We feel like casseroles are either loved OR hated. Personally, we love them because they are so comforting and super easy to make. But, if you have had a bad experience with a casserole and have sworn them off for life, we urge you to take a leap of faith and try this Veggie Mexican Casserole! Although this recipe uses modest ingredients, the end result is a flavour bomb that leaves you feeling oh so satisfied.
We've added a few extra ingredients to this dish to boost its nutrient profile such as black beans for protein and fiber, brown rice for a source of whole grains, and topped it off with some healthy fats from the avocado. In order to stick with the theme of a "veggie" casserole, we decided to use veggie ground round in place of ground beef. We purchased a Mexican seasoned version BUT if you can't find this then you can totally just buy plain veggie ground round and add taco seasoning to taste!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pack of veggie Mexican seasoned ground round
2 cups vegetable stock, boiling
2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups canned corn kernels, rinsed and drained
1 medium-large red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup salsa
1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
1.5 cups shredded cheese of your choice (Tex Mex, Cheddar, Monterey Jack)
Toppings: chopped green onion & cilantro, and sliced avocado
In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the veggie ground round and saute for 1-2 mins until it has browned.
In a small saucepot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil.
Deglaze the skillet with the boiling vegetable stock. Add the beans, corn, bell pepper, salsa, rice, and half of the shredded cheese (3/4 cup) and stir to combine.
Cover the skillet with tin foil and place in the oven*
Bake for 50-60 mins at 375 F or until the liquid is all absorbed and the rice is cooked. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the remaining ¾ cup of shredded cheese on top of the casserole so it melts.
Remove from the oven and garnish with green onion, cilantro and avocado.
* If you don't have an oven-safe skillet then after browning the seasoned ground round you can add everything to a casserole dish.