Minnesota is famous for its “Hot Dishes,” which come in many varieties: Some Hot Dishes are quick to prepare; other Hot Dishes can be made ahead and frozen or refrigerated until it's convenient to eat them; some Hot Dishes can even be prepared in the slow cooker. Believe it or not, many Hot Dishes are healthy and actually taste good!
I learned all about Hot Dishes when my sister married a Minnesota man; I became acquainted with his Mom, Marcia, and being the foodie that I am, asked her all about traditional meals in Minnesota. A week or so after the wedding I received a delightful handmade booklet from Marcia, in which she had recorded a dozen or so of her favorite Hot Dishes. This booklet is now a treasured part of my cookbook library, and I’ve used it several times when I’ve needed a quick and easy Hot Dish to serve for dinner.
A Hot Dish is simply what in many parts of the country, we call a casserole. And, a Hot Dish can be good or bad, depending on your perspective, mood, and, of course, the Hot Dish in question! Many Hot Dishes utilize canned soups, canned beans, and canned vegetables, which make them very quick and easy.
According to my research, the most famous (or infamous depending who you talk to) Hot Dish is the Tater-Tot Hot Dish, which I featured in a previous article. One of the best hot dishes from Marcia’s book is the following, which takes advantage of the nutty texture of Minnesota’s state grain, wild rice. This recipe is quick, easy, and delicious!
If you’re interested, I’d be glad to post more Hot Dish recipes; let me know via the Contact link either at the bottom or on the right side of this article, or the Quick Cooking Forum.
Minnesota Wild Rice Hot Dish
1/2 cup wild rice
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
1/2 chopped green pepper
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup rice
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed chicken rice soup
2 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Place the wild rice in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit 1 hour. Drain well. Or you can cover the rice with water and soak overnight.
Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and onions, add the salt, pepper, celery, green pepper, mushrooms, rice, chicken rice soup, and 1 can cream of mushroom soup. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 9 x 13" casserole dish. Spread the remaining can of cream of mushroom soup over all. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 300° oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Uncover the casserole and sprinkle with the slivered almonds. Return the dish to the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 335 Calories from Fat 169
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 50% Protein 24% Carb. 26%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 19 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 54 mg
Sodium 842 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 20 g
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 11% Calcium 0% Iron 15%