Cozy Autumn Rice Bake

Versatile, cozy, easy autumn rice bake with ground turkey, cranberries and mushrooms (gluten-free)
Tasty rice casserole with turkey, cranberries, mushrooms and olives.

Here's a cozy autumn casserole recipe with crumbled organic turkey, mushrooms, black olives and tart cranberries. Vegetarians can change out the turkey with gluten-free tempeh, cooked black beans, chick peas, or white kidney beans.

From time to time I become a flexitarian goddess and cook with organic, free-range turkey, beef or buffalo. I chose organic free range turkey for the protein in this family style layered dish, but organic free-range chicken or beef, or even gluten-free tempeh would also work beautifully.

The recipe is an improv, so the measurements are close approximations, but most of you readers are creative cooks who do your own thing and toss together your own improvisations, anyway, right? 

You're my kind of people. 

You can handle it.

Gluten free rice casserole with your choice of protein, cranberries and olives Mediterranean style
Easy, filling, comforting family dish for Fall.

Cozy Autumn Rice Bake Recipe

For those like me who must be dairy-free, I added no cheese to this dish. And I didn't miss it one bit. But those of you enjoying dairy could add crumbled goat cheese or feta to this recipe. Go ahead. Sprinkle some in. I won't mind.


3 cups cooked brown rice
2 pounds organic free-range ground turkey
1 onion, peeled, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green or yellow bell pepper, cored, sliced
2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
Italian dried herbs, to taste- basil, oregano, thyme, fennel, rosemary
A dash of nutmeg
A dash of any hot spice you like- red pepper, paprika, cumin, etc.
1 14-0z can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup whole cranberries (frozen, thawed are fine)
1/2 cup chopped kalamata black olives
2 tablespoons rinsed capers
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A splash of good extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil a large lasagna-style baking dish. Mine is 10x15-inches.

Heat a large skillet; drizzle a splash of olive oil in it, and cook the turkey, onions, garlic, peppers and mushrooms for five to seven minutes. Season generously with Italian dried herbs- basil, oregano, thyme, fennel, rosemary. Add spices to taste. Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, cranberries, olives, capers, parsley and mix well. Add sea salt and ground pepper, to taste.

Spoon the cooked rice into the bottom of the baking dish. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to moisten, and fluff the rice a bit. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Add the skillet mixture. (For dairy lovers, add dabs of goat cheese or crumbled feta if you like). I drizzled a good tasting extra virgin olive oil all over the top because I like to kick it up.

Cover loosely with foil and bake for an hour until the center is piping hot. Note- if you have made this ahead of time and chilled it, it will take longer to bake- plan on an additional 20 to 30 minutes.

Serves six.

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Mary Frances said...

Oh, I love your brown rice recipes. I can't wait to try it. It looks perfect for a chilly fall night. Thanks!

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Yum! Thank goodness I am eating while I read this. Otherwise I would have to run to the market right now to get the ingredients.

I might have to make this next week.


Anonymous said...


I am one of the readers that encouraged you a while back to keep your archive of recipes w/ meat and fish, primarily because I have cut out many foods due to intolerances and find having small amounts of fish and meat much better for me. So, now, I must say it is thrilling to see you apply your creativity to things like organic beef. Thanks for all of the tasty posts.

Em said...

You haven't lost this veg audience! I tried this recipe with black beans--fabulous!

Stephanie said...

Can't wait to try this. The cranberries sound like a unique addition. Am going to use some that I picked wild in a bog not far from my home (Maine). Wild cranberries have a flavor that is so much more complex than the ones you buy in the store. They have a real earthiness to them. You can almost taste the bog, if that makes sense. love your blog. I'm new to GF. Had to go back to gluten after being off for a month for endoscopy (today). Am going back to GF no matter what the results are. I felt so good then, for the first time in my life.

Tiffany & Albert said...

I made this last night and I went back for seconds. I really like the cranberries in it.

Karina Allrich said...

Mary Frances- Thanks!

Slacker Mom- It's easy- and so good.

