Cheesy rice with asparagus

    45 min

    This is an easy and attractive vegetarian dish. The rice is cooked in stock, then mixed with peas, asparagus and cheese, and baked in individual dishes. Choose a tangy Cheddar cheese for maximum flavour – a little will go a long way. A tomato and herb salad is a perfect accompaniment for these savoury rice puddings.

    8 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tbsp melted butter
    • 2 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
    • 300 g (10½ oz) long-grain or basmati rice
    • 600 ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
    • 150 g (5½ oz) frozen peas
    • 150 g (5½ oz) asparagus, cut into 5 cm (2 in) pieces
    • 3 eggs
    • 100 g (3½ oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
    • ¼ tsp crushed dried chillies
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. First prepare 4 individual baking dishes that are 360 ml (12 fl oz) capacity. Lightly grease with the melted butter, then dust with the breadcrumbs to coat the bottom and sides. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5).
    2. Place the rice in a medium-sized saucepan, pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover tightly and simmer gently for 5 minutes, without stirring.
    3. Uncover the pan and stir in the peas and asparagus. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, covered, for a further 5 minutes.
    4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir, then cover again and leave the rice and vegetables to stand undisturbed for 5–7 minutes.
    5. Combine the eggs and cheese in a mixing bowl. Add the chilli flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix with a fork until well blended. Add the rice mixture and stir gently until thoroughly combined.
    6. Divide the rice mixture evenly among the 4 prepared dishes. Set them on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until set and the tops are golden and crisp. Serve hot.

    Some more ideas

    Instead of peas, use frozen sweetcorn, frozen broad beans or frozen mixed vegetables. * To make a pepper and tomato rice bake, cook the rice in 600 ml (1 pint) tomato juice with a dash of Tabasco sauce to taste, rather than stock, omitting the peas and asparagus. While the rice is cooking, gently soften 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green pepper, all seeded and thinly sliced, with 1 crushed garlic clove in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Divide the peppers among 4 individual baking dishes, or spread over the bottom of a 1.5 litre (¾ pint) baking dish, greased and dusted with breadcrumbs. Stir the eggs into the cooked rice with 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives and seasoning to taste (omit the Cheddar cheese). Spoon on top of the peppers, then scatter over 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bake as in the main recipe.

    Plus points

    Rice is the most important cereal grain in the world. It is a source of protein and most B vitamins as well as starchy carbohydrate. * Asparagus is a rich source of many of the B vitamins, especially folate. Folate not only helps to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida, if sufficient is consumed in the early stages of pregnancy, it may also help to protect against heart disease.

    Each serving provides

    B12 * A, folate, calcium, zinc * B1, B2, C, E, niacin, copper, iron, selenium

    Recently viewed

    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (2)


    Top marks from the resident non-vegetarian. I made it in one large dish, not having any small ones that were big enough, if you see what I mean. Dead easy, and really tasty. Might work well with a few prawns chucked in, or with the asparagus replaced with green beans.  -  31 Mar 2010


    Thanks for a great recipe. I cooked some onions, garlic and mushrooms first before adding the rice, then added peas, sweetcorn and green beans. I didn't have any bread in to make crumbs and put it in 1 big dish. Myself, the kids and husband loved it!  -  15 Oct 2016