Sweet Potato and Kale Brown Rice Casserole

Comforting and cozy, this sweet potato and kale brown rice casserole is perfect for chilly weather! Made with greek yogurt, mozzarella and plenty of veggies, it’s a lighter take on the classic dish (with no cream of anything soup!). Vegetarian and nut free, with a gluten free option.

A white baking dish filled with Sweet Potato and Kale Brown Rice Casserole with a white napkin to the side.

Note: This recipe is NOT dairy free. It was published before Cook Nourish Bliss transitioned to dairy free recipes and remains popular with long time readers. You can try using substitutions to make it dairy free, however I have not tested this myself and can’t say how it will turn out. Or, you can try this savory sweet potato casserole instead!

Let’s talk a mid-week, cheesy, pick-me-up kinda dish.

Like this lightened up sweet potato and kale brown rice casserole!

There are no cans of cream of anything involved. Just real foods. Some brown rice, some broth, a bit of cheese. Plus, of course, the aforementioned sweet potatoes and kale.

And to keep it nice and moist and slightly creamy? Greek yogurt.

Now don’t worry. There’s not a strong yogurt-y taste in the final dish, it more just works its magic and helps keep the casserole from drying out while baking.

So make it for the holidays! Make it for a regular meal. You really can’t go wrong.

Side angle view of a baking dish filled with Sweet Potato and Kale Brown Rice Casserole with a silver serving spoon in the dish.

Tips & Tricks For This Sweet Potato Brown Rice Casserole

  1. This dish is gluten free except for the one tablespoon of breadcrumbs (which add just a touch of crunch to the top of the casserole). Either replace with gluten free breadcrumbs or just leave off.
  2. You do not need to bake this casserole for very long – it’s just to heat everything through and melt the cheese. So be sure to stick to the 11 to 13 minutes. Otherwise you run the risk of drying the casserole out. And no one wants that.
  3. To cut down on the recipe time, you can absolutely make the rice in advance. HOWEVER. Be sure to warm it back up before mixing together with the other ingredients (otherwise it will take too long in the oven to heat up and the casserole will dry out – see #2 above).
  4. I think this dish could also be great with a wild rice blend. If you go this route, follow the package instructions for cooking as it may vary a bit.
  5. While I created this recipe more as a side dish (you know, for the holidays), I think it could work as a main dish as well. I haven’t tried it myself but I think some beans or even cooked chicken could easily be mixed in to add a bit of extra protein.

Overhead view of a white baking dish filled with Sweet Potato and Kale Brown Rice Casserole with a silver serving spoon in the dish.

Additional Sweet Potato Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

Sweet Potato and Kale Brown Rice Casserole

Sweet Potato and Kale Brown Rice Casserole

Yield: about 6 servings, as a side
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 52 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Comforting and cozy, this sweet potato and kale brown rice casserole is perfect for chilly weather! Made with greek yogurt, mozzarella and plenty of veggies, it’s a lighter take on the classic dish (with no cream of anything soup!). Vegetarian, nut free and soy free. 

Ingredients

For the rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

For the casserole:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, cut into ½ inch chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale (about 8 to 9 ounces), stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup plain greek yogurt (whole or 2%)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cups freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat breadcrumbs*

Instructions

For the rice:

  1. Add the rice and broth to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, turn down the heat and let simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  2. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes untouched. Fluff the rice with a fork and add to a large bowl (you should have approximately 3 cups).

For the casserole:

  1. While the rice is cooking, set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the sweet potato and garlic. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  2. Add in the kale and broth. Recover and continue to cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and the kale is wilted (if the skillet ever gets too dry, add in a splash more broth). Remove from the heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 2 to 3 quart baking dish with olive oil or nonstick spray and set aside.
  4. To the large bowl with the rice, add the sweet potato / kale mixture, the greek yogurt, green onion, salt, pepper and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Mix until well combined. Taste and season with additional salt / pepper as needed.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella, the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake uncovered for 11 to 13 minutes, until heated through and the cheese is melted.

Notes

*To keep this gluten free - use your favorite gluten free breadcrumbs.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 500mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 12g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.