Author: Richa Hingle  | Published by: Vegan Richa

Tex Mex Rice Casserole

This Tex Mex Rice Casserole makes for a delicious one-pan meal! It’s family-friendly, budget-friendly, gluten-free, packed with simple and easily modifiable ingredients! Also perfect for meal prep. Nutfree Soyfree.

Are we ready for an easy yet delish casserole dish? I hope so because I have a good one for you. An easy Vegan Tex Mex Rice Casserole with lots of Tex-mex flavor like chipotle chili and cumin. This is a comforting and not too spicy Mexican-inspired dinner that is perfect on any weekday and leftovers make for a great lunch the next day.

I make this Tex-Mex rice casserole all the time because it feeds the whole family, is super flavorful, and the ingredients are fairly budget-friendly. It’s kind of one pot dish, but instead of on the stove you put your ingredients into a casserole dish and pop it into the oven.

You can’t really mess this up! Casserole dishes are very forgiving and you can tweak this one your own taste. Add some corn or chickpeas instead of beans or add some green beans.

Serve this deliciously flavorful rice casserole dish at dinnertime tonight! The whole family will love trying this cheesy Tex-Mex Rice Casserole.

Tex Mex Rice Casserole

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time40 min
  • Total Time55 min
  • Yield4



    • 2 teaspoons oil
    • 1 cup (160 g) chopped onion
    • ½ cup (75 g) of chopped red bell pepper
    • ½ cup (75 g) chopped green pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3/4 cup (92.5 g) of washed and soaked white rice , I use white basmati rice soaked for 10 mins then drained1/4 cup (45 g) of dried red lentils or split red lentils
    • 1 cup (170 g) cooked black beans or use entire 15 ounce can or 1 1/4 cups cooked
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder blend of choice less or more to preference
    • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper flakes or powder
    • ¼ teaspoon each red pepper flakes and black pepper omit if you want less heat
    • 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • 2 teaspoons hot sauce or use 3 teaspoons for spicier
    • 14 ounce (395 g) can of diced tomato or use 1 to 1 ½ cups of salsa or tomato pasta sauce of choice
    • ½ teaspoon salt , less or more based on salt content of the liquid used
    • 1 3/4 cups (414.03 ml) water or veggie broth 2 cups if the tomatoes or salsa is less moist

    To top the casserole:

    • ½ cup vegan cheddar cheese or other cheese of choice
    • 2 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeno
    • Cilantro, green onion and lemon juice for garnish
    • tortilla chips for serving



    In a 9×11 or similar sized baking dish brush the 1 teaspoon oil on the baking dish then add the onion, bell peppers, cumin, bay leaves and salt. Mix well then drizzle the remaining oil on top and mix lightly again.
    Then bake at 400F (205C) for 9-12 minutes or until mixture is starting to get golden.
    Remove the dish from the oven then add in the spices and tomatoes and mix in, then add the rest of the ingredients, drained rice and mix really well with the spatula. Cover with foil or parchment or a clean baking dish and put it back to bake for 30-35 minutes.
    Remove from the oven, take off the sheet or the foil. Fluff the rice a little bit then top it with cheese, pickled jalapeno and put back in oven for the cheese to melt. You can also add some fresh jalapeño or serrano pepper slices. Broil it for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted.
    Then take it out of the oven, garnish with cilantro, green onion, lime juice and serve.
    Serve as it is or you can serve it with salsa or guacamole and some tortilla chips


    • To make this with quinoa : wash the quinoa and add to the casserole. Check at the 30 minute mark if the quinoa is cooked through, else continue to bake for another 10 mins
    • To make this with brown rice: wash and soak the brown rice for 15 mins then drain and use. Bake for 45 minutes then check of the brown rice is cooked, continue to bake for longer until cooked to preference.
    • Vegan cheese options: you can use store bought cheese or use  my liquid mozzarella here. For a cheddar flavor, add 1 teaspoon tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard and blend.
    • To double: double everything, but use 3 to 3.5 cups water depending on liquid content of the tomatoes or salsa etc and also use a bigger baking dish.


    • As for sides, I usually serve this with tortilla chips but a green salad is also an excellent choice
    • If you want add some canned corn as well
    • If you find that your rice isn’t cooked through all the way after the baking time is  up or something isn’t cooked through completely, just keep the casserole  in the oven a little longer