Oven Baked Brown Rice
Earthy mushrooms and a few other convenient ingredients turn basic brown rice into a special side dish.

Yield: 4-6 servings


Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces chopped mushrooms (I often use baby bellas or cremini mushrooms; button or a mix work well, too)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (6-1/2 ounces) long-grain brown rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth** (use vegetable stock for a vegetarian meal)
  • 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon fresh, minced***
  • Optional topping: crumbled blue cheese, grated Parmesan or Asiago, shredded mozzarella, Italian blend, or other cheese of choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a pan with a tight-fitting lid that can go from stovetop to oven, heat the oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the mushrooms and onions and sauté for 8-10 minutes or until they are browned and beginning to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30-60 seconds or until you can smell the garlic but it is not turning brown.
  4. Add the rice and stir until coated. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and thyme.
  5. Carefully, pour in the broth, increase the heat, and bring to a boil.
  6. As soon as the mixture boils, remove from the heat, cover, and bake for 45 minutes or until the broth is absorbed.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to sit, covered, for 10 minutes before serving. If you’d like to top with the optional cheese, quickly sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup overtop, and replace the lid.

Notes

  • *On occasion, I have replaced the onion half with the chopped white and light green parts of one leek.
  • **If using a standard 14.5-ounce can of broth, this will be just under 2 cups. You can make up the difference with water–or even white wine if you have some on hand. No need to open a second can for the scant quarter cup still needed.
  • ***If you do not have thyme on hand, or if you’re simply not a fan, the rice will still be delicious without. You could also substitute Italian seasoning.

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