Spanish Rice and Beans

This recipe has become an instant favorite in my house! Spanish Rice and Beans is a simple, one-pot, affordable dish that even my kids love. It’s great as a side, or you can add some extra protein and serve it as a main dish! It’s filled with vegetables and so much Spanish flavor that you won’t be able to resist it.

Spanish Rice and Beans

This is a one-pot meal that’s super filling and satisfying! I think it’s the perfect plant-based meal. It’s also great for kids. My three year old David even told me “I love this dinner mommy,” and gave me a hug. Totally unprompted! He doesn’t normally do that, so this recipe definitely has a special place in my heart. You can tone down the spices if your kids are sensitive, but everyone in my house is obsessed with this recipe! This is a straightforward and savory Spanish Rice and Beans that’s quickly become a favorite.

Homemade Spanish Rice and Beans

I finish this Spanish Rice and Beans off with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and parsley and a squeeze of lime. These are optional but I love how they make the finished product look and taste! Lemon would even work instead of lime if you have that on hand. The olives are optional but traditional, and my whole family loves them. Finally, I cooked the rice in water. Broth is also an option, but I’d reduce the salt if you use broth! I find that my seasoning blend brings plenty of flavor and it doesn’t need broth to shine.

One-Pot Spanish Rice and Beans

All About Bell Peppers

This recipe is filled with extra veggies! It has three bell peppers that bring all the flavor and color. I love using one of each color so there’s red, yellow, and orange all mixed into a beautiful dish! Red bell peppers are riper and therefore sweeter and milder than green bell peppers. Red peppers contain 11 times more beta carotene and four times more vitamin C than green bell peppers! Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy, and beta carotene benefits your immune system, vision, skin health and bone health. Red bell peppers also contain an important phytochemical, lycopene, which could benefit prostate and heart health, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation.  Select bell peppers that are brightly colored and firm with tight skin. You can store bell peppers for up to five days in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Easy Vegan Spanish Rice

Adding Protein to Spanish Rice and Beans

I sometimes pair these rice and beans with my Easy Homemade Vegan Sour Cream and diced avocado for an even more filling meal. I almost always have a batch of my vegan sour cream in the fridge for this exact reason! You can also double the black beans for extra protein if desired. This makes it more of a main dish than a side dish and it’s awesome as a lunch. I love the black beans, but red kidney beans are more traditional! You can pick one or the other or do a mix of the two.

Vegan Spanish Rice and Beans

Seasonings in Spanish Rice & Beans

The seasonings make it special! You can use your own favorites, but I’ve tweaked the measurements here so they’re just right for my preferences. I’ll bet you have all of these right in your spice cupboard!

  • Sweet paprika
  • Oregano
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
Spanish Rice and Beans

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Rice and Beans
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Spanish Rice and Beans

Spanish Rice and Beans


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 60
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This recipe has become an instant favorite in my house! Spanish Rice and Beans is a simple, one-pot, affordable dish that even my kids love. It’s great as a side, or you can add some extra protein and serve it as a main dish! It’s filled with vegetables and so much Spanish flavor that you won’t be able to resist it.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon fine salt 
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cups basmati white rice (or jasmine white rice), rinsed well in a fine mesh strainer 
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 (15 ounce) cans black beans or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (and their juices)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 bay leaves

Garnishes

  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, sliced (about 17 olives)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro and/or fresh Italian flat leaf parsley leaves (large stems removed)
  • 1 large lemon or lime, zested 

Instructions

  1. Preheat 5.5 quart dutch oven over medium heat.  Prepare your veggies and spices.  Once the pot is hot add oil, onions and salt.  Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes stirring every minute or so.  This is longer than most recipes call for but I like to let the onions caramelize a bit.  It enhances the flavor so much.  During the last two minutes of cooking the onions add the garlic and spices and sauté with the onion.
  2. Add the bell peppers and rice and saute for 5 minutes. 
  3. Add water, drained beans, diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, maple syrup and bay leaves.  Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil.  
  4. Cover tightly and reduce the burner to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes until rice is soft and liquid is absorbed.  
  5. Stir in herbs and olives.  Add lime or lemon zest.  You can also add the juice if desired but I typically just do the zest.  Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve hot.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container in refrigerator (once fully cooled to room temperature).  Leftovers keep for up to five days.

Notes

For extra protein you can use a second can of beans.

  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: spanish rice and beans

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