As usual, spring is slow in coming this year, where I live anyway. We have warm days that are sunny and spring-like, then days where it barely gets above freezing, then the next day, it might be 80 and I need the air conditioner. Just crazy, I tell ya!
So, with the evenings still pretty cool usually, I really crave some warmth. This warm and comforting, cheesy, taco flavored lentil and brown rice bake definitely fits the bill! It is so delicious and filling and the leftovers are amazing!
I like to top steaming bowls of this casserole with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips. If you’re a black olive lover, they would be a great addition, as well as extra shredded cheese. Really, any way you like to top your taco would be delicious on this dish! I also like to add my creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime dressing…oh my.
So many ways to love this meal!
I found this recipe in the place where all the good stuff lives…Pinterest…at this website. I made it just like she did, and as much as I love to modify recipes, it was so good that even the next time I made it, I only made one tiny change! I added some frozen corn, which really took it over the top for me! Feel free to leave it out if you wish; it is delectable either way!
The original creator of this recipe recommends serving it in warm corn tortillas alongside a crisp green salad or stuffing it into bell peppers. Use your imagination! This recipe is very versatile and is a great favorite of mine!
My husband and son, who are decidedly not vegetarian, really enjoy this dish as well! They don’t even miss the meat. Because of the lentils, it almost looks and feels like it has hamburger in it. And who can resist the cheeeeeeese???
So, without further ado, comfort food at its finest: Cheesy Vegetarian Taco Casserole!
Cheesy Vegetarian Taco Casserole
This comforting southwestern style dish will be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat eaters alike!
- ½ medium onion (about 1 cup), finely chopped
- ½ medium bell pepper (about ½ cup), finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¾ c. brown lentils
- ¾ c. long-grain brown rice
- 3 c. vegetable broth
- 1 can (15 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies
- 1.5 T. taco seasoning
- 2 t. dried oregano
- 1 t. dried thyme
- 1 t. salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 c. shredded cheese (pepperjack or cheddar is amazing), divided
- 1 c. frozen corn
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees, F.
- Step 2 Combine all ingredients except the cheese and corn in an 8×8 glass or ceramic baking dish and mix well.
- Step 3 Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 1 ½ hours, stirring in the corn about halfway through baking.
- Step 4 Remove the foil, and stir in half of the cheese and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Step 5 Return to the oven and bake uncovered until the cheese has melted, approximately 20 minutes.
- Step 6 Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Step 7 Serve ‘as is’, with warm corn tortillas, or topped with shredded lettuce, diced fresh tomatoes, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, black olives, etc.