Baked Mexican Rice: A Delicious and Nutritious Recipe

Have you ever craved a delicious and fulfilling Mexican dish, but struggled to find a vegetarian-friendly option? Introducing the Baked Mexican Rice – Vegetarian Recipe! This recipe is packed full of flavor and nutrients, creating an explosion of deliciousness in every bite. It is easy to make and perfect for satisfying your cravings without sacrificing your dietary preferences.

Furthermore, this recipe has a variety of health benefits that are sure to make you feel good about what you’re eating. Made with whole grain rice and roasted vegetables, it allows you to indulge in your favorite Mexican flavors without feeling guilty. The use of black beans and corn provide a generous amount of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients.

In just one bite, you can taste the essence of traditional Mexican rice with the added bonus of not having any chicken or other animal products. You won’t find a more satisfying plant-based meal than this vegan Mexican rice.

Whether you’re looking for an easy one-pot meal or a perfect make-ahead vegetarian casserole recipe to feed your family, this baked layered Mexican rice is the best fit for all occasions. With simple ingredients and basic cooking techniques, you can experience one of the most flavorful vegan Mexican dishes in no time.

With its ability to cater to dietary restrictions while maintaining flavor accuracy, this dish will quickly become a household staple!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Baked Mexican Rice - Vegetarian
Baked Mexican Rice – Vegetarian

Picture this: tender, fluffy white rice mixed with zesty tomato sauce, aromatic garlic and onions, and a kick of chili powder and ground cumin. Your taste buds rejoice with every bite of this delicious Mexican rice dish. And the best part? It’s completely vegan and perfect for those following a plant-based diet.

This recipe is the epitome of healthy comfort food that’ll leave you feeling satisfied yet guilt-free. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for a group, this dish is sure to impress. You don’t have to be a seasoned chef to whip up this flavorful meal in no time. The ingredients are easy to find and the steps are simple to follow.

Plus, the versatility of this dish is remarkable. You can enjoy it as a side dish alongside roasted vegetables or as a full main course with a side salad. This rice bake is also perfect for leftovers the next day – simply reheat it in the oven and enjoy all over again.

So why will you love this recipe? Because not only is it incredibly delicious and easy to make, but it’s also wholesome and filling. You won’t even miss the chicken that’s typically included in traditional Mexican rice dishes – this vegan alternative packs just as much flavor (if not more) than its meat-containing counterpart.

Give this recipe a try tonight and discover your new go-to vegan Mexican rice casserole!

Ingredient List

 A flavorful fiesta in every bite!
A flavorful fiesta in every bite!

Mexican Rice

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce


  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Beans and Corn

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels

Olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and Pepper

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Note: for a healthier option, you may use brown rice instead of white rice.

In this recipe, the main ingredients that add flavor are chili powder, tomato paste, ground cumin, and tomato sauce. These ingredients give the dish a Mexican taste that is perfect for those who crave some Mexican flavors. Aside from that, we also have vegetables such as red onions and red bell peppers to add some color and freshness to the dish. Then we also have black beans and corn that add protein and texture. These ingredients make the dish not only delicious but also full of nutrients that our body needs.

The Recipe How-To

 This baked Mexican rice screams comfort food.
This baked Mexican rice screams comfort food.

Now, let’s dive into the fun part – making the Baked Mexican Rice! This recipe is a one-pan dish that will have your taste buds dancing. It’s simple to make and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a party with friends.


Here are the ingredients needed for this delicious dish:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of corn (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large cast-iron pan or oven-safe dish, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and garlic. Cook until translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add the diced bell pepper to the pan and continue to cook for another minute or two until slightly softened.
  4. Pour in the white rice to the pan and sauté for about 3 minutes until it starts to turn golden.

Mixing and Baking

  1. To the same pan, add tomato paste, ground cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well with the sautéed vegetables for about a minute.
  2. Now add black beans and corn into the pan along with vegetable broth, and tomato sauce.
  3. Stir everything together until well combined.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer then reduce the temperature and cover with foil.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes then remove from oven and garnish your baked Mexican rice with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.

Final Touches

There you have it – your healthy vegetarian Mexican Rice Casserole is ready! Serve hot on its own, with avocado slices on top or as a side dish to some roasted vegetables or vegetable casserole . The possibilities are endless! Plus let’s not forget that this recipe makes great leftovers – just store any extras in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

This is hands down one of my best vegetarian rice bake recipes that your family or guests won’t soon forget!

