Slimmed Down Cheesy Mexican Rice

Remember awhile back when I posted that absolutely amaaaazing recipe for The Pioneer Woman's Mexican Rice Casserole? It was soooo freakin' good, man. Now that my family and I are making a transition into health, I thought it fitting to create a slimmed down version of this Mexican must-have that is so incredibly delish. Now, you might notice that there's an ingredient in my version of this recipe that seems....well, a little out of place. See, what had happened was, I was cookin' up the rice, jammin' to some tunes, singin' at the top of my lungs when I grabbed for the cumin. I just needed to add a little sprinkle more. I opened it, shook it onto the rice and noticed there was quite a bit more in the pan then I intended. I looked down at the cumin in my hand and realized............it wasn't cumin after all. No, it was an imposter! It was...cinnamon!? My stress level went through the roof as I realized I'd used my very last bag of brown rice....so I had to make a decision. Either dump the whole thing (since the entire batch was covered), or mix it in and hope for the best. I chose the latter, and to my surprise...it was excellent. In fact, it let the other spices shine and really added that extra something to the dish. I can't wait to hear how you like it.

What You'll Need:
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (I used minute rice microwaveable bags)
7 1/2 oz petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 small can diced green chiles, undrained
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp black pepper
small pinch tumeric (less than 1/8 tsp)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

In a medium skillet over medium heat, mix cooked rice, diced tomatoes, green chiles, and vegetable broth, stirring constantly until all liquid is absorbed. Add black pepper,cumin, garlic powder and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Mix in 1/4 cup of cheese, stirring until melted. Turn heat to low and top with remaining cheese. Cover and let sit until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

*Click below to PRINT this recipe!*
Printable Version

Nutrition information:
Slimmed Down Cheesy Mexican Rice 
(calculations based on 4 servings)
Calories: 189    Fat: 6g    Protein: 9g    Carbs: 24g    Fiber: 2g     Sugar: 13g

Regular Mexican Rice Casserole
(calculations based on 6 servings, as this recipe makes more)
Calories: 265      Fat: 9g      Protein: 11g    Carbs: 37g    Fiber: 2g    Sugar: 6g

*Calories calculated using My Fitness Pal. Nutritional values may vary based on varied brands or amounts.

Tip: This recipe goes great with Slimmed Down Sour Cream Enchiladas!


  1. Sounds like a healthy alternative when you are craving something bad for you and cheesy. Can't wait to try it!

    1. It's definitely a new favorite for us in this house. Thanks for stopping by!