Cheesy Rice Marinara I Recipe - Italian Cuisine

Cheesy Rice Marinara I

Cheesy Rice Marinara I Recipe - Italian Cuisine
Region / culture: Italy | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Servings: 6


Cheesy Rice Marinara I
Cheesy Rice Marinara I

Cheesy Rice Marinara is a delicious and comforting dish that combines the flavors of creamy ricotta cheese, tangy marinara sauce, and fluffy rice. This recipe is perfect for a cozy family dinner or a potluck gathering.


This recipe is a modern twist on traditional Italian flavors, combining classic ingredients like ricotta cheese and marinara sauce with rice to create a unique and satisfying dish.


How to prepare

  1. Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the rice; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 0.33 cup of Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir until smooth. Add the onions and rice.
  5. Spread a layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of an 8x8 inch or 9x9 inch baking pan coated with vegetable spray.
  6. Top the sauce with alternating layers of the ricotta cheese mixture, spinach, and mozzarella cheese, finishing with the remaining spaghetti sauce.
  7. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 0.33 cup of Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake covered at 400°F (204°C) for 30 to 40 minutes.
  9. Remove the cover during the last 10 minutes to achieve even browning.


  • Add cooked ground beef or Italian sausage for a meaty version.
  • Use different types of cheese, such as cheddar or provolone, for a unique flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to cook the rice until it is fluffy and not mushy, as it will continue to cook in the oven.

- Thaw the spinach completely and squeeze out any excess moisture before adding it to the dish.

- For a crispy top, broil the dish for a few minutes after baking.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Cheesy Rice Marinara with a side salad and garlic bread for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques


Ingredient Substitutions

Use cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese.

- Substitute brown rice for white rice for a healthier option.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the dish up to a day in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish with fresh basil leaves or chopped parsley before serving for a pop of color.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Cheesy Rice Marinara with a glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Merlot.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Cheesy Rice Marinara contains approximately 350 calories.


Each serving of Cheesy Rice Marinara contains approximately 35 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Cheesy Rice Marinara contains approximately 15 grams of fat.


Each serving of Cheesy Rice Marinara contains approximately 20 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of calcium, vitamin A, and iron.


This recipe contains dairy (ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and egg) and gluten (spaghetti sauce).


Cheesy Rice Marinara is a balanced dish that provides a good mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals.


Cheesy Rice Marinara is a comforting and flavorful dish that is sure to become a family favorite. With a creamy ricotta cheese mixture, tangy marinara sauce, and fluffy rice, this dish is a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Enjoy it for a cozy dinner or bring it to your next potluck gathering for a crowd-pleasing dish.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still recall the sense of amazement I felt when I first saw this recipe for Cheesy Rice Marinara. It was a warm summer day and I was visiting my friend Martha's house for a little get-together. As we chatted in the kitchen, Martha pulled out a large, worn recipe book from her cupboard and flipped through the pages.

"Ah, here it is!" she exclaimed, pointing to a handwritten recipe titled Cheesy Rice Marinara. "This is one of my absolute favorite dishes to make. Would you like to give it a try?"

I eagerly nodded, intrigued by the combination of cheesy rice and marinara sauce. Martha handed me the recipe card, which was stained and creased from years of use. The instructions were simple yet detailed, with notes scribbled in the margins.

As I read through the recipe, Martha explained that she had learned how to make Cheesy Rice Marinara from her own grandmother, who had passed it down through the generations. She described how the dish was a staple in her family, often enjoyed during holidays and special occasions.

I couldn't wait to try my hand at making this beloved recipe, so Martha guided me through each step. We started by cooking the rice until it was light and fluffy, then adding in a generous amount of grated cheese to create a creamy, gooey mixture.

Next, we prepared the marinara sauce, simmering diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs in a pot until it was thick and fragrant. The aroma of the sauce filled the kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation.

Once the rice and marinara were ready, we combined them in a large baking dish, layering the cheesy rice with the savory sauce. We topped it off with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and popped it into the oven to bake until bubbly and golden brown.

As the Cheesy Rice Marinara baked, Martha and I chatted about our favorite family recipes and the memories they held. She shared stories of her grandmother's cooking adventures and the joy she found in preparing meals for her loved ones.

When the timer finally beeped, we pulled the dish out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. The Cheesy Rice Marinara looked and smelled absolutely delicious, with the cheese melted and gooey on top of the rich marinara sauce.

We served ourselves generous portions of the dish and sat down to enjoy our creation. The first bite was pure heaven – the creamy rice, tangy marinara, and melty cheese all melted together in a symphony of flavors.

I knew right then and there that Cheesy Rice Marinara would become a staple in my own recipe collection. I thanked Martha for sharing her family recipe with me and vowed to pass it down to future generations, just as she had done.

As I savored each bite of the Cheesy Rice Marinara, I felt a deep sense of connection to my friend Martha, her grandmother, and all the generations before them who had lovingly prepared this dish. It was more than just a recipe – it was a tradition, a story, and a piece of history that I was honored to be a part of.

And so, as I finished my last bite of Cheesy Rice Marinara, I knew that this dish would hold a special place in my heart for years to come. It was a reminder of the power of food to bring people together, to create memories, and to pass on love from one generation to the next. And for that, I was truly grateful.


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