Creamy Artichoke, Kale, and Rice Gratin

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Dinner in a snap for the spinach-artichoke dip lover.

Creamy Artichoke, Kale, and Rice Gratin
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
20 mins
Bake Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
Servings:
6

Our Test Kitchen pros call this recipe: "Reminiscent of spinach-artichoke dip, but much better."

This Creamy Artichoke, Kale, and Rice Gratin is the weeknight dinner you've been dreaming of. Inspired by our favorite veggie-forward party dip, this rice gratin combines tangy artichoke hearts and tender kale with a creamy cheese sauce, and a layer of perfectly fluffy rice.

Unlike most traditional spinach-artichoke dips, this rice gratin is not too cheesy, so you really get to enjoy the vibrant flavors of the artichoke and the kale. Instead of spinach, which can cook down to next to nothing on the stove, we opt for kale here, which is much more substantial. The lemon zest and juice, sherry vinegar, and alfredo sauce bring the dish together without overpowering the flavor of the vegetables.

The par-boiled rice holds up particularly well when reheated, making this an excellent dish to prepare ahead and stash in the freezer for future dinner emergencies. This gratin is vegetarian, but for a protein boost, you can add in shredded cooked chicken.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup uncooked basmati rice

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 (10-oz.) container refrigerated Alfredo sauce (such as Giovanni Rana)

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (1 Tbsp.) 

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 (14-oz.) cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained

  • 4 cups packed chopped kale (from 1 bunch)

  • ¾ cup Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (½ cup)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Crushed red pepper, optional

  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray an 11- x 7-inch (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Bring 2 cups water, basmati rice, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook, 7 minutes. Drain well; place in even layer in bottom of prepared dish.

  2. Whisk together Alfredo sauce, cream cheese, garlic, sherry vinegar, lemon zest and juice, black pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in artichokes and kale until evenly combined. Spoon over rice in prepared baking dish. Stir together breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture evenly in baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and parsley, if desired.

Freeze

Let baked dish cool to room temperature, one hour. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze until solid, at least four hours or up to six months.

Reheat

Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350°F. Let stand at room temperature while oven preheats, 30 minutes. Unwrap; discard plastic wrap. Cover with aluminum foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; continue baking until a thermometer inserted registers 165°F, 15 to 20 minutes.

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