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Rice and Beans

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


  • 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 3


  • ONION: 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!



Note 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)


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.4g | Protein: 7.9g | Fat: 4.1g | Sodium: 1.7mg | Fiber: 8.1g | Sugar: 1.2g