This spicy Mexican veggie rice is a perfect healthy, quick and easy family dinner packed full of flavour. Spice levels are adjustable for kids or those who prefer milder food too!
My mum and sisters really love this rice when I make it for them – I can customise it depending on who’s eating and how much spice they like too! Plus, if you don’t use instant rice and instead use regular rice, it’s re-heatable! This would make it a perfect recipe for taking to work or school in a food thermos too. Plus, it only takes one pan – yay for minimal washing up!
I chose to use kidney beans and quorn pieces as the protein in this recipe. Quorn is a common vegetarian meat substitute here, and the pieces are similar to diced chicken. In fact, if you leave them out or use a vegan chicken substitute, this recipe is vegan! However, you can really substitute any cooked protein of your choice such as chicken if you prefer. Kidney beans can also be swapped with other canned beans too, we just tend to have kidney beans on hand more often.
There’s so many colourful veggies in this Mexican veggie rice recipe that it really looks and smells wonderful while cooking (trust me!). There’s plenty of pepper, sweetcorn and onion. You could also add peas, diced tomatoes, or chilli peppers – they’d all be absolutely delicious! If you have any fresh cilantro, then chop and add it at the end for extra flavour too!
I did keep it on the plainer side (not too much spice and no chilli peppers) so that it can suit the whole family. However, if you like spicy food then I’d definitely recommend increasing the chilli powder and paprika to taste. Fresh chopped chilli peppers would also help with this.
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder, adjust to taste
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 small onion, any colour, diced
- 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 150 grams (5 oz) vegetarian chicken pieces, defrosted
- 60 grams (2 oz) sweetcorn, fresh or frozen
- 1x 210g (7 oz) tin kidney beans, drained
- 1x 250g (8 oz) pack instant rice, any type of plain rice
- salt, to season
- fresh parsley/cilantro/coriander, optional, to garnish
- Add the oil to a large pan over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic and spices. Stir occasionally until softened, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add quorn (or other vegetarian protein) pieces and diced peppers to the pan and stir, allowing them to soften and absorb the spices (approximately 5 minutes).
- Add corn and kidney beans and stir them in until corn is fully defrosted and warmed through. Microwave (or otherwise cook) the instant rice.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir it in gently until all ingredients are just evenly distributed. Remove the pan from heat and season lightly with salt. Garnish and serve immediately.
Quorn pieces are a vegetarian chicken substitute. Any other vegetarian protein can be used, although it may require different cooking times.
Leftover or freshly cooked rice can be used instead. Do not reheat it unless using freshly cooked rice, and always follow health and safety guidelines when reheating rice.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1/2 batch
Amount Per Serving Calories 725Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1084mgCarbohydrates 98gFiber 12gSugar 8gProtein 34g
All nutrition values are an estimate and may vary.
If you’re looking for more family dinner ideas with a little spice, try this chilli & sausage mozzarella pasta bake. Keep and leftovers to reheat for a quick meal on busy days too. Plus, it has a slight pop of spice, hence why I love it so much!