An excellent main dish or side on cold winter nights, this Green Bean and Wild Rice Casserole is savory, comforting, and hearty. It’s also naturally vegetarian!
Sit on down, cozy up, grab your favorite drink, and prepare for a night of comfort. Isn’t that what this season is about, after all?
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 also worth mentioning that it got an upgrade with homemade cream of mushroom soup instead of anything from a can.
Hello real-food, hello all my now vegetarian-friendly-favorites, that are now made without mystery ingredients. Ahem, like this Tater Tot Hot Dish. More on that in a minute.
When it comes down to it, this green bean and wild rice casserole is the ultimate Midwest comfort. 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.
Tips for Making Wild Rice Casserole
First things first: that wild rice? Use a wild rice blend.
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?!
Using fresh green beans is also key. As long as you can get them, they should be used.
The fresh green beans hold their structure better, and have more flavor, than their canned counterparts.
You can’t forget about the creaminess. It’s gotta be wild rice casserole with cream of mushroom soup, after all, wouldn’t it? Otherwise, forget about it being midwest, and forget about it being a casserole.
I’m team homemade all the way here. Making it at home means it’s going to be significantly less processed. I also guarantee it has more flavor.
Now I know there’s a time and place for an easy fix and if you need to do that I totally understand and no it won’t change this recipe. If you’ve got a little extra time to go the 100% homemade route? Do it.
Hint: You can even make the condensed soup ahead of time and freeze it! See tip in the recipe card below!
How to Make Green Bean and Rice Casserole
As any good recipe starts, onion and celery sautee tenderly in a bit of olive oil. In go some spices and herbs – white pepper (really, it adds a beautiful warm subtle kick to the casserole!), salt, and fresh thyme.
Next up are our MVPs: the fresh green beans and the wild rice blend (uncooked).
In they go, stirred around, and not really having time to cook. You see, they will get plenty of cook time in the oven, so don’t worry about making them tender now.
Stir them all to combine and transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. SERIOUSLY, WAS THAT NOT EASY?! Here for the ease, for the comfort, for the delicious vegetarian dinners! ALWAYS, FRIENDS, ALWAYS.
The casserole will bake for a bit (remember, it takes time for the rice to become tender) and once it’s bubbly, and the rice is cooked through, it’s time to grab that glass of wine (who am I kidding…refill it) and cozy up around the table.
Or with your favorite holiday movie. The table can get a pass.
The real question is: to top or not to top with crispy fried onions? That my friends, I’m leaving up to you.
What Makes This Recipe Work
I already mentioned it was easy, right?
I wish I could say it was quick, but it’s an easy recipe that’s going to leave your house smelling like Thanksgiving. And once it’s in the oven, it’s completely hands-off. So I’ll take easy.
It’s also versatile. Dinner? Check. Side dish? Check. Holiday recipe? Check. You really cannot go wrong.
Vegetables! Yep, we get our greens in with this one. 😉 Mushrooms would be a perfect addition to this green bean and rice casserole recipe, too. Like, hello mushroom and wild rice combo.
Sautee them up with the onions for an even heartier meal.
Looking to add a meat protein? You know chicken and wild rice have had a thing for a while now. I’d recommend boiling, shredding some up and letting it bake with the other ingredients.
Green Bean Wild Rice Casserole
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup celery ~2 stalks, halved and chopped 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fresh green beans 1 inch cut pieces
- 1 cup wild rice blend
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add onion slices and celery; cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent and soft. Add garlic, thyme, white pepper, and salt (additional black pepper as desired). Stir in green beans and wild rice. Remove from heat and stir in vegetable broth and cream of mushroom soup until well combined.
- Transfer green bean and rice mixture to 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Let sit for 10 or so minutes before serving to set up. Garnish with fresh parsley and/or crispy onion pieces.
This post was originally published in December 2016; the photos and text were updated in December 2019.