Spanish Rice and Beans (One Pot)

4.98 from 304 votes
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Spanish Rice and Beans uses pantry staples to create a nutritious, flavorful one pot meal. Vegetarian, gluten free, and so simple to make, this rice and beans recipe will become a staple.One Pot Spanish Beans and Rice with Parsley Oil

Why You’ll Love this Rice and Beans Recipe

You can’t beat a super simple, family-friendly recipe that leans on pantry staples.

This one also comes together in one pot, and creates the best leftovers.

Both kids and adults will love the flavors of this Spanish-inspired rice dish. 

I love topping each bowl with a drizzle of parsley oil, which includes a mix of fresh parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil. While totally optional, it adds bright, fresh flavor to turn this pantry meal into something truly exceptional.

  • Alternatively, you can garnish each portion with sliced avocado or a crispy fried egg.
  • Or, use the rice and beans as a filling for burritos, tacos, or enchiladas!

The Ingredients:Ingredient photo showing rice, beans, spices, and tomatoes

Think of this rice and beans recipe more as a blueprint rather than steadfast set of instructions.

Overall, it’s extremely versatile, which means there are myriad substitutions. Here’s what you need:

  • White rice: It’s best to use a long-grain white rice here, such as jasmine or basmati.
    • You can also use brown rice, however it does require a longer cook time.
  • Beans: Oh the glory of the humble canned bean. The recipe calls for kidney beans, however feel free to use pinto beans instead. Canned beans are budget-friendly, and a great source of protein and fiber.
  • Aromatics: Onion and garlic form the foundation of this dish. For extra flavor, you can also toss in celery, bell pepper, or carrots.
  • Fire-roasted canned tomatoes: Another one of my go-to canned goods, fire-roasted tomatoes add smoky, umami depth. Alternatively, you can use a jar of your favorite salsa. 
  • Spices: Spanish food is known for delivering some serious flavor. In this recipe, I suggest chili powder, paprika, oregano, and cayenne for an extra dose of spice.
    • Note: if making the recipe for kids or those with low spice tolerance, omit the cayenne.
  • Olives: I love finishing rice and beans with a bright, briny kick. Look for a Spanish green olive, such as Manzanilla.
  • Parsley: For fresh, herby top notes. Alternatively, you can use cilantro.
  • Lemon Juice: To round out each bite with brightness and acidity.

How to Make Spanish Rice and Beans:

Overall, this dish is pretty hands off. Some simple slicing and dicing is required on the forefront, but most of the magic happens as the mixture simmers. Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Cook the Aromatics

Start by heating some olive oil in a large skillet with a fitted top over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook 5 to 6 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic during the final minute.Cooking aromatics and blooming spices in a skillet

Step 2: Bloom the Spices

Cooking spices in hot oil helps unlock their full flavor potential. This process is called blooming, and it’s a game changing for building flavor.

This only takes 1 to 2 minutes–any longer and you run the risk of the burning the spices.

Toasting rice in a skillet

Step 3: Toast the Rice

Stir in the rice and let it cook for about 2 minutes, which helps deepen its flavor.

The rice will begin turning translucent and smell super aromatic.Tutorial showing Spanish Rice and Beans cooking in a skillet

Step 4: Add the Tomatoes, Beans, and Broth

Add tomatoes, beans, and broth.

Simmer the mixture for about 25 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Lastly, scatter the olives overtop and drizzle with parsley oil, if desired!

Spanish Rice and Beans served with olives and parsley oil

FAQs and Expert Tips

Is Eating Rice and Beans Healthy?

Rice and beans offer fiber, B vitamins, and important minerals like zinc and selenium.

This combination is also a good source of protein, which makes it filling and supportive of blood sugar levels. 

Can Rice and Beans be a Meal?

Rice and beans is as complete of a meal on it’s own as you can get. This is because the rice and beans provide complementary amino acids.

On their own, beans and rice are incomplete proteins, meaning they lack some of the essential amino acids. Together, however, they complement one another and provide all nine essential amino acids.

  • So essentially, this combination is equivalent to animal protein in terms of protein quality.

If we want to REALLY break down the details here, most grains are deficient in lysine, while beans are of the few plant foods rich in lysine.

