Have you ever had days when you have stuffed yourself silly or ended up eating out too often for your own liking? Yes, I know we have all been there! One meal I always use to get back on the wagon is anything light and rice based. This navy beans and wild rice casserole is one of the examples. Rice will always mean comfort to me and it usually comes in the form of rasam sadam ( ‘rasam’ refers to a spicy broth which often contains lentils and ‘sadam’ refers to cooked rice). However I like exploring different versions of this staple combo and this is one the latest ones.
This is meant to be a light and yet, a very fulfilling dish. Trust me, you definitely won’t be left feeling hungry after you eat this!There was also another reason I chose these two ingredients – when I was looking up the cooking time for the wild rice and navy beans, I realized they have similar cooking times. No need to soak the beans here. Just combine the rice, beans and the total amount of liquid needed to cook each of them in an instant pot and voila! its ready before you know it.
One of the best things about dishes like these are you can take the flavor profile any which way you want. I chose to keep it simple and seasoned it with mostly some Italian seasoning, ginger and paprika. You can of course make it more East Asian inspired or may be add some middle eastern flavorings. There is truly nothing to stop you from playing around and making it your own.
Ingredient list for navy beans and wild rice casserole
I would highly recommend cooking beans yourself. They might seem like a hassle at first but once you start, you won’t go back. Also another big plus is you can make a big batch in one go. Use what you need and freeze the rest for using another time. They freeze well and work out really well in a variety of dishes.
For this recipe, I used
- Navy beans – They are smaller is size. Although I recommend soaking beans, this one worked out well with no soaking. They should be available in smaller bags in most grocery stores. If you don’t fancy cooking them, you can always choose canned beans.
- Wild Rice – I love wild rice.It is technically not “rice” but is rather a type of grass. They are black in color while raw and smell like tea to me. Yes, it does smell like tea. When they are cooked, you can see them split open and they have a wonderful chewy texture.
- Vegetable Broth- This is completely optional but cooking the rice and beans in the broth adds some extra flavor. Feel free to use just water as well.
- Vegetables – I used mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, spinach and shallots
- Aromatics and spices – I used fresh garlic, powdered ginger ( you can use fresh), paprika, fresh/dry herbs or Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
- Plant milk – To add a little creaminess. My go-to is oat milk but I decided to go with lightened coconut milk for this dish.
- Nutritional Yeast – This is again optional but adds a little extra to this dish. Nutritional yeast it is packed with vitamins and folic acid making it a great additional or topping for any savory dish.
I started off by initially rinsing the beans and wild rice and placing it in the instant pot. If you don’t have an instant pot, I would suggest looking up the cooking time in a regular pressure cooker or on the stove pot since the time and the cooking liquid volumes will vary. I combined the total amount of liquid required for the rice and beans each and let it pressure cook for 25-26 minutes.
In the meanwhile, we will heat up a pan with some oil. We will start off by adding the shallots and fresh garlic. Once they are lightly browned, we will add cauliflower and carrots and let them cook for a few minutes. I added some of the powdered ginger, paprika, herbs/italian seasoning salt and pepper. Let it cook for a couple of more minutes before adding the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cook down for 2 minutes. Add the spinach ,half of the reserved plant milk and mix well.
Now we will add the cooked navy beans and wild rice. Mix well and add the remaining spices and herbs and a little more salt, pepper. Also mix in the remaining coconut milk. Cover the pan and turn down the heat to medium-low. Let the stew simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir once every 5 minutes to ensure nothing sticks to the pan or burns. Add more coconut milk if required. After it has simmered for at least 10 minutes, turn down the heat to low and check if any more seasoning is required. Add more if needed.Top with the nutritional yeast before serving.
If you try out this recipe for this Navy Beans and Wild Rice Casserole or have any questions/ comments, please leave a comment below. Do check out what I am up to elsewhere at Instagram and Pinterest.
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Navy Beans and Wild Rice Caserrole
- 1 cup Navy Beans rinsed
- 1 cup Wild rice rinsed
- 5 cup Vegetable Broth or Water
- 1 cup Baby Bella or Button Mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 1 cup Carrots cleaned and diced
- 2 cup Cauliflower cleaned and separated into florets
- 2 cup Spinach cleaned and chopped
- 2 Shallots finely chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic finely chopped or grated
- 2-3 cup Coconut Milk
- 1 tsp Powdered Ginger
- 1/2 tsp Powdered Pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 2 tbsp Dry herbs or Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast optional
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Avacado Oil/ Neutral Oil
- Place the rinsed beans and rice in an instant pot. Add 5 cups of vegetable broth or water. Pressure cook for 26 minutes with natural pressure release.
- Prepare the vegetables and other ingredients. Heat a large pan and add a couple of tablespoons of avacado or any other neutral oil. Add the chopped shallots, garlic and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chopped carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes. Now add the cauliflower florets and saute. Add salt, pepper, part of the reserved paprika, ginger, dried herbs and mix well. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and mix. Now add spinach and half of the reserved nutritional yeast. Mix well.
- Now add 2 cups of coconut or any plant milk.
- Now add 4-5 cups of the cooked rice and bean mixture. Mix well and add the remaining milk along with the remaining seasoning if required. Close the pan and let it simmer at low heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Top with the reamining nutritional yeast and turn off the heat. Serve with a side of garlic bread.
- The cooking time includes the time required for the instant pot to cook and for natural release of the build up steam.
- If you want to swap the beans and rice with any other type, I would suggest choosing them to ensure their cooking times are similar. Else, I would suggest cooking them separately.
- Feel free to add any vegetables of your choice to the dish if you want to skip or swap any of them in the recipe.