Brown Rice and Bean Bake

Mexican, Vegetarian Brown Rice and Bean Bake

Today, I am continuing the countdown to Cinco de Mayo, and this time, I am making Brown Rice and Bean Bake. It’s hearty enough to be a main dish for vegetarians and perfectly suited to be a side dish for carnivores.

There are plenty of rice-and-bean dishes out there, but most start with white rice, something I try to avoid.  White rice is not a whole grain; all the most nutritious parts, like the bran and the germ, have been removed.  This process removes most of the vitamins and minerals, as well as the fiber.  So, use brown rice whenever possible; your body will thank you for it!

How to make Brown Rice and Bean Bake

How to cook brown rice

I know that sometimes cooking rice can seem intimidating.  If you don’t get it just right, you can end up with a burned and/or gooey mess sticking to the bottom of your pot.  Well, a long time ago, my mother taught me a super shortcut for cooking rice that I have been using for over 30 years.  It does not require a rice cooker or any special measuring.  The trick is to basically cook the rice just like pasta–boil it in water and drain when done.  When my mother taught me this, I was using white rice, so it needed to cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Brown rice takes longer, so be prepared to cook it for 35 minutes.  Of course, if you already have a tried and true method to make your rice, by all means use it!

Mix together and bake

Once you have the rice cooked, this dish comes together very quickly, and then bakes in the oven, which gives you time to whip up a(nother) batch of margaritas.


First, mix all ingredients together and place in a casserole dish.

rice pre-bake

Reserve 1/4 cup of the cheese to sprinkle on top before baking

brown rice and bean bake

Bake, covered, for 30-40 minutes at 375°F

brown rice and bean bake

Brown Rice and Bean Bake makes the perfect side for your Tex-Mex favorites! Make some salsa chicken for tacos and burritos and enjoy your meal!

rice and bean bake
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Brown Rice and Bean Bake

A Mexican flavored rice-and-bean dish for a vegetarian main or side.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 224kcal



  • ¾ c rice, brown, long grained about 2 c cooked
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning, dry
  • ¼ – ½ tsp cumin, ground
  • ¾ c salsa
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • ¾ c corn I use frozen
  • 1 c cheese, shredded, cheddar or 4-cheese Mexican


  • If you have leftover brown rice from another meal, feel free to use it here!
  • Otherwise, cook the rice first by filling a large pot with water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice, bring back to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium, to keep the water simmering. Cook for 35 minutes, and then drain the rice in a colander, but do not rinse.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  • In a two- to three-quart casserole dish, combine the cooked rice with the beans, salsa, corn and seasonings, plus ¾ cup of the shredded cheese. Use the rest of the cheese to sprinkle over the top of the dish. Cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese is melted.


This can be served as a side dish or is a great vegetarian filling in tortillas. I eat this frequently with salad greens and chips to make my own version of a taco salad. The possibilities are endless!


Serving: 6g | Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 736mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

brown rice and bean bake

Leftovers are not a problem! In fact, you might want to save a little to make a Stuffed Sweet Potato.


10 thoughts on “Brown Rice and Bean Bake

  1. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe because it is so easy to make and can be dressed up in many ways (sour cream, salsa, cilantro, corn, etc.)!

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! The whole family has been learning to be healthier cooks during the pandemic and this dish in not only tasty, but because it is brown rice, you really stay full a lot longer! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    I would like to ask about your (and your mum’s) method for cooking brown rice like pasta. Do I treble the water and cook for the 35 minutes? I love this idea as brown rice can be either somewhat crunchy or mushy so you directions would be much appreciated.

    Stay safe in these historic times!

    1. Hi Meg, thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad you like the recipe. As for cooking brown rice, I don’t measure the water. Just make sure it’s enough that there’s still some left to drain when the time is up. So for a cup of rice I’ll usually use a 3 quart saucepan and mostly fill it with water, get that boiling, then add the rice and start the timer. If you’re picky about your texture, you might need to try it with a couple different times to get it just perfect. For me, not having to scrape burned rice from the bottom of a pot is reward enough! LOL

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