Red Beans and Rice

Rice and beans is a tasty, filling meal. And it’s inexpensive to make! The expression “I don’t know beans” means “I know very little” because beans cost so little.

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Medium-size pot with lid
  • Measuring cup
  • Can opener
  • Strainer
  • Large skillet
  • Measuring spoons
  • Pot holder
  • Fork
  • 4 bowls



  • 1 1⁄2 cups short grain brown rice, rinsed in a strainer
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1⁄2 cups water
  • 1 tomato, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed in a strainer
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves



  • To make the rice: Put the rice and water in the pot and set it on the stove. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. (You’ll know the water is boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over the surface.)
  • Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and steam for 30 minutes. Set aside, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, make the beans: Put the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium-low. When the skillet is hot, add the oil.
  • Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook until the mixture is golden, softened, and almost gooey, about 10 minutes. Add more water if it is getting too dry.
  • Add the tomato, spices, beans, salt, and remaining 1 ½ cups water and cook until the beans are very soft, 20-30 minutes.
  • Fluff the cooked rice with the fork and divide among the bowls. Top with equal amounts of the bean mixture.
  • Top with the avocado and sprinkle with cilantro (if you like).

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