Southwestern Cheesy Rice Casserole

This base recipe for southwestern cheesy rice casserole is a delicious start for your next taco night. We love dressing this base up in many different ways every time we make it. I am so excited that I am sharing it with you.

The reason I keep this recipe as basic as possible because the sky is the limit when you add to it. I will leave a few of our favorite add ins at the end of the recipe. I love to give variations so you can have some ideas when you make this for your family. As in all of my recipes that have some heat to it please start out with a small amount and work your way up. If it is way to spicy, you are not going to enjoy any recipe. If you like spice and heat as much as we do then I have some variations/add ins at the bottom of this post.

Let’s get started.

Southwestern Cheesy Rice Casserole


4 c. cooked white rice ( I use jasmine rice or brown rice- use what you like)
2 c. cheddar cheese – grated
1 1/4 c. corn ( fresh or frozen- canned is fine too)
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 onion – finely diced
1 roasted red bell pepper – seeded and finely diced
1 Jalapeno – seeded and finely diced
salt and pepper – to taste
1/4 + cayenne pepper – to taste
1 tsp paprika


  1. Before you begin, go ahead and cook your rice. I rinse the rice and put it in the instant pot on the sealed rice setting. Remove to a large bowl to cool slightly.
  2. In the meantime you can go ahead and prep your remaining ingredients so they are ready to go.
  3. When the rice has cooled slightly in the bowl, add in all of the ingredients except for 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. Mix very well so that all of the rice is coated in the seasoning.
  4. Pour into a 13×9 inch baking dish that has been greased or buttered. Spread out evenly and sprinkle over the remaining cheese or more cheese if you want it extra cheesy.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly golden brown on top. Remove and let stand 5 minutes or so before serving.


  • With this you can add in whatever you think you would like to add. Here is a list of our favorites.
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Hot sauce
  • rotel with chili’s and the juice
  • canned green chili’s
  • diced tomatoes
  • grilled chicken – diced
  • extra cheese
  • black beans – drained and rinsed
  • diced tomatoes – with the juice
  • minced garlic – 4 cloves minced
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon powder – for extra flavor
  • green onion/scallions chopped
  • cilantro/parsley – chopped

If you make any of my recipes and you have an instagram… tag me @thesouthernrustic and use the hashtag #thesouthernrusticchannel I’d love to see your recreations of all of my recipes and if you add your own spin to it let me know that as well. I just might try it.

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