Southwest Rice Bowl

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Have you ever found yourself craving a meal that’s both satisfying and customizable to your liking? Look no further than the Southwest Rice Bowl! This delightful dish has taken the culinary world by storm, and for good reason. It’s a perfect blend of flavors, textures, and ingredients that cater to a wide range of tastes and dietary preferences.

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What is a Southwest Rice Bowl?

The Southwest Rice Bowl is a culinary delight that encapsulates the rich and diverse flavors of Southwest American cuisine. Drawing on Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences, this dish primarily uses rice as its base, complemented by a delicious mix of beans, corn, and a variety of spices.

The Southwest Rice Bowl can easily be tailored to your taste buds or dietary requirements, making it a favorite among both crowd-pleasers and meal-preppers.

Beyond its versatility, the dish boasts a balance of savory and sweet, with the earthy black beans and beef playing off the sweetness of the corn and the tang of the salsa.

Plus, it’s more than just a tasty meal; it is also highly nutritious, offering a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins.

Finally, it’s quick and easy to prepare, promising an epic treat in under an hour. To make your Rice Bowl more enjoyable, try pairing it with crunchy tortilla chips, a fresh guacamole dip, or a refreshing pitcher of traditional Mexican horchata.

Southwest Rice Bowl Ingredients

Before we get started, gather these ingredients to ensure a smooth cooking process:

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil: This healthy fat adds a nice, subtle flavor to your recipe and prevents your ingredients from sticking to the pan.

1 Can of Corn (drained): Corn adds a nice touch of sweetness and crunch to balance out the flavors.

1 Can of Black Beans (undrained): Black beans give the recipe a hearty feel and are a great source of protein.

1 cup Mild Salsa: This ingredient adds a bit of kick, but not too much heat, making it perfect for all taste buds.

1 Large Onion (chopped): Onions are key for flavor; they’ll add a bit of a bite.

2 Cloves of Garlic (minced): Garlic is a flavor powerhouse that will infuse your dish with a savory depth.

1 lb. Ground Beef: This is the main protein source in this dish, offering a flavorful and filling component.

Diced Green Pepper: These will give your dish a small pop of color as well as an earthy flavor.

1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste: An excellent way to add a thick, rich tomato flavor to your recipe.

1 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning: This will spice up your recipe, giving it that classic Mexican flavor.

1/4 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese: This mild and melty cheese will add a creamy texture and indulgent flavor.

1.5 cups Beef Broth: Adds a depth of flavor to your dish and helps keep everything moist.

3/4 cup White Rice: This is a filling base that will soak up all the delicious flavors from the other ingredients.

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How to Make Southwest Rice Bowl

Now that you have all your ingredients lined up, it’s time to get cooking! We will guide you through each step to ensure your Southwest Rice Bowl is a triumph.

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small pot over medium heat and add in the 3/4 cup of white rice.
  2. Keep stirring until it turns a lovely golden brown. This not only adds flavor but also imparts a delightful texture to the rice.
  3. After it’s toasted, stir in 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, followed by 1.5 cups of beef broth. Allow this mixture to come to a boil, then lower the heat to let it simmer gently.
  4. Cover your pot and set a timer for approximately 17 to 20 minutes.
  5. In a large skillet, cook 1 pound of ground beef over medium heat until it’s no longer pink. During this process, break it up into smaller pieces for easy eating later.
  6. Drop the chopped large onion along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet with the browned beef.
  7. Once the onions are tender and translucent, stir in the 2 cloves of minced garlic and let it sauté for a minute.
  8. Drain your can of corn and pour it into the skillet, along with the can of black beans – juice and all.
  9. Mix in 1 cup of mild salsa, diced green pepper, and 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning for that extra kick. Stir everything well and let it cook until everything is nicely heated.
  10. Fill individual bowls with cooked, aromatic rice. Heap the meat and vegetable mixture on top and finish off with a generous sprinkle of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Tips for Making This Recipe

  1. Toast Your Rice Well: To really elevate the flavor of your dish, make sure to toast the rice until it is a nice, rich golden brown. This not only adds a nutty flavor to the rice but also gives it a nice, slightly crispy texture.
  2. Use Fresh Ingredients: While canned beans and corn can be convenient, consider using fresh where possible for a burst of freshness in your bowl.
  3. Add More Vegetables as You Like: Feel free to add more veggies such as diced tomatoes, or replace the green peppers with red or yellow ones for more color and flavor.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment with Spices: This recipe calls for taco seasoning, but don’t be afraid to add your favorite spices to tailor it to your taste buds. A bit of cumin or smoked paprika can add an extra flavor punch.
  5. Cook Your Beef Thoroughly: Make sure your beef is fully cooked before you add the onions and garlic. This ensures all the flavors from the beef are released, enhancing the taste of the dish.
  6. Prepare Your Toppings in Advance: Preparing your toppings like shredded cheese or diced avocados in advance can make the assembling process quicker and smoother.
  7. Have Fun with Toppings: The shredded Monterey Jack cheese provides a nice creamy touch, but feel free to experiment with other toppings such as sliced avocado, dollops of sour cream, a dash of hot sauce, or even a squeeze of fresh lime for a tangy twist!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of rice is best for this Southwest Rice Bowl recipe?

This recipe calls for white rice. The grains toast beautifully and absorb flavors well, making it the perfect choice for this dish.

Can I use a different type of meat other than ground beef?

Yes, you can substitute with ground chicken, turkey, or even a plant-based meat substitute if you prefer.

What can I add as a substitute if I don’t have tomato paste?

If you don’t have tomato paste, you can use diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, or even ketchup in a pinch.

What other beans can I use in a Southwest Rice Bowl?

A Southwest rice bowl allows for a plethora of bean options, each contributing to the depth of flavor, protein content, and texture of your dish. Pinto beans with their slightly nutty and creamy taste add a comforting element, whether mashed or whole. Adding robust flavor and firm texture, kidney beans are a prime source of plant-based protein and fiber, enhancing both the nutritional value and heartiness of your meal.

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, lend a unique twist with their nutty flavor and firm texture, providing a satisfying bite and protein boost. Cannellini beans, with their mild flavor and creamy texture, absorb spices and seasonings, while adding a velvety mouthfeel.

How to store the leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This dish should last for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave before serving.


And there you have it, your very own Southwest Rice Bowl, a vibrant celebration of flavors right in your kitchen! We’re sure you’ll be coming back to this recipe again and again. It’s more than just a meal, it’s an experience – one that we hope you enjoyed as much as we did creating it.

If you’ve tried this recipe, we would love to see your culinary creations! Share a photo of your dish and make sure to rate the recipe. After all, sharing is caring and your feedback helps us to bring you more delicious recipes like this one. Happy cooking!

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Yield: 4

Southwest Rice Bowl

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Indulge in the flavors of the Southwest with our delectable rice bowl. A fiesta of taste awaits!


  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Can of Corn (drained)
  • 1 Can of Black Beans (undrained)
  • 1 cup Mild Salsa
  • 1 Large Onion (Chopped)
  • 2 Cloves Minced
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • Diced Green Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1.5 cups Beef Broth
  • 3/4 cup White Rice


  1. One Tbsp. of oil in a small pot, add in rice and toast the rice until it turns golden brown.
  2. Add paste and broth to the rice, and bring up to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer for 17-20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the beef in a skillet until no longer pink.
  4. Add Chopped onion and oil, and cook down onions.
  5. Combine corn, beans, salsa, garlic, and Taco seasoning to the meat mixture. Heat through until vegetables are heated.
  6. In bowls, dish up rice, meat over rice, and top with cheese.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 575Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 1104mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 41g

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