Creamy Oven Parmesan Rice is the perfect side dish when you’re roasting meats or vegetables for a meal. You can pop both of them into the oven for an easy weeknight meal. If you prefer, turn the rice into something more substantial by adding chopped leftovers. Either way, the oven does almost all the work for you.
This recipe comes from Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That? Cookbook under the heading of Easy Oven Risotto and was my selection for this week’s I Heart Cooking Clubs Challenge for Cozy Foods. Ina mentions she learned the method from Donna Hay who is another IHCC featured chef.
So why did I change the name? Simple. Despite the fact that Ina uses arborio rice, this isn’t a risotto. It’s a rice dish. I used a rice that’s frequently used in Spain for paella…that doesn’t mean I’ve made a paella. I’ve made a rice dish. If you want to call it risotto that’s up to you. It is creamy and delicious and loaded with cheesy goodness. That’s the most important part.
The nice thing about making oven parmesan rice is you can choose to let it cook a little bit longer which allows the rice to get a little crunchy around the edges and sides. It’s a cozy dish that’s perfect for this week’s theme.
Use any rice you have on hand and figure on a cup of rice for four side servings or two large meal sized portions. Measure out the usual amount of broth (typically it’s 2 parts liquid to 1 part rice, but that depends on the rice) plus a little more. You’ll want to bake the rice in plenty of liquid plus have some left to add near the end of the cooking time.
The overall cooking time will depend on the type of rice used and whether or not you want to form a crust. I checked my rice based on the normal cooking time (about 20 minutes for the type I used) and decided how much longer to bake it when adding in the peas. You want it creamy as opposed to mushy. This can be tricky but if you’re used to cooking rice on the stove you probably have a feel for how long it takes for the brand you use.
Mix the rice and broth together in an oven proof cooking dish with a cover. I used a square baking dish with foil. A 2 quart coverage casserole would work well, too. If you’re making this for a crowd, use a dutch oven or roasting pan with a lid.
- 1 cup white rice
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided into 2 cups + 1 cup
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
- Mix the rice and 2 cups chicken stock in a baking dish (reserve the remaining stock for the end)
- Cover and bake for 20 minutes or so, depending on the type of rice.
- Remove from oven and check the rice for doneness. It should be a little underdone for your taste. If it's really underdone, return it to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the parmesan, butter, peas, parsley, seasoning and enough of the reserved stock to make it all saucy.
- If you prefer creamy rice, cover it and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. The residual heat will will finish cooking the rice and heat the peas. If you'd like some color and crunchy rice, leave the dish uncovered and return it to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes more.
Ina added dry white wine to her rice. If you’d like to do that use a splash of wine instead of reserved stock at the end of cooking. To make this a flexitarian meal, add a cup or so of chopped leftover chicken, ham, eggs, mushrooms, etc instead of (or in addition to) the peas. Serve with a green salad on the side.
I’m sharing this recipe with the cooks at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Be sure to drop by to see what cozy recipes the others have chosen.