Vegetarian Mexican Skillet

If you are slowly looking to cut meat out of your diet, this recipe is a great place to start! With all of the flavor beautifully melding together in this Skillet Mexican Brown Rice Casserole recipe, you won’t even notice there is any meat missing!

I have come a long way since the days of believing “a meal isn’t a meal if it has no meat,” and it’s thanks to recipes like this that I’ve had such a change of heart! The natural flavors of the vegetables combined with the complementary spices that go into this dish make for a super tasty vegetarian dish even the carnivore in your family can enjoy! Considering this recipe made a TON of leftovers, we decided to portion out the rest of the casserole into Tupperware and enjoy throughout the week for a meal prep lunch we could actually be excited for! Say goodbye to bland chicken and rice! After sitting in the fridge and letting all of the yummy spices absorb into the rice and vegetables, we were delighted to find that the flavor only intensified as the days went on! Thank God for our small stomachs – otherwise we probably would have wanted to go back for seconds, it was so dang tasty!

We love the idea of getting the family involved in dinner prep, so grab your children you trust to be handy with a (dull) knife and have them help you dice up all of the colorful vegetables that go into the big ole pot of flavor! Not only will this teach them to be self-sufficient in the kitchen as the years go on, but it will also teach them to absolutely LOVE vegetables! Monkey see, monkey do, right?

Need even more reasons to love this recipe? In about 20 minutes or less, you have a flavorful dish ready to be consumed! And, for those who hate doing dishes like me, this one pot recipe makes for easy clean up! What more could you ask for? Hmmm… Maybe extra cheese? We agree!

Enjoy this yummy vegetarian Mexican Brown Rice Casserole!


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and diced (if you want extra heat, keep the seeds in!)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup quick cook brown rice*
  • 1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups shredded regular or dairy-free cheddar cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the olive oil is heated (should look runny, like water), add in the onion and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until it starts to become translucent and soft.
  2. Add in the pepper, jalapeno, corn, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the veggies are all tender. Add in the tomato paste and brown rice. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly.
  3. Add in the drained tomatoes, black beans and veggie broth. Give the mixture a good stir, then bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes (or according to the time on the package directions for the rice), until almost all of the broth has been absorbed by the rice (and rice is tender).
  4. Remove the cover and sprinkle the cheese over the top (use the lower or higher amount depending on how cheesy you want it). Recover and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  5. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

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