30+ Frugal & Tasty Rice and Beans Recipes (2024)

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By Kristia 6 Comments

Rice and beans are two inexpensive ingredients that people equate with frugal cooking and boring recipes.Instead, they are a tasty way to keep your grocery budget in line while adding protein and fiber to your diet.

In my kitchen, beans and rice are staples and find their way to our dinner table at least once a week. This list of recipes offers a variety of delicious ways toadd these versatile, yet inexpensive ingredients into your menu.

Home Cooked Dried Beans vs. Canned Beans:

Honestly, the cost savings of cooking beans at home are minimal. However, home-cooked beans taste better and have significantly less sodium than canned. If you have the time, I highly recommend cooking dried beans, but buying canned is pretty convenient and I use them regularly in recipes, just be sure to rinse the canned beans very well.

I go into great detail in this post,How to Cook Dry Beans, and share:

  • A cost analysis and the benefits of cooking dried beans vs. canned beans
  • Two methods to re-hydrate dried beans
  • How to cook dried beans on the stovetop
  • How to cook dried beans in the slow cooker
  • How to cook dried bean in the Instant Pot
  • How to freeze cooked beans

Long Grain Rice vs Instant Rice:

Instant rice is basically pre-cooked and you are essentially re-hydrating when you cook it at home, thus the short cooking time. On the other hand, you can save money by buying long-grain rice, but it does take longer to cook. It’s a matter of personal preference and the recipes include both types of rice. Personally, Iusually buy long grain rice and prefer Jasmine or Basmati.

30+ Rice and Beans Recipes:

1. Burrito Bowls

Burrito Bowls are so easy to pull together and a great way to jazz up leftovers. Layer the following:

  • Your favorite cooked rice
  • Your favorite beans, drained and rinsed
  • Leftover meat: taco meat, , rotisserie chicken, roasted chicken, pulled pork, or any other meat
  • your favorite toppings: lettuce, salsa, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, olives, etc


This is an easy recipe and you could mix in some cooked sausage to add meat if you desire, but not needed. I have used the leftovers to make burrito bowls (see above).


I made this recently with chicken that I found marked down. This is a delicious and hearty dinner.


Cajun Red Beans & Rice is a hearty and quick dinner. It’s also another meal that I’ve made recently with marked down sausage.


Serve this stew over rice. This is also a time saving freezer meal.


Serve this chili over your favorite rice. You can also substitute the cooked ground turkey for other forms of cooked meat, like sausage and chicken.

7. Rice and Beans Stuffed Peppersfrom The Happy Housewife

Rice and Beans Stuffed Peppers make a meatless but hearty main dish. Serve with a garden salad and your favorite homemade bread.

8. Skillet Rice and Beans with KielbasafromCheese Curd in Paradise – I stock up on kielbasa when there’s a buy one get one free promotion and keep them in the freezer. This looks easy and delicious.

9. The Frugalwoods Rice and Beans Lunch Recipe – The Frugalwoods couple makes this recipe on Sunday and they eat it all week for lunch.

10. Salsa Chicken Casserole from Budget Bytes – This easy one dish dinner looks delicious.

11. Zucchini Rice from Damn Delicious – This healthy dish looks so fresh and a great way to use up the zucchini that doesn’t seem to end.

12. Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn’s Kitchen

13. Cajun Red Beans & Rice Burgersfrom the Vegan 8.

14. No Fuss Black Beans, Chicken, and Rice from Eat Good 4 Life

15. Taco Rice Casserole from Cooking on a Dime – This recipe makes two meals – eat one now and freeze the second for later.

16. 5 Ingredient Mexican Brown Rice from Kim’s Cravings – This recipe uses minute rice and takes 15 minutes to pull together.

17. One Pan Cilantro-Lime Chicken and Rice with Black Beans from Cooking Classy – This dinner also calls for minute rice and they had me at “one pan”. It looks fresh and delicious.

18. Cheesy Baked Black Beans and Rice from Shaken Together Life – This recipe could pass as a dip…just add tortilla chips.

19. Easy Rice and Beans with Cilantro from Really, are you Serious? Did someone say easy?

20. Grilled Chicken & Black Bean Burritos from Passion for Savings

21. Vegetarian Rice and Beans Casserole from Piping Pot Curry. Cheesy goodness with brown rice and lots of veggies.

22. Chili Lime Chicken with Black Beans and Rice from Foodal. Chicken, rice, and beans may seem like a bland recipe, but there’s flavor packed in every bite.

23. One Pot Vegan, Gluten-Free Louisiana Red Beans & Rice from Strength & Sunshine.

24. Gallo Pinto Recipe (Costa Rican Rice & Beans) from Cooking the Globe.

25. Cuban Black Beans & Rice (Moros & Christianos) from Cooking the Globe. Interesting story –The name of the dish is a reference to the battles between the Islamic Moors and the Christian Spaniards that took place in Spain between 8th and 15th centuries.

