Slow Cooker Mexican Rice Bowls
These Slow Cooker Mexican Rice Bowls have a vibrant combination of flavors, with just enough spicy heat to keep it interesting! And these tasty rice bowls are vegan!
I don’t remember my mother cooking black beans when I was a kid, but sometime after I left home they became my father’s favorite type of bean, and any dish that had black beans was something he would enjoy. I was thinking about that as I missed him recently, and remembered making Slow Cooker Mexican Rice Bowls for him when he was in an assisted living center where I’d visit twice a week and cook lunch.
My dad could be a picky customer when it came to trying new dishes, but he would enjoy this Mexican rice bowl because of the black beans, rice and avocados; three foods he always loved. Using the slow cooker to cook the rice and then heat together the chopped peppers, green chiles, and black beans kept the house cool for a perfect easy dinner.
And this idea is perfect for a side dish or a complete plant-based meal, and I actually didn’t realize these Mexican rice bowls were vegan until I started to type up the recipe. It took us a couple of tries to get the rice and black bean bowl just right, but Jake and I both loved this final version.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Ben’s Brown Rice (affiliate link)
- vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth
- red bell pepper
- green bell pepper
- diced green chiles (affiliate link)
- canned black beans
- salt to taste
- Poblano pepper
- green onion
- fresh cilantro
- fresh lime juice, I used my fresh-frozen lime juice
- olive oil
- ground cumin (affiliate link)
What is the star ingredient in the Mexican Rice Bowls?
I had to pick the one ingredient that made this Mexican rice bowl so good, it would be the finely-chopped Poblano pepper in the salsa. I love Poblano Peppers that much, (also called Pasilla peppers in some U.S. stores), and they add so much flavor to this dish. Poblanos are a mild pepper variety that gets fairly large compared to some pepper types. (Enter “Poblano Peppers” into the search bar if you want to find more recipes using them.)
What kind of rice did I use for the Mexican Rice Bowls?
I’m a huge fan of Ben’s Whole Grain Brown Rice (affiliate link) and that’s what I used for this slow cooker rice bowl recipe.
More Meatless Rice in the Slow Cooker Rice:
Check out these recipe for more slow cooker rice or slow cooker rice bowls:
- Greek Slow Cooker Rice
- Slow Cooker Brown Rice with Veggies and Feta
- Slow Cooker Rice Casserole with Green Chiles and Cheese
How to make Slow Cooker Mexican Rice Bowls:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Combine the Ben’s Brown Rice (affiliate link) and vegetable stock in the slow cooker. (I used a can of vegetable stock and added a little water to make 2 cups.)
- Add 1 cup of finely chopped onion and cook on high for about 1 1/2 hours (until the rice is nearly done, but not quite.)
- While the rice cooks, prepare the finely chopped red and green bell pepper and get a small can of diced green chiles (affiliate link) (Anaheim chiles, not Jalapenos.)
- Also drain 2 cans of black beans into a colander and rinse until no more foam appears. Let the beans drain well.
- After 1 1/2 hours, fluff the brown rice with a fork.
- Stir in the chopped red and green bell pepper, drained black beans, diced green chiles (with juice), and a little salt, and cook 30 minutes more (until the rice is tender.)
- While the rice mixture cooks, chop the tomatoes, cilantro, Poblano pepper, and slice the green onions for the salsa. (Fabulous chopping skills shown here are by Jake!)
- Cut up one large or 2 small avocados and toss them with 1 T lime juice. Then gently stir in the chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, chopped Poblano, sliced green onion, 2 T more lime juice, olive oil, ground cumin (affiliate link), and salt to taste to make the salsa.
- When the slow cooker mixture is done, serve Slow Cooker Vegan Mexican Bowls hot or warm, with a generous scoop of the Poblano-Avocado salsa on top.
More Vegetarian Slow Cooker Dishes:
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep where youll find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
Slow Cooker Ingredients:
- 1 cup Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice (see notes)
- 2 cups vegetable stock (see notes)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped small
- one 4 oz. can diced green chiles plus juice (Anaheim chiles, not jalapenos)
- two 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed well and drained
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup diced tomato
- 1 large Poblano pepper, very finely diced
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 large avocado cut into cubes about 1 inch
- 3 T fresh lime juice. divided (see notes)
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (or more, to taste)
- salt to taste
- Combine the Uncle Ben's Brown Rice (affiliate link), vegetable stock, and finely chopped onion in the slow cooker and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, or until rice is just starting to get tender.
- While rice cooks, chop the red and green bell pepper, and open the diced green chiles.
- Drain the black beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears; then let beans drain well.
- After 1 1/2 hours, add the chopped red bell pepper, chopped green bell pepper, diced green chiles with juice, and drained black beans to the slow cooker and gently combine with the rice.
- Add salt to taste and then cook on high for about 30 minutes more.
- While the rice mixture finishes cooking, chop the tomato, cilantro, and Poblano pepper and thinly slice the green onion.
- Cut the avocado into cubes about 1 inch across and toss in a bowl with 1 T of fresh-frozen lime juice). Use a bowl that will hold all the salsa ingredients.
- Add the chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, finely chopped Poblano, sliced green onion, other 2 T lime juice, 2 T olive oil, ground cumin, and salt to taste, and gently combine.
- The slow cooker mixture is ready when the rice is tender (and preferably the peppers are barely cooked, with still quite a bit of crunch.)
- Serve hot or warm, with a generous scoop of the Poblano-Avocado Salsa on top.
- You could add other toppings such as desired.
I used my favorite 3 Quart Crock-Pot Slow Cooker (affiliate link) for this recipe, but any slow cooker that’s close to that size will work.
I'm a fan of Uncle Ben's Brown Rice (affiliate link) but you can use any whole-grain brown rice (not instant rice) for this recipe.
I used a 14 oz. can of vegetable broth and a little water to make 2 cups.
I used my fresh-frozen lime juice for this recipe.
This recipe was inspired by Mexican Barley and Black Beans in American Heart Association Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook; we created the salsa recipe and adapted the other mixture quite a bit.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 451mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 17gSugar: 11gProtein: 16g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This recipe for Mexican Rice Bowls is too high in carbs for a traditional low-carb diet plan. Low-glycemic black beans are allowed (in limited amounts) for any phase of the original South Beach Diet, but the use of brown rice makes them limited to Phase 2 or 3.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Slow Cooker Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2013. It was last updated with more information in 2023.
nd these tasty rice bowls are vegan!”>