Posted by: Erica Retrochef | November 10, 2014

Creole Casserole


This week, we’re exploring the first half of a two-recipe advertisement from General Foods. It’s an ironic mixture — a very quick-cooking tomato rice casserole, and a gelatin fruit salad which needs to set for hours.


But let’s start off with the easy, fast dinner item!

1 1/3 cups Minute Rice
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
2 1/4 cups (20-ounce can) tomatoes and juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped onion

Grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Spread about one-half of the Minute Rice right-from-the-box in an even layer on bottom. Cover with 1 cup of grated cheese; add remaining rice. Combine tomatoes and juice, salt and onion in saucepan, crushing tomatoes and mixing well. Bring to boil. Pour over layers of rice and cheese. Bake covered, in moderate oven (350°F.) 10 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover; spoon remaining cheese onto rice mixture around edge, leaving center uncovered. Bake 5 minutes longer. Serves 4.


I don’t use Minute Rice a lot except for vintage recipes, but there’s quite a few that call for it — so I’ve got a rather big box in the pantry that I pull out for these occasions.


A quick sauté of onion and it’s time to add in the tomatoes.


After pondering it for a moment, I decided to sort of squish the tomatoes up into smaller pieces. With three young kids expected to eat this, I didn’t want to


It wasn’t terribly clear why the cheese needed to be sprinkled only around the edge, but I dutifully complied.


This was tasty as well as fast. I was pleasantly surprised to find it flavorful, with only canned tomatoes and salt and cheese held together by rice. And the squashed up tomatoes weren’t a particular problem; they were cooked well enough that it was more like sauce than chunks. It’s worth a try if you need something quick but also substantial and moderately nutritious.

Will the Jell-o salad match up? Stay tuned next week to find out!

We have the Gallery of Graphic Design to thank for preserving this 1960 advertisement.



  1. I’m mentally adding chopped green pepper, some garlic, some hot sauce, some cooked hamburger or sausage…..

  2. I’m with anon. If it’s gonna be either Creole or Cajun, it’s gotta have the “Trinity”

  3. Ditto the mental additions; how can this be “Creole” without the Louisiana mirepoix holy trinity of onions, bell peppers and celery? That’s at least basic… when I was growing up, this was a cafeteria version of “Spanish” rice. Good enough, but not particularly Spanish. Or Creole.

  4. In old school WASP cooking “Creole” meant that you used tomatoes- and sometimes a few grains of red pepper.

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