Southwest Veggie Rice Cups are savory bites of pure cheesy goodness packed into cupcake form.
Southwest Veggie Rice Cups were kinda fun to make. My friend was recruited to help, so that made all the chopping less tedious. Having someone to chat with (and to pour you more wine) makes the prep time fly by. We turned on the music and got into our dicing rhythm.
I use my muffin/cupcake tins for all sorts of things besides traditional sweet cupcakes:
- Mac n Cheese Broccoli Cups
- Jalapeno & Cheddar Bake
- Mini Spinach Frittatas
- Polenta Cups with Sweet Peppers
- Soy Sausage & Sage Muffins
You can add all kinds of different ingredients to this dish. Mushrooms, carrots, fresh peas, kale, broccoli, acorn squash, cauliflower, green beans, jalapeño peppers… pretty much whatever veggies one may have handy that don’t have a lot of excess moisture. the drier the mix is, the better it sticks together.
They are also super delicious with lots of spices & fresh herbs including chives, basil, sumac, lemon thyme, sage, dill, and oregano… every variation works well.
Feel free to sub your favorite cheese (or soy variation). If you like the crunch of gratin, use shredded cheese instead of the cubes on the top. Cherry tomatoes cut in half work as a topper too. Throw on a sprig of fresh parsley and this side dish looks posh, If you want to impress your omnivore friends, add tempeh bacon bits.
For vegans: Daiya brand soy shredded pepper jack cheese would work well. You can use any soy cheese is your favorite though. Mix it up! Egg substitutes are available like Ener-G Egg Replacer or Bob’s Red Mill brand. For the flax egg, use ground flaxseed. 1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp of warm water = 1 egg. After adding water wait 10 mins for it to turn gel like.
A hint for those using a rice cooker: 2/3 cup rice = 1 cup using the rice cooker measuring cup.
Store Southwest Veggie Rice Cups in a covered container in the refrigerator. They are okay to re-heat in the microwave or oven. If you are re-heating in the oven, cover them so they don’t dry out.
Variation: Southwest Veggie Rice Casserole
Use 1/2 cup grated pepper jack in place of the cheese squares. Use one medium tomato, sliced thin.
Grease base and sides of a non-stick square pan. Line base with parchment paper.
Firmly press rice and egg mixture into the prepared pan. Cover top of rice mixture with tomato slices and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake at 390 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Cut into slices, drizzle with sweet chili sauce and serve.
- ⅔ cup jasmine rice
- 1 cup grated zucchini, drained in towel lined strainer.
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ cup baby sweet peppers
- 1 cup finely chopped spinach
- 2 Tbsp. chopped Hatch chilies
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Pepper jack cheese, cut into 10 1 in.cubes or wedges
- Sweet chilli sauce, to serve
- Preheat oven to 390.
- Grease 10 holes in a muffin pan (1/3 cup capacity holes).
- Line the base of each hole with a circle of baking paper.
- Or you can use silicone baking cups sprayed with oil.
- Boil rice according to directions on packet.
- Drain cooked rice and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion, chilies and garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add sweet peppers, and cook for another two minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add zucchini, spinach, salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine and cook for another minute.
- Remove saucepan from heat and transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl.
- Stir in rice. Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
- Stir in (beaten) eggs and parmesan cheese into rice mixture.
- Fill the prepared muffin holes with the rice mixture.
- Press the mixture down so that the cups are densely packed
- Top each cup with a piece of cheese.
- I cut the cheese into 1 inch wedges and pushed them into the middle of the cups.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.