This zesty Spanish rice and beans cooks up in one-pot in under 30 minutes! Packed with flavor, spices, and studded with juicy green olives. Perfect for a weeknight main or a hearty side dish.
Rice and beans are one of my go-to easy dinner recipes, but I guess you wouldn’t know it to look at the collection of recipes on this site. Oh, I’ve got a bunch of rice and bean recipes (check out my jambalaya, Cuban rice and beans, and Brazilian rice and bean bowls), but nothing so quick and unfussy as my typical weeknight rice and beans.
Normally, when I’m throwing rice and beans together on a busy night, the entire dish happens in one pot and takes no more than 30 minutes from finish to start.
I’ll season the dish up in any number of ways, depending on what kind of mood I’m in and what ingredients I’ve got on hand, but it always pretty much comes together the way this particular recipe does. Let’s talk about how it’s done!
What You’ll Need
- Olive oil. You can substitute any high-heat oil, but olive will give your rice and beans the best flavor.
- Red bell pepper. Orange, yellow, or even green bell pepper will work in a pinch.
- Spices. We’re using cumin, paprika, and oregano.
- Vegetable broth. I really like Better Than Bouillon in Roasted Vegetable flavor.
- Basmati rice. Yes, I know this isn’t the most authentic choice, but it works really well! You can substitute another variety of white long grain rice if needed.
- Kidney beans. We’re using canned (or precooked) beans.
- Tomato paste.
- Salt & pepper.
- Green olives. Go for the pimento-stuffed ones. You can also leave them out if they’re not your thing.
- Fresh cilantro. Leave this out or sub parsley if you’re a cilantro-hater.
How to Make Spanish Rice and Beans
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you’d prefer to skip right to the recipe!
- Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat. Add diced onion and bell pepper. Cook the veggies for a few minutes, until they begin to soften up.
- Add your garlic and spices. Continue cooking everything for another minute or so, until the mixture becomes very fragrant. Watch the pot closely and stir it frequently to prevent burning.
- Stir in the broth, rice, beans, and tomato paste.
- Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring continuously until the tomato paste dissolves.
- Cover the pot and lower the heat. Let the rice cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Tip: If you haven’t cooked much rice and don’t have a feel for the time and temperature it takes, use a pot with a glass lid. This will enable you to watch the rice and tell when it’s done.
- Let the pot sit for about 5 minutes with the lid on when it’s done cooking. Then uncover and stir in your salt, olives, and cilantro.
Shelf-Life & Storage
Leftover Spanish rice and beans will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Black or pinto beans would be great in this recipe.
This dish is very mild, but flavorful. Want some heat? Add cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce to taste.
You can use most common rice varieties, but I like basmati best. If you plan on using something different, you’ll need to adjust the cook time and the amount of liquid. Refer to the package instructions for your rice.
Yes, but if you do, you’ll need to soak and precook them. Try this method. You’ll need about 1 ¾ cups of cooked kidney beans.
More Vegan Rice Recipes
- Vegan Fried Rice
- Vegan Mushroom Risotto
- Coconut Rice
- Creamy Vegan Rice Pudding
- Vegan “Chicken” & Rice Soup
- Roasted Vegetable Biryani with Baked Tofu
One-Pot Spanish Rice & Beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 ¼ cups vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups basmati rice
- 1 (15 ounce or 400 gram) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt to taste (I used ½ teaspoon)
- 1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, halved
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pepper softens a bit and the onion becomes translucent.
- Stir in the garlic, cumin, paprika, and oregano. Cook for about 1 minute more, until the mixture becomes very fragrant.
- Add the broth, rice, beans, and tomato paste. Turn up the heat to high and stir to fully dissolve the tomato paste.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, and then lower the heat so that it’s just at a low simmer.
- Cover the pot and allow it to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rice is tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes with the lid on.
- Remove the lid and season the rice with salt to taste. Stir in the olives and cilantro.