On the flip side, many beans provide only small amounts of the amino acid methionine, which is rich in most grains.Spanish Beans and Rice topped with olives and parsley

Serving Suggestions:

While this Spanish Rice and Beans recipe is mighty satisfying on its own, here are some topping and side suggestions:

  • With Avocado: Top each serving with sliced avocado for extra heart-healthy fats.
  • As a Burrito Filling: This mixture is perfect for filling burritos and tacos! Just add a creamy topping, such as guacamole or sour cream.
  • Topped with a Fried Egg: I love enjoying leftovers for brunch topped with a crispy-edged, soft-yolk fried egg.
  • With Shrimp or Chicken: Top with sautéed shrimp or chicken to make it more filling.

How to Store and Reheat:

  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat: Rewarm individual portions in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until hot. Alternatively, you can warm rice and beans in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of water to help rehydrate the grains.
  • Freeze: Transfer to a freezer-safe ziptop bag and lay flat in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    • When ready to reheat, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

If you try give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

More Easy Rice Recipes:

30 Minute Broccoli Fried Rice with Turmeric-Tahini Sauce

Wild Rice and Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

30 Minute Golden Rice Pilaf

4.98 from 304 votes

Spanish Rice and Beans

Spanish Rice and Beans uses pantry staples to create a nutritious and flavorful one pot meal. Vegetarian, gluten free, and a complete source of plant protein, this easy dinner will become a family favorite. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Large skillet

Ingredients  

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional for added heat)
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice (such as jasmine or basmati)
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (sub 1 cup jarred salsa)
  • 2 (15.5-oz.) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (sub water)
  • 1/3 cup sliced green olives

Parsley Oil (optional)

  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
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Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a large skillet with a fitted lid over medium. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, paprika, salt, chili powder, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne; cook 2 minutes, stirring often, until aromatic. Stir in rice; cook 2 minutes, until slightly translucent. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and broth (or water). Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare parsley oil (if using) by combining parsley, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil in a small bowl; stir well.
  • Scatter olives over Spanish Beans and Rice and drizzle with parsley oil.

Video

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat: Rewarm individual portions in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until hot. Alternatively, you can warm rice and beans in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of water to help rehydrate the grains.
  • Freeze: Transfer to a freezer-safe zip-top bag and lay flat in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    • When ready to reheat, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 690mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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249 Comments

  1. Deborah says:

    5 stars
    I’m not a big fan of rice dishes, but this is delicious.

  2. John M Buck says:

    5 stars
    Success on my first try – so tasty

  3. Leanne Woodall says:

    5 stars
    One of my favorite go to recipes! Love that it’s easily made with pantry ingredients. I like to meal prep & this is always at the top of the list. 😃

  4. GMJ says:

    5 stars
    Hi Jamie,
    I am new to your site. I am totally thrilled to find 1) recipes by a person who is an R.D [ for readers: that is the ULTIMATE degree in nutrition & takes YEARS to achieve ]
    2) Vegetarian recipes- My brother was advised to elimate meat for a few months, due to a ton of health issues. Plus I just started volunteering for a homeless shelter. Several families are there b/c their apartments were destroyed in either fire or floods. Some have diet restrictions due to allergies, or heath restrictions… like celiac or heart conditions. Etc.etc
    ●● One question : For your chicken broth or veg broth calculations are you using regular or low sodium ?
    For now I will try low sodium in cartons rather than cans.

  5. Elysa Pizzolato says:

    5 stars
    Very tasty and easy to make! Loved that it didn’t have cumin in it.

  6. Courtney says:

    5 stars
    Very flavorful and easy dish to make! This is definitely in our yum rotation! Thank you! Xxx

  7. Marianna says:

    5 stars
    This is one of my favorite lunch recipes to make for meal prep. I usually add the vegan soyrizo from Trader Joe’s to make it a full meal.

  8. Joe says:

    5 stars
    Easy to make. Super delicious and naturally loaded with nutrients. Next time, I’ll add even more vegetables. Looking forward to leftovers!

  9. Kelly says:

    Would it work with brown rice ? Any changes to recipe if I use brown rice ?Trying to lower cholesterol?

    1. GMJ says:

      5 stars
      Sorry you did not get a reply,…yet. keeping up with these sites needs a ton of time.
      BUT, I also like to swap brown rice in recipes. Generally Brown rice needs extra time & maybe extra liquid? Best bet is to check your rice pkg for liquid to rice combo. ( at least part of the fire roasted tomatoes OR most of the salsa (I pluse salsa smooth to measure then add 3 to 4isT water to my blender or mini food processor to rinse out and add to the pan)