Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

This classic Roasted Tomato Basil Soup is made with roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic. . Serve a grilled cheese on the side for the ultimate comforting meal! Is there anything better than a bowl of tomato basil soup? It’s one of my all-time fav…

This classic Roasted Tomato Basil Soup is made with roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic. . Serve a grilled cheese on the side for the ultimate comforting meal! Is there anything better than a bowl of tomato basil soup? It’s one of my all-time favorites! It always hits the spot.  It has fresh, familiar flavors…

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Wild Rice Casserole

Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole! It’s broccoli cheese flavor, easy to make, and a healthy spin that’s heavy on whole foods. Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole that’s cozy and all about whole foods! Why relegate this healthy whole grain only to wild rice soup? There are plenty more ways to serve it, and this one is truly spectacular. It’s broccoli cheese flavor, flecked with savory bits of broccoli, gooey white cheddar, and a creamy easy-to-make filling. While it’s got a vaguely 1970’s vibe, this one is all whole foods and heavy on the plants. (Nope, there’s no cream of mushroom soup!) Ready to get cooking? What’s in this wild rice casserole? This broccoli cheese wild rice casserole is all about comfort food! At the same time, Alex and I have tried to keep a healthy spin: it’s got all whole foods, just enough cheese, and no rich roux sauce. Here’s what we’ve got in this vegetarian and gluten-free casserole: Perfect Wild Rice: Here we’ve used our favorite method of cooking this grain, simmered with vegetable broth, onion and celery. It comes out perfectly moist and tender! Broccoli: It’s chopped into small florets and sauteed […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole! It’s broccoli cheese flavor, easy to make, and a healthy spin that’s heavy on whole foods.

Wild rice casserole

Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole that’s cozy and all about whole foods! Why relegate this healthy whole grain only to wild rice soup? There are plenty more ways to serve it, and this one is truly spectacular. It’s broccoli cheese flavor, flecked with savory bits of broccoli, gooey white cheddar, and a creamy easy-to-make filling. While it’s got a vaguely 1970’s vibe, this one is all whole foods and heavy on the plants. (Nope, there’s no cream of mushroom soup!) Ready to get cooking?

Wild rice recipe

What’s in this wild rice casserole?

This broccoli cheese wild rice casserole is all about comfort food! At the same time, Alex and I have tried to keep a healthy spin: it’s got all whole foods, just enough cheese, and no rich roux sauce. Here’s what we’ve got in this vegetarian and gluten-free casserole:

  • Perfect Wild Rice: Here we’ve used our favorite method of cooking this grain, simmered with vegetable broth, onion and celery. It comes out perfectly moist and tender!
  • Broccoli: It’s chopped into small florets and sauteed simply on the stovetop with a few spices. It’s our favorite way to eat it as a side dish: which we stole here for this casserole!
  • Sour Cream: Who wants to dirty another pan to make a cheese sauce? You’ll stir sour cream right into the rice to make it creamy.
  • White Cheddar Cheese: A sharp white cheddar cheese is perfect here. You can use aged cheese to get even more flavor.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adding shredded Parmesan brings just right right complexity!

Did you know wild rice isn’t really…rice?

Did you know that wild rice is not actually rice? (Mind blown, right?) It’s actually the seed from a native grass that grows in lakes and streams in the Northern US and Canada. But since it looks a lot like rice, wild rice is treated as rice in most cuisines! Wild rice was an important staple to Native Americans in the upper Great Lakes area of the US. I’m from Minnesota originally, so wild rice was part of the heritage and history of where I lived growing up!

Wild rice casserole

Wild rice vs brown rice

Though they’re not truly related, wild rice is often compared to brown rice. They are often served in similar ways, and wild rice is a great substitute for rice (like in a wild rice casserole!). Is wild rice healthier than brown rice? Here’s how they stack up:

  • Wild rice has less calories than brown rice, about 66% less! 1 cup of cooked wild rice has 166 calories and 1 cup brown rice has 248 calories. (Source)
  • Wild rice has slightly more protein than brown rice1 cup cooked wild rice has 6.5 grams protein vs 5.5 grams in brown rice. (Source)
  • Both wild and brown rice have the same amount of fiber, about 3 grams per 1 cup cooked.
Wild rice casserole

Make ahead tips!

