flavor.
- Condensed cream of mushroom soup: Midwest casserole? Must contain a condensed cream soup. Use my homemade version for the best flavor!
- Yellow Onion: a little onion flavor that’s not too overpowering. If you need to, you can sub with white onion.
- Garlic: of course!
- Celery: another added veggie that delivers the flavor as it sautes down.
- Fresh Thyme: nothing says a fall recipe like the flavor of thyme! Use dried if you need to.
- White Pepper: it’s pungent and earthy and has such a unique spice. It adds a beautiful warm subtle kick to the dish. Feel free to use freshly ground black pepper in its place if needed.
- Vegetable Broth: a little liquid to cook the rice and make our casserole saucy. Be sure to note how salty the broth is because that will influence how much salt you add to the actual recipe.
How to Make Green Bean and Rice Casserole
As any good recipe starts, onion and celery saute tenderly in a bit of olive oil. Be sure to add a pinch of your salt here to layer in the flavor throughout the cooking process.
Add the garlic, then the chopped thyme and spices. Once they’ve had a chance to saute, stir in the fresh green beans and the uncooked wild rice blend. Remember – you’re only pre-cooking the rice if you want to use 100% wild rice.
The green beans and rice are simply just being added to the pan to combine with the other ingredients; they won’t actually be cooking at this point. That magic happens in the oven.
Transfer the casserole mixture to an oven-safe baking dish. I recommend a 9×13 baking dish because it cooks the rice faster. Glass or ceramic will work for this recipe.
You can also use a 9×9 or 8×8 baking dish (as pictured below), just keep in mind it will take longer for the rice to cook because there is less surface area.
The casserole will bake for around an hour, depending on the size of pan you use. Remember, it takes time for the rice to become tender – even with the blend. I like to stir it once throughout the cooking process if I remember, but it’s not necessary.
Once it’s bubbly, and the rice is cooked through, it’s time to grab that glass of your favorite beverage (who am I kidding…refill it) and cozy up around the table.
The casserole will be thick and creamy; it shouldn’t be too soupy once it has time to set up. The rice absorbs most of the liquid during the cooking process resulting in a lovely texture.
Garnish with those crispy fried onions and a little fresh parsley if you have it on hand. Then, dig in and enjoy!
- Mushrooms: saute chopped mushrooms with the onion mixture, until they’re tender and their liquid is released, for more veggies, heartiness, and a “meaty” texture.
- Add chicken if you’re a meat-eating family; simply stir in shredded rotisserie chicken or pre-cook diced chicken before stirring it into the casserole.
- Try making it all in a large cast iron skillet for a one-pan meal as one reader commented.
- Add cheese! If you’re a cheese lover, parmesan cheese or even gruyere would be delicious.
What to Serve with Casserole
Of course, it’s also excellent on a holiday table like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Something for everyone to enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Green Bean Wild Rice Casserole
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup celery, ~2 stalks, sliced lengthwise and small diced
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- ⅛-¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ pound fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch cut pieces; about 2 cups
- 1 cup wild rice blend, see note for 100% wild rice
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups condensed cream of mushroom soup
- Crispy fried onions, optional, for garnish
- Fresh parsley, optional, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add onion slices and celery with a pinch of salt; cook for 4-6 minutes until starting to turn soft and translucent.
- Add garlic, thyme, white pepper, and another pinch of salt (additional black pepper as desired). Stir in green beans and uncooked wild rice blend. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in vegetable broth and cream of mushroom soup until combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling, with most liquid absorbed and the rice is tender. Optional: stir once during the cooking process.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving to allow it to set up. Garnish with fresh parsley and/or crispy onion pieces.
- To bake in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan: increase the cooking time to 65-80 minutes until the rice is tender.
- To use 100% wild rice (as opposed to the blend): separately pre-cook the wild rice to al dente according to the package directions. Then, combine with the other ingredients and bake the casserole for 35-45 minutes.
- If using Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup that’s been previously frozen, place it in a small saucepan over low-medium heat and stir frequently until warm.
- Depending on the cream of mushroom soup used, this recipe may be gluten-free.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
This post was originally published in December 2016; the photos and text were updated in December 2019.