Green Chile Brown Rice Casserole is a cheesy, easy side dish to complement your main course. Fantastic flavors combine with a delicious balance of creamy sour cream, green chile, and a touch of jalapeno.
Green Chile Brown Rice Casserole has super flavorful green chile, a bit of jalapeno, sour cream, and cheese. Adjust the heat from the jalapeno to your taste, or leave it out all together. This green chile rice recipe is a versatile side dish and so easy to prepare.
Why this recipe works
I have been remaking old recipes lately. Recipes like my Lemon Delight and Cornbread Salad. As much as I love new foods and trends (have you tried birria quesatacos yet?!), there is just something special about old recipes that I used to make way back when, and this is one of those.
In the 90s, I was in my 20s, and it was during this time that I learned to cook. I lived in Texas at the time, and this is why so many of my “way back when” recipes have a southern feel to them, with lots of jalapeno, or poblano, or green chile.
Brown rice casserole works because it has that throwback vibe to it, in the form of a versatile and easy side dish.
Mild green chile flavor is a perfect complement to grilled meat or seafood. Think grilled chicken or roast salmon. Definitely think of this casserole as a side dish for Taco Tuesday – this recipe BELONGS on Taco Tuesday.
This green chile rice recipe is a wonderful complement to so many main courses, easy to make, and easy to scale up to feed more people. This is why you will love this recipe!
- Brown rice. Brown rice works better in this recipe because of its flavor and because it has more texture/mouthfeel than white rice.
- Mushrooms and unsalted butter. I buy mushrooms already sliced to same time.
- Sauce ingredients: reduced fat sour cream and a can of condensed cream of celery soup.
- Green chile and jalapeno. Green chiles, by their nature, are super mild, and I opt to add a jalapeno – or two – to kick up the flavor and add just a touch of heat. I use fresh jalapeno because they also add crunch and texture, but pickled can be used as an alternative.
- Monterey Jack cheese. Other cheeses, such as Mexican Blend, Colby-Jack, or cheddar blend are alternatives.
- Garnish: chili powder and parsley. I give variations below because you can really top this casserole so many ways.
How to make green chile rice casserole
First, we cook our brown rice. This can be done following the directions on the package, but have a tendency to never get that to work right. So, a better method with the same cook time is to use my Perfect Brown Rice recipe and cook your rice like pasta. It is a NO FAIL way to get fluffy perfect brown rice.
While the rice is cooking, we brown the mushrooms in butter. I am very particular about cooking mushrooms, so if you need more direction on how to cook them right, see my post for How to Brown Mushrooms.
Once the mushrooms are browned, then we have our decision point: spicy, a little spice, or not spicy. Here a key to help (assume medium-sized jalapenos):
How spicy do I want my green chile rice casserole?
Spicy = 2 jalapenos
A little kick = 1 jalapeno
No spice = no jalapeno
We add the jalapeno to the pan with the mushrooms and give them a little cook for a minute to take off some of the “raw” but so that they still retain crunch.
Then we just mix everything together: rice, mushrooms, jalapeno, sour cream, soup, salt (just a pinch because the soup has salt already in it), and green chile. Put all this in a small casserole or 2-quart bake dish, then we bake at 375°F until bubbly.
I like to cook this until it speaks to me with a little sizzle, when the cheese is nice and melty and even golden in places, and the casserole is golden around the edges.
Then we garnish and serve. And don’t forget to garnish either because anything baked under a homogenous blanket of cheese is screaming for a garnish even if it is just a pinch of parsley or sprinkling of chile powder. Or both.
This brown rice casserole is so straight forward and the flavors are mild, so this is a great recipe to play with and get creative.
- Transform this side dish into a main course by adding shredded chicken or black beans.
- Replace the green chile and jalapeno with roasted poblano pepper for a different flavor profile, delicious in its own way.
- Finish with different toppings like cilantro, smoked paprika, green onion, or black olives.
- Omit the Monterey Jack cheese and after baking the casserole, sprinkle crumbled queso fresco cheese over top. Or include both – hell, it’s cheese.
Yes. White rice may be used in place of brown. Simply cook according to package directions.
Yes. The rice can be cooked and the ingredients combined ahead of time. I recommend baking when ready to serve because we really aren’t “cooking” this, we are heating it through and once the cheese is melted you will want to serve right away.
I get it. It’s a processed ingredient. This is a bit of an old school recipe because it has that condensed soup. I actually first made this back in the 90s, so there we are.
There are recipes for making your own cream of celery soup, and one could try that though I would recommend making it a thick consistency. I have not done this, and I like the distinct flavor and consistency condensed cream of celery brings to this easy side.
Leftover casserole will keep 3-4 days. Simply reheat portions in the microwave.
Yes. Get it all done and together, put in a container that can go from freezer to oven (such as an aluminum pan), cover with foil, and freeze for up to 1 month. Remove from the freezer, allow to thaw, and bake.
Want another creamy vegetarian rice side dish too? Vegetarian Rice Casserole is an elegant, make-ahead casserole that is just as yummy.
Green Chile Brown Rice Casserole
- 1 ½ cups brown rice uncooked
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 oz white button or baby cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1 to 2 fresh jalapenos seeded and chopped (optional)
- 1 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 1 (10.5 oz) can condensed cream of celery soup undiluted
- 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chile
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 4 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- garnish: couple pinches chili powder and chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Cook the brown rice according to package directions or according to my Perfect Brown Rice recipe.
- In a medium skillet, brown the mushrooms in the butter over high heat until browned. Add the chopped jalapeno and sauté an additional minute, tossing occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine the cooked rice with the remaining ingredients except the cheese. Spread in a 2-qt baking dish. Top with the cheese.
- Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden around the edges. Garnish and serve.
Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.