Let me introduce you to a good friend of mine by the name of One Pot Mexican Casserole. His qualities including being vegan and gluten-free and he enjoys long walks on the beach with his cool friend, Pina Coloda.
Ever since we returned from our trip to Mexico last month, I have been on a Mexican food bender! Evidence: my Mexican Summer Fresh Couscous and my Tropical Smoothie Bowl. This One Pot Mexican Casserole has graced our dining table twice now in the last few weeks and it’s shaping up to be a regular go-to in our house.
This casserole is a tasty twist on the many different Mexican casseroles I had as a child but with one very important change: the whole thing is cooked entirely in a skillet, hence the “One Pot” title. One pot meals are a personal favourite of mine, mostly because it means less dishes to clean up after and, if you ask my husband, I particularly dislike doing dishes.
This recipe came into being while having dinner with my awesome friend Destiny (coincidentally eating said Mexican Summer Fresh Couscous mentioned above). She mentioned that her and her family had recently tried a Mexican Casserole recipe from Oh She Glows and that it was a huge hit in her house. Being forever on the lookout for new recipe ideas, I tucked this little nugget away and decided to try my own hand at a Mexican Casserole in the near future.
The next week, as I was wracking my brain over what to make for a different friend I was having dinner with, I suddenly remembered the idea to try out a Mexican Casserole recipe and began searching through my pantry to see what I had on hand. Thankfully, we tend to keep a wide variety of ingredients in our pantry, especially those that are useful in Mexican dishes. After pulling a few things from here, a few things from there and hoping for the best, this amazing little stud of a casserole was born.
Rice, beans and a blend of veggies make up the base of this casserole. Slow cooked with some traditional spices, the ingredients really have a chance to get all cozy with one another, resulting in a casserole that has incredible flavour, bite after bite. Pickled jalapenos add a nice, slow bite to this dish that ends up being my favourite part of the casserole. If spicy isn’t your thing, not to fret, you can simply omit these. This dish does take a while to simmer but trust me, it’s totally worth it. So pour some wine for yourself and whomever else may be around and catch up on the day’s events while this amazing casserole simmers in it’s own goodness.
After the rice, beans and veggies are fully cooked, a few last ingredients are added to the mix and then the magic happens. Crunch up a bunch of your favourite nacho chips (we used organic, gluten-free blue nachos - the colour gives this dish an extra pop), spread a good layer on top of the rice and beans mixture and then top it all off with some Daiya cheese. Once this is done, pop the whole thing into the oven for about 5 minutes or so, just until the daiya is melted and the nachos are warmed.
Here comes the best part. Now you get to have a toppings party with your casserole. Do you love all the toppings? Me too!
We decided to start ours off with some sliced avocado, topped that off with some spicy salsa and then sprinkled cilantro all over everything. Mmmmm cilantro. Vegan sour cream would also be a really great topper and would make your One Pot Mexican Casserole even creamier.
What are your favourite Mexican food toppings?
Try out this One Pot Mexican Casserole for yourself - I only hope you love it as much as we do. Post your photos of this dish to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and tag them #glutenfreeveganpantry so that we can follow along with your cooking creations.
Lots of love & happy eats,
- 2 small onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 small red peppers, chopped
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 cups rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 vegetable boullion cube
- 2 tsp chili pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 can green chilis (old el paso)
- 1 can tomato sauce
- Gluten-Free Tortilla Chips
- Daiya Pepper Jack Shredded Cheese
- In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions with a bit of water for about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and red peppers and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, adding more water if needed.
- Add black beans, frozen corn, rice, water, vegetable boullion, green chilis, chili pepper, cumin and oregano to the skillet. Stir until well mixed. Reduce heat to medium and cover with lid. Allow to simmer for approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until rice is cooked to your liking, stirring periodically.
- Once rice is cooked, add the tomato sauce and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat once heated through.
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Crunch up tortilla chips and sprinkle over the rice mix, ensuring an even coat of chips. Next, sprinkle preferred amount of Daiya cheese over the chips - we used approximately ½ cup.
- Place skillet into pre-heated oven and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until daiya cheese is melted.
- Carefully remove from oven (skillet will be very hot) and top with sliced avocado, salsa and cilantro.