I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for leftovers. If it’s something everyone in the house enjoys and the recipe makes enough to have leftovers in the fridge, I’m totally happy. Some of my favorite recipes to cook are ones that will last all week. Especially with little kids, it always pays to have something in the fridge that they’ll eat so that you don’t have to make every single thing they eat as they want it. I’m also a total sucker for casseroles and one dish meals. Dishes that can be thrown together and into the oven. The simpler the better.
This bake is so simple and fast, I’ve already made it twice and I’m still thinking up ideas for what to put in it next. While it can be a vegetarian main dish, I think this would be awesome as a side too. Plus, I think the leftovers would be awesome wrapped up in a tortilla. It’s really a clean out the fridge type meal. If you’re anything like me and buy things like peppers in a pack of 4 and then only use 3, this is perfect. Chop all your little bits of leftover veggies up and throw them in. We usually always have rice and beans either in the fridge or previously cooked and then frozen(although canned beans will be fine too!). And I’m trying to use more frozen veggies in my cooking lately too so this is perfect.
Like I said, this is a clean out the fridge meal. Even a carrot(maybe grated?) would probably go undetected in this, so go for it! I don’t recommend adding too much more quantity-wise because this recipe will fill an 8×8 pan to the top, but you can easily mix and match and substitute whatever veggies you have on hand or that you think will taste good. And chances are, if your kids enjoy tex-mex flavors this would be a good way to “hide” some vegetables in plain sight 🙂
Rice and Bean Taco Bake
- 2-2 1/2 C cooked brown rice
- 2 C frozen corn
- 2 C your favorite tomato based salsa
- 2 C or one can black beans(or whatever beans you have on hand)
- 2 C grated cheese
- 2-3 C fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3-4 tbsp taco seasoning or one package
- 1 4 oz or 113g can green chilies(optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8×8 dish and set aside.
In a large bowl, place all the ingredients, reserving 3/4 – 1 cup of cheese for the top. Mix well to combine and distribute everything evenly. Pour into the prepared baking dish and press down into the pan. Sprinkle with cheese and then place in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, until bubble and golden around the edges. Before serving, turn on the broiler for 3-5 minutes, just until the cheese on top is bubbly and golden brown. Watch carefully to prevent it from burning! Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt and green onions over top.