Simply Healthy Family: WIld Rice and Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole


WIld Rice and Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole

I've never been a big casserole lover. I think that may be because most casseroles I've come across in my day are loaded with cream type soups and unhealthy fillers. This is one of those casseroles that came about quite by accident, a what do I have in the pantry and fridge that I can throw together sort of thing. Some days creativity completely eludes me. I'm o.k. with that.

This ended up being one of the most delicious and savory yet healthy casseroles that I've come up with in a while. Everyone just loved it {no easy feat with 4 picky eaters and a husband who "doesn't like all of his flavors to blend together.". 

Make sure you use a good quality wild rice, not a boxed one with the mystery packet of spices, sodium and preservatives. My favorite is from Trader Joe's called Brown Rice Medley. It has a mix of long grain brown rice, black barley and Daikon radish seeds it is very hearty and tasty.

This is my submission for week 2 of 12 weeks of Winter Squash 

Wild Rice and Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole



1 cup wild rice medley, cooked according to package directions *note, you will need about 2 cups of broth or water to cook the rice
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup grated mozzarella or Jack cheese
1 small yellow onion, chopped
*1 medium sized butternut squash
1 bunch of baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups apple juice (or broth, or water)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon fresh (or dried) thyme
1 Tablespoon fresh Parsley
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon real butter to coat your casserole dish with

Putting it all Together

Cook the rice according to package directions, minus about 10-15 minutes (it will continue to cook in the oven) I use broth to cook my rice, it adds flavor and vitamins.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds using a large spoon. Pour apple juice into a roasting pan and place squash face down. Roast at 400° F for about 20 minutes. You will want it to be a bit firm so you can cut it into cubes. Don't overcook!  *You can use pre-cubed squash if you please-only roast it for about 10 minutes instead of 20.
Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, brown the turkey over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, sauté 3 more minutes. Roughly chop spinach and add to turkey mixture. Cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove skin from squash and cut into 1 inch cubes. Put rice, turkey mixture, squash, herbs and spices into a prepared casserole dish. Bake at 400° F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake another 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted.

Enjoy the amazing aroma floating through your house and pat yourself on the back for creating it!!!


  1. this looks delicious!

  2. This is an amazing Fall dish...I'd even call it a non-traditional replacement for a Thanksgiving meal! Yum.

  3. I'm totally into casseroles, but only the made with whole unprocessed ingredients kinds. Which are admittedly few and far between. But this one is a beauty!

  4. This is so comforting and delicious!

  5. Perfect to Fall! I must make this!

  6. This looks so yummy! Any suggestions On a substitution for the turkey for us vegetarians?

    1. Im vegetarian as well. Quinoa worked really well as a meat sub in chili, so I'm going to try that. Maybe 1-2 cups cooked, til it looks balanced. Also extra rice will work

    2. Im vegetarian as well. Quinoa worked really well as a meat sub in chili, so I'm going to try that. Maybe 1-2 cups cooked, til it looks balanced. Also extra rice will work

    3. sorry for the delayed response! Beans would be great in this! Beans + rice = complete protein. I like quinoa but there's already wild rice in this so it would be a ton of grains.

  7. Any nutritional info?

  8. What type of cheese did you use?

    1. My apologies! I used mozzarella. Jack cheese or even ricotta would work well too.

  9. Anonymous1/19/2016

    Well now I have to run to the store again...

    You might want to add cheese to your ingredient list since it specifies that in the directions

    1. My sincere apologies! This was one of my earlier recipes here on Simply Healthy Family. Thank you for bringing it to my attention that I forgot to add cheese in the ingredient list, I've fixed the problem. Cheers!

  10. Frankly, I have just made it quite bad because using fire level too high. I'll try it again.


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