Anon- Thanks for the feedback on this issue; you were heard! :) More to come.

EM- Thank goddess! I love my vegan audience. And I eat plenty of vegan meals, too.

Stephanie- Proof is in the pudding, as they say. If you feel better gluten-free, there's your answer. Good luck!

Tiffany & Albert- Thank you- so happy you like the combo- I love cranberries with savory dishes...


Sarah Schatz - Menu Planner for people with food allergies said...

this is so beautiful and such a great dish for the holiday season with the cranberries and spices. I am definately going to give it a try. I love that you recommended grass-fed beef! I too am a big believer in grass-fed organic verses corn-fed beef.
thanks again,

$5 Dinner Mom said...

Yum! I have something similar on my menu for next week! So glad to find you...I heard about you from the Crockpot Lady. I started $5 Dinners, and now we are GFSFCL (gluten free, soy free and casein limited)...that's our version. Everyone is much happier!
So now we are doing $5 Dinners on special diet! It works! Thanks for this great site...I look forward to browsing ALOT!

Anonymous said...

what could you replace eggs with in a dressing recipie? it's just cornbread, biscuits ,celery, spices ,broth and eggs.i think i got subs for everything else, (thanks to you)but i'm stumped on the eggs, i made it with egg replacer and it didn't work.thanks,jenifer

Karina Allrich said...

Sarah- Yes- and thanks. Grass fed beef and buffalo have those nifty Omegas.

Erin- Great! I'm glad you found us. Thanks!

Jenifer- Did you see my Cornbread Stffing recipe (it has apples and cranberries in it). I don't use eggs in my stuffing- never did.

Was yours too dry? Add more broth, then. Too wet- add less.

Did you bake it inside a bird or a casserole? Covered/uncovered?


bluets said...

Any chance this could be done in a crockpot?

Karina Allrich said...

Bluets, I don't think so. Rice usually breaks down too much in a Crock Pot. I suppose you could do the other ingredients, though (the beef and veggies) and then serve it over hot cooked rice. But then you'd have to add some liquid to the Crock Pot, I think, because the recipe as is would be too dry.

Chocolate Shavings said...

That dish embraces fall colors and sounds delicious!

Julie said...

This passed the taste test in my home! Even the 8 and 10 year old loved the flavors and didn't even notice the mushrooms and olives. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful recipe. For those who are not vegetarian and have no aversion and do have access to wild game, ground venison works really well.

It is a healthy alternative to beef, since it is so lean there is no need to drain or blot any fat. Avoiding the major meat processing system is a HUGE plus. We don't buy ground beef for that reason alone.

We did not have any cranberries so I threw in a handful of raisins instead at the end before drizzling with olive oil. The juxtaposition of that sweet burst with dried hot pepper flakes was amazing! Also used the wild Lundberg rice. Usually I make chili, tacos or stuffed peppers from venison ...but this recipe is a keeper and will become a regular in our house!

passionate_cook said...

I added cubed buttercup squash, left out the olives and used ground turkey. This dish was fabulous. I made it for my sister's moving day, and it definately hit the spot after a morning of unloading boxes and furniture. Perfect fall dish!

passionate_cook said...

I have gone gluten free now for nine days, and the change in my energy level is so noticeable. I haven't been to the gym in almost two years, and yesterday I renewed my membership. Worked out twice already, and am starting to feel more like my old self. I have a gluten sensitivity that causes excema. I suspect gluten is also causing my low iron levels. I'll be using your website to get ideas for new recipes. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try this! Thanks for such great ideas.

Unknown said...

This looks really tasty, I have printed it out and can't wait to try it.

Sarah said...

LOVE THIS!!! Celebrated my first Thanksgiving with in-laws this past year (got married 1 month before the holidays...yikes!) and since I didn't want his family to have to worry about my gluten intolerance, I offered to bring something myself. Stumbled upon this dish and made it (substituted wild rice for the brown rice) -- it would up being everyone's favorite dish! MIL actually asked for the recipe :) Plus the leftovers lasted us for almost a week; will most definitely be making this again!!!!

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