Mexican Rice Casserole

It stormed yesterday.  One of those big storms that you can see coming, when the sky gets all dark and the thunder starts before the rain does.  It was perfect casserole weather, even though it was 90-something degrees outside.  There’s just something about storms and casseroles, if you ask me.  So I whipped myself up a Mexican (originally Vegetarian) Rice Casserole.

This is one of my sister’s favorite recipes.  With a few little tweaks, it’s one of mine too.  It’s easy, great leftover, and delicious.  Plus, it’s a one dish meal.  Perfect for a busy week, lazy weekends, and everything in between.

Here’s what you need (for the original vegetarian recipe) …

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can whole corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10-ounce) can whole or diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
1 (8-ounce) jar picante sauce (mild, medium, or hot)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked rice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped olives
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

(I leave the black beans out because I can’t stand them.  Instead, I add about a pound of browned ground beef to the mix, obviously destroying the vegetarian aspect.  I also skip the green onions and olives, because I’m picky that way.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, beans, tomatoes, sour cream, picante sauce, cheddar cheese, rice, and pepper.  Spoon into lightly greased 13-by-9-by-2-inch dish.  Sprinkle with onions, olive, and Jack cheese.  Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes.

(Recipe from the AJC a bajillion years ago)

Give it a try.  Go!

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