Are you a fan of ham and cheese sandwiches? Me too! But what if I told you there is much more that you can do with that combo? This “one-baking dish” Ham and Cheese Baked Rice Casserole is just one of those dishes — and even better, is dinner made easy… with the added plus of leftovers, if desired. 😉
Grab a bowl. Mix cooked rice with heavy cream, egg yolks, seasonings, ham, cheese, and a few veggies. Place rice mixture into a baking dish… and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, go to Facebook or read your favorite magazine. Voilá! Dinner will be ready in the blink of an eye.
I know… This dish has everything, including the taste of life made easier for busy moms/full-time workers like us.
Our ham and cheese baked rice casserole (or arroz de forno misto) and its many variations are popular dishes in Brazil — not only for busy weeknight meals but also for those lazy weekends. First of all, it doesn’t require any special skill from the cook. Second, it is a complete meal all by itself. Third, it is able to take care of those leftovers while transforming them into a delicious meal.
It may not have “one-pot” or “one-skillet” in its name, but it is definitely part of that same family. It also makes the list of dishes that are naturally gluten-free.
Chicken, bacon, sausage, and shredded jerked beef are just a few of the many variations that Brazilians make use of to transform the basic dish into a new one. In addition, if you choose a different type of rice, such as wild rice, as well as another type of meat, cheese, or vegetable, you can repeat the same recipe yet give it a new name and face. Basically, the only thing you would need to keep constant would be the yolks, heavy cream, salt and pepper.
To make baked rice casseroles even creamier, Brazilians love to add requeijão (Brazilian cream cheese) to the recipe — although it is not required. We do just because, you know, you can never have too much cheese. 🙂
I will leave you now with the formula to one hero of a dish, and to your much-deserved rest.
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ small white or yellow onion, small diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus ¼ cup for sprinkling on top
- 1 teaspoon salt, or more if desired
- A pinch of ground black pepper
- 8 oz (about 2½ cups) shredded mozzarella cheese or other of your choice (I used Colby & Monterey Jack)
- 8 oz (about 2½ cups) chopped deli ham
- 2 cups cooked long-grain white rice, either chilled or at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease with softened butter and then flour (it can be a gluten-free one) a medium baking dish; set aside. NOTE: If desired, you can place chunks of onion and carrot plus 1 cup of fresh parsley into a food processor and process until obtaining small pieces -- to avoid having to chop them by hand.
- In a large bowl, whisk the yolks with the heavy cream. Add the onion, carrot, 1 cup of chopped parsley, salt and pepper, mozzarella, ham, and rice. Stir with a wooden spoon until obtaining a homogeneous mixture.
- Place rice mixture into the greased/floured baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top evenly. Bake, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes on the lowest oven rack. Sprinkle ¼ cup of chopped parsley on top and serve. Enjoy!