In this Southwestern cheesy vegan rice casserole, salsa and cilantro add a vivid flavor to a simple preparation. This is a great dish to serve with a colorful salad or a dish featuring black beans.
If you have your rice cooked ahead, this dish is super easy to prepare. All you need is patience as it becomes meltingly delicious in the oven, with edges that become delectably crisp.
What to serve with vegan rice casserole
For a heartier meal, serve stone ground tortilla chips or warm flour tortillas on the side. A bountiful green salad that includes lettuce, diced avocado, corn, and tomatoes rounds out the meal. Or, serve with Super-Easy Avocado and Bean Salad.
A variation with beans: To make the casserole even heartier, add 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked black or pinto beans (or from a 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed). Skip the bean dishes suggested above, though the salad of lettuce, avocado, corn, and tomatoes still sounds good!
Recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas; photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
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Cheesy Vegan Southwestern Rice Casserole
In this easy, cheesy Southwestern vegan rice casserole, salsa and cilantro add a vivid flavor. This is a great dish to serve with a colorful salad or a dish featuring black beans.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups cooked rice, preferably brown (about 1 1/3 cups raw)
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 8-ounce package cheddar or pepper jack vegan cheese shreds
- 1/2 cup plain unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1 cup good-quality bottled salsa, mild or medium, as desired
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, or more, to taste, plus extra for topping
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden brown.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the onion and garlic with the rice and all the remaining ingredients. Stir together thoroughly.
- Pat the mixture into an oiled 1 1/2 quart baking casserole. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the casserole begins to turn crusty.
- Sprinkle a little extra cilantro over the surface of the casserole. Let stand for 5 minutes or so, then cut into sections to serve.
Variation: To make the casserole even heartier, add 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked black or pinto beans (or from a 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed) in step 2.
If you like this rice casserole, you might also enjoy …
Vegan Cheddar and Broccoli Rice Casserole
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Unless I’m crazy, this recipe is missing a temperature for the oven. I used 350 and everything was fine.
Daniel, you’re not crazy! The oven temperature was missing. I’ve amended the recipe, it’s intended to be baked at 375º F., but of course it never hurts do do a lower temperature and I’m glad it all worked out well for you. Thanks for spotting the omission and letting me know!