I couldn't think of what to call this. I told the kids we were having green bean bake. You know, green because of the cilantro rice and beans because of the chipotle beans. But, they were more thinking of the traditional Thanksgiving side dish and were not impressed. You should have seen their relief when I pulled this bubbling cheese covered black bean and cilantro rice out of the oven.
This is a perfect weeknight meal and a great option for meatless nights. To save time, make the rice in the rice cooker, whip up the cilantro sauce, and chop the veggies. All that is left is a bit of assembly and a short baking time (25 minutes).
Chipotle Black Bean and Cilantro Rice Bake
- 2 cups short grain brown rice
For the cilantro sauce:
- 1 cup cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- For the beans:
- 2 cans black beans
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 chipotle pepper
- 1 can green chiles
- 1 cup of fresh diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of diced avocado 1-2 whole avocados, cut into cubes
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro
- tortilla chips
- Prepare rice according to cooking directions on the rice cooker or stove-top method.
- While rice is cooking, combine cilantro, olive oil, salt, chili peppers and garlic in a Ninja or other high powered blender, to create a nice green sauce.
- OPTIONAL STEP: On a stovetop, add the beans, chipotle pepper and vegetable broth. Heat on simmer for 10 minutes.
- Once the rice is completed, add the cilantro sauce to the rice and incorporate it until all of the rice is green. Fold the beans and diced green chiles into the green rice.
- Add the rice to a casserole dish or a giant cast iron pan and top with cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
- Once the cheese is hot and bubbly. Top with diced tomatoes, cubed avocados and cilantro. I didn't have sour cream but that would have been a good addition!
- If you are feeling fancy, you can line the serving pan with tortilla chips.