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Mexican brown rice and black bean casserole topped with sour cream and avocado slices on a blue plate.

Mexican spices and several vegetables are mixed with brown rice in this healthy, flavorful, and freezable casserole dish.

One of my favorite go-to healthy meals is this brown rice and black bean casserole. I find it to be a satisfying and hearty dish. There’s all sorts of vegetables in it, including carrots, which means my kids are gobbling up healthy stuff along with the rice they love. I don’t particularly care for the brown rice in just anything, but in this recipe it is great. My kids totally don’t even notice the difference and them crazies are picky! It’s got a great flavor with the green chiles, garlic, and cumin which means adults like it too. The best part about a casserole like this is that every bite is a different adventure depending on what goodies you get on your fork. This recipe can easily be turned vegan by omitting the cheese, which would also lower the calories (which aren’t very high to begin with!) As with most casseroles, this dish freezes very well. Just freeze after step 3 and bake for 45 minutes to an hour when ready to eat.

Mexican Brown Rice and Black Bean Casserole topped with a dollop of sour cream and sliced avocado.

Did you know…when you are covering something with aluminum foil the shiny side should go in, leaving the dull, more heat absorbent side showing. This will allow it to absorb more heat rather than reflect some of it.

Casserole type recipes topped with cheese often call for a covering of aluminum foil so that everything can bake without the cheese burning. It is important to follow this step, but can cause a mess if the cheese sticks to the foil. To avoid sticking, lightly spray your foil with nonstick spray before placing that side down to cover the cheese. You’ll be able to easily remove it without the cheese sticking!

Mexican brown rice and black bean casserole topped with sour cream and avocado slices on a blue plate.
Mexican spices and several vegetables are mixed with brown rice in this healthy, flavorful, and freezable casserole dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups vegetable broth can substitute chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 small zucchinis diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 cups canned black beans
  • 4 oz diced green chiles drained
  • 3 large carrots shredded
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese divided
  • Place the rice and broth into a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for 40-50 minutes until all liquids have been absorbed by the rice. Remember that brown rice takes longer to cook than white and you should check the packaging for estimated cooking times.
  • Before the rice is done, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, zucchini, and mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes until all are cooked through. Add in the cumin and minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • In the large mixing bowl, combing the saute mixture, black beans, green chiles, carrots, cooked rice, and 1 cup of cheese. Stir with a spoon until everything is distributed fairly evenly. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  • Cover with aluminum foil **(See cooking lesson below)** and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes to let the cheese get slightly browned.
**Serving Suggestion: goes well topped with sour cream and/or avocados


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 957mg | Potassium: 794mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5750IU | Vitamin C: 19.4mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 3.1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Black Bean Casserole

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5 stars
I just made it. It is easy to substitute whatever works for your palate. I had to add salt to decrease the bland flavor. I added sour cream on top and it was delicious. My husband enjoyed it as well. My variations were green pepper instead of zuchini and a little more cheese.
I would totally make this again.

I prepared this last night and everyone in my family just loved it and we all had it to our heart's content. Thanks for sharing.

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I'm confused – the recipe is unclear with what to do with the cooked rice! Add to other ingredients (I assume!) or serve alongside bean mixture?!
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You add it in with the other ingredients in Step 3.

I love this recipe as a variation on my favorite way to make rice – stuffed with veggies. Like you, I'm not a huge fan of brown rice, but this sounds like a great way to use and enjoy the health benefits without feeling like it is the heavy, boring brown rice of my college days.

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