Black Bean and Brown Rice Casserole

Black Bean and Brown Rice Casserole

Whenever I’m playing tourist, my favorite souvenir to bring home is a local cookbook. I have cookbooks from the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, the Bahamas and many places in the U.S. The Grillmaster and I were fortunate enough to visit Austin, Texas last spring where I picked up Music in the Kitchen, a collection of recipes from musicians who had performed on Austin City Limits.

So, the Grammys are coming up this weekend. This is the annual event where The Grillmaster and I sit on the couch and have this conversation over and over for several hours:
     “Ever heard of ’em?”
     “Nope. You?”
We don’t get out much.

Anyway, I thought it was an appropriate time to try a recipe from the ACL cookbook. My Morning Jacket (an indie rock band) inspired me to throw some leftover quinoa into scrambled eggs one morning. How can you resist a recipe with instructions like “scramble them. You know how!” and “let that mess melt a little bit.” The resulting eggs were quite tasty and I’ll definitely be doing that trick again.

This Black Bean and Brown Rice Casserole comes from Janie Fricke, a country singer who performed on ACL back in the 1980s and was nominated for two Grammys. She says it’s her “favorite healthy dish.”


Adapted from Music in the Kitchen: Recipes from Austin City Limits Performers by Glenda Pierce Facemire

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound spinach leaves, stems removed
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and place in large bowl. Add rice, beans, chili powder and chiles.

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta and milk until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of mozzarella.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish with nonstick spray. Spread 1/3 of the rice mixture in the bottom of the dish, then half of the ricotta mixture. Repeat layers, ending with rice mixture.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, spread remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella on top, then bake, uncovered, until the cheese melts (5 to 10 minutes). Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings
Per serving: 312 calories, 10g fat (5g sat), 31mg cholesterol, 344mg sodium, 37g carb, 8g fiber, 2g sugar, 20g protein

Nutritional Analysis: This casserole is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Protein, Folate, Calcium, Phosphorus and Manganese. (Source:

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate with, so if you click the book cover above and make a purchase, I might earn a few cents.


  1. Lindsay says

    This sounds like something I would love to make but I am so new at this diabetic stuff, I worry about the carbs,
    Maybe upping the beans and reducing the Brown rice. Just a thought.

  2. Shelby Kinnaird says

    Lindsay – More beans and less rice sounds like a good idea! Maybe use a combination of different beans? This recipe does have some carbs, but it also has a ton of fiber. Fiber doesn’t have much of an effect on blood sugar.

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