Easy Mexican Black Beans and Rice

$4.78 recipe / 0.80 per serving

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

Beans and Rice are a go-to staple for families on a budget. Whether you want a side dish or a meatless meal, this dish is easy on a budget while loaded with flavor.

Today’s Pantry Essentials: Beans and Rice

Rice and beans are both cheap and easy fillers for many dishes. Used as a stand-alone side or mixed in with a protein, beans and rice are virtually flavorless and able to take on the flavors of whatever they are cooked with.

Benefits to Beans and Rice

Meatless meals are another great way to pinch some pennies every week or during a season. Beans provide a high concentration of protein and help keep you feeling full longer than you would without them. Likewise, rice is a starch that provides fast-acting carbohydrates, giving you energy when you need it.

Most children will eat rice and beans without a problem as well. When introducing new foods or eating on a budget, try to include at least one item on their plate that they will enjoy eating. Keeping a bag of rice and cans of beans on hand in the pantry really comes in handy when you need to stretch a meal or a dollar further.

Ingredients Needed

Beans and Rice ingredients

Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.

  • Rice: Any variety you have will work. You can use leftover cooked rice as well.
  • Beans: I used black beans but use what you have.
  • Diced Tomatoes: If using cooked rice, drain any excess liquid from the can.
  • Water: For extra flavor, you can add broth.
  • Vegetables: Bell pepper and onion if you have it. Fresh garlic is key to this flavorful dish.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, and onion powder.
  • Extras: Cheese, shredded cabbage, cilantro, salsa, and sour cream all make great toppings if available.

Recipe Variations

  • Use any canned beans or rice you have.
  • Make it in a slow cooker! Add all the ingredients together in the slow cooker and cook on low for about 3 hours. If using any uncooked rice besides white, add an extra 1/2 cup of liquid.
  • Saute vegetables and seasonings in oil. The heat releases fragrance and infuses the oil during the sauting process, making your food more flavorful than just boiling or using raw vegetables.

Tips for good food on a budget!

Use good quality seasonings. While buying in bulk can sometimes save you money, buying better quality seasonings often means you need to use less in your recipes.


This is an overview of the instructions. For complete directions, scroll down to the bottom.

  1. Saute the vegetables and seasonings in a small pot with oil.
  2. Add the liquid to deglaze the pot.
  3. Add the beans and rice, stirring to combine before bringing to a boil and cooking per rice instructions.
how to make black beans and rice

How to store and love your leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Leftover rice and beans can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Once the dish is completely cooled, vacuum seal or store in sandwich bag portions (for easy lunches or side dishes) for up to 6 months!
  • Reheat: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight if possible. Rice and beans can be reheated on the stovetop over medium-low heat with a few Tablespoons of water. It can also be microwaved on high in 1-minute increments, alongside a mug of water. The steam created will prevent the rice from drying out.

Use leftovers from this recipe as a base for tacos!


Are rice and beans healthy?

I live by “everything in moderation” and to diversify your nutrition as much as possible. That being said, beans are high in protein and given that beans and rice are often flavored with spices and not things like sugar, yes it is considered healthy.

Where did beans and rice originate?

Beans and rice originated from Haiti in the late 1700s. You’ll see many variations of rice and beans having Spanish or European influence. African cultures also have used this combination for centuries as a staple in recipes.

overhead image of mexican beans and rice

Serve with

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  • Spanish Style Chicken Breasts
  • Steak Fajitas
  • Seared Shrimp Skewers

Use this recipe as a substitute (or addition) for rice in these recipes:

Taco Bowl

Spanish Sweet Potatoes

Spanish Beans and Rice Stew

Hey, if you want to catch all my videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. You’ll be notified each time I share a new video!

If you love this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating! 

Easy Mexican Black Beans and Rice

A quick and easy meatless meal or side dish that the whole family can enjoy.
Katie Chase
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Recipe Cost $4.78
Recipe Servings 6 people


  • small pot with lid
  • wooden spoon
  • fine mesh strainer
  • can opener


  • 1 cup white rice (0.20) uncooked
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (0.11)
  • 1 bell pepper (0.86) any color, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves (0.41) minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt (0.04)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (0.08)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (0.16)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (0.04)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (0.03)
  • 1 cup water (0.00)
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes (0.96) in juice
  • 15 ounces black beans (0.78) drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese (1.11) shredded


  • Rinse the uncooked rice in a fine mesh strainer under running water until water runs clear. Set aside. Repeat with beans.
  • In a small pot heat olive oil over medium heat and saute the pepper for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and seasonings. Heat 30 seconds more.
  • Add the water and canned tomatoes with juice. Give a good stir with a wooden spoon and loosen any stuck-on seasonings.
  • Add the rinsed rice and beans to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Top with cheese if desired and cover once more to melt. Add any toppings for individual servings.


If using pre-cooked rice, omit the water and simply heat through once all ingredients are combined. 
Disclaimer: Please note all serving sizes, pricing, and nutrition is an estimate based on 2023-2024 pricing and nutrition guides. For accuracy please do your own calculations.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating