Mushroom, Rice and Spinach Casserole

October 14, 2019
Mushroom, Rice and Spinach Casserole - A wonderful healthy redo of a church lady casserole from the days when cream of something soup was still in fashion

Healthy comfort food

Mushroom, Rice and Spinach Casserole - A wonderful healthy redo of a church lady casserole from the days when cream of something soup was still in fashion

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This past week called for something in this category.  I waited for inspiration to come over me, nothing did

When in doubt, consult the cookbook your mom used the most when you were a kid.  Within a few minutes thumbing through the casserole category, I'd found the perfect thing.

Not entirely healthy as it was, but I could fix that

The original, of course, called for a cream of mushroom soup/sour cream combination to hold it together and give it a creamy texture.  Also included were handfuls of cheese, piled on top, and baked until it oozed onto the oven floor.

Alas, when you know better, you do better.  So I played with it a bit.

Mushroom, Rice and Spinach Casserole - A wonderful healthy redo of a church lady casserole from the days when cream of something soup was still in fashion

I used a combination of cottage cheese and Greek yogurt as a binder, with more grown-up tastes for flavor.  Mushrooms, onions, and garlic were sautéed with spinach and mixed through the rice.

Gruyère and/or Parmesan sprinkled throughout, not for the effect of melted cheese, but instead for the tasty finish it would bring.

The spice was kept simple: tyme, and a bit of salt and pepper.  Rustic herbed bread crumbs sprinkled on top.

Mushroom, Rice and Spinach Casserole - A wonderful healthy redo of a church lady casserole from the days when cream of something soup was still in fashion

This is a recipe that could go so many ways, depending on the mood of the day or things in your cupboard

I could easily imagine veggies added, or your favorite meat for protein, any cheese to dot the top, your favorite blend of spices.  Maybe you like a creamier blend to hold it together?  Double the cottage cheese/Greek yogurt potion?  How about a different grain combination?

It's hard to go wrong.



Mushroom, Rice and Spinach Casserole - A wonderful healthy redo of a church lady casserole from the days when cream of something soup was still in fashion

(Note from Ali:  This recipe originally appeared in April 2013, back when The Veggies was just getting started.  It's one of our favorites, and I couldn't resist making a batch this past weekend.  I originally set out to freshen up the photos but decided an updated post was in order for those who maybe haven't ventured through the archives.  Enjoy!)

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~ Adapted from Sugar ‘N Spice (United Methodist Church Estherville, Iowa)

Mushroom, Rice and Spinach Casserole


  • ¾ lb (~ 8 ounces) mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, well chopped
  • roasted garlic
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 eggs (large or XL)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan/Gruyère cheese combination
  • 16 oz spinach, long stems removed and rough-chopped

  • Rustic Bread Crumbs
  • 3 - 4 slices bread, torn into small pieces (gluten-free if you're avoiding gluten)
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup butter, melted but not hot


Rustic Herbed Bread Crumbs

  • Combine bread, parsley, and thyme in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Transfer to a bowl, toss with melted butter. Set aside.


  • Preheat oven to 350° F
  • Rub a medium-large baking dish with a bit of olive oil or butter and set aside. (The pan I use is slightly smaller than a classic 9x13 baking dish - just grab for something in this ballpark)
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute the mushrooms in a glug of olive oil sprinkled with a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt.
  • Stir every minute or so, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and browned a bit.
  • Add the onions and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes or until they are translucent.
  • Stir in the garlic and chopped spinach, cook for another minute or two until the spinach has wilted. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the rice to the skillet and stir until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, salt, and the Parmesan cheese.
  • To the skillet, add the cottage cheese mix and stir until well combined. Turn out into your prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove foil, and bake for 20 - 30 minutes more, or until hot throughout, and golden along the edges.
  • Preheat broiler to high. Sprinkle top of the casserole with herbed bread. Broil on rack 8 inches from heat until the top is browned (~ 2 to 3 minutes)
Serves: 6
Nutrition + Show
Calories 390
Total Fat 13.6g
Saturated Fat 6.3g
Carbohydrates 48g
Fiber 5g
Sugars 6.8g
Protein 21.2g
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  • Reply Heydave April 23, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Wow, that is one tasty looking casserole. You’re right: lots of different combinations possible, but those basics seem great.

  • Reply Rita February 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    5 stars
    I tried this today and it was simply delicious. Even my son managed a few bits. I just found your blog a month or so ago and have already cooked some of your recipes. They’ve always turned out really lovely. Thanks, Ali

  • Reply Maggie March 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing. Simply delicious. I followed the recipe and added diced chicken. Planned it for several days of taking lunch to work, but it didn’t make it through the weekend. My new go-to dish!

  • Reply Valerie November 5, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for lunch for my BFF on Sunday. He’s a foodie and watched every step while we had the sweetest chats. We enjoyed the casserole with a really nice salad. It was our Sundate and it was perfect.

  • Reply Catalina April 14, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    I made this last night and it was delicious. I subbed low-fat versions of sour cream and cottage cheese. I also added chopped rosemary to the mushrooms. When I make this again, I think I’ll add more mushrooms and mix up the varieties. I also might add jalapeno or another chili to make it a bit spicy.

  • Reply Amy H October 17, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    I never liked mushrooms at all growing up. I would painstakingly pick them out of every dish my mum cooked them into and put them in a little heap on the side of my plate. About a year ago I decided that I should like mushrooms and began to order them everywhere. Now I cannot get enough of them. Seriously. If a friend is chopping them for a dish, half are gone before she can put them in the pan. Thanks for this recipe, I am off home to cook it for lunch!

  • Reply Swathi October 17, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    I easily made this vegan by subbing unsweetened almond yogurt (recommend Kite Hill brand), omitting the eggs, and using vegan parm crumbles (many recipes online for this) instead of the Parmesan. It was AMAZING!!! I also subbed half the rice for king bean noodles for more of a vermicelli style and loved that too. Great as a vegan, gluten-free thanksgiving dish! Thanks, Ali!

  • Reply Andrea October 30, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Love the sound of this, and cant wait to try it! It’s been getting chilly around here lately and this sounds like just the thing to warm me up! Thank you for sharing it!

  • Reply Ellen Elizabeth November 3, 2019 at 9:43 am

    I made this last night after salivating over the pic for days! We loved it. I went to bed dreaming of having more for breakfast. I did use non-fat Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream and added a bit of chopped kale. I’m adding this to my holiday recipe folder, it’s perfect. Thanks Ali!

  • Reply Melissa November 12, 2019 at 10:39 am

    It’s in the oven right now! I wasn’t sure about the cottage cheese, but when I mixed it in, it smelled just right (my mom also made rice or egg noodle + condensed mushroom soup comfort food). I threw in some chestnuts and kale because they were around, but perhaps simpler is better here – I’ll know in a few minutes when it’s done. thanks

  • Reply Annie November 16, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Made this for dinner tonight: delightful! I made it “straight”, but I definitely want to try variations on the theme next. I’m also pointing every friend I have to this recipe — it’s that good!

  • Reply Marcie W. November 30, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    I loved this when I made it two nights ago (my husband and I have already devoured the whole thing, embarrassingly). I used quinoa, which was fabulous, and used a low-fat Greek yogurt in place of BOTH the sour cream and cottage cheese (it’s what I had on hand, but also saved some calories, I’m sure). This is putting me into a casserole mood!

  • Reply Elaine January 23, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I can’t wait to make this! I love mushrooms. My husband always feels that he needs meat with his dinner, but I think this might satisfy him. Keep these delicious recipes coming, Ali!

  • Reply Cheryl February 9, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Oh, my word. I love love love love love love mushrooms and feel fortunate to live near the Mushroom Capital of the World (or so they say). I haven’t converted the rest of my family yet, but more for me, right? This might work, though…thanks for another perfect recipe!

  • Reply Ruth I February 9, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    Made this for lunch for my BFF today. He’s a food guy and watched every step, asking some questions. We enjoyed the casserole with a nice salad and sweet chats. It was our Thursdate and it was perfect. 🙂

  • Reply Lynndee March 5, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Man, I hardly ever eat mushrooms because I’m the only one in my household who likes them, and every week I pass them longingly at the farmer’s market. Well, no more. I’m going to make this, and my husband and kids can have cold cereal for dinner for all I care. Looks wonderful.

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