Wild rice takes about 45 to 55 minutes to cook…which is why Alex and I used to avoid it in our recipes! But we’ve learned it’s absolutely worth the time. To make this wild rice casserole seriously simple to prep, here’s what you can do:

  • Make the wild rice in advance. Make the rice in advance and refrigerate until serving! The day of serving, mix it with the hot broccoli in a bowl, which should reheat it.
  • The day of, make the broccoli while the oven preheats. Saute the broccoli while the oven is preheating, then mix it with the wild rice to reheat it.

How to serve wild rice casserole

This wild rice casserole can be served as a side dish or a vegetarian and gluten-free dinner main dish! What could you serve with it to make it into a meal? Here are some ideas:

  • Lemony Steamed Green Beans These zesty steamed green beans are the epitome of an easy side dish: they take just 10 minutes to put together.
  • Best Ever Sauteed Mushrooms This wild rice casserole doesn’t have mushrooms, so why not serve them as a side! They’re meaty and would add a nice contrast.
  • Fennel Orange Salad Here’s a refreshing and easy side dish: fennel orange salad! It pairs juicy orange and the subtle licorice essence of fennel with a citrus vinaigrette.
  • Want more? Here are our Best Side Dishes.
Wild Rice casserole

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Wild rice casserole

Wild Rice Casserole (Broccoli Cheese!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Description

Here’s a modern spin on wild rice casserole! It’s broccoli cheese flavor, easy to make, and a healthy spin that’s heavy on whole foods.


Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Perfect Wild Rice (with onions and celery)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (2 large heads) broccoli (about 4 cups small florets)
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup (4 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese (aged, if you’d like)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the rice: Make the Perfect Wild Rice. (Meal prep tip: Make this in advance and refrigerate until serving. The day of serving, reheat it to warm, or mix with the still-warm broccoli in step 2 to reheat it.)
  2. Cook the broccoli: Meanwhile, chop the broccoli into small florets. Thinly slice the green onions. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the broccoli florets and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (the broccoli will lightly brown in parts). Stir in the green onion, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until crisp tender but still bright green. Taste and add a few pinches of salt if needed (make the flavor pop!) and fresh ground pepper. Remove to a large bowl. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Mix the casserole filling: When the wild rice is done, drain it and add the additional salt to taste as part of that recipe. Then place it in the bowl with the broccoli. Mix in the sour cream and 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese. Taste and add additional salt if you’d like (we added 1/4 teaspoon more). 
  5. Bake: Pour the filling into a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Bake 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Wild Rice Casserole

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Mushroom Barley Soup

This favorite mushroom barley soup is full of vegetables, chewy barley, and warming broth. It’s a recipe for cozy on gray days! Here’s of the coziest soups out there, ready to join the ranks of tomato basil and wild rice. Yep, it’s mushroom barley soup! This one is full of flavor: it uses both dried and fresh mushrooms for earthy savoriness. And it’s got a warming broth and nutritious veggies. But the star? Whole grain barley, which infuses each bite with a pasta-like chewy texture. If you love barley soup, you’re going to be all about this one! It’s perfect for healthy desk lunches in a thermos or enjoying a big steaming bowl after a long day. Alex made this one for me, and from the first bite I was hooked. Mushrooms: both dried and fresh! If you’re reading this, we’ll assume you’re mushroom lovers like we are. It took me years, but I finally learned to embrace the incredible flavor you can get from the humble mushroom, especially in plant based recipes. For this recipe, you’ll use two types of mushrooms: both dried and fresh! Don’t be scared of the dried mushrooms: they’re very easy to use! If you’ve […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

This favorite mushroom barley soup is full of vegetables, chewy barley, and warming broth. It’s a recipe for cozy on gray days!

