Vegetarian chilli and rice is one of my favourite dinners. It’s hearty and filling, but can also feel summery if you lighten it up with a nice big salad. It’s sooo delicious – I think I could eat Mexican food every single day without getting bored. And it’s actually pretty healthy too, with lots of veggies and protein-rich beans (just don’t think too hard about all that cheese and sour cream you stick on top…).
To make my old favourite even easier to prepare, I thought I’d make an oven-baked version. This vegetarian chilli and rice bake is all done in one big baking dish, and the rice is cooked right in with the chilli – no pre-cooking required! Just mix together the raw ingredients, and bake. Bish bash bosh.
This recipe is a great pantry dish, too. You know those days when you haven’t been shopping in a week, and the fridge is nearly bare? Or when you’ve just got back from holiday, and haven’t managed to make it down to the shops yet? This vegetarian chilli and rice bake is perfect.
You don’t need a well-stocked fridge, just a few basic vegetables (and to be honest, you could easily just chuck in some frozen veg instead if you needed to), and pretty much everything else can come straight from the kitchen cupboard. Tins of beans, sweetcorn, chopped tomatoes, rice – chuck it all in, and give it a good stir. Feel free to adjust the spices depending on what you have in the cupboard and how hot you like your chilli!
Of course, no chilli is complete without a good handful of cheese on top. And what’s the only thing better than melty cheese? Crispy cheese! You can cook your chilli and rice bake for as long as you need to get your cheese just as crispy as you like it.
This vegetarian chilli and rice bake is a meal all in one, but if you’re feeling a bit fancy, some garnish and a few tasty bits on the side are always welcome. Fresh coriander (cilantro), some slices of avocado or some guacamole, a big dollop of sour cream… all perfect for bringing Mexican food to life!
The recipe serve 6, so my husband and I will be eating this for the next couple of nights… but I can’t say I mind one bit.
One pot vegetarian chilli and rice bake
- 400 g tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 400 g tin kidney beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 200 g tin sweetcorn, drained (160g, or ~ 1 cup, when drained)
- 1 bell pepper, diced (I used red)
- 5 medium mushrooms, diced fairly small
- 3 spring onions, sliced
- 150 g (~ 2/3 cup) uncooked long-grain white rice
- 400 g tinned tomatoes (~ 1 1/3 cups)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne chilli pepper
- Generous pinch black pepper
- 150 ml (generous 1/2 cup) vegetable stock
- 100 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 1 cup when grated)
- To serve: fresh coriander (cilantro), avocado, salad, sour cream, etc. (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
Add the first 13 ingredients (black beans through vegetable stock) to a large baking dish, and mix thoroughly. Remember the rice will expand as it cooks, so make sure the mixture doesn’t completely fill the dish at this stage.
Cover the dish with foil, and bake for around an hour, or until the rice is almost entirely cooked.
Remove the foil, and add the grated cheese. Bake again for a further 15 minutes, or until the cheese has crisped up to your liking. Serve with fresh coriander (cilantro), and your choice of extras (avocado, sour cream, etc.).
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/6 of the recipe, not including any garnish or extras.
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