Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mexican Brown Rice Casserole

This is from my sister's sister-in-law. We tried it yesterday, liked it, and made notes of what we want to tweak next time we make it. It meets the requirements for the "ideal recipe": inexpensive, healthy, tasty enough to look forward to a few times a month, easy to prepare, and made from whole food ingredients that are standard pantry items here.

1 ½ cups brown rice
3 cups water

While rice is cooking,
thaw 10-oz box of frozen spinach,
and squeeze or drain to remove excess moisture.

Combine the cooked rice with
1 ½ cups salsa
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder

In another bowl, combine
1 quart (or 2 15-oz cans) of refried beans
16-oz bag of frozen corn (preferably thawed)
1 finely chopped onion
4-oz can diced green chili peppers
1 Tbsp chili powder

Layer in the greased pan:
- half the rice mixture
- bean & corn mixture
- spinach
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar.
- the rest of the rice mixture.

Bake at 375° for about 25 minutes.
Add another 1/2 cup grated cheddar.
Bake 5 more minutes.
Top with plenty of chopped fresh cilantro (optional).


  1. Sounds fabulous! (And I can get all the ingredients at Aldi, too, except for the brown rice, which they only have occasionally.)

  2. So how do you plan to tweak it?

  3. This is with the tweaks. Before it said 10 oz corn, 1 can beans, less cumin and chili, no garlic or onion, less cheese. Andrew says it needs a little hamburger; Gary says it needs a little chicken. (So much for vegetarian.)

  4. I was going to ask about some ground beef. Also, do you think Black beans would work? And, how many does this serve? Sounds good, and very Tex-Mex!


  5. I don't know if I'd put the hamburger in with the rice, or if I'd add it into the bean/corn mixture. I suspect either way would be fine.

    I really liked the creamy mushiness of the refried beans, and how that texture complemented the rice's texture. I think it would be pretty dry if it were made with black beans. I sure like the taste of black beans and corn and rice. I've seen refried black beans, and I betcha that would be excellent!

    The recipe I started with (a little smaller than what I have recorded here) said it serves 6. I would've said the original served 3, and the tweaked version serves 4. So, Debbie, I guess it depends on whether you eat like my family or Sandy's family (where it would serve 10).

  6. Mmm...sounds yummy and easy! Definitely going to try this out :-) -Heidi