Spinach Rice Gratin Recipe

A delicious rice gratin recipe - a hearty casserole of baked rice flecked with spinach. The top bakes into a golden cheese crust made even better with a generous sprinkling of black olives, red onions, and toasted pine nuts.

Spinach Rice Gratin

I opened my sister's freezer the other day and was greeted by stacks of individually portioned, vacuum sealed lasagnas. My sister is seventeen months pregnant right now - kidding, but that's how she feels. She told me they've been stock-piling easy, meals they can simply reheat or pop in the oven once the baby arrives. This got me thinking about healthy, baked, single-pan recipes. I threw this together the other night using a bunch of things I had on hand - brown rice, spinach, black olives, crumbled tofu, a bit of cheese, pine nuts, and a few eggs. It's the kind of thing you could prep in advance and pop in the oven anytime it's convenient. In short, I tossed all the ingredients together in a big bowl, turned them out into a baking dish, and after a thirty minute stint in the oven sat down to a hearty plate of baked rice flecked with spinach. The top bakes into a golden cheese crust made even better with a generous sprinkling of black olives, red onions, and toasted pine nuts.

Come to think of it - you could bake portions of the rice mixture in individual ramekins - that might be cute. And using the rice/egg/tofu ratio you can certainly remix this based on whatever accent ingredients you prefer or have on hand.

Rice Gratin Recipe

Update: Look who made his appearance yesterday. :)

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Spinach Rice Gratin Recipe

2 1/2 cups leftover/pre-cooked brown rice, room temp
1 1/2 cups cups well finely chopped spinach
4 ounces firm organic tofu, crumbled
10 black olives, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1/3 cup pine nuts or almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Manchego cheese (or Parm, or Gruyere)
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Rack in the top third. Grease a 10-inch round baking dish (or equivalent) with a bit of olive oil.

In a large bowl combine the rice, spinach, and tofu. Now, reserving a bit of each for garnish, stir in the olives, and red onion, pine nuts and olive oil. Now stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, and salt. Fold the eggs into the rice mixture, pour into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the casserole is set, and the top toasty and golden. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with remaining onions, olives, and nuts. Sprinkle with a bit more salt before serving - or taste and get a sense of whether you need any.

Serves 8 - 12.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Beautiful baby - congrats! My sister is newly pregnant and not feeling so great. She emailed me begging for a recipe that didn't have meat or veggies in it because she's now completely adverse to them. Maybe if I hide the veggies in a dish like this she'll be able to get it down. I had suggested mac & cheese - this is a little bit more nutritious for her and the baby!


I'm going to try this soon! As a stay at home Mom with 2 year old twins, one dish meals are invaluable - can you add more? Congrats - he's ADORABLE :)


Another vegan comment: any type of flour would work well as a binder - try chickpea flour, partially-cooked cornmeal to get something like polenta, or a mixture of flours for more complex flavor. Blended tofu would work perfectly too, although I try to avoid using soy whenever possible.


congrats to your sister! we did the same in our house about a month prior to our little guy's arrival in late january. i cooked 7 big meals - including two from your blog, heidi - and we never regretted it. mostly soups and stews that kept well frozen, but overall it was a good month or two before i had the energy to cook again. (i do the cooking in our house, with much pleasure.) for the record we made your lasagne (simplified, but it's been such a hit we've made it easily a dozen times since then for friends and ourselves) and lentil soup. we saved them in three serving dishes. we have the freezer space in the basement of our house. it took us ~3 mos to get through all of the food. i highly recommend to anyone about to have a baby to make a boatload of good foods that you can and you'll thank yourself later. and thanks, heidi, for the continual great blog and recipes.

jose nazario

Heidi, I'm not big on tofu - is there anything else I can use please, for the spinach rice gratin? God bless the baby, by the way; - he's beautiful!


Heidi, I'm not big on tofu - is there anything else I can use please, for the spinach rice gratin? God bless the baby, by the way; - he's beautiful!


Welcome to the world beautiful boy and thanks for the recipe Auntie Heidi. I am visiting in Victoria B C for a month so off the market to buy some spinach.Isn't the internet wonderful?


Your nephew is beautiful! Congratulations! I love baked dishes. They're so homey and comforting and practical. Thanks for another good one :)


OH this looks so good I am making it for dinner!!


Of course I have most of these ingredients on hand - I'll try it!


Just the word "tofu" scares me (sounds like it would be a variation of "snafu"). Anyway, the photo is appetizing and the the rest of the ingredients are things I like...I suppose it's time to broaden my horizons and buy the tofu (in the middle of the night when everybody I know is asleep) and give this recipe a try. Thank you.


This is in response to Laura's comment on the eggs. She could try soy flour as the binder, use one heaping Tablespoon soy flour and two tablespoons water instead of each egg. Should work like a charm.

Jill in Florida

I just picked up some broccoli at the farmer's market this weekend. I'm thinking of adding that diced instead of the spinach and using feta as I can't do the cow's milk.


This sounds delicious! And WHAT a beautiful baby! So adorable...


This looks so good...I'm not pregnant but I've been looking for freezer-friendly meals. Thanks!


Looks delicious. My best friend is pregnant, I will have to tell her about your sister's idea.


Congrats, Heidi!!!! All the best to your sister!


What a beautiful babe!!!! Congraulations to (I believe you said) your sister. This recipe came at the perfect time. I am craving Spinach right now and have a tub that I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. Now I know. Yummy. Thank you. Oh and by the way we made your banana chip cookies recently and I SWEAR they were by far the best cookies I have EVER tasted. Thanks for your dedication to beautful healthy food!


Love this recipe. Such a good base for so many recipes. I think this is a recipe I might just double up and put into super large ramekins for individual little baked casseroles throughout the week. Thanks H! See you at Taste3! =)


Congratulations on your beautiful nephew! Your gratin is good looking, too.

Roz McLean

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