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Mexican Rice and Black Beans

This Mexican Rice and Black Beans is an easy, delicious and inexpensive one-pan meatless meal that’ll have you coming back for more!

White rice and black beans are simmered with onions, bell peppers, garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, broth, and all the herbs and spices you’d find in taco seasoning. Then it’s topped with cheese for the perfect finishing touch!

It’s flavorful, filling, and completely satisfying. Plus, it’s a budget-friendly dinner (and I think we’re all looking for some of those right about now).

And when it comes to cheap meals, rice and beans is always at the top of the list. Not only are these some of the most inexpensive ingredients you’ll find at the grocery store, but beans and rice have nutritional benefits as well.

On their own, rice and beans are each incomplete proteins. But when you eat them together, they form a complete protein.

Black beans (also known as black turtle beans) are a good source of fiber and other nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, folate, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Rice (and yes, even white rice, especially if it has been enriched) has some nutritional benefits as well.

And don’t forget we’ve got some veggies in there too.

Disclaimer: I’m not a nutritionist, so I encourage you to research and verify this information on your own.

Besides all that, the best part about this Mexican black beans and rice is that it’s incredibly easy and super tasty. Those herbs and spices really pack a flavor punch!

Ready in under an hour, this is perfect for a weeknight dinner. And one pan means easy clean-up!

Mexican rice and black beans in a pan with a spoonful being lifted out

Ingredients you need:

Note: Exact amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Olive oil
  • Onions
  • Bell peppers (any color; I used green)
  • Garlic
  • Long-grain white rice (I used basmati, but regular works well too)
  • Chicken broth (I use roasted chicken base mixed with water)
  • Canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • Black beans (canned or home-cooked)
  • Chili powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Desired toppings, optional (such as green onions, cilantro, pico de gallo, sour cream)

Here’s a look at how to make Mexican Rice and Black Beans:

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of onions and peppers being cooked in a pan with text that says sauté onions and peppers in oil until beginning to soften; the other of a spoonful of garlic being added to the pan with text that says sauté for another minute
2 images; one of rice added to the pan with text that says add rice, stir; the other of the rice and vegetables being cooked in the pan with text that says sauté, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes
2 images; one of beans, tomatoes, broth, beans, and spices added to the pan with text that says add broth, tomatoes, black beans, and seasoning; the other of the ingredients in the pan being stirred together with text that says stir to combine, bring to a boil
2 images; one of the pan covered with a lid with text that says reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed; the other of the rice mixture in the pan being fluffed with a fork with text that says turn off heat, fluff rice with a fork
2 images; one of shredded cheese sprinkled on top of the rice mixture in the pan with text that says sprinkle with cheese; the other of the pan with the lid on with text that says put the lid on
2 images; one of the finished dish in the pan with melted cheese on top with text that says until the cheese melts; the other of a serving of the finished dish in a white bowl with a fork and topped with green onions and cilantro with text that says serve as is or with toppings, enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • I like to use basmati rice because it always turns out nice and fluffy (and it has a light nutty flavor), but regular long-grain white rice works just fine too.
  • Home-cooked black beans can be substituted for canned. You’ll need about 1¾ to 2 cups of cooked beans. Try my Instant Pot Black Beans which are quick, easy, and there’s no soaking required.
  • You can double the beans if you’d like more.
  • Some fresh or frozen corn is a nice addition (add it with the broth, beans, tomatoes and spices).
  • Instead of all the spices, you could use a pre-made taco seasoning (I would say about 3 tablespoons or to taste). In fact, the spice blend I use in this recipe is one batch of my Homemade Taco Seasoning, but I use smoked paprika instead of regular.
  • You could make this a super inexpensive pantry-only meal by omitting the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and cheese…and it would still be pretty darn good!
  • This can also be served as a side dish with some of your favorite Mexican meals like tacos or fajitas.
  • You could also use it as a filling for burritos or quesadillas.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat in a pan on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through or in a bowl in the microwave. If it seems a little dry, add a bit of broth or water.
Mexican rice and black beans in a white bowl with a fork and topped with pico de gallo

I love this dish topped with some of my Easy Homemade Pico De Gallo and a dollop of sour cream on the side. It adds a freshness and creaminess that’s so, so good and takes it to the next level of deliciousness. I highly recommend it!

A simple sprinkle of green onions and fresh cilantro are also a good choice. But you don’t even need any toppings, really, because it’s awesome as-is too!

Next up, we’re going across the globe for another inexpensive rice and beans dish: Coconut Chickpea Curry with Spinach. Stay tuned!

I hope you try this Mexican Rice and Black Beans recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Mexican rice and black beans in a white bowl with a fork and topped with green onions and cilantro

Mexican Rice and Black Beans

This Mexican Rice and Black Beans is an easy, delicious and inexpensive one-pan meatless meal that'll have you coming back for more!
5 from 1 vote
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Estimated Calories: 516

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups seeded and chopped bell peppers, any color (I used green)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, I used basmati, but you can use regular long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth, I use roasted chicken base mixed with water
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, or regular diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (or homemade beans; you'll need 1¾ to 2 cups of cooked beans)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, or regular paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • toppings of your choice, optional (such as green onions, cilantro, pico de gallo, sour cream)

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (I use an 11 to 12-inch skillet). Add the onions and bell peppers; sauté, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic; sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add the rice and stir to combine; sauté, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes until all of the rice is coated with oil and it is lightly golden and toasted.
  • Add the broth, tomatoes, black beans, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano, sugar (if using), and salt; stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the skillet with a lid, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Turn off the heat; fluff the rice mixture with a fork.
  • Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Put the lid back on the skillet and let it sit for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Serve as is or with your favorite toppings.

Notes

  • Instead of all the spices, you could use a pre-made taco seasoning (I would say about 3 tablespoons or to taste).
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat in a pan on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through or in a bowl in the microwave. If it seems a little dry, add a bit of broth or water.
  • You could make this a super inexpensive pantry-only meal by omitting the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and cheese…and it would still be pretty darn good!
  • Estimated calories do not include any toppings.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating




Bob Stenson

Friday 25th of August 2023

THis was one of the best black beans and rice recipes I have made so far. I altered nothing for the first batch and loved it just the way it is, but I must tinker so I will try a few different ideas but I do not think I can make it any better.

Michelle

Friday 25th of August 2023

Thank you, Bob! I'm so happy you enjoyed it, and I would love to hear how your ideas turn out! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!