Easy Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole

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This casserole is gluten-free, family friendly and made with pantry staples. It takes no time at all to toss together and you can let it cook mostly unattended. I only use one pan for easy cleanup.

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

The first time I made it in a large casserole dish, the second time I just cooked it on the stove and served it on a bed of greens with some homemade pico de gallo. The oven version is the easier of the two because you just put it in the oven and leave it until the timer goes off.  Both ways are incredibly easy, someone just learning to cook can make these and impress everyone at their table.

The Instant Pot Mexican Casserole will amaze your family and impress your guests! This should be your go to plant-based recipe for your Instant Pot.

I love eating this with chips or in tortillas. Add a little avocado or your favorite salsa to spice it up.

Mexican Casserole


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water (3 cups for casserole version)
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups cooked beans (or 1 can drained beans) I’ve used pinto and black beans.
  • 1 cup corn (optional)


For Casserole Version

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Add all ingredients to a 9×15 casserole dish and stir gently.
  3. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until rice is tender.

For Stove Top Version

  1. Add all ingredients except beans to a pan (I use a skillet) and cover cooking over medium heat.
  2. Stir occasionally, add more water if necessary.
  3. Rice should be nice and soft after 45 minutes, add the beans and corn if using then stir to mix.
  4. Heat until everything is warm.


This is an easy potluck meal. You could easily double the beans too. We loved it on a bed of greens with a bit of guacamole and homemade pico or salsa. If you’re on the go throw it in a tortilla. I’ll be having leftovers wrapped up in romaine leaves.

I love how versatile (and delicious) this is; it can easily be made with pantry staples when you have no fresh ingredients in the house.

UPDATE: I now have a Crock-Pot version that is even tastier! Check it out HERE if you love good food! Or if you have an Instant Pot try this version!

The Instant Pot Mexican Casserole will amaze your family and impress your guests! This should be your go to plant-based recipe for your Instant Pot.

Check out my Pico de Gallo for a easy and delicious topping!

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  1. This looks great! I hope to try it soon, thanks for the recipe

  2. Did you use uncooked rice?

  3. This is a lot like my self-named “fiesta” beans and rice. Rice, beans, salsa & corn. Really good and really easy!

  4. I haven’t tried this yet but am making it now to take to a potluck at church tomorrow. 🙂

  5. It went really well! I had two families who asked for the recipe, and it was the kids that asked! Yeah for a new family staple.

  6. I made this recipe yesterday in my rice cooker! It was perfect 🙂 and no adjustment was needed.

  7. I’m sad to say that this didn’t come out right at all for me. I used short grain brown rice and 3 cups of water for the casserole version. I did use real onion instead of the powdered version and used 3 cups of beans. Also added sauted peppers, garlic, zucchini and cilantro. I should have added more salt to accommodate for all the fresh ingredients. But the big problem was that it didn’t set up like a baked dish at all. It was runny. Is it supposed to be that way? Your photos made it appear to be firm, not runny like mine. Any advice?

    • Oh Jennifer I am so sorry it didn’t turn out. I use long grain brown rice but I can’t imagine that making that much difference. I haven’t had anyone else tell me of a problem with it setting up. Mine was almost on the dry side. I did stir it part way through it’s baking time. Were the beans drained? If not it may have provided extra moisture.

      I like making the stove top version just so I can watch it. If you try it again maybe cut back on the water. You can always add more if it’s needed. I’m sorry my friend!

      • Oh, it’s ok. It was tasty, so no complaint there 🙂 I soaked and cooked my own beans, so maybe they were not dry enough. Not sure. It’s funny because I used short grain rice thinking it would be stickier and hold together better. I’ll try cutting back on water next time. Thanks! Trying your lentil tacos this week 🙂

        • Johanna Rouba says:

          Onions peppers give water so you needed to reduce water for veggie sweat.

          • Zucchini too… lots and lots of water. So much I have spiralizer zucchini for noodles and cooked .. and those things are 90% water. LOL

  8. I’m putting this on my menu plan for this week.

  9. I need easy meals at the moment and this could be it 🙂 Thanks

  10. I can’t wait to try this!

  11. I’m going to make this tonight – can I use 1 cup of FROZEN corn or are you calling for canned or fresh?

  12. I made the stove top version of this last night and it was a huge hit! I cut the cumin in half because that particular spice is hard on my hubby. Thanks for a great recipe!

  13. I guess I should have asked before starting this recipe… Do we cover it with foil for the oven version? I hope you see this soon…. I just slid it in oven with no foil.

  14. Thanks Holly! Well.. I ended up cooking it with no foil. Checked it at one hour and it was done! I really liked it! Serving it to my non plant strong hubby tonight! 🙂 I am loving your website!!! I have cooked 3 of your recipes today!

  15. My kids and hubby love it! Had to make a double batch the second time they wanted more the first time around. Thanks for something sooooo easy!

  16. I linked to your post here in a slightly adapted version of this recipe. http://foodiesinaforeignland.blogspot.com/2014/03/spanish-beans-and-rice.html

    I am so glad I found your site! Where I live, I’m always looking for creative ideas for cooking without prepackaged ingredients. I think I hit a goldmine!

    • Hi Lizzy,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. We love it and are constantly tweaking it based on what we have available. I tried to comment on your post but always have trouble posting on blogspot blogs. 🙁

  17. DENISE BOYD says:

    I made the stovetop version tonight but used riced cauliflower instead of brown rice. Oh my, it was delicious! I made it according to your directions but left out the cauliflower until everything else was almost heated through then added it and let it all get hot. Not only was it delicious, it took very little time to make. Thanks!

  18. I want to make this how many does this serve please

  19. Just wondering about the tomato sauce – not tomato paste?

    • Hi Jane,
      You can use tomato paste if you prefer. Most of my recipes use tomato sauce because it’s less expensive and I always keep it in my pantry. My husband doesn’t like recipes with as much tomato flavor as I do. I know I have a couple of recipe that use tomato paste but I’ve been switching to tomato sauce most of the time.
      This recipe first came about from my Mexican Rice recipe and it always used tomato sauce. This recipe is basically that rice side dish with a can of beans added. Sometimes I change up the spices.

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