MEXICAN RICE CASSEROLE CON QUESO RECIPE
BY: PAM NELSON FROM FOR THE LOVE OF COOKING
Mexican Rice Casserole con Queso takes everything you love about Mexican food and throws it into a single casserole dish. This Mexican recipe is full of tasty vegetables such as juicy tomatoes and savory black beans. The rice absorbs all of the different spices and flavors of the casserole, making the dish evenly seasoned. The generous cheese topping, however, will definitely be your favorite part because it’s so rich and gooey.
1 1/2 cups white rice, cooked 1 teaspoon olive oil
|1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 to 4 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (divided)
1 to 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 to 4 tomatoes, thickly sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare rice per instructions. While the rice is cooking heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the ground beef, making sure to break it up into crumbles. Cook the beef for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the diced onion and all of the seasonings. Stir until well combined and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the beef is cooked through and the onion is tender. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly for an additional 60 seconds. Add the cooked rice, drained and rinsed black beans, tomato sauce and a bit of cilantro (reserving some for garnishing) to the beef and onion mixture. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, taste and re-season if needed.
2. Coat a large baking dish with cooking spray and pour the rice mixture into the dish, spreading it evenly. Place the tomato slices on top of the rice mixture, then top with Cheddar cheese.
3. Spray a piece of tin foil with cooking spray (so the cheese won’t stick) and cover the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes then remove the tin foil. Bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Top with a dollop of sour cream and the remaining chopped cilantro.