So, we all love my Mexican veggie rice, but I thought it was about time I try another Mexican recipe – this time it’s a cheesy Mexican rice bake with a spicy tomato sauce and ground beef! It’s super delicious and easy – plus, there’s no shortage of flavour with plenty of spices.
This recipe is pretty simple, although it can seem like you’re doing a lot of things at once. The first thing you do is set your rice cooking, easy. Then, cook your beef and chilli pepper together. Remove those to a separate bowl and then cook your sauce! The sauce really isn’t too different to an Italian pasta sauce. After all, you start with onion and garlic. Then add tomato passata (plus some non-Italian spices – we are cooking Mexican here!) and simmer for a while! Easy! Mix everything together and top with (plenty of) cheese. Then you get to pop it in the oven and chill out while it bakes.
You could always tidy up while it bakes, or perhaps use the time more wisely than I often do. But, you have just cooked dinner so I think you deserve to sit down! After all, it’s not like you’re about to sit down to eat it or anything…
I first intended to feed two people with this recipe. After all, I know a lot of you don’t like too many leftovers and are only cooking for one or two. However, I promise you that leftovers of this will get eaten – I could eat it for every meal of the day! Leftovers keep for up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer, so if you don’t fancy eating it all the same week then no worries! However, I assure you that in our house, even though I’m the only one who eats this cheesy Mexican rice bake, it will always disappear with time to spare!
Another great thing about this recipe is that really, it’s pretty healthy! After all, you can use brown rice if you prefer, and add in as many veggies as you like! Perhaps some colourful bell peppers or even some spinach? Whatever you like, there’s a way to pack it in there too! After all, if you can’t just shove everything in and end up with a delicious, cheesy result then what’s the point of making a casserole?
Cheesy Mexican Rice Bake
- 80 grams basmati rice or other long grain white rice
- 2 tbsp neutral cooking oil
- 1 chilli pepper deseeded and finely diced
- 250 grams lean beef mince
- 200 grams tin of kidney beans drained
- 100 grams cheddar grated
- salt and pepper to season
For the spicy tomato sauce:
- 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil
- 1/2 small red onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp double concentrate tomato puree
- 300 ml passata
- 100 ml water
- 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- salt and pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. In one pan, begin to cook the rice.
- In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and chilli pepper and cook until browned. Drain any excess liquid and remove to a separate dish.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and heat the oil for the sauce. Once hot, add the garlic and onion and soften for 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree and stir for one minute. Add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- By this point, the rice should be cooked. Add the rice, beef and kidney beans to an oven-safe dish and pour over the sauce, mixing them together gently. Once well combined, top with the grated cheese and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is golden and melted. Serve.
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