Vegan black beans and rice is a classic dish that’s easy to make, healthy, filling and versatile. Enjoy as is, served with avocado and salsa or added to tacos, salads and burritos. This recipe is gluten-free and oil-free.

A bowl of rice and beans topped with avocado and salsa.

Ingredient Notes

  • Use any kind of beans. The recipe is for black beans but you can also use small red beans, kidney beans or pinto beans. Canned beans or beans cooked from scratch both work well.
  • Use white or brown rice. I like this recipe best with short-grain brown rice but any kind of rice works!
  • Customize the veggies. This recipe is easily adjustable to whatever fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand. Some good choices include zucchini, any colour of bell peppers, any onion variety, jalapeno, tomato and corn.
  • Adjust the spices. For more heat, add a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes. For a smoky flavor, add a pinch of chipotle powder or smoked paprika. For Cajun-inspired rice and beans, use a Cajun seasoning mix.
  • Add more protein. Try mixing in chopped vegan sausage or tempeh crumbles for extra protein.
A bell pepper, jalapeno, bulb of garlic, onion and cilantro on a cutting board.

How to Make this Recipe

If you don’t already have cooked rice on hand, start by getting that going. White rice takes 5-15 minutes to cook and brown rice may take up to 45 minutes, depending on the variety you use.

Cook the Veggies and Spices

While the rice is cooking, start sauteing the onion, garlic, bell peppers and jalapeno. Once they’re soft and fragrant, stir in the herbs and spices.

I used cumin, chili powder, and oregano but if you’re missing once, just add what you have. Paprika works well if you’re missing chili powder, however, I’d reduce it to 1/2 tsp.

Quick Tip: If you don’t have any jalapeno on hand, try canned green chilis or add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne for some heat.

Diced bell peppers, onions and garlic in a large skillet.
Diced bell peppers, onions and garlic cooking in a large skillet.

Add Black Beans, Broth and Rice

Next, add the beans and vegetable broth. You can use black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans or small red beans. I like black beans and kidney beans best. A mixture of beans works too!

If you’re using canned beans, drain them and give them a good rinse before using in the recipe.

Quick Tip: No vegetable broth on hand? Water works just fine. You can always add a little extra salt and pepper at the end, if needed.

Let the beans, veggies and broth simmer for 5-6 minutes then stir in the cooked rice. Mix it up and then let it sit in the pan for a few minutes so it browns a little on the bottom. Scrape the browned bits back into the mix….yum!

A large scoop of brown rice being added to a skillet of beans and veggies.

Season and Enjoy!

Finally, add the cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Rice and beans with veggies and cilantro in a large skillet.

How to Serve

The recipe is full of flavor on its own but even better with toppings like:

  • avocado
  • salsa
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • vegan sour cream
  • grated vegan cheese

The mixture also makes a wonderful addition to tacos, burritos, bowls and salads. Try it paired with avocado in sour cream in a rice and bean burrito or piled into corn tortillas and topped with your favorite taco fillings.

A bowl of rice and beans topped with avocado and salsa.

If you already have cooked rice on hand, this recipe comes together in about 15 minutes. It’s vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, sugar-free and easily customizable based on whatever you have available.

Nutrition Note: This recipe is essentially fat-free, contains 10 grams of protein and fiber per serving and is a good source of vitamin C, iron, B vitamins, and magnesium.

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A bowl of rice and beans topped with avocado and salsa.

Black Beans and Rice

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

This easy black beans and rice recipe is customizable, healthy, filling and budget-friendly!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion, diced (approx. 1.5 cups or 170 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (approx. 3 tbsp minced or 25 g)
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (I used one red and one green, approx. 2 cups diced)
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced (approx. 3 tbsp minced)
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cooked white or brown rice (approx. 1 cup uncooked rice)
  • 2 x 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed (approx. 3 cups, sub kidney beans, pinto beans or small red beans)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and bell peppers to the pan along with 2 tbsp of water.
  3. Cook for 6-7 minutes until the veggies are soft and fragrant.
  4. Add the cumin, oregano and chili powder and stir to combine. Add another 1-2 tbsp of water if the pan is drying out. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Add the beans and vegetable broth and stir to combine. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
  6. Add the rice, stir to combine and cook for a few more minutes until heated through and starting to brown on the bottom.
  7. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt, pepper and lime juice, to taste.
  8. Serve right away topped with avocado, crushed tortilla chips, salsa and/or vegan sour cream or use in tacos, burritos or salads. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

Regardless of the veggies and type of beans and rice you use, start by sauteing the veggies, then add beans and some broth, then mix in the rice and that’s it. All veggies can be sauteed at the beginning unless you’re adding corn or a leafy green like spinach, stir those in at the end with the brown rice.

If you don’t have any jalapeno on hand, try canned green chilis or add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne for some heat.

Keywords: easy, vegetarian, black beans, plant-based