Substitutions and Variations

 A perfect side dish for any Mexican inspired meal.
A perfect side dish for any Mexican inspired meal.

Are you feeling adventurous? If so, then let’s dive into some fun substitutions and variations to make this baked Mexican rice dish even more exciting.

First up, let’s talk about the rice. While this recipe calls for white rice, you could use brown rice instead for a healthier alternative. Keep in mind that brown rice will take longer to cook and may require additional liquid.

If you want to add more protein to your dish, consider swapping the black beans for chickpeas or tofu crumbles. The tofu crumbles will give it a texture similar to ground beef, making it a great option for those missing the meat.

For a lighter version of this dish, you can omit the cheese or replace it with vegan cheese instead. You could also experiment with different types of cheese like queso fresco or feta cheese for a tangier flavor.

If you’re looking to add more vegetables to your diet, then consider adding roasted vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or sweet potatoes. These vegetables pair perfectly with the flavors in this dish and will give it an added boost of nutrition.

Finally, if you have leftover rice from another meal, then this is the perfect recipe to use it up! Just skip the steps for cooking the rice and add your pre-cooked rice to the casserole dish before baking.

Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and finding what works best for you. So feel free to get creative with your substitutions and variations to make this baked Mexican rice recipe truly your own.

Serving and Pairing

 Eat your grains and veggies all in one delicious dish.
Eat your grains and veggies all in one delicious dish.

Once your baked Mexican rice is ready, serve it hot with your favorite garnish. You can add some chopped fresh cilantro or parsley on the top for that fresh taste and aroma. If you prefer a bit of heat, you can sprinkle some freshly diced jalapeno peppers. The rice will absorb the flavors along with the heat to give you a perfect bite every time.

You can also pair this delicious baked Mexican rice casserole with some roasted vegetables or a simple salad for a complete meal. The robust flavor of the rice will go well with some roasted zucchini, carrots, or bell peppers. It will also be excellent with a side of refried beans or black beans.

Moreover, you can use this recipe to create an excellent vegetable casserole by skipping the beans and adding more roasted vegetables like eggplants, squash, and broccoli along with the bell pepper for an extra crunch. It is also an excellent option if you have leftover rice that needs to be transformed into a wholesome lunch.

Lastly, you can also try using brown rice instead of white rice for a healthier whole-grain twist on this classic dish. Whatever way you choose to serve it, this vegan Mexican rice is sure to be a favorite among your friends and family and a healthy vegetarian option for dinner.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The aroma of this rice will bring the family running to the kitchen.
The aroma of this rice will bring the family running to the kitchen.

Have you ever prepared a big batch of delicious food ahead of time only to find that it doesn’t taste quite the same as when it was fresh? At times, reheated meals simply lack the savor and texture they once had. However, with this Mexican rice recipe, that’s not something you’ll have to worry about!


One of the best things about Baked Mexican Rice is that it can be made ahead of time! By preparing it ahead of time, you can save time and reduce prep work on the day when you finally plan to serve this dish. You can either cook the casserole entirely before refrigerating or prepare all the ingredients ahead of time so you only have final assembly when ready to bake. Alternatively, assembling and storing the casserole without baking is another option that will save time.


When safely stored in an airtight container in the fridge, cooked rice can last up to four days before it begins to dry out or lose flavor. For this reason, leftovers from the Baked Mexican Rice recipe may be put into containers after baking and then stored in the fridge for up to four days.


Fortunately, reheating baked Mexican Rice is very simple which makes for a great leftover meal anytime! To reheat this dish properly, I recommend transferring individual portions onto microwave-safe plates and microwaving them at medium heat. Alternatively, preheat your oven and reheat the entire dish as per instructions below:

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

– Cover the dish with foil.

– Reheat until hot; 35 – 40 minutes

Overall, Baked Mexican Rice is excellent for meal prep if you have a busy schedule. Its simplicity ensures that it will stand the test of time in your refrigerator without losing its flavor or nutritional value. Plus, its versatility means that there are many ways to reheat it so you can enjoy its fantastic flavor several times over!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Who needs meat when this vegetarian rice dish hits the spot?
Who needs meat when this vegetarian rice dish hits the spot?

Cooking rice is an art, and while this recipe seems simple enough, achieving perfect results can be challenging. Here are some of my tips to help you make the best baked Mexican rice possible.

