10 Ways to Prepare Rice and Beans

Rice and beans are pretty much a staple in food storage, but it you think you can only dump the beans on top of the rice, you’re in for a surprise. There’s so much more you can do with those delicious staple foods!

Let’s take a look at how to prepare beans and rice in a variety of ways. Of course, you’ll need a few extra ingredients, but you should have those on hand anyway.

Bean and Rice Soup

If that plate of legumes and grains just looks too boring, why not turn it into a soup? With the addition of meat (you can use any meat or even skip it), you can have a nice, warming dish that will help fill your family up even when they’re sick of rice and beans.

Who doesn’t love a good soup, after all?

Grillable Veggie Burger

Dreaming of a burger at the end of days and you only have rice, beans, and a few condiments and stale bread left? No worries, just whip up this surprisingly tasty burger that you can cook up over your open fire! It’s a simple meal, but if you’re currently sick of the staples, this is the perfect alternative to yet another plate of plain rice and beans.

Mexican Bean and Rice Salad

Of course, you probably think of Mexican food when you think of beans and rice, but this dish takes those flavors and meshes them all together in a wonderful blend. You’ll find that even your kids will love this salad (especially if served with nachos!). I know mine do.

If you do have fresh vegetables, I’d suggest you go ahead and make this a full on salad, by adding it atop a pile of lettuce.

Sloppy Joe Beans (and rice)

Photo credit to https://www.acouplecooks.com

This recipe actually doesn’t include the rice, but I like to make it and then instead of putting it in a bun, I spoon the sloppy joe mixture over rice. It’s SO good and that sauce just makes everything taste amazing, plus it’s pretty healthy overall.

Alternatively, you could make it up with rice in the mixture and spoon it into a bun, but if you don’t have fresh bread on hand, you’ll be sitting pretty.

Also, Sloppy Joes are super kid friendly, even if they aren’t very clothing friendly! You can’t go wrong with this option and let me tell you, my kids don’t even mind that I replace the usual meat with beans, so it’s worth it


Rice and Bean Fritters

Looking for a quick and easy way to whip something up for lunch out of the same darn ingredients? Here’s a recipe that perfectly suits your needs. It does call for cheeese, but you can try making it with just the egg if that’s all you have. The cheese just adds more flavor and a bit of “stick togetherness.”

Keep in mind that these fritters tend to be more rice than bean, but they’re a good option for tuckinginto a sandwich still, with your favorite burger toppings.

Asian-Style Fried Rice and Beans

Image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

For something even more out of the box, you might want to try this Asian-style fried rice that uses garbanzo beans or chickpeas as the legume in the dish. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it, though. If you don’t have chickpeas, you can use something else . .. whatever beans you might have on hand.

Chickpeas do tend to hold up to mixing a little better than most beans, so keep that in mind if you are replacing them.

You can also switch out the veggies in this recipe with whatever you happen to have on hand.


Black Bean Empanadas and Spanish Rice

This recipe is technically two, since it adds a side dish. However, we just can’t pass up a good empanada, so this had to go on the list!

Adding Spanish rice makes this empanada a full meal and the actual pastry includes black beans (or whatever color of beans you wish to use). You can also add some meat if you wish and if you have it, but the dish is pretty much perfect as is.

Fried Red Beans and Rice Balls

It will take a few of these to make a meal, but for a snack, they’re terrific. The crunch of the fried rice, with the flavor imparted by the sausage, makes these balls a true delight. They do call for a packaged mix, but you can substitute your own rice and beans with some creole seasoning on top.

As long as you have oil for frying, you can whip these up in no time. It’s even possible to replace the sausage with just about anything else you might fancy.

Rice and Bean Tacos

beans and rice taco
Image courtesy of Food.com

There’s nothing like a good taco and these ones are particularly tasty. You just need a handful of ingredients to turn ordinary food into something extraordinary. These tacos may not look amazing, but they definitely taste great.

In our house, tacos are a huge delicacy and my kids will eat nearly anything in the form of a taco, so it makes sense to put these two ingredients together. Add in a few other things and pop it all in a tortilla to make a delicious meal that everyone in the house will enjoy.

Cheesy Rice and Bean Dip

This barely qualifies as a meal, but if you serve it with nacho chips, bread, or tortillas, it can quickly become a light lunch. The rice and beans help make it more filling and the cheese adds more flavor than the average rice and bean option.

This dip is delicious! If you can’t finish it up in one go (very unlikely), you can have some leftovers for the middle of the night snacking.

What’s your favorite way to eat rice and beans?

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