Mushroom barley soup

Here’s of the coziest soups out there, ready to join the ranks of tomato basil and wild rice. Yep, it’s mushroom barley soup! This one is full of flavor: it uses both dried and fresh mushrooms for earthy savoriness. And it’s got a warming broth and nutritious veggies. But the star? Whole grain barley, which infuses each bite with a pasta-like chewy texture. If you love barley soup, you’re going to be all about this one! It’s perfect for healthy desk lunches in a thermos or enjoying a big steaming bowl after a long day. Alex made this one for me, and from the first bite I was hooked.

Mushroom barley soup

Mushrooms: both dried and fresh!

If you’re reading this, we’ll assume you’re mushroom lovers like we are. It took me years, but I finally learned to embrace the incredible flavor you can get from the humble mushroom, especially in plant based recipes.

For this recipe, you’ll use two types of mushrooms: both dried and fresh! Don’t be scared of the dried mushrooms: they’re very easy to use! If you’ve never worked with them before, here’s the down-low on using dried mushrooms:

  • Use any type. For this mushroom barley soup, you can use whatever type of dried mushroom you find at the store. Porcini is likely the easiest to find, but any will do.
  • Soak before using. Dried mushrooms needs to be dehydrated before using. For this recipe, you’ll soak the mushrooms for 30 minutes before adding to the soup.
  • Use the soaking liquid too. You’ll also pour in the mushroom soaking liquid into the soup, since that has lots of flavor too! Just make sure to strain out the liquid to make sure there are no tough parts of the mushrooms included.

Want more? Here’s all you need to know about working with dried mushrooms.

Barley soup

Tips on making mushroom barley soup

This mushroom barley soup is warming and cozy, but you can make it literally any time of the year. Packed with whole grains and vegetables, it’s a restoring, healthy dinner recipe or perfect for lunch. This soup is pretty straightforward to make, after you keep in mind the notes on using dried mushrooms above. Other than that, you’ll find it’s similar to many soup recipes you’ll find. Here are a few notes on this soup:

  • Speed it up with knife skills. The easiest place to get time savings in cooking is knowing your knife skills! To brush up, head to our Knife Skills 101 or click the links to the vegetables in the recipe below.
  • Try homemade veggie broth. Did you know you can make your own vegetable broth? It’s super easy and a great way to use up leftover veggies. Go to How to Make Vegetable Broth.
  • To make it more filling, add white beans. The soup is seriously good and filling on its own. If you want to take it up a level, add 1 15-ounce can of white beans with all the veggies. It adds even more plant based protein to keep you full!
  • Is barley gluten free? No! Barley contains gluten, so it’s not part of a gluten free diet.
Mushroom barley soup

What to serve with barley soup

How to make this mushroom barley soup into a meal? With soup, it’s all about the right sides. Here are some of our favorites to add to this one:

Mushroom barley soup

This barley soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Mushroom barley soup

Mushroom Barley Soup


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This favorite mushroom barley soup is full of vegetables, chewy barley, and warming broth. It’s a recipe for cozy on gray days!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in 2 cups of room temperature water for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, dice the onion. Peel and dice the carrots. Dice the celery. Slice the baby bella mushrooms. Mince the garlic.
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced baby bella mushrooms, soy sauce, and basil. Cook 4 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook 5 to 6 minutes until softened. Stir in the barley and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and kosher salt.
  4. Bring to simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes until barley is soft. Whenever the dried mushrooms are finished soaking (likely around when the simmering starts), remove and rinse them, then add them to the soup. Pour the remaining liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into the soup (this avoids any tough particles).
  5. Finish the remaining simmering time, then taste and add additional salt or pepper if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve warm.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Barley Soup, Mushroom Barley Soup, Vegetable Barley Soup

Mushroom recipes

Mushroom obsessed like we are? Here are a few more recipes you might enjoy:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes