Monday, November 23, 2015

One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole

One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole
Yepp. Another one-pot recipe. I'm serious about not doing dishes and feeding my hubby (seriously...if I don't feed him he gets all whiny and it's no fun. Ask anyone with an Italian husband lol.) Anyway, one of the beautiful things about this Mexican Rice Casserole recipe is you can definitely customize it based on your preferences! You can add in onions, peppers, corn, or any other veggies you fancy! You can also add in some cooked meat (so me making chicken and adding it sort of increased the dishes I needed to wash post this recipe but...that's ok! Plus you could just buy pre-prepared chicken or sausage or whatever and throw it in there to maintain the one-pot'dness.) And, although it's pretty healthy to begin with, you can make this dish even better for you by using brown rice (which I did!)
One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole
Regardless of any customization you decide to do, the base of the recipe is this: rice, veggies, spices, tomatoes, and cheeeese! It makes an awesome side dish or entree and is full of flavors! It's also colorful...which is pretty important for Michael and his food. He likes for food to be about more than just taste, he gets really into the textures and colors too. It's pretty hilarious, except when he's griping about how I make too many brown "bland" foods---but that's why I make recipes like this one! To keep me sane and make him happy! And so I can share the happiness and sanity-savingness with all of you. This "casserole" is a perfect weeknight meal and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole

Adapted from Damn Delicious

One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole
Makes 6 servings.
Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup rice (white rice will cook quicker, brown rice will take longer)
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or monterey cheese, colby, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves (or refrigerated cilantro stir-in paste)
Preparation:
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, being careful not to burn-about 1 minute. 
  • Stir in zucchini and beans until tender and heated through, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, rice, chili powder, and water. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through (about 15-18 minutes for white rice, 35-40 minutes for long grain brown rice, which I used.)
  • Stir in cheese until melted through, about 1-2 minutes. 
  • Stir in cilantro. 
  • Serve immediately! If desired, add cooked meat (chicken, beef, sausage, etc) to the rice dish.
One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole
Alright, I'll admit....the colors are pretty.
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