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Spanish Rice and Beans

5 from 5 votes

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Vegan Spanish Rice and Beans is an easy one-pot dish that comes together in just 35 minutes! It’s a tasty main or side dish that’s perfect for weeknight meals!

Spanish rice and beans in a black bowl with striped napkin, bottle of hot sauce, fresh cilantro, and pan of rice and beans in the background.

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I love quick and easy meals. Especially those made in one pot, making for easy cleanup!

This rice and beans recipe is one of those easy and delicious plant based meals. It’s loved by kids and adults alike. And it’s made with budget friendly pantry staples in just about a half hour. That’s likely quicker than you can drive to fast food restaurant and return with takeout!

And it’s so much healthier than takeout! This vegetarian recipe is a great source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin C, iron, and folate. And it’s completely oil free, dairy free, and gluten free.

This recipe is perfect for meal prep! Just divide the Spanish rice into individual meal sized containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Ingredients needed for this recipe

Below are the ingredients needed for this recipe. The specific measurements are included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, along with nutrition facts.

Labeled ingredients for Spanish beans and rice.
  • Uncooked rice – I used long grain white rice. Jasmine rice or basmati rice are also great options. You can use long grain brown rice; it’s healthier, but the cooking time will be longer.
  • Kidney beans – canned beans are fine, but you can also cook your beans from dry. Other beans like black beans or pinto beans are good substitutions.
  • Onion – I used a yellow onion, but white is good too!
  • Red bell pepper – this adds a bit of sweetness to the rice and beans.
  • Garlic – lots of garlic for flavor!
  • Canned tomatoes – I like to use canned petite diced tomatoes. For an extra depth of flavor, used canned fire roasted diced tomatoes.
  • Vegetable broth – you can use homemade vegetable stock, store bought veggie broth, or dissolve some vegetable bouillon in some water.
  • Spices – chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, and salt. If you want to add a bit of smokey flavor, use smoked paprika. If you want a bit more spice, add a little cayenne pepper to taste. You can also add some dried oregano, if you like.

How to make this recipe

Place the rice in a bowl of cool water and let it soak for about 10 minutes while you chop the vegetables. Drain the rice and discard the water. This removes some of the starch so the rice will be less sticky.

Diced onion and red bell pepper in a stainless steel skillet.
Garlic and spices added to sauteed onion and bell pepper in a stainless steel skill.
Garlic and spices stirred into peppers and onions in stainless steel skillet.

Heat a large skillet or pot with a fitted lid over medium heat until hot. Add the diced onions and peppers, and saute until the onions are translucent.

Next, add the garlic and spices and saute for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant.

Rice, broth, and tomatoes added to stainless steel skillet.
Cooked beans and rice in a stainless steel skillet before stirring.
Overhead shot of Spanish rice and beans in a stainless steel skillet.

Add rice, veggie broth, and tomatoes to the pan. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to the stove’s lowest temperature, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Different rices will take different amount of time to cook. Do not remove the lid or stir the rice when it is cooking.

If you’re using brown rice, increase the cooking time to 40 minutes.

Once the rice is done, stir in the kidney beans. If desired, garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley, sliced avocado, green olives, or green onion. My Dairy Free Sour Cream or my Vegan Cheddar Cheese would also be tasty toppings for this rice.

Closeup image of Spanish rice and beans in a black bowl.

What to eat with vegan Spanish rice and beans

Rice with beans can be eaten as a meal on its own. This recipe contains protein and fiber from the beans, carbohydrates from the rice, and vitamins and minerals from the vegetables.

Although it is not necessary to combine foods in a single meal to create complete proteins, the beans and the rice complement each other and provide all the essential amino acids for a complete protein.

This recipe would be a delicious side for any of these recipes:

Spanish rice and beans inn stainless steel skillet with bottle of hot sauce and striped napkin in the backgroung.

Frequently asked questions:

Is Spanish rice and beans healthy?

This bean and rice recipe is high in B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, folate, and protein. It is also made without oil, making it low in fat. When combined, beans and rice contain all of the essential amino acids, making this dish a source of complete protein.

How to store leftovers

Store leftover Spanish rice and beans in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can be reheated in the microwave, stirring at 30 second intervals.

Can I freeze beans and rice?

This recipe freezes very well, making it a great recipe for meal prep! Place the rice and beans in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Spanish rice and beans in a black bowl with striped napkin, bottle of hot sauce, fresh cilantro, and pan of rice and beans in the background.

Here are more plant based rice recipes:

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Rice and beans garnished with cilantro in a black bowl.

Spanish Rice and Beans

Teresa Sklenicka
Vegan Spanish Rice and Beans is an easy one-pot dish that comes together in just 35 minutes! It's a tasty main or side dish that's perfect for weeknight meals!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Spanish Inspired
Servings 6
Calories 317.1 kcal


  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans rinsed and drained


  • Heat a large stainless steel skillet to medium high heat. Add the diced onion and red bell pepper and saute until the onion is translucent. Use a bit of water or vegetable broth to deglaze the pan when the vegetables stick.
  • Add the garlic and spices and saute for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the rice, vegetable broth, and diced tomatoes. Stir together, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Stir and check to make sure the rice is cooked. If it's not quite done, simmer for a few more minutes, adding a bit more broth or water, if necessary. Taste for seasoning at this time, adding more spice if preferred.
  • Stir in the kidney beans and garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.


Serving: 336gCalories: 317.1kcalCarbohydrates: 66.8gProtein: 9.4gFat: 1.1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 448mgPotassium: 407.75mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5.8gVitamin A: 124.07IUVitamin C: 53.15mgCalcium: 69.6mgIron: 3.8mg
Keyword Beans, Oil Free, Quick & Easy, Rice, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on January 28th, 2023

About Teresa Sklenicka

I love creating tasty, oil-free, vegan recipes that everyone will love (even non-vegans)! Here you'll find vegan versions of your favorite comfort foods, as well as some new tastes! Join me on a path to improving your health, helping the planet, and saving animals.

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5 thoughts on “Spanish Rice and Beans”

  1. Thank you! My recipe calls for browning the rice in oil and your idea to soak the rice to get rid of the starch takes care of that! This is on my list to make today!

  2. 5 stars
    It’s absolutely delicious!!
    I use pinto beans instead of kidney beans it’s just so flavorful I haven’t had Spanish rice in a long time we used to make it and put meat in it
    Thanks for sharing

  3. 5 stars
    When I try a recipe for the first time, I make it “as is”. That’s precisely what I did, including adding the cayenne. It was the perfect comfort dish on a cold winter evening. It was delicious and filling. Thank you for this recipe.


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