An easy, flavorful dish, Tomato Rice and Beans is a delicious side dish to tacos or grilled chicken, as a filling for burritos and quesadillas, or as a main dish. This simple recipe is also naturally vegetarian and vegan.
I used to buy boxes of Mexican Rice or Spanish rice, always to be disappointed. It never tasted as good as what I could get at a Mexican restaurant and was full of shelf-stabilizing ingredients I couldn’t pronounce.
So I went through my pantry, and found that staple ingredients like rice, canned beans and canned tomatoes could join together to make something better than those boxed rice mixes.
This tomato rice and beans recipe skips the instant pot or other pressure cooker options in favor of the stove top and a good pot. It comes together in 30 minutes, making it one of my favorite easy solutions for dinner on a busy night.
Tomato Rice and Beans also makes a large quantity using low cost ingredients, so it’s also a great way to stretch your grocery budget.
This recipe is also good for meal prep, as it freezes well and can be quickly thawed out for any time you need a delicious side dish or quick meal.
- Long-grain white rice or brown rice - My family prefers white rice in this recipe, but it's been tested with brown rice and that works as well.
- Canned, diced tomatoes - I like petite diced tomatoes in this recipe because it gives me smaller pieces of tomato in the dish.
- An onion - I use yellow onions because that's what I keep on hand, but white onion or Spanish onion works too.
- Black beans, canned - Regular or low sodium works.
How to Make Tomato Rice and Beans
Pour the liquid into a medium pot.
Add garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add rice. Stir to combine.
Let mixture return to a boil, then reduce heat until the liquid is just simmering.
Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed into the rice.
While rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in a high sided, large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion, cook 2-3 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Reduce heat to low and add the black beans and tomatoes to the pan.
Warm the beans and tomatoes through.
Remove skillet from heat and wait for the rice to finish cooking.
Once rice is cooked, fluff the rice with a fork before adding it to the skillet with the beans, tomatoes, garlic and onions.
Stir everything together to combine. Fold in the cilantro.
Recipe Tips for Tomato Rice and Beans
- Be sure to use canned black beans. Because this is a quick, stove top recipe, you need canned beans that are already cooked - either store-bought or homemade - not dry black beans.
- Add some toppings! I love adding shredded cheese, diced green pepper or red bell pepper, and a big dollop of sour cream when serving Tomato Rice and Beans, especially if I'm using it as an easy dinner on a busy weeknight. Add some homemade tortilla chips or warm tortillas on the side for a delicious main course.
- Up the veggie factor! Stir in a ½ cup of cooked sweet corn (or thawed, frozen corn) when adding in the black beans.
FAQs and Substitutions
The cilantro adds a delicious freshness to the dish, but if you don’t like it or don’t have any on hand, just leave it out.
Pinto beans are also delicious in this dish. Feel free to substitute pinto for black beans if that's what you prefer or have on hand.
This recipe makes a large amount and freezes great! Make it completely - including the cilantro - and let it cool slightly. I freeze 1 ½ - 2 cup portions in ziptop bags. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in a sink of cold water, if you’re in a hurry. Reheat in the microwave.
Besides being a delicious side dish, this recipe is great as filling for burritos and quesadillas, or as the base to a rice bowl.
No. This recipe needs to be made with dry rice. I always have traditional long grain on hand - which is what the recipe calls for - but jasmine rice or basmati rice would be delicious in this recipe as well so feel free to use that if you prefer.