Sweet & Nutty Rice Casserole

Liz Weiss, MS, RD, and Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD. Photograph by Ghazalle Badiozamani

Sweet and nutty rice

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Makes 6 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 very small onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)

1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed under cold water and drained

1 32-ounce carton all-natural vegetable broth (4 cups)

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to tasted

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3/4 cup)

We suspect that at some point in your life, you’ve eaten chicken and rice casserole, held together with a can of cream of mushroom soup. To shake things up, we gave this dish a vegetarian twist by nixing the chicken and adding chickpeas, carrots, and sweet, golden raisins. The toasted almonds on top add the perfect crunch.


Preheat oven to 350°.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven* over medium heat. Add carrots and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add rice and stir until coated with the oil.

Add broth, chickpeas, raisins, honey, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Increase heat and bring liquid to a simmer.

Cover and place in oven. Bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Top with almonds and serve.

Tip: If you don’t have a Dutch oven, prepare the rice in a large saucepan or skillet, transfer to a 3- or 4-quart casserole dish, cover with a fitted lid or aluminum foil, and bake for about 25 minutes.

Per Serving:

Calories: 290

Carbohydrates: 51 g

Fat: 7 g

Protein: 8 g

Fiber: 6 g

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes