This Black Beans and Rice Recipe is such a CHEAP, easy, healthy, and QUICK vegan side or main! This plant-based recipe comes together in only 25 minutes and uses canned black beans as a shortcut, without skimping on flavor or texture.
The best part about this recipe is that you probably already have most of the ingredients right this very moment in your kitchen. If you keep canned black beans and white rice in your pantry, you’re pretty much set! Add a little fresh lime and cilantro and you’re good to go.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, protein-packed, plant-based meal you can feed your whole family, this is it. My 1 and 2 year old daughters cleaned their plates in record time when I served them this. These black beans are perfect for baby-led weaning!
In this post, I’ll explain how to make black beans and rice in record time, how to use canned beans but still get amazing flavor and texture, why this recipe is healthy, and suggest other recipes to serve with this.
How to make black beans and rice quickly
This black beans and rice recipe comes together in only 25 minutes, which makes it perfect for busy weeknights. Here’s how.
- Cook the rice first. While the rice is cooking, it’s easy to whip up the beans in only about 15 minutes.
- Use white rice. Nothing against brown rice, but white rice cooks in about HALF the time. If you want to use brown and have a little extra time, check out this recipe for cilantro lime brown rice.
- Use canned black beans. Dry beans take HOURS to cook, but these canned beans only take 15 minutes!
How to make canned black beans CREAMY and FLAVORFUL
Some people think using canned beans results in less flavor and you lose the creamy texture, but I’ll explain how to get lots of yummy flavor and still that awesome creamy texture below!
- DRAIN and RINSE the beans. This is super important- the liquid the black beans may cause digestive unpleasantness when ingested. Draining and rinsing them well will help make sure they’re more easily digestible.
- Use lots of salt. The amount will depend on whether the canned beans you use have added salt or not, so make sure you taste them when you’re done. If it seems like it’s lacking something, add a little more salt to see if that helps.
- Use onions, fresh cilantro, and lime juice for added flavor. Lime and lemon juice has a similar purpose as salt when added to foods- it brings out the flavors of the ingredient you are using. These ingredients add fresh flavor to the beans that compliment their natural deliciousness!
- Mash a few of the beans. I recommend using a potato masher to mash the beans just a few times once they’re done cooking. This will create an awesome creamy texture. You can use a fork and mash some of the beans on the side of the pot if you don’t have a potato masher.
Are black beans good for you?
Legumes have long been touted as healthy because they are packed FULL of nutrients, fiber, and protein. Black beans in particular have many health benefits, such as keeping your bones strong and lowering your blood pressure.
But I love black beans for other reasons besides health. First of all, black beans are SUPER economical– this is a great recipe for people on a budget. To save even more money, if you have some extra time, you can cook up a batch of dry black beans in your slow cooker or instant pot and keep them in your freezer until you’re ready to make this recipe.
Finally, although I am not personally vegan, there are benefits to eating plant-based meals more frequently, especially when it comes to the planet’s health as a plant-based diet can help deter the effects of climate change.
Whether it’s for your wallet’s health, your body’s health, or the health of the earth, planning out a plant-based meal such as these Black Beans and Rice 1-2 times a week can be super beneficial!
What to serve with Black Beans and Rice
The recipe below states that it serves 4 as a full meal. If you are serving it as a side, you can likely stretch it to 8 or 10 servings. You can serve this black beans and rice with chicken or sausage or veggies- here are some recipes I recommend!
- Mexican Roasted Zucchini
- Smoky Mexican Pulled Chicken
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Watermelon Salad with Queso Fresco, Lime, and Cilantro
- Blackened Salmon from JessicaGavin.com
Other Easy Recipes that use Canned Black Beans
- Spicy Quinoa and Black Beans
- Chicken, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Stew
- Chorizo and Black Bean Huevos Rancheros
- Wild Rice and Black Bean Veggie Burgers
- Black Bean and Corn Salad
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Burgers
- Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Interested in more plant-based recipes? Check out all my Vegan Recipes!
Did you make this Quick and Easy Black Beans and Rice? Please comment below and Rate this Recipe
Quick and Easy Black Beans and Rice
For the Rice:
- To make the rice, bring water to a boil, add rice (1 cup) and kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon), stir, and simmer until cooked (about 15-20 minutes). When done, fluff with a fork, stir in the cilantro and lime juice, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- While the rice is cooking, make the beans. Sauté the diced onion in the olive oil (1 tablespoon) over medium-high heat in a medium pot until softened and beginning to brown (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add drained and rinsed black beans, cumin (1 teaspoon), kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon), and water (1 cup). Stir, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Use a potato masher to mash the beans a few times, thickening the mixture, but leaving most of the beans intact. If you don't have a potato masher, you can use a fork on the side of the pot.
- Stir in the lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro (2 tablespoons) and season with more salt if necessary.
- Serve the beans on top of the rice as a side or meal.
- Feel free to use brown rice instead of white if you prefer; be prepared to double the cooking time and pay attention to the ratio of water to rice you should use based on the instructions on the package. Basmati or other kinds of rice can also be used.
- If you don't have the fresh onion, cilantro, and/or lime juice on hand, dry pantry ingredients can be substituted. Use ground coriander and onion powder in the beans.
- For a grain-free version, substitute your favorite cauliflower rice recipe to serve the beans with.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.
This Quick and Easy Black Beans and Rice first appeared on Bowl of Delicious in October, 2017. It has been updated to include more tips and tricks, process shots, and more descriptive recipe instructions.