26. Authentic Jamaican Rice & Peas from Cooking the Globe.

27. Turkey Taco Rice & Bean Skillet from Key to my Lime.

28. Caribean Rice & Beans from Bacon is Magic. She had me at coconut.

29. Red Beans & Rice Crockpot Recipe from Dukes & duch*esses.

30. Instant Pot Refried Beans from Easy Budget Recipes.

31. Beans + Greens from Debra Klein. Very nutritious one-pan dinner or side.

32. Zucchini Burritos with Avocado Cream Sauce from Oat & Sesame. The Avocado Cream is worth the look! Yum!

33. White Beans & Barley Soup from Sustain My Cooking Habit.

34. Leftover Ham, Rice & Beans from Food Meanderings

35. Instant Pot Rice & Beans from Cardamom & Coconut.

36. Mujadara from Little Sunny Kitchen. Mujadara is a Middle Eastern rice and lentil dish. It looks delicious.

37. Rajma Pulao from Veg Recipes of India. This dish is made with red beans, basmati rice, herbs & spices.

38. Curried Vegan Red Beans & Rice from Earth of Maria.

What is your favorite Rice & Beans recipe? Please share in the comments.

For more Rice & Beans recipes, follow me on Pinterest, where I regularly share budget-friendly recipes.

30+ Frugal & Tasty Rice and Beans Recipes (2024)


Is it OK to eat rice and beans everyday? ›

Yes, you can eat rice and beans every day. Many people in third world countries do. Rice and beans are complementary vegetables that together provide all the necessary amino acids and minerals to live on, although either alone will be deficient in some. A 50/50 mix is ideal.

What does Dave Ramsey mean by rice and beans? ›

Dave Ramsey - I've always used the metaphor of a beans and rice food budget. That means to cut costs and keep track of what you're spending in this major category. Some attention and intentionality goes a LONG way toward freeing up money to make HUGE progress toward paying off debt.

Is rice and beans healthy for weight loss? ›

The high satiety factors of rice and beans can help you lose weight or stay at a healthy weight over time. Satiety measures how satisfying a food is to eat and how long it keeps you full. Satiety is vital in maintaining a healthy weight.

What meat goes with rice and beans? ›

Grilled Chicken

If you wonder what meat goes with red beans and rice, there is just nothing better than a juicy grilled chicken. This is not just any grilled chicken, it's juicy. It's flavorful. The secret for this recipe lies in the technique and the marinade!

What does rice and beans do to your body? ›

Just one cup of beans and rice provides 12 grams of complete protein, 10 grams of fiber and loads of essential vitamins and minerals recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including B-6, vitamin E, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

How many times a week can you safely eat rice? ›

Eating rice and rice products a few times a week, which is common in Sweden, does not constitute a health risk. However adults should not eat rice and rice products (rice pudding, rice noodles and rice snacks) every day. Children should not eat rice and rice products more than four times a week.

What's the difference between beans and rice and rice and beans? ›

In Belize there is no doubt that rice and beans and beans and rice are totally different culinary experiences. Rice and beans is a one pot dish-usually white rice and kidney beans cooked together with onions, garlic, and a touch of recado and coconut oil. Beans and rice, on the other hand, is another animal entirely.

What is it called when rice and beans are cooked together? ›

Congri is traditionally made with red beans in some Latin American countries and black beans in Cuba. The difference between congri and your basic black beans and rice dish is that everything here is cooked together.

What is rice and beans called? ›

Gallopinto, the rice-and-beans combination, is known by many names across Latin America, some charming like casamiento (wedding) others rather dated and decidedly politically incorrect like moros y cristianos (Moors and Christians).

What are the best beans for weight loss? ›

Many do not consider beans healthy when following a low carb diet as it is high in carbohydrates. However, along with carbs, beans also contain fiber (mostly soluble), which can help lower cholesterol level. Black beans, kidney beans, navy beans are the ones considered best for weight loss plan.

Is it OK to eat rice and beans for breakfast? ›

In fact, rice and beans is a popular breakfast combination in many parts of Latin America. Eating leftover rice and beans for breakfast is an easy way to reduce meal prep time. It's also a great way to increase overall vegetable intake, since you can serve a breakfast rice and beans meal with avocado, salsa, and more.

What is the best rice for weight loss? ›

Brown rice is the most recommended variety for those hoping to lose weight. Loaded with dietary fibre, brown rice boosts metabolism and has 111 calories for every 100 grams.

What are the best beans for rice and beans? ›

Though red beans and rice is the best-known version of this dish, it is frequently made with other types of beans, and you can do the same if you'd like. Pink beans, white cannellini beans, even black beans will all taste great with the same basic technique.

What does adding butter to red beans do? ›

And if you love cooking red beans, you probably have a favorite kind of fat that adds the dimension, flavor and creaminess you can't live without. For many, it's butter — with its rich, creamy dairy flavor, it feels good in your mouth and makes other flavors taste better, too.

What is the best meat to use in beans? ›

Ham hock, bacon, or a bit of sausage are good options for building a foundation of flavor for beans. If it's sausage or bacon, you'll want to cook it through before adding it to the pot.

How many days is rice and beans good for? ›

Cooked rice lasts no longer than three to four days in the refrigerator. According to my colleagues at Cook's Illustrated, all brown and white rice contains a spore-forming bacteria called Bacillus cereus.

Can I live off of rice and beans? ›

Yes, you can eat rice and beans every day. Many people in third world countries do. Rice and beans are complementary vegetables that together provide all the necessary amino acids and minerals to live on, although either alone will be deficient in some. A 50/50 mix is ideal.

Can eating too much beans cause gout? ›

Most physicians would recommend cutting overall purine intake from the diet, and a lot of the focus is on beans and soya. In fact, research shows that vegetarian purines and soy are not linked with the risk of high uric acid or gout. Only animal purines, including organ meats, are related to hyperuricemia and gout.


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