Southwestern Rice Casserole Recipe

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“We really enjoy this hearty dish,” says Betty Claycomb of Alverton, Pennsylvania. “Just add a side salad for a nutritious, complete meal.”
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min.
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1-2/3 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 3-1/3 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 cup salsa

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 348 calories, 11g fat (6g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 506mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 5g fiber), 15g protein.


  1. In a large saucepan, bring rice and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.
  2. In a large nonstick saucepan, saute onion and green pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat; stir in the beans, olives and rice. In a small bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese, sour cream and chili powder.
  3. Spoon half of the rice mixture into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray; layer with half of the cheese mixture and salsa. Repeat layers.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 3-5 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Southwestern Rice Bake in Light & Tasty February/March 2008, p29

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Danrnkell0801 User ID: 5222039 136024
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2014

"I loved this one! It was easy to just add chicken to 1/2 so my non veggie eaters can enjoy too!"

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