This rice and vegetable casserole is the perfect one pot dinner, packed with veggies, rice and beans – such a hearty vegetable bake that’s comforting and full of goodness.
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If you love a good one pot dinner that you can just mix up and chuck in the oven, this one pot rice and vegetable casserole is perfect. It’s packed with different veggies, along with rice and beans, and it makes a really hearty, healthy dinner. And it’s super easy to make!
Vegetarian one pot dinner
My favourite type of meal is one that cooks itself. I do love cooking, but I love not cooking even more…
With this rice and vegetable casserole, all you need to do is mix everything together, and pop it in the oven. I cooked the veg on the hob (in the same pot) for a few minutes beforehand, but to be honest you could probably skip that step without any trouble if you can’t be bothered.
What vegetables to use for vegetable casserole
As with most of my recipes, you can pretty much make this one your own. You don’t have to use the same vegetables as I did – most things will work fine.
- red onion
- aubergine (eggplant)
- courgette (zucchini)
Basically, as long as your veg all cook in a similar amount of time, go ahead and throw them in. If you’re using something like carrots, which might take a bit longer to cook, you can either just cut them a bit smaller than the other vegetables, or cook them for a little while before you add the other ingredients.
What else goes in this vegetable casserole?
I cooked the veg for a few minutes on the hob, then added the remaining ingredients: rice, cannellini beans (any other bean will work fine too!), veggie stock, and a good dollop of pesto.
Mix it all together, and it’s ready to cook.
I took this opportunity to use my huge casserole dish. It’s incredibly satisfying to use – it’s one of those heavy cast iron ones that will last a lifetime – and I love using it when I make this kind of big casserole. It makes any meal feel even more hearty, if that was possible, and it’s brilliant for plopping in the middle of the table when I’m feeding a crowd.
Just pop the casserole dish in the oven, and let it all cook. It actually doesn’t take too long – just half an hour or so, until the rice is soft. Much quicker than a lot of other oven bakes.
You can either eat it straight away, or add a crispy topping, like I did. I can’t resist a crispy topping. I used a mixture of grated cheese and breadcrumbs for the ultimate flavour and texture combination.
Rice and vegetable bake
This rice and vegetable casserole is super warming and hearty, full of veggies, beans, crispy cheese… it’s comfort on a plate.
I adore this kind of healthy comfort food – it makes me feel warm and cosy, but it’s also full of goodness.
I served my vegetable casserole with some salad and garlic bread, which was wonderful. Nothing better than scooping that rice onto a piece of garlic bread.
How else could I adapt this vegetable casserole recipe?
There are all sorts of ways you could make this vegetable casserole your own.
As I said, you could easily use different vegetables in this recipe. You could also swap the cannellini beans for chickpeas, black beans, or any other. Mix some red lentils into the rice (with an extra splash of liquid). Swap the pesto for a dollop of curry paste or tomato puree.
There are pretty much no vital ingredients in this recipe, so you could easily use the same idea to make any kind of vegetable casserole you like.
One pot rice and vegetable casserole
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 medium aubergine (eggplant), cut into chunky dice
- 1 medium courgette (zucchini), cut into chunky dice
- 6 medium mushrooms, quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs (I used an Italian-style blend)
- 210 g (~ 1 cup) white rice
- 1 litre (~ 4 cups) vegetable stock
- 3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 400 g tin cannellini beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 2 tbsp pesto
- Black pepper
- 25 g (~ 1/3 cup) breadcrumbs (I used panko)
- 50 g (~ 1/2 cup) grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- Add the oil to a large saucepan or oven-proof casserole dish, and add the red onion, aubergine, courgette, mushrooms, garlic and mixed herbs. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are fragrant and beginning to brown.
- If you used a saucepan that’s not oven-proof, transfer to an oven-safe casserole dish. Add the rice, stock, tomatoes, beans, pesto, and plenty of black pepper. Mix well to combine.
- Add a lid to the pan (or cover tightly with foil, if you don’t have a lid), and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. The rice should be fairly soft. Stir the casserole well, then add the breadcrumbs and grated cheese to the top. Bake again, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes, or until the topping is crisped up to your liking.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe.