One of my favorite things is when I hear people tell my husband, “Oh, you must eat so well,” because he’s married to a food blogger. It’s my favorite thing because it isn’t true. I mean we do eat homemade meals 5-6 nights per week and I try to make tasty food, but our meals are FAR from fancy. They are our best intentions of trying to be healthy, using what we have on hand, and whatever else goes into feeding your family. Sometimes it’s pretty good. More often than not, it’s whole grains, roasted vegetables, and some sort of protein. My husband is really pretty patient with how often “rice and veggies” comes out of my mouth for dinner plans. And really, this one pot Mexican Casserole is rice and veggies a little jazzed up, but it’s a huge winner…
I realized after living with my husband for a while that a little splurge on an otherwise ordinary dinner can go along way. For example… Yes, we’re have soup again, but I bought a loaf of bread in the bakery to make yummy toast. OR Yes, we’re having tacos again, but I bought chips and avocado for guacamole. The “extras” are usually inexpensive and easy but oh so tasty!One of the reasons I love this one pot Mexican casserole dinner is that it uses up all kind of leftovers. This recipe uses up chicken and rice/quinoa. You could sub chicken for any kind of meat. And the veggies as well. I think I’ve thrown in leftover veggies too. So basically whatever you have is good. I’m not above using 5 mushrooms, 1/2 a bell pepper, and two zucchini because that’s what’s in the fridge! With all that melty cheese and avocado, who cares?! Oh, and don’t forget the tapatio!
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ONE POT MEXICAN CASSEROLE
- 2 medium bell peppers, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes (not too spicy but optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 4 cups cooked rice or quinoa
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 2-3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (about 1 large breast)
- 1 quart homemade canned tomatoes or 2 cans
- 1-1½ cups cheddar, monterey jack, or pepper jack cheese, shredded
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in dutch oven or large pot with lid over medium heat. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Add bell peppers, ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, chili flakes (if using), and garlic powder. Sauté 3-5 minutes until beginning to soften.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add rice and cook 3-5 minutes until beginning to crisp in places, stirring occasionally. Add beans, chicken, and tomatoes. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and remaining one teaspoon salt. Stir to mix thoroughly. Cook, stirring frequently until warm throughout (5-8 minutes).
- Turn oven to broil. Top rice mixture with shredded cheese. Broil 10 minutes until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.
ALTERNATIVE: If you don’t want to turn on the oven… After topping with cheese, cover pot and let cheese melt 5-8 minutes.
Make this recipe? I'd love to see how it turned out. Tag me @LMinthekitchen on Instagram and use #LMrecipes, so I can see your creation! xo