This simple, healthy casserole is filled with lots of vegetables, black beans, and a delicious taco rice. It’s perfect for dinner and makes enough for lunch leftovers too. Mmm!
Once upon a time, when we were first married, our go-to dinner was tacos, spaghetti, or some sort of seasoned chicken dish. There’s nothing wrong with any of those dinners, but unless you are using assorted boxed or packaged ingredients they aren’t that easy. Well, if you don’t buy that stuff on a regular basis, that is. [For the record, I do buy that stuff sometimes. I just don’t keep it at home regularly. My pantry is too full of seventeen kinds of grains, pastas, mustards, and sauces. Seventeen EACH that is. :)]
Now, my go-to dinner is much simpler. Black beans and rice. Directions: Open freezer, remove black beans that I make by the pound in the oven. Defrost in the sink while making some rice on the stove. Heat black beans up on the stove with some homemade taco seasoning. Serve together, with assorted toppings like avocado, cilantro, green onions, hot sauce, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, etc. It’s rare that I have all those toppings on hand at once, but when I do… it’s parrrtytime! [Yes, I realize that if black beans and rice with toppings is my definition of partytime, I’m probably not very exciting. Ha.]
This casserole is the kicked up version of black beans and rice, except everything is all mixed up together and baked til it’s ooey gooey. MMM! If you like regular black beans and rice, you’ll LOVE this version. It’s from the Budget Bytes cookbook so you know it has to be good. Probably what makes it so freakin’ awesome is that the rice isn’t just normal… it’s taco rice! If your family isn’t comfortable with meatless meals yet, I think this would be a great way to introduce the concept. There’s tons of flavor in one lil casserole dish! We loved this meal and hope you do too! :)
Southwest Veggie + Taco Rice Casserole
from the Budget Bytes cookbook
for taco rice
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium jalapeno, diced [deseeded if desired]
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 zucchini, sliced and quartered – or 1 cup mushrooms, another bell pepper, or an extra cup of corn
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups prepared taco rice [from above]
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
In a saucepan, whisk together chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano, tomato paste, and 3 cups water. Whisk together then stir in rice. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. Then fluff with a fork and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 inch dish with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Then, add rest of the veggies: jalapeno, bell pepper, zucchini, and chili powder. Stir to combine and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until soft and all liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and stir in corn, tomatoes, and black beans. Add the taco rice [you will have extra rice left] and the cheese and stir well. Transfer to prepared pan, then bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
Serve with green onions and cilantro.
Recipe can also be doubled [casserole portion–do not make extra rice] and baked in a 9×13 pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until bubbly.