Ham and Cheese Casserole

Saturday, October 02, 2010

I love to make my Ham and Cheese Casserole when the weather starts to turn cooler.  It is the perfect answer to a fall day.  I mix black forest ham, with brown rice, spinach, and cheese to make an easy, cheesy, casserole!  The best part is that it can be made ahead of time, and it can be easily frozen!

Ham and Cheese Casserole

  • 1/2 lb thickly sliced black forest ham,  diced (you can ask them to slice it thick at the deli counter)
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup carrots, cooked and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional- David HATES mushrooms so I leave them out but if I am making this for a function then I put them in)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb bag fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour (I like to use Wondra for sauces)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup swiss cheese, divided
  • 1 tbsp. italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small saucepan, heat the butter, garlic, celery, and onions over medium high heat until melted and the onions are translucent.  Add the flour and whisk together until stiff.  Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly until the sauce is thickened and smooth.  Add the dijon, the italian seasoning, the nutmeg, the salt and pepper and half of the swiss cheese.  In a bowl, mix the rice, carrots, mushrooms (if using), spinach, and sauce.  Pour this mixture into a greased baking dish (Hint- I bake this casserole in my Pampered Chef Stoneware Rectangular Baker) and top with the rest of the cheese.  Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted on top and the casserole is heated through.  

Until next time, happy and HEALTHY cooking and EATING!


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