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Southwest Rice Bowl

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Southwest Rice Bowls are a colorful and nutritious meal packed with hearty beans, bell peppers, savory spices, and brown rice. This comforting, filling dish is a zesty, savory meal perfect for both sit-down dinners and meal prep!

Southwest-Rice-Bowl-Complete

Each bite of these easy southwest rice bowls is bursting with a myriad of flavors. Nutty quinoa, zesty lime, sweet corn, and tangy rice wine vinegar are served alongside black beans, bell peppers, and brown rice to create this delicious dish. And the best part? It can be made entirely in one pan in 30 minutes! Serve these rice bowls straight from the stovetop or pack them up and enjoy them cold—either way, this southwestern dish is sure to be tasty and satisfying. To make this a complete meal, add our Homemade Dinner Rolls or Southern Cornbread and enjoy!!

Southwest-Rice-Bowl-Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeded and Diced
  • 1 Small Onion, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1, 15.5 Ounce Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
  • Juice From 1 Lime
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
  • 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

How to Make Southwest-Style Rice Bowls

  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan
  • Add the bell pepper and cook until softened.
Heat-oil-and-red-pepper-in-frying-pan
  • Add the onion and garlic, and cook everything until translucent and fragrant.
  • Toss in the black beans and frozen corn.
  • Mix in the tomato paste, lime juice, and rice vinegar until all the veggies are thoroughly coated.
Tomato-Paste-and-Lime-juice-added
  • Add the spices, cooked rice, and quinoa. Continue cooking until heated through.
  • Remove the rice mixture from the heat and garnish with cilantro, hot sauce, and additional lime juice. 
Add-Cilantro
  • Serve and enjoy!
 Rice-completely-cooked-in-frying-pan

Frequently Asked Questions

What rice is good for a rice bowl?

I enjoy the nuttiness that brown rice adds to this bowl; however, you can really use any kind of rice you’d like. Basmati, jasmine, yellow, or even wild rice would work nicely.

Should I serve my southwest rice bowl hot or cold?

This is completely up to you. This easy rice bowl is equally delicious when served warm or cold, making it great for both packed lunches and sit-down dinners!

Do you season the rice in a rice bowl?

You absolutely can! However, I find that the spices I add to the cooked rice mixture are enough to flavor all the veggies, the quinoa, and the rice. 

Wooden-spoon-in-frying-pan-with-rice

Recipe Variations

Looking for an easy way to make this recipe super hearty? Try adding some more protein! Cooked chicken, steak, or shrimp would all be great additions to this southwest rice bowl.

Boost the nutrition of this dish by adding different veggies. Squash, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, cabbage, snow peas, radishes, and jalapeño would all add a nice pop of color and flavor to this meal.

Not a fan of rice? Swap it out for some cooked noodles instead! Spaghetti or angel hair would have the best texture for this dish. Rice noodles are also a good gluten-free option!

Rice-on-a-fork

How to Store and Serve Easy Southwest Rice Bowl

If you have any leftover southwest rice bowl, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat any chilled or thawed rice bowls in the microwave. Don’t forget to stir the rice mixture every 30 seconds until heated through.

Because there are so many good sources of fiber, protein, and nutrients in these southwest rice bowls, you can consider them a well-rounded meal all on their own! However, if you’d really like to lean into the southwestern flavors of this dish, I recommend serving it alongside some homemade chips and guacamole, roasted potatoes, or cornbread.

Rice-fork-sideway-view

Expert Tips and Tricks 

  • Not a big fan of quinoa? You can swap it out for an additional cup of cooked rice.
  • If you like your food spicy, try adding ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to your spice blend!
  • Don’t have any frozen corn on hand? You can use drained canned corn instead.
  • Want to add a pop of Asian flavor to these rice bowls? Try garnishing them with a bit of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.
Southwest-Rice-Bowl-Pin-1

More Recipes:

Yield: 8

Southwest Rice Bowl

Southwest-Rice-Bowl-Recipe-Card

Southwest Rice Bowls are a colorful and nutritious meal packed with hearty beans, bell peppers, savory spices, and brown rice. This comforting, filling dish is a zesty, savory meal perfect for both sit-down dinners and meal prep!

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

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeded and Diced
  • 1 Small Onion, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 15.5 Ounce Can of Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
  • Juice From 1 Lime
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
  • 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • Ingredient Notes
  • Brown Rice—Precooked to your liking.
  • Quinoa—I prefer using white quinoa in this dish, but you could also use red or black.
  • Black Beans—drained and rinsed.
  • Bell Pepper—Red; diced into bite-sized pieces.
  • Corn—Frozen.
  • Onion—White or yellow, finely diced.
  • Garlic—Freshly minced will give this bowl the best flavor.
  • Tomato Paste—Adds tons of rich, earthy tomato flavor without adding excess liquid.
  • Lime—The zestiness helps to cut through the other deep, aromatic flavors in this dish.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar—Adds needed acidity and a bit of bite.
  • Olive Oil—Helps soften the veggies.
  • Spice Blend—A mixture of cumin, ancho chili powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Hot Sauce—I like using Tabasco or Sriracha, but any vinegar-based hot sauce will work.
  • Fresh Cilantro—Chopped; to be used as a garnish.

Instructions

  1. Heat a 12” frying pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add in the red bell pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add in the onion and garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Toss in the black beans and frozen corn.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, lime juice and rice wine vinegar until combined. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, salt and black pepper. Add in the brown rice and quinoa, stir to combine over medium heat until hot. Remove from the and stir in the fresh cilantro.
  3. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce, garnish with more cilantro. Enjoy!

Notes

White rice can be used in place of brown rice.

The quinoa can be omitted from this recipe and replaced with another cup of cooked rice.

Drained, canned corn can be used in place of frozen.

Add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper for a spicier version. 

1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced would be a great addition to this recipe. Saute with the red bell pepper 

Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Best reheated in the microwave.

Can be served hot.

Want to add a pop of Asian flavor to these rice bowls? Try garnishing them with a bit of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 211mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 9gSugar: 4gProtein: 10g

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