When it’s time to party, the food has to be good! New Year’s Tex-Mex Casserole brings all the comfort and taste to your celebration that your guests are going to love! Popping with great spices and cheesy goodness, this black-eyed peas, rice, and spinach combination is really surrounded with the best seasonings… and the bacon and the tomatoes with green chilies really push it over the top! Served with your choice of flavorful toppings, New Year’s Tex-Mex Casserole is sure to ring in comfort and great taste. Bring it on!

Ingredients

For the casserole:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, cut into strips
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Optional, for serving:

  • cilantro, to taste, chopped
  • avocado, to taste, sliced
  • sour cream, to taste

Directions

Step 1 –Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Step 2 –In a medium pot of boiling water, cook the black-eyed peas until they are tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Drain the water and set the beans aside.

Step 3 –In a deep, medium skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil.

Step 4 –Add the onions to the oil and cook until they have softened, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 5 –Add the garlic, the rice, the chicken broth, the cumin, the salt, and the black pepper to the onions and bring to a boil. Cover the skillet and cook until the rice has almost absorbed all of the liquid, about 20 minutes.

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Step 6 –Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 7 –In a large bowl, add the rice mixture, the cooked black-eyed peas, the tomatoes with green chilies and their juices, the spinach, 1 cup of the sharp cheddar cheese, and the bacon crumbles and stir to combine.

Step 8 –Pour the black-eyed pea mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake, about 20 minutes.

Step 9 –Transfer the baking dish from the heat and sprinkle the casserole with the remaining sharp cheddar cheese.

Step 10 –Bake the casserole until the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.

Step 11 –Serve the casserole topped with the cilantro, the avocado, and the sour cream.