Finnish Carrot Casserole ♥ Porkkanalaatikko

Finnish Carrot-Rice Casserole, a simple, old-fashioned side dish ♥, traditional at Christmas. Recipe, insider tips, nutrition and Weight Watchers points included.
Today's old-fashioned Finnish recipe: A simple carrot and rice casserole from Finland, just grated carrots and rice in a light custard, a favorite on Christmas Eve.

Simple to Make. A Great Way to Use Up Leftover Rice. A Traditional Christmas Food in Finland. Naturally Gluten Free.

Remembering Finnish Food circa 1976

During the year I made a home in Finland, I found much to love. But the food – the food! was a definite highlight, from the home economics class at school, to the everyday meals cooked by my host families.

I have a notebook of Finnish recipes, many written in Finnish. The idea was to "help retain the language," oops. That said, many food words remain familiar. Another excellent source is the classic Finnish cookbook, The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas.

Porkkanalaatikko: A Traditional Dish at Christmas

I remember carrot and rice casserole – that's porkkanalaatikko in Finnish, pronounced [POURK-kaw-naw-LAW-tee-ko] – as a specialty on Christmas Eve. By today's standards, it's plain fare. But its very simplicity lets the carrots shine and the rice melt into the light custard. It hit just the right note with slices of ham on a cool fall evening and the next day, warmed up, tasted even better. Do know, good carrots (not the usual carrots in bags and especially not the so-called baby carrots) plus a little fresh dill moves this casserole from good plain fare to something quite delicious.

I some times heed the outlines of the original recipe, just grated carrot and cooked rice stirred with egg and milk. Other times I veer toward healthfulness and further simplicity a bit: choosing the more healthful brown rice and omitting the bread-crumb topping. It's good cold, too, in fact for a party supper, I might cut it into squares or triangles sprinkled with fresh dill, then serve it atop greens for a "salad" or side dish.

Just updated. First published way back in 2007!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes about 4 cups

2 large eggs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups whole milk (or 1-1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup cottage cheese)
1 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed and grated with a hand grater or a food processor
1 cup cooked rice (white rice or brown rice like Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice)

TOPPING, optional
1 slice whole grain bread, made into crumbs by whizzing in small food processor a few times
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter

Heat the oven to 375F/190C. Whisk the eggs, then whisk in the brown sugar, salt and then a few tablespoons at a time, the milk. Stir in the carrots and rice. Transfer to a baking dish that's been sprayed. Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top. Don't cover the casserole with foil or a lid, you want the topping to brown and crust up a bit. Bake for about 40 minutes for a shallow baking dish and another 30 - 40 minutes for a deep baking dish.

BAKING TIME 2007: The specified baking time was 40 minutes, mine took double that to get hot clear through. Since I cooked this in a deep Corning casserole dish, next time I'll use something shallow like a quiche dish. 2010: A shallow quiche dish works like a charm, this finished in exactly 40 minutes.
COTTAGE CHEESE If you're short on milk, substitute 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, creating a nice change in texture. But don't use more than 1/2 cup cottage cheese, you lose the lovely custard.
FRESH DILL 2010: I served the leftovers, cold, sprinkled with fresh dill and it was so good, so very good, that now I want to remake this again and experiment with how/when to add fresh dill. My instinct says to sprinkle it over the hot casserole, rather than to mix in. This solves the "plain top" issue too, since I'd rather skip the fuss and calories of a bread crumb topping.
SOMETHING SOMETHING Without dill, this casserole can be quite plain, it really needs some seasoning, even if that's not traditional. Think about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin or maybe 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg. Or maybe something like roasted peppers, chopped up.

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For more Finnish recipes, check out these favorite blogs:

Nami Nami ~ Pille lives in Estonia, just across the Gulf of Finland. Because Estonia and Finland are so close geographically and linguistically, there is much back and forth between the two countries, especially since the Soviet Union broke up. In 2008, Pille visited me here in St. Louis! Six years later, my husband visited Pille, her husband and three darling children!

Life of Jalo ~ Not a food site, but I visit these four very happy dogs who live in the east of Finland every day, just to smile. Wonderful dog photography, many glimpses of the Finnish countryside.

A Wee Bit of Cooking ~ Wendy also lived in Finland for a few years and occasionally posts Finnish recipes, like this omenakakku, that would be apple cake.

Cloudberry Quark ~ Mostly posts in English (don't be turned off by the posts currently on her home page) with beautiful photography. Sorry, no longer active.

Daydream Delicious ~ Bonnie was also a Rotary exchange student in Finland and occasionally blogs about Finnish recipes, like rieska, a savory bread and täytekakku, a fruity cream cake that I remember well. Sorry, no longer active.

Axis of Aevil ~ An American married to a Finn and another mom who gave up blog for baby, but the archives of Finnish pastries and classical dishes, amazing. Sorry, no longer live.

Taivasalla ~ Not a food site, gorgeous photographs mostly in and around Helsinki. Sorry, also not active.

Are there other Finnish food blogs? I'd love to know!

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2007, 2010 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I very much like the simple of this and am going to keep this in mind for a veggie dish for my vegan son at Thanksgiving.

  2. It looks delicious, Alanna. You grated all those carrots by hand??! Quite a workout :)
    P.S. the spinach pancakes sound delicious...but I think the link might need to be fixed.

  3. This is one casserole that I know we'll Finnish (hee hee)

  4. Thanks for the mention, Alanna:) Yes, there are quite a lot of similarities in Estonian and Finnish cuisine, and I'm glad that you've found something reminiscent of your Finnish year on my blog:)
    I love Pastanjauhantaa blog, but it's in Finnish only:( And I'm sad that Taikinapoika isn't blogging again - too busy getting married, I guess:)

  5. I used to love this! Will have to make it again soon.
    Thanks for the mention!

  6. I have family in Finland, they own several restaurants in the biggest mall in Finland. I hear that the food in Estonia isn’t bad either. They do share some similarities since Estonia’s independence from Russia. I just saw a website about Estonia’s Singing Revolution –; this is quite inspirational.

  7. I love carrots - they're one of my favorite veggies - but I've never tried to make them star in a casserole. What a great recipe!

  8. Holy Toledo! Don't know about that name, but I'm making this tonight to serve with my beer-braised pork roast. Thanks Alanna!

  9. Most of the Finnish food blogs feature recipes for mexican or thai food, not local foods. :)

    And I haven't given up the blog for the baby, I'm just still trying to catch some sleep as she doesn't nap and only recently started sleeping (mostly) through the night. I'll be back soon, I hope. :) Thanks for the high praise, too!

  10. Just a small note, that Ojakangas cookbook is really farfetched sometimes, so if it sounds weird, it's probably wrong! We use that cookbook for giggles when we're having a bad day :D

  11. Forgot to say: lovely blog! It's quickly become one of my favs.

  12. Makes 4 cups, 2 pts a serving .. nice, but how many servings?

  13. Good question, thanks for the detailed reading -- it's a half cup serving.

  14. I adore this recipe, but I thought you might like to know a change
    I've made in it. Instead of brown sugar, I use a small amount of
    grated candied ginger and a few raisins.

    What's probably a more
    major thing, all the rice in the house was brown jasmine, so I used
    that. I also used almond meal on top, instead of bread crumbs. I never have bread in the house anymore, so all gratiny things have to be either parmesan or almond meal nowadays.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna