I am a fan of one pot meals. I’ve made one other on this blog, One Pot Garlic and White Cheddar Pasta, and it was tasty. One pot meals are wonderful because you cook everything in one pot. This makes doing dishes very easy. It also makes making dinner easy. So in the spirit of one pot dishes, I wanted to do one without pasta. I decided to make a dish that is hearty and delicious.
Rice is a very filling and hearty food. You don’t need much rice in order to feel full. Rice in this dish is perfect. The vegetables are also filling, with very minor calories. This dish is slightly spicy and full of flavor. The more veggies you include the better. Mexican rice casserole is very easy to make, and the most work you will have to do is prep the vegetables. I served this with a salad on the side and was full for the entire evening. This is definitely a pleaser.
The most work for this recipe comes in prepping the vegetables. I like my vegetables diced small for this recipe, about the same size as the corn kernels. This allows the vegetables to all cook evenly, and you won’t get huge chunks of certain veggies.
Once you have everything prepped, heat the no calorie spray butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. I use no calorie spray butter because it doesn’t add any calories to the dish (obviously). You could also use any oil in place of this. It doesn’t add or take away from the flavors of this dish, so I saw no point in adding in extra calories. Once the pan is hot, add in the garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook until the onions become translucent. This should take about 2 minutes. Make sure you stir the mixture frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn.
Next, stir in the zucchini and corn until tender and heated through. This should take about 2 minutes. If you are using frozen corn, it may take slightly longer to heat it through. Then, stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice, rice, chili powder, cumin, and water. Add in the salt and pepper to your taste.
Once everything is mixed together, bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for about 15 to 18 minutes until the rice is cooked through. If you want to use brown rice, you may have to adjust your cooking time to allow the brown rice to cook longer. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cheese until it is melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. I used pepper jack, but cheddar would also be quite delicious in this.
This is a delicious casserole. The flavors are very similar to the “Spanish rice” that you find in the boxes at the grocery store. However, this is much, much better. Not only is it loaded with healthy vegetables, it’s hearty and flavorful. You can add in whatever vegetables you like. If you aren’t a fan of the ones in the recipe, don’t worry. You won’t be able to taste the specific flavors of the vegetables when they are all cooked together. Samuel asked for this to be on the rotation, and he went back for seconds… So, you know what that means! This is a keeper and a repeat in my kitchen for sure.
Mexican Rice Casserole
Total calories: 1,468
- 1 tbsp no calorie spray butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ whole white onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 1- 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese
- Heat no calorie butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent- about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in zucchini and corn until tender and heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in diced tomatoes with their juice, rice, chili powder, cumin, and water. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer about 15 to 18 minutes until the rice is cooked through. Stir in cheese until melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve warm.
1 tbsp oil (any kind) for 1 tbsp no calorie spray butter
1 cup brown rice for 1 cup white rice (simmer longer at step 4 to allow brown rice to cook all the way through)