Oven Baked Rice Casserole
on Feb 23, 2023, Updated Mar 16, 2023
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This oven baked rice casserole is a modern take on a traditional Bulgarian dish called “Drob sarma”. Drob sarma is a main course popular in Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries made with chopped liver (and other organs) baked in the oven with rice, scallions. spinach, mint, and which gets baked, covered with a creamy mixture and baked again. Since a lot of people may find the traditional version off-putting we decided to bring you a oven baked rice casserole with veggies instead! The traditional version of this dish is typically enjoyed on Easter or St. George day which is May 6th. It symbolizes the end of winter, and beginning of new life.
Table of Contents
Oven Baked Rice and Veggie Casserole
The Rice Filling:
- ¼ cup avocado oil, (60 ml) or any oil
- 3 washed and finely chopped leeks or yellow onion , (300 grams)
- 2 peeled and grated carrots
- 1 small container finely diced button mushrooms, (200 grams) optional
- 1 small pack of frozen thawed spinach, (500 grams) or fresh
- 1 cup of washed jasmine rice, (200 grams)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 finely diced green onions
- 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 2.5 cups unsalted vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint
- 1.5 cups plain yogurt , (350 grams)
- 3 medium eggs
- salt to taste , heaping pinch
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
The Rice Filling:
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
- In a pan on the stove add the oil and heat it up. Add in the finely chopped leeks (or yellow onion) and grated carrots. Sauté for a few minutes until the leeks soften up. We like to sauté on medium heat.
- Add in the mushrooms and stir. If you don't like mushrooms, skip this step.
- Stir in the frozen or fresh spinach and sauté for another minute.
- Stir in the rinsed rice and add the salt and pepper to taste. I added two generous pinches of salt.
- Add the finely chopped scallions and garlic. Stir it in for another minute. I want you stirring in between each ingredient.
- Pour in the unsalted vegetable broth and mint. Take it off the heat.
- If your pan is OVEN safe you can pop it in the oven but if it's not, transfer the mixture into a baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the rice has cooked.
- Take it out of the oven and enjoy as is OR proceed to the next step and make the delicious topping below.
- When the rice is cooked, take a separate bowl, add the yogurt and whisk for a minute until silky smooth. Add the eggs and whisk again. Add a big pinch of salt and the flour and whisk again until there are no lumps.
- Pour this yogurt mixture over the baked rice and distribute it evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Pop it back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until golden. We like to put it on BROIL (top grill only) the last 1-2 minutes since our oven doesn't bake evenly on top.
- Once baked and golden, take it out of the oven and let it SET for at least 30-40 minutes. As it sets it will be easier to take out into the perfect squares and not fall apart.
- We cut it into squares, take out a piece and enjoy with a green salad or yogurt on the side! Enjoy.