Spanish rice and beans is a quick and easy vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free weeknight dinner. Serve as a side dish, vegan main dish, or top with baked chicken or shrimp for a little extra protein. It’s ready in just 30-minutes and made with pantry staples like rice, kidney beans, and olives.
This dish is the definition of versatile: it’s flavorful enough to stand on its own, but mild enough to complement the flavors of a wide variety of dishes. Rice and beans are a complete protein: they’re high in nutritional value, essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plus, they’re super filling, inexpensive, easy to store, and delicious! What more could you ask for in a vegan recipe?
Confession. Ours was not vegetarian because we used some of our homemade chicken stock and a 3-inch piece of Mexican chorizo that was finely minced. Both of them added another dimension of flavor.
As far as the timing, our rice was still a bit crunchy after 20 minutes, so we cooked it another 5 minutes, took it off the burner, left it covered, and let it sit for another 10 minutes, at which point it was perfect.
Spanish Rice and Beans
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
- Kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. smoked or sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 cups basmati rice or similar long grain rice, rinsed very well
- 2 (15-oz.) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-oz.) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup sliced green olives, optional, for garnish
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, optional, for garnish
- Saute the onion and pepper: In a large, deep pan heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chopped onion, chopped bell pepper and season with a big pinch of kosher salt. Cook, tossing regularly until the vegetables soften a bit.
- Add the garlic and spices: Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 30 more seconds.
- Add the rice, beans and tomatoes: Add the rice and season with another pinch of kosher salt. Toss to combine, then add the beans and fire roasted tomatoes. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, mix the tomato paste and broth together, then add it to the rice mixture.
- Boil then simmer: Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. You want it to simmer gently. Cover with a tight fitting lid and allow the rice to cook until its tender and the liquid is fully absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- Garnish and serve: Garnish with the olives and parsley, if using, and serve.
Recipe from Suzy Karadsheh