This creamy salmon rice casserole is a winter comfort food recipe you can easily satisfy the whole family with. A combination of wild rice, seasonal vegetables, and a silky white wine parmesan sauce transform salmon into a baked casserole full of flavor.
In our house we’re pretty big fans of a good casserole or bake, they’re comforting, usually simple, and a complete meal in one scoop. We’re also really big fans of salmon, I love to cook it, and think it’s a fantastic vehicle for a huge variety of flavors across seasons.
This recipe brings those two tasty things together, in a salmon rice casserole that highlights winter produce like butternut squash, sunchokes, and leeks. We start by building flavor on the stove top, creating a creamy sauce for our salmon rice bake, before popping in the oven to finish.
By the time the 30 minute bake is up, the house will smell incredible and you’ll be serving up a hearty scoop of baked salmon and rice to eager plates.
The winter veggies we love for this recipe
Aside from the salmon and rice, this recipe’s success comes from a handful of ingredients that are beautiful this time of year.
- Butternut squash is widely available, sweet and delicious, but if you have acorn squash in your pantry, any sweet winter squash will work.
- Leeks are beautiful in the late winter, and provide a mellow onion flavor that’s really tasty in this dish. In a pinch shallots or a mild onion will work as well.
- Finally we have sunchokes, a new ingredient on the blog, but definitely not in my kitchen. Sunchokes are a fall and winter root vegetable that pack healthy iron and fiber in a nutty, delicious package. Sunchokes are versatile, tender when roasted, delicious raw, or in baked dishes like this one. If you’ve never had a sunchoke, you could liken it to a potato that has a bit of artichoke heart flavor.
When you’re ready to get dinner started, you’ll need about an hour of cook time to get your casserole to creamy, baked perfection. Begin with an oven preheated to 350°F and a pot for rice. Different brands and varieties may cook slightly differently, so prepare the rice according to the package instructions you have.
While that cooks we’ll get the vegetables started on the stove. In a hot saute pan with olive oil cook the sunchokes, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften slightly.
Then add the squash and leeks, stir and let them cook another 10 minutes. Next we’ll add it to a 9×13 casserole dish with the cooked rice and salmon.
Wipe the saute pan clean and return it to the stove to make the sauce. Melt butter in the pan and saute the garlic until fragrant, then add the flour. Stir until it comes together and thickens, then slowly add the wine into the pan while whisking.
Let the wine reduce by half, then slowly whisk in the milk. The sauce will begin to thicken as it simmers, and once it does, you can add the parmesan cheese. Let that melt, then stir in the seasonings and pour over the vegetables, salmon, and rice. Pop it all in the oven for half an hour and go put your feet up, dinner is cooking and you’ve got thirty minutes to kill!
Storage and prepping ahead
When it comes to casseroles, I know part of the appeal is an easy, filling dinner on weeknights. I have a few tips that can make this salmon wild rice casserole a part of your dinner plan even if you’re crunched for time.
- Wild rice can be cooked up to 5 days ahead. Grains are great for meal prep and bulk cooking, so you can have it ready to go when you are.
- Prep your casserole ahead by assembling to the point just before baking and storing in the fridge. Bake as directed, adding time as needed to make sure it’s cooked through.
- When assembling ahead, be sure to allow the sauce and vegetables to cool off before combining in your casserole dish. Assembling while warm and then storing can par cook your fish and lead to uneven cooking later.
- Store leftovers in the fridge and enjoy by reheating gently for up to 2 to 3 days.
I hope you like this latest addition to my collection of casseroles and salmon recipes. I’m sure I’ll be bringing you more of both as the year goes on, but for now, check out some of the most popular salmon recipes already on the blog.
- Blackened salmon spinach salad
- Easy salmon pie
- Bourbon glazed salmon
- Herb panko crusted salmon
- Salmon wellington
- Bourbon pecan crusted salmon
Creamy Salmon and Wild Rice Casserole
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 oz. (300g) sunchokes , scrubbed and cubed
- 1/2 lb. (225g) butternut squash , cubed
- 1 cup sliced leeks
- 1 lb. (450g) skinless fresh salmon , cut into1-inch squares
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese , plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper , or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Cook the rice according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the sunchokes and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the butternut squash and leeks and cook for about 10 minutes more.
- Transfer the vegetables to a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Stir in the cooked rice and salmon.
- Wipe out the skillet and melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Stir in the flour until the mixture has thickened. Slowly pour in the wine, whisking continuously. Simmer for about 2 minutes until the wine has reduced in half.
- Gradually pour in the milk, whisking continuously. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.Stir in the Parmesan cheese, until melted. Finally, add the salt, black pepper, oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper and stir well.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables, rice, and salmon and stir everything together. Bake for 30 minutes.