30+ Frugal & Tasty Rice and Beans Recipes (2024)

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you sign-up for services or make a purchase after clicking on a link below, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Also, I am not a financial advisor. I'm a blogger who LOVES to share how I manage the finances for my household.

By Kristia 6 Comments

Rice and beans are two inexpensive ingredients that people equate with frugal cooking and boring recipes.Instead, they are a tasty way to keep your grocery budget in line while adding protein and fiber to your diet.

In my kitchen, beans and rice are staples and find their way to our dinner table at least once a week. This list of recipes offers a variety of delicious ways toadd these versatile, yet inexpensive ingredients into your menu.

Home Cooked Dried Beans vs. Canned Beans:

Honestly, the cost savings of cooking beans at home are minimal. However, home-cooked beans taste better and have significantly less sodium than canned. If you have the time, I highly recommend cooking dried beans, but buying canned is pretty convenient and I use them regularly in recipes, just be sure to rinse the canned beans very well.

I go into great detail in this post,How to Cook Dry Beans, and share:

  • A cost analysis and the benefits of cooking dried beans vs. canned beans
  • Two methods to re-hydrate dried beans
  • How to cook dried beans on the stovetop
  • How to cook dried beans in the slow cooker
  • How to cook dried bean in the Instant Pot
  • How to freeze cooked beans

Long Grain Rice vs Instant Rice:

Instant rice is basically pre-cooked and you are essentially re-hydrating when you cook it at home, thus the short cooking time. On the other hand, you can save money by buying long-grain rice, but it does take longer to cook. It’s a matter of personal preference and the recipes include both types of rice. Personally, Iusually buy long grain rice and prefer Jasmine or Basmati.

30+ Rice and Beans Recipes:

1. Burrito Bowls

Burrito Bowls are so easy to pull together and a great way to jazz up leftovers. Layer the following:

  • Your favorite cooked rice
  • Your favorite beans, drained and rinsed
  • Leftover meat: taco meat, , rotisserie chicken, roasted chicken, pulled pork, or any other meat
  • your favorite toppings: lettuce, salsa, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, olives, etc


This is an easy recipe and you could mix in some cooked sausage to add meat if you desire, but not needed. I have used the leftovers to make burrito bowls (see above).


I made this recently with chicken that I found marked down. This is a delicious and hearty dinner.


Cajun Red Beans & Rice is a hearty and quick dinner. It’s also another meal that I’ve made recently with marked down sausage.


Serve this stew over rice. This is also a time saving freezer meal.


Serve this chili over your favorite rice. You can also substitute the cooked ground turkey for other forms of cooked meat, like sausage and chicken.

7. Rice and Beans Stuffed Peppersfrom The Happy Housewife

Rice and Beans Stuffed Peppers make a meatless but hearty main dish. Serve with a garden salad and your favorite homemade bread.

8. Skillet Rice and Beans with KielbasafromCheese Curd in Paradise – I stock up on kielbasa when there’s a buy one get one free promotion and keep them in the freezer. This looks easy and delicious.

9. The Frugalwoods Rice and Beans Lunch Recipe – The Frugalwoods couple makes this recipe on Sunday and they eat it all week for lunch.

10. Salsa Chicken Casserole from Budget Bytes – This easy one dish dinner looks delicious.

11. Zucchini Rice from Damn Delicious – This healthy dish looks so fresh and a great way to use up the zucchini that doesn’t seem to end.

12. Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn’s Kitchen

13. Cajun Red Beans & Rice Burgersfrom the Vegan 8.

14. No Fuss Black Beans, Chicken, and Rice from Eat Good 4 Life

15. Taco Rice Casserole from Cooking on a Dime – This recipe makes two meals – eat one now and freeze the second for later.

16. 5 Ingredient Mexican Brown Rice from Kim’s Cravings – This recipe uses minute rice and takes 15 minutes to pull together.

17. One Pan Cilantro-Lime Chicken and Rice with Black Beans from Cooking Classy – This dinner also calls for minute rice and they had me at “one pan”. It looks fresh and delicious.

18. Cheesy Baked Black Beans and Rice from Shaken Together Life – This recipe could pass as a dip…just add tortilla chips.

