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Quick and Easy Rice and Beans
Rice and beans is one of those iconic dishes that is made a thousand ways by different families, different cultures, different regions. And there are so many great variations out there.
My version is fast, flavorful and absolutely delicious. Inspired by a classic dish, it’s filled with tomatoes, red peppers and red beans and has a nice little smokiness.
But first, I want you to know that I make no claims as to the authenticity of this rice and beans. It’s inspired by Cuban rice and beans, but I took big liberties with it. So, don’t expect it to be just like that fab bowl that you had at the uber-authentic Cuban place. Do expect it to be really amazingly delicious on its own though.
My Quick and Easy Rice and Beans starts like so many other good things: with bacon.
Four slices, chopped (yes, while they are raw). The easiest way to do it is to freeze the whole pound and cut off (against the slices) 4 pieces that are ¼-inch thick. That way, they are easily chopped and you have that pound in the freezer to cut off ¼-inch thick pieces whenever you need a slice for a recipe.
Once the fat is rendered, you remove the bacon and add the red pepper and garlic. Now, if I wanted this to be more authentic, I would add an onion too, but my husband hates onions like you wouldn’t believe, so I leave it out – and the recipe is great without it. Feel free to add 1 small chopped one though if you are so inclined.
Once that all starts to soften, you add the tomatoes and seasonings and let it cook a bit to break down the tomatoes. Finally, the beans go in and you cover it. Let it cook for 10 minutes, stir in the rice and re-season as needed.
That’s it. It’s ready to go with a lime wedge. I serve it with chicken breasts, and a salad. My husband also likes to add a few tortilla chips to the mix as well, but that’s totally up to you.
Rice and Beans Recipes
If you like rice and beans, here are more variations to try:
Spicy Black Beansand Rice
Rice and Bean Roll-Ups
Wild Rice and Bean Salad
Grilled Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Peppers
Rice and Bean Bake
Featured Recipe: Quick and Easy Rice and Beans
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah’s Cucina Bella.