Mexican Rice & Beans

We love Mexican food in our house and I make it quite often. We always have cooked pinto beans on hand for refried beans (here’s an old post about how I make mine and freeze them – they are a wonderful freezer staple if you are into freezer cooking!).

My father in law is from Mexico and my husband was actually born there and is half Mexican, so because of all of our family on that side, I have been fortunate enough to learn how to make some of the most mouth watering authentic Mexican dishes straight out of the old country. Those kinds of recipes are my favs.

This recipe I decided to try is not at all authentic Mexican cuisine. It’s a Pioneer Woman recipe. Ha! But I have wanted to try it for quite some time and I am so glad I did. I just needed something different. I make a lot of rice and beans as side dishes, but I have never combined them and I thought it was time to try something different. I am so glad I did!

Here is the link to the Pioneer Woman recipe from online.

For the ingredients and instructions, I will copy and paste directly from that online source to make it easy for ya. I only had one small change and I will make a note of that.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, greens and whites sliced
1 jalapeno, minced
2 cups long-grain rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Two 16-ounce cans pinto beans, drained
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
One 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles, such as Rotel
3/4 cup grated Cheddar
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the garlic, green onions and jalapeno and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the rice. Cook, stirring to make sure the rice doesn’t burn, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, cumin, salt, pepper, turmeric, beans, diced tomatoes and diced tomatoes and green chiles and stir together. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.

Cover and simmer until the rice is not quite done, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Top the rice and beans with the cheese, then bake with the lid off until the cheese is melted and the rice is fully cooked, about 15 minutes more. Top with chopped cilantro before serving.

Here’s how it turns out:

I always use a big dutch oven to cook this type of dish in, so I got it nice and hot on my stove top and put in my oil, then garlic and onions. (This is one change I made – I did not add the jalapeno because my son can’t quite take the heat of too much spice. Normally I would have added a few!)

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After a couple of minutes, in went the rice…..stir that around for another 3 minutes to coat with oil and cook. Make sure you keep it moving so it doesn’t burn.

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Then in goes the broth….

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And all of the glorious spices. It smelled wonderful at this point.

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Then the rinsed and drained pinto beans.

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And tomatoes.

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Stir it all together and make sure it’s boiling. Turn your heat down to a simmer once it is.

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Put your lid on it and let it do it’s thing for about 15 minutes. Once again, make sure your heat is way down to a low setting so nothing sticks to the bottom.

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After 15 minutes I took the lid off and it had cooked beautifully. I stirred it all up and I added in some fresh cilantro to the mix here, which the instructions did not call for, but I love the flavor of cilantro right in the dish itself.

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Then I topped it with the grated cheese and put this into my preheated oven for another 15 minutes.

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The last of the liquid baked off and it came out nice and golden and the smell was outstanding!

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I added the last of my fresh cilantro for garnish and it was complete! Get a big serving spoon and don’t be shy folks!

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This recipe was fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone experimenting with making Mexican food at a beginner level. The ingredients are simple and standard and this is such a flavorful side dish to any main course you might be making. It’s a one pot wonder!

I also served this with lime wedges on the side. I love serving fresh limes with most Mexican dishes I make. It really adds a beautiful punch of flavor and it really went well with this dish as well.

Give this one a shot some time….you will not be sorry!

– The Homesteaders Wife

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