Home > Dinner > Rice and Beans Rice and Beans August 24, 2022 | 2 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Savory Rice And Beans is a quick 20-minute meal that is hearty, filling, and vegetarian! This Rice and Beans is part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients, or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. Click here to see all the recipes in the series! Rice and Beans This dish is admittedly a bit unique, but a complete throwback to my childhood! My mom made some kind of rice and beans meal every couple of weeks growing up and we all loved it. Even though a few of my vegetarian siblings especially appreciated this meal, the rest of us meat-eaters loved it just as much! This dish is almost entirely made from pantry staples and comes together so quickly. This recipe, along with these Beans on Toast, are two of my quick go-to vegetarian meals. There are practically endless ways to use the beans in this recipe (more on this below), so we’ve kept the canvas fairly simple to ensure it’s kid-friendly (my kiddos love this!). Feel free to add more hot sauce or spices to personal preference. How To Serve Rice And Beans Over rice. It wouldn’t be RICE and Beans without the rice, would it?! Use the type of rice that you prefer: freshly prepared rice, leftover rice, or in true “lifesaver” form, try using Ready Rice® or microwaveable packaged rice. This rice is already cooked and just needs to be heated to warm it through — so easy and convenient! This type of packaged rice is found alongside other packets of rice and grains in the grocery store. As a hearty side dish. These beans are perfect alongside any Mexican meal! As a dip. We even like eating these beans with tortilla chips as a simple bean dip. You can mash ’em up a bit more if you want a thicker dip. Use in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or on top of a tostada! My mom always used leftover beans to make quesadillas. She’d spoon the beans on half of a tortilla with some Queso Quesadilla cheese and brown in the skillet. I make these all the time for my kids, but prepared in the air fryer — delish! SHORTCUTS Rice and Beans Short-Cuts To minimize chopping time, buy pre-diced onions typically found in the produce section. Choose refrigerated minced garlic or frozen garlic cubes (like Dorot®) for the quickest possible prep. Use canned beans. While making beans from scratch is deeply delicious and rewarding, this recipe is all about speed and ease! How Do You Add Flavor to Rice and Beans? Flavor enhancers: Our favorite additions (which are included in this Rice and Beans recipe) are hot sauce, fresh lime, and fresh cilantro. The hot sauce adds some nice spice while the lime and cilantro add freshness and vibrancy. A scoop of harissa is great if you like spice! We love adding some kind of fresh and fruity salsa. Because the beans have a deep earthy flavor, fresh salsa can add a welcome lightness and acidity. This Mango Salsa, Corn Salsa Recipe, or the salsa on this Peach Salsa Chicken would be delightful! QUICK TIP To avoid “Jalapeño Hands” wear thick kitchen gloves to cut out the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño before finely dicing. If you prefer less spice in these beans, leave out the jalapeños. Alternatively, amp up the spice by adding in more! How To Make Rice And Beans Take time to sauté the onion and spices — this adds complexity to the flavor of the beans. Plus, you likely don’t want bites of raw onion in the beans! Dice the jalapeño very finely so the small pieces can add subtle amounts of heat and flavor to the beans instead of being an overwhelming hit of heat. QUICK TIP To avoid clumping, we recommend freshly grating the cheese (packaged grated cheese has a cellulose coating that keeps it from melting as smoothly). Yes, this recipe is supposed to be simple and quick, but freshly grated cheese makes a world of difference! Speed up the grating by using a food processor with a grating attachment. More Vegetarian Favorites: Vegetarian Tikka Masala with chickpeas Vegetarian Tacos with roasted sweet potatoes and black beans Grilled Cheese made in a skillet or air fryer Pesto Chickpea Sandwiches with basil pesto and sun-dried tomatoes Tikka Masala Wraps with a creamy mint-cilantro sauce FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Rice and Beans 5 from 2 votes - Review this recipe Savory Rice And Beans is a quick 20-minute meal that is hearty, filling, and vegetarian! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Rice and Beans 5 from 2 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Savory Rice And Beans is a quick 20-minute meal that is hearty, filling, and vegetarian! Course Main Course, Side Dish Cuisine Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian Keyword beans and rice Prep Time 15 minutes Total Time 15 minutes Servings 2 -4 servings Calories 153kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $5.23 Ingredients▢ 1 tablespoon olive oil▢ 1/2 cup diced yellow onion▢ 2 teaspoons minced garlic▢ 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño, optional (Note 1)▢ Salt & pepper▢ 2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans▢ 1 teaspoon each: chili powder, paprika, cumin▢ 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese, plus more for serving (Note 2)▢ Optional Flavorings: 1/4 cup finely diced cilantro, 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice/wedges, hot sauce▢ For Serving: See Note 3US - Metric USMetric InstructionsONION: Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add 1/2 cup diced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and start turning translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. SAUTE: Once onion is softened, add 2 tsp. garlic, 1 tbsp. minced jalapeño, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. cumin, plus salt & pepper to taste (I add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper). Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. BLEND: Meanwhile, add one full can of pinto beans (including the liquid) to a blender. Blend until completely smooth. BEANS: Back to the skillet: Use a spatula to get every bit of the beans from the blender into the skillet along with the remaining can (drained and rinsed) of pinto beans. Stir to combine and then sauté until thickened and warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. If using, add a few dashes of hot sauce (to taste), 1/4 cup finely diced cilantro, and 2 tbsp lime juice. Remove from heat. SERVE: Off heat, stir through 1/2 cup grated cheese (omit for a vegan meal). Mix until melted. Taste beans and adjust any flavors to personal preference. Serve over rice OR as a side dish (Note 3) with additional lime wedges for individual bowls. We also like to add a handful more of cheese atop each bowl. Enjoy warm! Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Jalapeño: To avoid “Jalapeño Hands” wear thick kitchen gloves to cut out the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño before finely dicing. If you prefer less spice in these beans, leave out the jalapeños. Alternatively, amp up the spice by adding in more! Either way, be sure to very finely dice the jalapeño so the small pieces can add subtle amounts of heat and flavor to the beans instead of being an overwhelming hit of heat. Note 2: Cheese: We find the flavor to be lacking with mild or medium Cheddar; this recipe needs sharp Cheddar for the flavor to come through nicely! Note 3: Serving options: There are so many ways to serve these beans; here are our favorites! Over rice. Either freshly prepared rice, leftover rice, or in true "lifesaver" form try using Ready Rice® or microwaveable packaged rice. As a hearty side dish. These beans are perfect alongside any Mexican meal! As a dip. We even like eating these beans with tortilla chips as a simple bean dip. Use in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or on top of a tostada! My mom always used leftover beans to make quesadillas. She'd spoon the beans on half of a tortilla with some Queso Quesadilla cheese and brown in a skillet. I make these all the time for my kids, but prepared in the air fryer -- delish! (For quesadilla cooking directions in a skillet or air fryer, check out our black bean quesadillas recipe) Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.4g | Protein: 7.9g | Fat: 4.1g | Sodium: 1.7mg | Fiber: 8.1g | Sugar: 1.2g We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.