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Slow Cooker Southwestern Casserole

Give me a recipe with “Slow Cooker” in the title and I am SOLD!  Add to it that this dish combines just a few of my favorite flavors (cilantro, rice and beans), and I am a goner!  The simplicity of just dumping this meal in the slow cooker in the morning, and then serving a delicious and warm meal to my family in the evening is perfect for the never ending hectic schedule of life! And by freezing in smaller, quart sized freezer bags, it makes a perfect lunch dish as well!

Slow Cooker Southwestern Casserole

Lisa @ onceamonthmeals.com



Place all ingredients in slow cooker, except shredded cheddar cheese.  Stir to combine ingredients.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or until heated through and rice is tender.  Top with cheese before serving.  

Freezing Directions:

If already cooked, divide into freezer containers and freeze. Instead of cooking, place cheddar cheese in a pint size freezer storage bag.  Place all remaining ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag, placing smaller bag of cheese inside larger bag before sealing.  Label and freeze.  To serve, thaw.  Pour contents of gallon freezer bag into crockpot.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or until heated through and rice is tender.  Top with cheese before serving.

Servings: 8


**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

16 Responses to “Slow Cooker Southwestern Casserole”

  1. Sally Beagle says:

    This looks goods, and I’d like to try it, sans the meat, and perhaps with an extra can of beans, as a vegetarian version. Do you think regular long-cooking brown rice would work, or does it have to be instant for some reason? Thanks!

    • lisa says:

      Sally – I think a vegetarian version would work great with this recipe – like you said adding an extra can of beans or two. I haven’t experimented with regular long cooking – you may need to adjust the cooking time to ensure the rice is tender enough. Let us know how it turns out!

      • Sally Beagle says:

        Turned out great! I subbed one can of drained and rinsed black beans for the meat (in addition to the can of kidney beans in the recipe). Used one cup of long grain brown rice (not instant). Needed to add an additional 2 cups of liquid to the 1/4 cup in the recipe (I used veggie stock) to get the rice cooked. Cooked on High for 4 1/2 hours, then low for 1 hour. Perfect results! Will definitely make this again – with a bit more heat, maybe a minced jalapeno pepper, a bit more chili powder, and some pepper. Great recipe.

  2. Debbie Archer says:

    If you cook this 6-8 hours in the crockpot and then freeze, why does it have to be cooked 6-8 hours again in the crockpot? Can you just thaw and heat on the stove top or microwave?

  3. Kristin says:

    This looks super yummy. I love easy meals like this you can freeze and eat later. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. Sheri says:

    I wonder if Quinoa instead of rice would work?

    • lisa says:

      Sheri – there may be a cook time difference between the quinoa and the rice..but if you try it let us know! I prefer quinoa as well!

  5. Maggie says:

    If using dry beans, what is the conversion for 16 Oz? Does 1/2 cup sound correct?

  6. J.J. says:

    This is one of my favorite recipes. Its so tasty and the leftovers never last long!

  7. Melissa says:

    Can this be made with normal rice? Like not instant?

    • Katie says:

      My only concern would be the amount of liquid to rice to make sure the rice gets cooked through if you don’t use instant. I would add a cup of broth to the mixture and see if that works. Let us know how it turns out!

  8. […] COURSE FOUR Southwestern Casseroles TWO Pork Ribs* I used Pork Baby Back Ribs and I did not brown the ribs before freezing or cooking. […]

  9. Teresa says:

    Definitely needed more heat for our bunch; I added chile powder and more cumin. Also adjusted the water and froze cooked brown rice in a separate bag, then stirred it in before serving. Just an alternative if you don’t have or don’t want to use the instant.

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