Abig Dutch oven is the perfect vehicle to make a stovetop casserole that has everything you’d want in a weeknight dinner. The rice here is perfumed with garlic, ginger, and chicken broth, and then frozen (yes, frozen!) shrimp and broccoli go straight into the pot. Everything steams together and turns into a meal that has it all: starch, protein, and veggies. To top it off, a super-quick honey and garlic sauce comes together while the casserole is cooking, then it’s drizzled over each serving to add a touch of sweetness and another punch of garlic. If your freezer is already stocked with broccoli and shrimp, you can even decide on this dinner on the drive home from work.
Freezer Shrimp Is the Best Shrimp
Most of the shrimp you find in the full-service seafood case at the grocery store is actually frozen shrimp that the store’s defrosted. Once thawed, shrimp has a short shelf life, which is why I prefer to just buy my shrimp still frozen and defrost it myself right before cooking. This recipe starts with frozen shrimp, so it’s worth keeping a bag stocked in the freezer.
Stir, Stir, Stir!
Since we are throwing a lot of frozen ingredients into the pot, this casserole will require some occasional stirring to make sure everything cooks evenly. Keep the pot covered between stirs, though, so that the rice steams nicely and the heat stays in. A wooden spoon or stiff spatula is the best tool to really scrape to the bottom and edges of the pan so that the rice doesn’t stick and burn.
The freezer is one of our favorite secret weapons for getting weeknight dinners on the table stat. This week, we’re sharing the best staples to keep in the freezer and, more importantly, how to turn them into tasty meals that require minimal effort or planning. It’s time to embrace our friend the freezer!
Honey-Garlic Shrimp Stovetop Rice Casserole
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
1 teaspoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
12 ounces frozen broccoli florets
12 ounces (21 to 30 per pound) frozen uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice, 2 cloves of the garlic, ginger, salt, and red pepper flakes if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice makes a crackling sound, about 3 minutes.
Add the broth and 3/4 cup of the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer undisturbed for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and shrimp and stir to combine. Cover again and simmer until the rice is tender and the shrimp is cooked through, stirring every 10 minutes, 25 to 30 minutes more.
Meanwhile, place the honey, tamari or soy sauce, and remaining 1 clove garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place the cornstarch and remaining 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour into the simmering sauce and stir until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. When the rice is ready, drizzle with the sauce before serving.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.