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mexican caramelized rice and veggie skillet

by Jackie Newgent  |  September 12, 2020  |  7 Comments

Meet my quick-fix Mexican caramelized rice and veggie skillet! Think of it kind of like veggie-loaded fried rice, but with a Mexican-ish instead of Asian-style twist. It’s a one-skillet dish that I’ve been making (and devouring!) regularly this month, especially as a post-workout meal since it’s rich in good carbs along with a decent punch of protein. However, if you prefer to curb carbs a bit, simply use riced cauliflower as a swap for brown rice. Either way, it’s a deliciously satisfying dinner for one (or side dish for two, if you wish).

It’s so simple to make, too. You’ll sauté cooked, chilled brown rice in avocado oil; add corn, green bell pepper, pinto beans and a couple pinches of ground coriander, cumin and chili powder and sauté to caramelize; stir in sliced grape tomatoes, fresh cilantro, lime juice and sea salt to heat through; then garnish with guacamole, red hot pepper & cilantro leaves, if you like (which I do … I really do!). Hope you try this scrumptious meal-in-one soon!

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mexican caramelized rice and veggie skillet

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Jackie Newgent
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This skillet is like a veggie-loaded fried rice, but with a Mexican-ish twist. And it’s delish!


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or sunflower oil, or to taste
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, chilled
  • 1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen organic corn
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (about 1/2 bell pepper)
  • 1/2 cup canned, drained pinto beans*
  • Few pinches of spices, such as ground coriander, cumin, and chili powder
  • 1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Optional garnishes: guacamole, sliced red hot pepper, cilantro leaves


  1. Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast iron or other stick-resistant skillet over medium-high. Add the rice and sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the corn, bell pepper, pinto beans, and spices and sauté until the rice and veggies are caramelized (browned), about 9 to 10 minutes, drizzling in a little more oil to prevent sticking, if need.
  3. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and sea salt and stir until heated through, about 30 seconds.
  4. Garnish with guacamole, hot pepper, and cilantro leaves, if desired, and serve immediately from the skillet. Or keep garnishes separate, chill the meal, then reheat and garnish for a quick lunch or dinner.


*Reserve remaining pinto beans from can for later use, such as in tacos, burritos, or salad—or to make this recipe again!

  • Category: One-Dish Meal
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1 skillet (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • Calories: 580
  • Sugar: 7g includes 0g added sugars
  • Sodium: 790mg
  • Fat: 17g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 98g
  • Fiber: 13g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

For more fried rice-style recipes, try my seasonal farmers market fried quinoa (see recipe HERE) or freekeh fried “rice” (see recipe HERE).

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