Don’t you just love when you have a recipe that can be a favorite week in/week out? One you keep making and loving?
For me it’s the Creamy Caprese Cauliflower Casserole.
There’s something about that dish that I found quite special. It has a rich, comfort-food feel that you would never expect from a dish made with cauliflower and tomatoes.
It’s easy and delicious. Plus it makes great leftovers — not to mention everyone I have served it to has gone crazy for it.
So I thought it was time to make another caprese themed casserole.
Enters the Creamy Caprese Rice Casserole.
You can think of it as a sibling of the cauliflower casserole.
An easy cheesy casserole with fresh juicy grape tomatoes, soft melted mozzarella cheese, fluffy rice, and fresh basil.
Baked in the oven until all the flavors combine nicely to a create caprese casserole masterpiece that anyone can make for an easy gluten-free weeknight meal.
The tomatoes provide a bright pop that lightens up the dish, while the red pepper flakes give a zing of heat, the fresh chopped basil delivers a smooth, clean essence with every bite, and the the gooey mozzarella cheese brings it all together.
And since we’re on the brink of summer, this recipe couldn’t come at a better time as tomatoes are soon to be in season, and soon you might have more on your hands than you know what to do with.
I can guarantee you that everyone who tries this Creamy Caprese Rice Casserole absolutely falls in love with it. If you’re serving this at a potluck, you’ll definitely win friends and I am sure they will ask for the recipe.
A glorious and satisfying vegetarian meal, that you can always bulk up with some protein. I’m thinking chicken, bacon, Italian sausage or even shrimp.
You do you.
4 cups cooked rice
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
⅓ cup heavy cream
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional but highly recommended)
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
A handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and place a rack in the middle. Rub a medium-large baking dish with a bit of olive oil and set aside.
Heat tomato sauce and tomato paste in a large saucepan over low heat. Once warm, stir in heavy cream, Parmesan, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the rice.
Fold in half of the mozzarella, ¾ of the tomatoes, and a pinch of the chopped basil.
Pour the rice mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Top with remaining mozzarella and remaining tomatoes and bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining chopped basil, and serve.
One serving yields 250 calories, 8 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein.