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Black beans and rice with green chiles in a white bowl
30 min or less, Easy, Gluten Free, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nut free, Oil free, Side dishes, Under 400 calories, Vegan Recipes

Black Beans and Rice

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This recipe for Black Beans and Rice is super easy to make in just 15 minutes (and budget friendly!). It’s also extremely versatile and can be added to tacos, burrito bowls, tofu scrambles, and more.

Easy black beans and rice with green chiles in a white bowl.

Beans and Rice- a worldwide favorite:

Beans and Rice is a common meal in many different cultures, and there are numerous variations of this simple, yet filling dish. Countries such as Brazil, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Korea, the United States, and the Caribbean all have different styles of this popular dish.

It’s also super healthy! Rice provides a filling starch (though I highly recommend choosing brown rice as opposed to white rice), and beans contain a ton of protein and iron (beans are definitely the more nutritious of the pair). And together, they provide a complete protein, which is what our bodies need to sustain. Add veggies and you’ve got yourself a simple, nutritious meal.

And I should also mention that it’s super affordable, especially if buying dried beans (or buying cans of black beans from Costco/Sam’s Club).

I love this Black Beans and Rice recipe because not only is it reeeeeally easy, but it’s also filling and fresh with hints of lime. And it’s so versatile. You can use these black beans and rice as a base in SO many dishes, such as burritos, tacos, enchiladas, burrito bowls, you name it. Or just have it on its own with a few tortilla chips and some salsa.

I’m not sure which country this recipe of black beans and rice falls into, as I just made it up and it’s not based on any particular dish. =) But the vinegar and green chiles really adds a unique flavor that compliment each other so well.

Black beans and brown rice in a white bowl with a side of tortillas.

How to make this quick and easy Black Beans and Brown Rice recipe:

Before beginning to recipe, you’ll need to cook your rice in advance. This post by Minimalist Baker explains 2 ways to do this. Super easy tip: if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, you can purchase the frozen bags of organic brown rice. Each packet is the exact amount you need for this recipe (1 1/2 cups). I’m not a fan of single-use plastic, but if you’re in a pinch, it’s a quick option.

When the rice is ready – in a large saucepan, heat the unsalted vegetable broth (or if you choose, you can use 1 tablespoon olive oil) over medium-high heat. Then add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and transparent, and the garlic is fragrant.

Next, reduce the heat slightly and add the can of green chiles, 1 1/2 cups pre-cooked rice, cooked black beans, and salt and pepper. Heat until warm throughout. Remove from heat, then add the vinegar, lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine.

Note: you can use my Instant Pot Chipotle Black Beans (with dry black beans) instead of canned beans if you want. I actually recommend it, as it adds a nice flavor profile to this dish. You’ll end up with more beans than you need, but you can use them in other dishes throughout the week.

It’s as easy as that! This dish is best served immediately to get the best flavor, or you can store in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days. If not eating immediately, I recommend adding a add a splash of lime juice to the dish before serving.

Overhead view of easy black beans and rice with a fork.

Substitutions/Additions:

This recipe is super versatile and can be used as a base for many other recipes and/or combinations:

  • Add roasted sweet corn, or diced veggies like red bell pepper, red onion, chopped green onions or halved cherry tomatoes.
  • You can add your favorite hot sauce to this dish, such as Frank’s Red Hot, Green Pepper Tabasco Sauce, or salsa.
  • You can add additional spices such as cajun seasoning, chipotle powder, chili powder, cumin, Aleppo pepper, or Spanish Paprika.
  • Add nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. 

How to eat Black Beans and Rice:

  • Use in a “burrito bowl” and top with avocado, crushed tortilla chips and salsa.
  • Use this recipe in this Mexican Black Bean Bulgar Bowl, in place of the black beans and bulgar.
  • Serve it with a side of Classic Guacamole.
  • Use it as a topping for nachos and drizzle with this Vegan Queso.
  • Use as a filling with soft or crunchy tortillas to make tacos, tostadas, or as the filling for enchiladas.
  • Eat it for breakfast mixed in with scrambled tofu, or veggie sausage.
  • Add in some soy chorizo for a fuller meal.

Helpful Tools:

  • Instant Pot– if making my ‘Instant Pot Chipotle Black Beans’ for this recipe, this piece of equipment is a must. It can be used for many dishes and is ideal for cooking beans up fast. Many also have a rice cooker function.
  • Zester– I know this tool is technically designed to zest lemon and lime, but it’s also my favorite for mincing garlic.
  • Santoku knife– this is my favorite knife for cutting onions, cilantro, you name it. Just be careful with the ceramic blade as it can chip easily!
  • Lime Squeezer– I’ve tried a few different brands and this one is my fave.

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram. I just love to see my recipes being made in YOUR kitchen!

Print

Super Easy Black Beans & Rice

This recipe for Black Beans and Rice is super easy to make in just 15 minutes (and budget friendly!). It’s also extremely versatile and can be added to tacos, burrito bowls, tofu scrambles, and more.

  • Author: Christin McKamey
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish, Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: South American/Caribbean
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted vegetable broth, or you can use 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (I use this zester)
  • 4-ounce can mild green chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (or use 15 ounces, or about 1 3/4 cups, Instant Pot Chipotle Black Beans)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a large non-stick saucepan, heat vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft and transparent, and garlic is fragrant.
  2. Reduce heat slightly, then add the green chiles, pre-cooked rice, black beans, and salt and pepper. Heat until warm throughout, about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat, add vinegar, lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine.
  4. This dish is best served immediately, but can also be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days. If not eating immediately, I recommend adding a splash of lime juice to the dish before serving.
  5. Eat on its own or, as a filling for a burrito or tacos, or with scrambled tofu for breakfast (see ideas for serving in the Notes section below). There are so many options!

Notes

  • If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I recommend buying the frozen organic brown rice, which has individual packets of cooked rice. It makes this dish even more easy! Each packet is 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice. 
  • The Chipotle Black Beans take some extra time, but if you are already planning to use them for the week in other recipes, I highly recommend them for this recipe as well, as they make this dish a bit more flavorful. 

Substitutions/Additions:

  • Add roasted sweet corn, or diced veggies like red bell pepper, red onion, chopped green onions or halved cherry tomatoes.
  • You can add your favorite hot sauce to this dish, such as Frank’s Red Hot, Green Pepper Tabasco Sauce, or salsa.
  • Add in additional spices such as cajun seasoning, chipotle powder, chili powder, cumin, Aleppo pepper, or Spanish Paprika.
  • Add nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. 

How to eat Black Beans and Rice:

  • Use in a “burrito bowl” and top with avocado, crushed tortilla chips and salsa.
  • Use this recipe in this Mexican Black Bean Bulgar Bowl, in place of the black beans and bulgar.
  • Serve it with a side of Classic Guacamole.
  • Use it as a topping for nachos and drizzle with this Vegan Queso.
  • Use as a filling with soft or crunchy tortillas to make tacos, tostadas, or as the filling for enchiladas.
  • Eat it for breakfast mixed in with scrambled tofu, or veggie sausage.
  • Add in some soy chorizo for a fuller meal.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 225
  • Sugar: .8
  • Sodium: 466
  • Fat: 2.8
  • Carbohydrates: 41.2
  • Protein: 8.5

Keywords: easy black beans and rice, black beans and rice, rice and beans, vegan, gluten free

Update Notes: This post was originally published in March 2018, but was republished with tips and FAQs in October of 2019.

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

6 Comments

  • Thanks this was great! I was just searching for a super easy black bean & rice recipe for lunch today with what I had on hand and this fit the bill! I used 1/2 can diced chiles and did add some cumin & coriander and splashed some Frank’s Red Hot on before eating (b/c I love Franks’ on everything haha), will definitely make this again and like the idea of eating it for breakfast- maybe with a fried egg on top!

    Reply
    • Yay, thanks Lisa! So happy you liked it! =)

      Reply
  • In Costa Rica we call this “Gallo Pinto”, it’s our traditional breakfast.
    The main difference is that we don’t put vinegar, lemon or lime on it. But it’s delicious.

    Reply
    • Oh that’s really interesting! Sounds like a great breakfast!! Thanks for sharing. =)

      Reply
  • Thanks. Great easy meal. I love that rice blend. It pops when you eat it which I find quite satisfying. I did add some Cajun seasoning to my rice. I think this is a very versital recipe that I like to have on hand for quick lunches, in burritos or add more veggies for a Buddha bowl.

    Reply
    • Thank you Joann! So glad you liked it! =)

      Reply

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