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Wild Rice, Turkey, and Kale Casserole

By Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD | October 27, 2020 | Rally Health

This hearty, filling casserole highlights fall flavors by combining wild rice, sautéed mushrooms, wilted kale, and fresh sage in a light Parmesan cream sauce. While it calls for ground turkey, you can also use leftover holiday turkey here. To do this, skip step 1 and add three cups of skinless, shredded cooked turkey breast with the rice in Step 5. 

This dish is a plant-based protein all-star: Almost one-third of the protein per serving comes from the rice, vegetables, and almonds in the recipe. If you’ve got vegetarians in your house, you can skip meat altogether. Just substitute a 12-ounce package of frozen veggie crumbles for the ground turkey and follow the same cooking directions in Step 1. (Veggie crumbles tend to be higher in sodium compared to ground turkey, so if you’re using them, add only ½ tsp of salt instead of 1 full tsp in Step 4.) 

Wild Rice, Turkey, and Kale Casserole

Serves 8

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 (16-oz) ground turkey

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 ¼ cup chopped onion

1 (8-oz) pkg sliced mushrooms

5 cups sliced, trimmed kale leaves

2 tsp minced garlic

2 Tbsp flour

1 ½ cups 1% milk

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp fresh chopped sage leaves

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

4 cups cooked wild rice 

2 tsp butter, melted

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions

1. Cook ground turkey in a large skillet with sides over medium heat for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble as it cooks. Drain cooked turkey crumbles; set aside. 

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 13x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

3. Heat oil in the skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion in the hot oil for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, kale, and garlic. Sauté for 4 minutes or until the mushrooms and onions are tender (kale will not be fully wilted). 

4. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stirring to combine. Cook 1 minute or until flour is a light golden, stirring constantly. Slowly add milk and cook for 3 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened, whisking constantly. Add cheese, sage, salt, and pepper, gently stirring until cheese is melted. 

5. Add rice and cooked turkey to skillet and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. 

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot throughout. Toss almonds with melted butter. Remove from oven and sprinkle almonds over top. Return to oven and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until hot throughout. 

NUTRITION FACTS (per 1 ¼ cups): Calories 290; Total Fat 12g (Saturated Fat 3); Cholesterol 50mg; Sodium 380mg; Total Carbs 28g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Total Sugars 5g, Added Sugars 0g); Protein 19g.

Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD
Rally Health