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Quick and Easy Rice and Beans

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  • Prep 5 min
  • Total 30 min
  • Servings 4
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This rich dish is ready in a jiffy. Inspired by Cuban rice and beans.
by: Sarah Walker Caron
Updated Aug 4, 2016
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  • 4 slices raw bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 can small red beans
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/2 lime, cut into four wedges


  • 1
    Heat a large skillet over medium heat on the stove. Once it's good and hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon from the skillet to a paper-towel lined plate with a slotted spoon.
  • 2
    Add the red pepper and garlic to the pan and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften (3-5 minutes). Add the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and stir well again. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down.
  • 3
    Stir in the small red beans. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
  • 4
    Stir in the rice until well combined. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.
  • 5
    Serve immediately with wedges of lime for squeezing over.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • 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.
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