Easy Leftover Recipe – Cheesy Rice Bake

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I will admit that I don’t often have leftovers. The meat that comes to me from the butcher arrives in packages for two. Our meals have vegetables, a starch – usually brown rice or quinoa or the like – and a small quantity of meat or fish. It’s rare that I’m cooking something big enough to have extras. But once in a blue moon – like when I roast a whole chicken or I have a ham – I do find myself with some leftover meat and I look for something to do with it. I often turn to a stir fry or fried rice but as the weather turns cold I find I want something more substantial. I had cooked a goat ham over the weekend and needed to do something with the leftovers. I had also cooked a pot of rice that I had ended up not using so I had my start. I don’t know about you but any time I cook rice I always make extra so I always have rice in my refrigerator. This recipe could just as easily be made with pasta of some sort. That is what I love about casseroles.


Cheesy Rice Bake 

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Serves 6 – 8

For the cheese sauce:
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 TBS Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
For the casserole:
5 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham, turkey or chicken
2 cups cooked broccoli
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup plus 1 TBS panko break crumbs
1/2 cup french fried onions

Make the cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. When melted add the Dijon mustard and mix well.
Add the flour and whisk until a smooth paste is formed.
Carefully pour in the milk while whisking so no lumps form. Add the salt.
Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken.
Add the cheese and stir until the cheese melts.
Set aside.
Make the casserole:
Preheat the oven to 350°
Spray a 9×13″ dish with cooking spray.

Sprinkle the 1 TBS of panko break crumbs on the bottom of the pan.
Add 2 1/2 cups of rice and spread it evenly on the bottom of the pan

Add the broccoli evenly over the rice
Add the ham (or turkey or chicken) over the broccoli
Sprinkle the cheese over top.

Spread half of the cheese sauce over top and spread to cover.
Top with the remaining 2 1/2 cups of rice.
Add the remaining cheese sauce and spread evenly over the top.

Break up the french fried onion rings and mix them with the panko break crumbs. Spread over the top of the cheese sauce.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Let sit for 5 minutes before you serve.


This was a cheesy, creamy, delicious all in one meal. It would be just as yummy with turkey or chicken. I will be making it with some leftover turkey ’cause I am cooking a bird this year! It’s my second time cooking a turkey. I find that amusing in all of my years. We have always gone somewhere for Thanksgiving but this year we are home. I’m looking forward to it.


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