Top | Vegetarian Main Dishes

Rice and Beans

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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Rice and beans are the focus of a long-time favorite post on Culinate, and for good reason: it's a reliably simple dish that lends itself to interpretation (and the contents of your fridge). When I cook dried beans, I freeze the surplus for future meals like this one.


  1. 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  2. ½ yellow onion, chopped
  3. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  4. 1 tsp. dried oregano
  5. 4 cups cooked pinto or black beans, with cooking broth
  6. 1 Tbsp. chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped
  7. Salt and pepper
  8. 4 cups cooked brown rice (see Note)
  9. 1 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  10. 1 cup Tomato-Avocado Salsa or store-bought salsa
  11. ½ cup fresh cilantro (optional)
  12. Warm corn tortillas for serving (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, cumin, and oregano, and sauté over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion is soft and beginning to brown. Add the cooked beans and about 1 cup of cooking broth or water, along with the chipotle pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (make the rice, grate the cheese, wash and dry the cilantro, etc.)
  2. Season the beans to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve: Divide the warm rice into bowls. Top with the cooked beans, grated cheese, salsa, and fresh cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas if you like.


More often than not, I cook rice by the "boil it like pasta" method: Fill a large saucepan with water and a big pinch of salt, bring the water to a boil, then add rice (I never measure, I pour it from a jar until it looks like enough). Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the rice is almost done, not crunchy but not quite soft, "al dente" (you have to taste it to know). At this point, drain the rice, then return it to the saucepan and cover it with a lid. Let it steam for five to 10 minutes, then fluff it with a fork and serve.