How to make Mexican rice and beans casserole (video)

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In Mexican restaurants, almost every meal comes with a pile of tomato-infused rice and a dollop of flavorful beans. They’re often the best part of the meal. The recipe below lets rice and beans take center stage.
The recipe combines rice and beans with flavorful taco-seasoned beef for a delicious meal that can be on the table in about an hour. Some rice and beans casseroles include fajita vegetables — bell peppers and onions — but I prefer the corn, peas, and carrots that usually stud restaurant-style rice. They don’t require any extra cooking time, and they add bright pops of color to the dish.
Cooktop Cove 
Mexican Rice and Beans Casserole
15 minutes
1 hour, 20 minutes
1 hour, 35 minutes
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) olive oil
1 pound (450 g) lean ground beef
1 tablespoon (6 g) chili powder
1 tablespoon (6 g) cumin
½ teaspoon (0.5 g) oregano
1½ teaspoons (10 g) salt
½ teaspoon (1 g) black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (150 g) frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)
1½ cups (200 g) long-grain rice
2 cups (480 ml) chicken broth
1 14-ounce (400 g) can diced tomatoes
1 4-ounce (115 g) can diced green chilies
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 16-ounce (450 g) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups (200 g) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
3 tablespoons (3 g) chopped cilantro, divided
Oil a 2-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large skillet, cook the beef over medium heat until all pink is gone. Add everything from chili powder to garlic and cook 1 additional minute.
Stir in vegetables, rice, broth, tomatoes, chilies, green onion, beans, ½ cup of cheese and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Pour into prepared baking dish and cover tightly with foil.
Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil, top with remaining 1½ cups cheese and bake another 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and top is bubbling.
Top with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro and serve.
Pro tip: For a spicier variation, replace the can of diced tomatoes with a comparably sized jar of salsa.
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