Mexican-Style "Rice" & Beef Casserole with Black Beans & Monterey Jack Cheese

Mexican-Style "Rice" & Beef Casserole

with Black Beans & Monterey Jack Cheese

3 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

The term “Tex-Mex” has been a part of the English lexicon since the 1870s. In cuisine, it’s used to refer to the American adaptations of traditional Mexican dishes that cropped up in Texas. Interestingly enough, it was the railroad that spurred the development of Tex-Mex food. Trains made American ingredients cheaper in the remote parts of Texas. Those ingredients (particularly cheeses and ground beef) are still what defines the cuisine. Here, we’re creating our own version of a Tex-Mex casserole using quinoa and Monterey Jack.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    685 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Mexican-Style "Rice" & Beef Casserole with Black Beans & Monterey Jack Cheese
Title
  • 8 oz Ground Beef
  • ¾ cup White Quinoa
  • 1 15-Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Black Beans
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 3 oz Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 Jalapeño Pepper
  • ½ cup Mexican Crema
  • 2 tsps Mexican Casserole Spice Blend (Ground Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Chile Powder, Garlic Powder & Cayenne Pepper)
time-saving
tips & techniques
Cook the quinoa:
1 Cook the quinoa:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the quinoa. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the quinoa cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Rinse and drain the beans. Remove and discard the stem, ribs and seeds of the bell pepper; medium dice the bell pepper. Thinly slice the jalapeño into rounds. For a milder dish, remove and discard the seeds of the jalapeño. (Thoroughly wash your hands and cutting board after handling the pepper.) Peel and thinly slice the onion. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Grate the cheese.

Brown the beef:
3 Brown the beef:

While the quinoa continues to cook, in a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned.

Add the vegetables:
4 Add the vegetables:

Reduce the heat to medium and add the bell pepper, onion and spice blend to the pot of browned beef; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened slightly. Add the diced tomatoes, beans and ½ cup of water; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Remove from heat.

Assemble the casserole:
5 Assemble the casserole:

Stir the cooked quinoa and Mexican crema into the beef and vegetable mixture; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. Evenly top with the grated cheese.

Bake the casserole:
6 Bake the casserole:

Place the assembled casserole onto a sheet pan. Bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Let stand for at least 2 minutes before serving. Garnish with the cilantro and as much of the jalapeño as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Cook the quinoa:
1 Cook the quinoa:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the quinoa. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the quinoa cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Rinse and drain the beans. Remove and discard the stem, ribs and seeds of the bell pepper; medium dice the bell pepper. Thinly slice the jalapeño into rounds. For a milder dish, remove and discard the seeds of the jalapeño. (Thoroughly wash your hands and cutting board after handling the pepper.) Peel and thinly slice the onion. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Grate the cheese.

Brown the beef:
3 Brown the beef:

While the quinoa continues to cook, in a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned.

4 Add the vegetables:

Reduce the heat to medium and add the bell pepper, onion and spice blend to the pot of browned beef; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened slightly. Add the diced tomatoes, beans and ½ cup of water; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Remove from heat.

Add the vegetables:
Assemble the casserole:
5 Assemble the casserole:

Stir the cooked quinoa and Mexican crema into the beef and vegetable mixture; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. Evenly top with the grated cheese.

6 Bake the casserole:

Place the assembled casserole onto a sheet pan. Bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Let stand for at least 2 minutes before serving. Garnish with the cilantro and as much of the jalapeño as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Enjoy!

Bake the casserole:
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