recipe

Baked Rice Casserole: the delicious main dish recipe rich in tomato sauce

Total time: 45 Min
Difficulty: Low
By Cookist
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If you’ve been searching for a way to use up leftover risotto rice, look no further than this recipe for baked tomato rice. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also versatile, which means you can customize it according to your liking, or to the ingredients you have on hand.

The texture is creamy with a slight crispiness on the outside, and each bit is packed with flavor. To make it, you will need leftover risotto rice, tomato sauce, peas, bacon, cheese, and eggs for binding. Layer the ingredients in an oven-safe baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, and bake!

Baked Rice Casserole Ingredients

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Cooked rice – using risotto rice (also called arborio rice) lends a creaminess to the dish, but any other cooked rice will also work here.

Tomato sauce – use high-quality tomato sauce (not ketchup or pizza sauce).

Egg – the egg is used as a binder for the dish.

Cheese – two types of cheese is used in this recipe: Parmesan and cheddar.

Bacon – add some meatiness to the dish and gives it a smoky flavor.

Peas – use drained canned peas.

How To Make Baked Rice Casserole

To make the rice mixture, place the cooked risotto in a large mixing bowl and stir in the tomato sauce, egg, and grated parmesan cheese. Mix until combined. To assemble the dish, start by sprinkling some breadcrumbs in a casserole pan and top with half of the risotto mixture. Add the peas (or other veggies if using), bacon slices (or other meats), and grated cheese.

Cover with the remaining risotto and smooth out with the help of a spatula and top with grated cheese. Bake until the bacon is cooked through. Make sure that the dish remains moist, if you see the rice becomes too dry, add a bit of liquid (water, chicken stock, white wine).

Tips For Making Baked Tomato Rice

If the rice is hard, it means that the dish is too dry. Add a bit of chicken stock (or dry white wine) and continue to cook until the rice softens.

If you can’t find a high-quality tomato sauce, use canned tomato.

Want to use other meat? Cooked chorizo, Italian sausage, ham, or smoked turkey will all work well.

Want to make it vegetarian? Leave out the bacon slice, and use sautéed mushrooms instead.

Amp up the flavor with sautéed garlic and onion.

This recipe makes a great base for using other vegetables. You can also add steamed butternut, spinach (steamed and squeezed to remove excess moisture), leeks, zucchini, bell peppers, red onions, or sweetcorn.

Serve the Baked Rice Casserole as a main with a fresh green salad, or serve it as a side alongside roast pork or chicken.

How To Store Baked Rice Casserole

The dish is best enjoyed immediately, but you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days. Whenever you work with rice, it’s important to cool the rice quickly. For food safety reasons, it shouldn’t sit at room temperature for long periods.

Ingredients
cooked risotto
400 g
Tomato sauce
400 ml (1 3/4 cups)
Egg
1
Grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp
Breadcrumbs
2 tbsp
canned peas
90 g
grated cheese, for topping
1/2 cup
Bacon
Grated cheese
250 g (3 cups)

Instructions

Place the cooked risotto in a large mixing bowl.

Stir in the tomato sauce, egg, and grated parmesan cheese. Mix until combined.

Sprinkle some breadcrumbs in a casserole pan and top with half of the risotto mixture.

Add the peas, bacon slices, and grated cheese.

Cover with the remaining risotto and smooth out with the help of a spatula and top with grated cheese.

Bake in an already heated oven at 400°F or 190°C for about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes and cut it into slices.

Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Fresh herbs will go well with this dish. Try any of the following: basil, oregano, parsley, or thyme.

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