This vegan red beans and rice recipe is made with pantry staples (most of which you probably have on hand). Even without meat, this dish is loaded with flavor and super filling.
With what’s going on in the world right now, we’re all looking for pantry staple recipes and I figured now would be a great time to share a recipe that uses two ingredients you probably already have in your pantry: rice and beans!
I’ll let you in on a little secret… I could live off variations of rice and beans. Rice and lentils, quinoa and black beans, throw an egg on top and you’ve really outdone yourself. It’s such a simple meal, but really does leave me satisfied!
Are Beans + Rice Healthy?
Some of you are probably wondering, are beans and rice a full meal? Is this considered healthy? Yes! Let’s chat about the health benefits of red kidney beans (since that’s what we’re using for this recipe). Kidney beans are rich in carbohydrates and fiber, as well as protein. While they do have less protein than meat, they’re still a great plant-based protein option (and budget friendly!). They’re also packed with vitamins and minerals like folate, potassium, iron and vitamin K. Kidney beans help stabilize blood sugar so they’re a great addition for people with diabetes as well.
If you want to up the protein of this meal you can absolutely add meat! I’ve added sliced andouille chicken sausage to this dish and it was delicious.
Okay now for the recipe…
Here’s What You Need:
red kidney beans – I cooked the red kidney beans for this recipe in my pressure cooker, but you can definitely also use canned red kidney beans for speedier prep.
vegetables – yellow onion, celery, green bell pepper, carrots and garlic.
cooked rice – use your favorite rice or whatever you have on hand! White, brown, cauliflower… they all work.
red wine vinegar
seasonings and spices – bay leaf, paprika, thyme, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, sea salt and pepper.
How to Make Beans and Rice
As you might have noticed from the ingredient list, this isn’t just plain beans and rice. This dish is packed with flavor thanks to the vegetables and seasoning!
You’ll start by cooking your beans (if you aren’t using canned) and cooking your rice. I soaked the red beans overnight and then cooked them in my pressure cooker.
Next focus on the vegetables. Sauté the onion, celery, bell pepper, carrot and garlic in a nonstick skillet until the onion is translucent. Add in your seasonings and stir so everything is combined and coated in spice! Add the red wine vinegar to the pan and stir – make sure you get all of the little bits of vegetables that are stuck to the bottom of the pan!
Now it’s time for the beans! Mash 1/2 cup of the beans with a fork and then add the mashed beans, whole beans and vegetable broth to the skillet with the vegetable mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender. If needed, you can add more vegetable broth to thin the mixture out.
Lastly, it’s assembly time! Add rice to a bowl and top with the bean mixture. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and enjoy!
This meal is so easy and cozy. I can’t wait for you to try it.
3cupscooked red kidney beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
1cupvegetable broth + more if needed
cooked rice, for serving
fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add oil. Once hot, add your onion, celery, bell pepper, carrot and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent and mixture is fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add in bay leaf, paprika, thyme, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Toss to combine and then add red wine vinegar to the pan. Reduce heat.
While veggies are cooking, mash 1/2 cup of the red beans with a fork.
Add mashed beans, remaining 2 1/2 cups whole beans and vegetable broth to the pan. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. If mixture seems too thick, add a splash of more vegetable broth to thin it out a bit. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
Add rice to bowls and top each with bean mixture. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
If you want to add extra protein, feel free to sauté up some vegan andouille sausage to serve with this. If you eat meat, sliced andouille chicken sausage works great as well.