Rice and Bean Taco Bake

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on January 3, 2012

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.


Leave a Comment

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nancy February 28, 2021 at 03:36

I have made this before for my guys at a group home and it was well received. I found it recently( it should really have a Pinterest save) and made for my hubby. I threw a little ground turkey and used a brown rice quinoa mix. It turned out super with plenty of leftovers .


2 Erin @ Food Doodles March 3, 2021 at 10:12

I’m sorry for just now seeing your comment! I’m really glad that you all enjoyed it and had lots of leftovers. Some added ground turkey sounds great! Thanks a bunch for your feedback. 🙂


3 Marti March 31, 2015 at 10:39

this was so good, thank you very much. I had left over port ribs that I chopped up and added. My taco seasoning is mild so I found I have to double the amount. Thank you for sharing this.


4 Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books August 27, 2013 at 18:22

This really does sound delicious!! =)


5 Brittany January 23, 2012 at 20:31

Made this tonight and we loved it! To those of you who have commented but haven’t made it yet… make it, it’s awesome!

Everything I’ve made of yours so far has been so us, if that makes sense? Thanks so much for sharing your recipes!

*I am dairy free right now so I held off on putting the cheese in. Told my husband and daughter they could top theirs with it but they decided it was so good as is that they didn’t need it. : )


6 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 24, 2012 at 10:25

I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Thank you so much for leaving a comment 😀


7 Baltic Maid January 8, 2012 at 16:26

This looks delicious!


8 Nami | Just One Cookbook January 6, 2012 at 01:10

I need to bookmark this. Looks so delicious and definitely a great week night dish! My fingers are so cold typing up this comment, and totally wish I can have a bowl of this right now!


9 The Café Sucré Farine January 5, 2012 at 14:17

Sounds like a great meal with a salad and some warm crusty bread! Perfect for these chilly evenings!~


10 Heather January 5, 2012 at 13:06

I love quick and easy recipes that are as versatile as this one – perfect for leftovers!


11 Aly January 5, 2012 at 08:22

Hey, this looks delicious! I was wondering, how many servings does this yield?


12 Alexis @ There She Goes January 5, 2012 at 07:32

yum! i love dishes like this – anything that can be stashed in the fridge for a day or two is a winner in my book 🙂


13 Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum January 4, 2012 at 21:44

Looks great! I love stuff like this, especially for these cold dark nights. That might actually be afternoons? Who knows anymore.


14 Allison January 4, 2012 at 19:04

Wow great idea, my kids would love that. They are suckers for anything Mexican inspired. Great pictures!


15 Maris (In Good Taste) January 4, 2012 at 14:52

This looks amazing. I love things like this that are easy to put together and so delicious!


16 Amy @ Gastronome Tart January 4, 2012 at 10:48

I have a thing for casseroles and am always looking for new recipes. Thanks for sharing! Looks fantastic!


17 torviewtoronto January 4, 2012 at 10:47

yummy dish looks wonderful


18 Judy January 3, 2012 at 21:00

I don’t need leftovers to make me want this! Definitely something I’m craving post christmas and new year.


19 Yadsia @ShopCookMake January 3, 2012 at 19:38

i’m bookmarking this. I like the idea of taco flavor with out all the fat.


20 Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious January 3, 2012 at 19:14

I’m more of a leftover snob than my hubby – but we can tolerate leftovers for a couple of days. What a great vegetarian dish – I’d have to bookmark this!


21 Jeralyn January 3, 2012 at 18:57

This looks amazing!!! Going to try tomorrow for sure!


22 Pure2raw twins January 3, 2012 at 18:50

leftovers are the best! and love this idea! looks delicious.


23 lisaiscooking January 3, 2012 at 18:14

These ingredients are great together, and I love the idea of wrapping leftovers in a tortilla. Sounds like a go-to meal!


24 Caroline January 3, 2012 at 18:08

What a clever idea…looks and sounds fantastic!! x


25 Nora @ Natural Noshing January 3, 2012 at 17:22

I love leftovers too!!! and re-purposing vegetables, grains or protein 🙂 I also love anything with southwest, mexican or santa fe flavors so this one has my name written all over it! I’ve make something very very similar to this but leave out the rice…I serve it with rice instead because I am strange and 90% of the time prefer my grains separate or as a bed for my main dish 🙂 gotta love food quirks!


26 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 3, 2012 at 15:46

I <3 leftovers but for some reason my husband feels the need to finish all the food, even if there is plenty for leftovers. It's like he's subconsiously opposed to them or something. I literally have to remind him that I WANT to eat the meal as leftovers the next day so he doesn't eat it all!


27 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 3, 2012 at 16:16

I hear you! It seems like the things I really want for leftovers never last that long 🙁


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