Yum. I love a good cheesy rice bake. Especially one with tomatoes & black beans. What makes this one extra special is that it’s loaded with veggies that still manage to keep a little crunch.
This dish comes together pretty easy – you can chop stuff up while the rice is cooking, then basically mix it all together and throw it in the oven ’til the cheese melts. If you care to, you can throw some cooked chicken in the mix, put some pan-fried fish on top (like I did in the picture), or just eat it as is. The rice, cheese, beans & veggies are pretty filling all on their own.
This is a Pinterest find, originally from Southern Living (here’s the original recipe). It calls for packaged yellow rice, but I find that any type of rice that isn’t just plain ‘ol rice has about ten thousand ingredients and 30 times your daily recommendation for sodium (I’m exaggerating, but seriously, the stuff is crazy). That led me to look up my own yellow rice recipe and see what was really involved. I landed on this one from epicurious. Not too many ingredients and all stuff I had sitting around already (except for the rice).
You know how I always refer to my rice cooker as magical? That’s because it is. All I did was throw all of the ingredients in that list for the rice in the cooker and flip the switch. Ta da! Yellow rice without all the processed craziness.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
For the rice
- About 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- About 1/4 c chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 c long grain brown rice
- 2 1/4 c low-sodium chicken broth (or veggie broth)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- A little salt
- About 1 c chopped onion
- 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into bit-sized chunks
- 2 carrots, diced
- A little olive oil
- 1 15oz can black beans, drained
- 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
- 1 1/2 c Monterey Jack cheese, shredded or diced small
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Throw all the ingredients for the rice into a rice cooker and let it do its thing. No rice cooker? Check out the directions on the original recipe.
- While the rice is cooking, chop & prep the remaining ingredients.
- In a large fry pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper & carrot. Season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown and almost cooked through, 5-10 minutes.
- When the rice is done, mix in the cooked veggies, black beans, tomatoes (with the juice), jalapeno peppers & cheese.
- Transfer to a baking dish and pop in the oven until the cheese melts – 10 or 15 minutes.
- If you feel like it, pan fry up some chicken or fish while the dish is in the oven and throw it on top before you eat.