Skillet Mexican Brown Rice Casserole

Skillet Mexican Brown Rice Casserole |

It’s toward the end of the work week. If you’re anything like me, the fresh start and energy of the beginning of the week is long gone. You’re haaangry. You need a quicker dinner idea. Nothing complicated or fussy. And more on the healthy side of things because, you know, New Year’s resolutions and stuff.

I’m here to help save the day! Or dinner at the very least.

And this dish right here brings all sorts of goodness. Especially since it’s cooked in one skillet. One! That means less dishes! And I need all the help I can get when it comes to less dishes. I somehow manage to dirty up my entire kitchen every single time I cook. And I also somehow manage to use way more measuring cups, bowls, dishes, cheese graters, etc. than humanly possible. I can be a bit of a disaster. This is also why Emma refuses to leave my side when I’m in the kitchen. The possibility of dropped food is high. It’s a hungry beagle’s dream.

Skillet Mexican Brown Rice Casserole |

So. Let’s discuss how this dish goes down. You’ll chop up a few veggies and then saute them in a skillet along with some spices to pump up that flavor! You’ll add in the brown rice and some tomato paste (<— again, to help us get to flavor town!) and we’ll toast that rice right there in the skillet.

We pour in some broth, some black beans for a bit of protein and some drained tomatoes. And then we cover and let it work some magic and simmer away for about 15 minutes. You can use this time to sit down, pour yourself some wine, or run upstairs to go change into pajamas because you are incapable of not getting food all over your clothes while cooking and never think to put on one of the 15 million aprons you own.

Finally, after we are nice and cozy in our pajamas, we add in a little (or a lot!) of cheese and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. And bam! Dinner is served. Casserole-type goodness without cream of mushroom (or whatever) anything! And it’s mexican food which = the best kind of food.

Skillet Mexican Brown Rice Casserole |

And that my friends is how we do Thursday night dinner.

Skillet Mexican Brown Rice Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • pinch of cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup quick cook brown rice*
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 to 2 cups freshly shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add in the pepper, jalapeno, corn, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the veggies are all tender. Add in the tomato paste and brown rice. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly.
  2. Add in the drained tomatoes, black beans and veggie broth. Give the mixture a good stir then bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes (or according to the time on the package directions for the rice), until almost all of the broth has been absorbed by the rice (and the rice is tender).
  3. Remove the cover and sprinkle the cheese over the top (use the lower or higher amount depending on how cheesy you want it!). Recover and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  4. Garnish with the cilantro before serving.
*I use quick-cook brown rice in this recipe. Which I buy at Trader Joes (I’m sure you can buy it other places too!). If you don’t use quick cooking brown rice, you’ll have to cook the rice longer. White rice could also be substituted, but you’ll have to keep an eye on it as well, as the cooking time may vary.

Cookie Monster Cooking