Red beans and rice

A plate of rice with beans and vegetables
Recipe credit

USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

About this recipe

Serving size
1/4 of the recipe
Time to make
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes; Preparation time: 15 minutes


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (cored, seeded, and chopped)
  • 1 1/2 ounces water
  • 1 fresh tomato (coarsely chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans 15.5 ounce low-sodium red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 avocado (peeled, pitted and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped, optional)


To prepare the rice:

  1. Put the rice and water in the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. 
  2. Turn the heat down to low and cook, covered, until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.

To prepare the beans:

  1. Place the large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the oil. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook until the mixture is golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato, salt, cumin, beans, and water and cook until the beans are very soft, about 20–30 minutes.
  3. Divide the cooked rice among 4 bowls or plates, and top with equal amounts of the bean mixture.
  4. Top with avocado and sprinkle with cilantro, if using.
  5. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Tips and variations

  • For a less expensive option, leave out the avocado.
  • Instead of brown rice, try quinoa, barley, or farro.
  • Add cayenne pepper if more spice is desired.

Nutritional info

Total fat
10 g
Saturated fat
2 g
0 mg
420 mg
Total carbohydrates
77 g
Dietary fiber
18 g
17 g
Total sugar
8 g