This hearty Mexican casserole is packed with flavor and nutrients, thanks to a tasty blend of rice, beans, vegetables, and spices. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing potluck dish, this Mexican rice casserole recipe is sure to please everyone. Plus, it’s completely vegan, so you can feel good about what you’re eating while still enjoying all the delicious flavors of Mexican food.
Why You'll Love This Vegan Mexican Rice Casserole Recipe
One-Pan- This Mexican casserole is made in just one pan, so it is great for meal prep, and it's a breeze to clean up.
Quick and Easy- With minimal prep and easy-to-follow instructions, this Mexican rice recipe can be on the table in 30 minutes.
Family-Friendly- This recipe is perfect for the whole family. It can easily be made mild or spicy to please everyone.
Colorful- From red bell peppers, green spicy chilies, yellow corn, and black beans, this fantastic recipe is bursting with beautiful colors.
Hearty- This Mexican casserole is packed with plant-based protein and fiber, making it filling and satisfying.
Customizable- Create your own unique vegan rice casserole by adding in delectable vegetables and toppings like chopped cilantro, green onion, enchilada sauce, nacho chips, vegan cheese shreds, fire-roasted tomatoes, vegan sour cream, and avocado slices. Play around with the spice level until you get it just right!
What is a Mexican Rice Casserole?
Mexican rice casserole is a Mexican-inspired rice casserole that is traditionally made with cooked white or brown rice, ground beef, shredded chicken, herbs, and different kinds of vegetables. It's usually served as a side dish to accompany tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, then topped with diced avocado, sour cream, lime juice, bell peppers, and tortilla chips. This one-pan vegan Mexican rice casserole is easy to make, packed with flavor, and customizable so that you can add your favorite veggies and adjust the spice level.
- Large Oven-Safe Skillet
- Cutting Board
- Spoon for Mixing
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Red Onion- Diced onions provide a savory flavor and texture.
- Olive Oil- Used to saute the vegetables, giving them a nice flavor and texture.
- Cumin- For a smoky flavor.
- Chili Powder- Adds a bit of heat.
- Smoked Paprika- A mild spice that adds a touch of smoky flavor.
- Salt- Brings out all the flavors in this dish.
- Dried Oregano- Enhances the overall flavor of this dish.
- Red Bell Pepper- For a hint of sweetness and color.
- Green Chilies- Adds a mild heat and smoky flavor.
- Corn- Sweet and crunchy, adding a nice texture.
- Black Beans- Adds protein, fiber, and nutrition for a filling meal.
- Salsa- For a fresh tangy flavor.
- Shredded Vegan Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese- Adds a bit of creaminess and cheese flavor to the vegan rice casserole.
- Brown Rice- Serves as the base of this dish.
- Cilantro-For a fresh and colorful finishing touch.
- Green Onion- A vibrant and flavorful garnish.
How To Make Vegan Mexican Rice Casserole
Heat the olive oil, add the onions, and cook until transparent in a large oven-safe skillet. Stir in all the spices and let them simmer with the onions for a few minutes before adding the red peppers and chilies. When the peppers are soft, stir in the rest of the dry ingredients. Simmer for a couple of minutes until everything is well coated and combined. Preheat your broiler to high; put on both kinds of cheese, then place the skillet under the broiler until golden brown on top. Serve hot, garnished with cilantro and diced green onions.
What to Serve With Your Mexican Rice Casserole
This Mexican rice is terrific, but it would also pair well with various other dishes. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
Taco Salad- Serve this rice as a topper for your favorite taco salad.
Burrito Bowls- This Mexican rice would make a great addition to any burrito bowl.
Nachos- Top your favorite nachos with this flavorful rice for a quick and delicious meal.
Veggie Burgers- This rice would be a great addition to any veggie burger.
Soup- Add this rice to your favorite Mexican-style soup for a heartier meal.
Appetizer/Side Dish- Serve this Mexican rice casserole with fresh garden salsa pico de gallo guacamole or tortilla chips.
Popular Substitutions & Additions
Customize this vegan casserole to suit any dietary needs or preferences. Here are a few substitutions and additions:
Rice- Replace the brown rice with white basmati rice, jasmine rice, wild rice, or quinoa for a gluten-free option.
Vegetables- Feel free to add additional vegetables like zucchini, green, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, or spinach. Swap out the canned black beans for kidney or pinto beans.
Cheese- Swap out the Monterey jack and cheddar cheese for your favorite shredded vegan cheese.
Seasonings- Add your favorite taco seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, chili powder, or fresh lime juice to adjust the flavor of the rice casserole to your liking.
Salsa-For extra flavor, add a generous amount of enchilada sauce or mild or medium salsa to the cooked rice.
Toppings- Garnish this Mexican casserole with additional herbs and spices, vegan cheese, sliced avocado, fresh jalapeño slices, vegan sour cream, fresh tomatoes, crushed tortilla chips, or your other favorite vegan toppings.
With just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort, you can create a flavorful vegan Mexican rice casserole that is sure to please the whole family.
Can I Freeze This Mexican Rice Casserole?
Absolutely! This delectable Mexican casserole can be frozen with ease. If you store it in an airtight, freezer-friendly container, this dish will remain fresh for up to 3 months. When the craving strikes and your mouth starts watering, thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. If you'd like to save some time by not freezing or if there are leftovers after mealtime, place them into a well-sealed container inside of your refrigerator where they'll stay good for 4 days - just pop them into the microwave when hunger hits again and stir occasionally while heating until evenly warmed throughout.
Vegan Mexican Rice Casserole FAQs
Do I Have To Use Black Beans?
No, you don't have to use black beans in this recipe. You could leave them out altogether or substitute another type of bean, such as pinto or kidney beans.
Is there a way to make this Mexican rice casserole without an oven-safe skillet?
Of course! If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, simply cook rice, veggies, and seasonings together as instructed, then transfer the cooked rice mixture into a baking dish or casserole dish before adding the shredded vegan cheese then place it under the broiler.
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can easily make this recipe ahead of time. Simmer all ingredients together, cover, and put in the refrigerator until ready to eat. To cook, heat rice in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes before adding the shredded cheese and placing it in the broiler.
Do I have to use brown rice?
No, you can use brown or white rice. You could also substitute white rice if that's what you have on hand. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Can I use frozen corn in place of canned corn?
Yes, you can use frozen corn. Just add it in when you would add the fresh corn.
Vegan Mexican Rice Casserole
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 red bell pepper cored and diced
- 4 oz canned green chilies drained
- 1 can corn drained
- 1 can black beans drained
- 12 oz salsa
- 1 ½ cups brown rice cooked
- ½ cup Vegan Monterey cheese shredded
- ¼ cup Vegan cheddar cheese shredded
- Cilantro and diced green onions to garnish
- In a large skillet, heat oil and add onions, and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add all spices, stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add red pepper and green chilies and cook for a few minutes.
- Now add black beans, corn, salsa. Stir
- Add rice. Stir together and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Then turn on the broiler. Add cheeses to the top.
- Put the skillet in the oven and heat for a couple of minutes until golden brown.
- Garnish with cilantro and green onions and serve.
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