Creative juices have been in short supply during COVID, especially now that we are into the second year of the constant one step forward, two steps back tango. It’s one reason why I had to take a few weeks off writing up my recipes for this site. And also why upon my return, I keep coming back to tried and true formulas like the ever enduring rice casserole (this time, with shrimp!).
You’ve heard me opine about Chicken and Rice Casseroles (CRC’s) many times, and at a higher clip than usual this year. There’s a lot to love: no stovetop work—everything gets tossed together in a mixing bowl and poured into a pan. Many of my CRC flavor profiles are inspired by soups, but zero of them actually require a can of one as the base.
Remarkably I had never taken this rice casserole formula and used shrimp as the main protein, and CHOWDER as the creamy canvas. For this shrimp and rice casserole I borrow from this dairy-free corn chowder recipe—an old summer fave. It uses coconut milk, fresh corn off the cob (though you can use frozen in non-summer months), fresh leeks, scallions and thyme. (Don’t worry, I’ve offered some low FODMAP tweaks in the recipe below.)
The only difference between a CRC and a SRC is that the shrimp cook much quicker than the rice does, so you need to add it later on in the cooking process—easy enough. It’s also a great make ahead dish for this reason. Just cook the rice until it’s al dente, remove from the oven until you’re ready to eat, pop the shrimp on top and dinner is complete in 10 minutes.
If you want to go with more of a succotash theme, this shrimp and rice casserole recipe would also be delicious with some diced zucchini or summer squash thrown in the mix. You can also add some chopped kale for more veg. But I love serving this alongside an acid-forward bright summer salad to offset the creamy casserole.
Read on the for this shrimp and corn chowder rice casserole, and please leave your requests in the comments for the next coming of the CRC or SRC!
With health and hedonism,
Shrimp and Corn Chowder Rice Casserole
- 4 ears corn shucked and kernels removed
- 1 leek trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch scallions thinly sliced
- 1 ¼ cup Arborio rice
- One 15-ounce can coconut milk
- 8 ounces clam juice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
- Sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 4 sprigs fresh
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¾ pound peeled deveined shrimp
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice from half a lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn kernels, leeks, scallions, rice, coconut milk, clam juice, white wine, olive oil or butter, 1 teaspoon sea salt, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Fold the ingredients together until well-mixed.
- Transfer to a 15-inch oven-proof skillet or a 9 x 13 casserole dish and arrange in an even layer. Bake the casserole for 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the oven, fluff the rice to redistribute, and nestle the shrimp on top in an even layer. Season lightly with salt and drizzle with the lemon juice.
- Return to the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the shrimp are light pink and curled.
- Set the casserole aside to cool for a few minutes, then garnish with additional scallions and serve!