Firstly, always rinse your rice thoroughly before cooking it. This will help remove any excess starch and ensure that your rice cooks evenly. I prefer to wash my rice in a fine-mesh sieve under running water until the water runs clear.

Secondly, add your tomato paste to the pan before adding the broth or water. Cooking the tomato paste for a few minutes over medium heat will help to caramelize it, bringing out its rich, deep flavor and aroma.

Thirdly, don’t be tempted to lift the lid and stir the rice as it cooks. Doing this too frequently can release steam and cause uneven cooking of the grains. Keep the lid on tight throughout the simmering process to trap as much moisture as possible.

Fourthly, when making substitutions or changes, be mindful of how they will affect the rice’s overall texture and flavor. For example, using brown rice instead of white rice will require longer cooking times and more liquid.

Lastly, let your baked Mexican rice sit for at least 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. This allows the flavors to meld together and gives time for any excess moisture to be absorbed by the grains.

By following these tips, you’ll ensure that your baked Mexican rice turns out perfectly every time. Remember – practice makes perfect!


As a vegan chef, I always make sure to anticipate any questions or concerns you may have about my recipes. In this section, I’ll provide answers to some frequently asked questions about this baked Mexican rice recipe. Trust me, I know how important it is to have all the information you need in order to create a successful and tasty meal. So without further ado, let’s dive into some of those common questions!

What is the difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice?

Spanish rice is distinct from Mexican rice in terms of texture and aroma. Its unique flavor, which is slightly sweet yet savory, and golden color come from the use of saffron. Due to its high absorbency, it is particularly suitable for dishes that require slower cooking methods.

Why is Mexican rice not sticky?

If you want to create delectable Spanish rice that is neither sticky nor mushy, I have a secret. Simply sauté the rice in oil before adding the liquid. The rice will be thoroughly cooked in chicken broth and tomato sauce, both of which contribute significantly to the flavor. To achieve its genuine taste, add cumin, chili powder and garlic salt.

What kind of rice is used in Mexican cuisine?

Mexican rice, a popular side dish in Tex-Mex cuisine, is created with white rice, tomato, garlic, onion, and other ingredients commonly found in Mexican cuisine. It may also be referenced as Spanish rice or red rice and is referred to as arroz a la mexicana, arroz mexicano, or arroz rojo in Spanish.

Bottom Line

in a persuasive tone:

In summary, Baked Mexican Rice is a must-have recipe for anyone who loves delicious, healthy and easy-to-prepare meals. This vegan Mexican rice recipe delivers an explosion of flavors that you won’t find anywhere else. From the combination of spices like chili powder, ground cumin, and garlic to the nutritious ingredients like beans, corn and bell peppers, this dish will satisfy your taste buds while keeping you healthy at the same time.

Whether you’re looking for a fulfilling weeknight meal or an impressive vegetarian casserole to bring to a potluck, Baked Mexican Rice is the perfect choice. It’s easy to make in just one pot and can be customized with your favorite substitutions and variations to fit any occasion.

So why not give this recipe a try? It’s time to experience the best of both worlds – mouth-watering taste and wholesome ingredients! Plus, by choosing vegan Mexican rice over traditional chicken and white rice recipes, you’ll not only be doing your body a favor but also making a positive impact on the world by reducing your carbon footprint.

Don’t wait any longer – get your hands on these ingredients and start cooking up some baked layered Mexican rice today. You won’t regret it!

Baked Mexican Rice - Vegetarian

Baked Mexican Rice - Vegetarian Recipe

A tomato based Mexican rice. Can be made the day before and re-heated (easy for entertaining). This resembles our favourite Mexican restaurant's rice dish that I love. If you double, add extra cooking time.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Calories 175.8 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, diced fine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup white rice, don't use instant (short grain)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken or 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  • Place the oil in a saucepan (medium) and cook the onion until translucent.
  • Add the garlic, cumin and chilli and fry over a medium heat until fragrant (about 1 - 2 minute).
  • Add the rice, stock and paste, stir to combine.
  • When ALMOST to the boil, transfer to a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity oven proof dish with a lid.
  • Cover and bake at 180oC for 35-40 minutes (or until cooked).
  • Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 51gCalories: 175.8kcalCarbohydrates: 33.3gProtein: 3.1gFat: 3.1gSaturated Fat: 0.4gSodium: 59.5mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 1.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Mexican, Rice, White Rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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