Get ready for a flavor-packed fiesta with this irresistible Slow Cooker Mexican Rice Bowl recipe! It’s a true winner, combining ease, vegan goodness, customizability, and ultra-filling ingredients.
We’re rounding out our week of reader recipes with what I can only call, Micha’s Medley!
Because it’s so much more than the “Slow Cooker Mexican Rice Bowl” that I’ve called it. It’s loads of vegetables sneakily packed in. And it’s a bunch of flavors all blended to perfection. And it’s so filling and nutritious, I alway want it in my fridge for leftovers!
With minimal effort and maximum taste, this dish is perfect for meal prep and guaranteed to keep you feeling satisfied. The aromatic blend of spices, hearty black beans, and vibrant veggies, all perfectly cooked together to create a mouthwatering combination.
Micha, who lives in Amsterdam, says this is a very flexible recipe. You can play around with different spices, veggies, or even adding a meat-alternative. His pro-tip? Add a bit of nutritional yeast before serving!
Here’s What You’ll Need
The ingredients for this recipe are all easy to find (you’ll probably already have many of them!)
- Brown Rice: Provides a nutritious and fiber-rich base for the dish, offering a nutty flavor and a satisfying texture. You can also use a wild rice or blend. The idea here is that the rice is tough enough to withstand a few hours in the slow cooker without going mushy.
- Black Beans: Packed with protein and fiber, black beans add a hearty element to the recipe, enhancing its overall nutritional value and contributing a creamy texture.
- Crushed Tomatoes: Bring a rich and tangy flavor to the dish, acting as a flavorful base and providing moisture to cook the rice and beans.
- Garlic: Infuses the dish with aromatic and savory notes, enhancing the overall taste profile and adding depth to the flavors.
- Spices (Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Salt): Bring the recipe to life and add a delightful Mexican-inspired twist.
- Leek: Offers a mild onion-like flavor and adds a pleasant crunch to the dish.
- Red and Yellow Bell Peppers: Provide vibrant colors, crisp texture, and a subtle sweetness that complements the other ingredients.
- Red Onion: Adds a sharp and tangy flavor! Feel free to use any type of onion you have on hand.
How to make This Rice Bowl
This is the very definition of a “dump meal” – dump everything in, turn on the slow cooker, forget about it!
Step 1: Layer
Into your slow cooker, layer in the rice > tomatoes > ½ full can of water > black beans > all of the garlic and spices > all of the veggies. Do not stir. In this way, the rice will all cook fully as the water is released from the veggies above.
Step 2: Cook
Slow cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Stir at this point, put the lid back on, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 more hours, until rice is fully cooked and veggies are soft. This will incorporate those spices all around so the whole dish is packed with flavor!
Step 3: Serve
Serve warm! I like it over a bed of greens with a touch of sour cream. It’s also great as meal prep. Just portion into containers and store in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy.
- Customize the recipe by incorporating additional vegetables of your choice, such as corn, broccoli, or zucchini, to amp up the nutritional value and add variety.
- To make this recipe even more filling, you can add protein sources like crumbled tofu, grated tempeh, seitan, or plant-based meat alternatives during the cooking process.
- This dish is perfect for meal prep. Prepare a larger batch and portion it into individual containers for convenient and healthy grab-and-go meals throughout the week.
- Don’t forget to garnish your plate with a dollop of sour cream or a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra burst of flavor.
Why this Recipe Works
- Easy Preparation: This recipe requires minimal effort and preparation. Simply layer the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it work its magic, allowing you to save time and energy in the kitchen.
- Customizable: The recipe offers flexibility for customization based on personal preferences. You can easily adjust the spices, add extra vegetables, or incorporate protein sources to suit your taste and dietary needs.
- Good for Meal Prep: This dish is ideal for vegetarian meal prepping. It can be prepared in large batches, making it convenient to portion out and enjoy throughout the week. It’s a great option for those looking to save time and maintain a healthy eating routine.
- Suitable for Weight Loss: The combination of fiber-rich brown rice, protein-packed black beans, and vegetables makes this recipe a satisfying option for those watching their weight. It can help keep you full for longer, support healthy digestion, and contribute to a well-balanced diet.
Can I use white rice instead of brown rice?
Yes, you can substitute white rice for brown rice in this recipe. Keep in mind that white rice may have a slightly different texture and shorter cooking time.
Can I substitute crushed tomatoes with tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes?
Yes, you can use tomato sauce as a substitute for crushed tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, chop them finely to achieve a similar consistency.
How long can I store the leftovers in the refrigerator?
You can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days. Reheat them in the microwave or on the stove before serving.
Can I use this recipe as a filling for burritos or tacos?
Definitely! This flavorful rice and bean mixture makes a delicious filling for vegan burritos or tacos. Simply spoon it onto tortillas and add your favorite toppings and condiments.
- 1 cup brown rice any brown long grain or wild rice works well here, 190 g
- 1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes 425 g, then you'll use the can to measure out a bit of water!
- 1 15-oz can black beans do not drain, 425 g
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp each cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
- 1 tsp each crushed red pepper flakes, salt
- 1 leek chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- ½ red onion chopped
- Layer: Into your slow cooker, layer in the rice > tomatoes > ½ full can of water > black beans> all of the garlic and spices > all of the veggies. Do not stir.
- Cook: Slow cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Stir at this point, put the lid back on, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 more hours, until rice is fully cooked and veggies are soft.
- Serve: Serve warm! I like it over a bed of greens with a touch of sour cream.