Spanish Rice and Beans

5 from 2 votes

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Spanish rice and beans is a quick and easy meal that takes little skill and little time.  This healthy dish is easy to make as a vegan or vegetarian recipe and takes just 30 minutes until ready to eat. Read on and we will show you how to make this simple meal.

Large white bowl with Spanish rice and beans and garnished with cilantro.

How to cook it

If you are learning how to cook, this recipe is a great way to get you started. If you are an expert cook, then you know the first thing to do with any recipe is to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients.  Here is what you will need to make this easy family meal.

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Broth
  • Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Salsa
  • Garlic
  • Spices
  • Lime
  • Cilantro (optional)
Ingredients that are needed to make Spanish Rice and Beans

Grab a heavy skillet or your Dutch oven to put this recipe together. You’ll start by sauteeing the onion and garlic in hot olive oil. And then you’ll add the grain and skillet-toast it for about three minutes. This gives it a nice nutty flavor adds another dimension.

Pro Cooking Tip:

Continuously stir while pan-toasting so you don’t burn it!

Addiong broth to a bowl of rice.

After toasting it, you’ll cook the grains for about 15 minutes, or as directed on the package. Use 3 cups of broth to finish and add more if needed, as it becomes absorbed.

How to make it vegan

If you want to make this as a vegan dish, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Bowl of Spaish Rice and bens and adding salsa and beans to the rice.

Now it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients.

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What kind of beans do you use?

I like to use red kidney beans for their color and texture, but you can use any variety. Use your favorite kind!

From a nutrition standpoint, this is a magical meal.  The reason: The different proteins combine to make all the essential amino acids that your body needs. This makes it a “complete protein” and means you could live on this Spanish rice and beans alone!

White bowl of Spanish rice and beans with serving bowl in the background.

Can I freeze the leftovers?

You can freeze any leftover from this recipe. Just thaw and reheat when you want to use the leftovers!  This is also a great make-ahead meal. Make it, freeze it, use it when you want. It’s a real timesaver! For a single serving, freeze individual portions in a zip lock bag. Be sure to get all of the air out of the bag and label it with the date. The leftovers should stay goof for a few months if stored properly in the freezer.

Is it healthy?

This meal can be part of a healthy eating plan. It is loaded with fiber and protein. It is also:

  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Can I make this in the instant pot?

Make the grains in an instant pot, then add the rest of the ingredients. The time will be about the same as the regular recipe.

Wooden spoon of Mexican rice and beans.

How to personalize this

  • Mix Up the Salsa
    • There are many different types of salsa you can use. Green salsa (salsa verde) gives will give the Spanish rice and beans a tangy twist. Fresh homemade salsa is great as well!
  • Add chunks of fresh tomato
  • Use roasted red peppers from a jar
Bowl of Mexican rice and beans with a table fork.

What do you serve with Spanish rice and beans?

Some good things that go well with Spanish rice and beans include:

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Rice and beans

5 from 2 votes
Spanish beans and rice recipe that is vegan friendly, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Make this complete protein recipe in just 30 minutes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 People


  • Heavy skillet or Dutch oven


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 cups Rice, (Dry) white or long grain
  • 1 tbsp Minced garlic, (Or two whole cloves, minced)
  • 1/2 White onion, Medium size, coarse chop
  • 3 cups Low-sodium chicken broth, use 3 to 4 cups
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin, to taste
  • 1 tsp Paprika, to taste
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Salsa
  • 15 oz. Kidney beans, may use your bean of choice
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped (optional)


  • Use a heavy skillet or Dutch oven and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for three minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the rice. Stir stirring continuously for 3 minutes. Be careful be to not burn it.
  • Add 3 cups of broth, the cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until it is tender and the broth is absorbed. Add additional broth if necessary.
  • When this is finished cooking, stir in the salsa, beans, and lime juice. Garnish with the cilantro if desired.


  1. To make vegan Spanish rice and beans, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  2. You can use any bean you like:
  • Red
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Red


Calories: 397kcal, Carbohydrates: 72g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 735mg, Potassium: 608mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 381IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 64mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican, Spanish, Tex-Mex
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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