19. Easy Rice and Beans with Cilantro from Really, are you Serious? Did someone say easy?

20. Grilled Chicken & Black Bean Burritos from Passion for Savings

21. Vegetarian Rice and Beans Casserole from Piping Pot Curry. Cheesy goodness with brown rice and lots of veggies.

22. Chili Lime Chicken with Black Beans and Rice from Foodal. Chicken, rice, and beans may seem like a bland recipe, but there’s flavor packed in every bite.

23. One Pot Vegan, Gluten-Free Louisiana Red Beans & Rice from Strength & Sunshine.

24. Gallo Pinto Recipe (Costa Rican Rice & Beans) from Cooking the Globe.

25. Cuban Black Beans & Rice (Moros & Christianos) from Cooking the Globe. Interesting story –The name of the dish is a reference to the battles between the Islamic Moors and the Christian Spaniards that took place in Spain between 8th and 15th centuries.

26. Authentic Jamaican Rice & Peas from Cooking the Globe.

27. Turkey Taco Rice & Bean Skillet from Key to my Lime.

28. Caribean Rice & Beans from Bacon is Magic. She had me at coconut.

29. Red Beans & Rice Crockpot Recipe from Dukes & duch*esses.

30. Instant Pot Refried Beans from Easy Budget Recipes.

31. Beans + Greens from Debra Klein. Very nutritious one-pan dinner or side.

32. Zucchini Burritos with Avocado Cream Sauce from Oat & Sesame. The Avocado Cream is worth the look! Yum!

33. White Beans & Barley Soup from Sustain My Cooking Habit.

34. Leftover Ham, Rice & Beans from Food Meanderings

35. Instant Pot Rice & Beans from Cardamom & Coconut.

36. Mujadara from Little Sunny Kitchen. Mujadara is a Middle Eastern rice and lentil dish. It looks delicious.

37. Rajma Pulao from Veg Recipes of India. This dish is made with red beans, basmati rice, herbs & spices.

38. Curried Vegan Red Beans & Rice from Earth of Maria.

What is your favorite Rice & Beans recipe? Please share in the comments.

For more Rice & Beans recipes, follow me on Pinterest, where I regularly share budget-friendly recipes.

30+ Frugal & Tasty Rice and Beans Recipes (2024)


Is it healthy to eat rice and beans every day? ›

As I was getting my Masters degree in nutrition I started to see how traditional food combinations like rice and beans have been supporting people's health for thousands of years. So yes, rice and beans is healthy. In fact, there are some unique nutrition benefits to this food combination!

What to add to rice and beans for flavor? ›

I have a tip for you as someone who's been making all kinds of rice and beans since I was a teenager. Add garlic and sweet peppers to the onions when sautéing, then add tomato sauce and oregano. Cumin is optional. It'll be more authentic and flavorful.

What does Dave Ramsey mean by rice and beans? ›

Dave Ramsey - I've always used the metaphor of a beans and rice food budget. That means to cut costs and keep track of what you're spending in this major category. Some attention and intentionality goes a LONG way toward freeing up money to make HUGE progress toward paying off debt.

Can you live off rice beans and vegetables? ›

Many people in third world countries do. Rice and beans are complementary vegetables that together provide all the necessary amino acids and minerals to live on, although either alone will be deficient in some. A 50/50 mix is ideal.

How many times a week can you safely eat rice? ›

Eating rice and rice products a few times a week, which is common in Sweden, does not constitute a health risk. However adults should not eat rice and rice products (rice pudding, rice noodles and rice snacks) every day. Children should not eat rice and rice products more than four times a week.

What are the best beans for rice and beans? ›

Though red beans and rice is the best-known version of this dish, it is frequently made with other types of beans, and you can do the same if you'd like. Pink beans, white cannellini beans, even black beans will all taste great with the same basic technique.

How do you jazz up rice and beans? ›

One of my favorite ways to prepare them is with canned tomatoes, a bit of chopped onion, bit of chopped celery and lots of chopped, fresh herbs in them. Serve it over cooked rice. What are the best ways to improve a meal of beans and rice? Onion, garlic, and tamari sauce.

What is the slang for rice and beans? ›

1. second-rate, impoverished, unimpressive.

What culture eats rice and beans? ›

Whether it's Hoppin' John or Red Beans and Rice, beans and rice have been a staple pairing for thousands of years throughout African and Latino history. In Central America the bean/rice team is sometimes called matrimonio (“the marriage”).

Is rice and beans a complete food? ›

Beans alone and rice alone both lack certain essential amino acids. If eaten together, however, each contributes what the other is missing to form a complete protein. Beans-and-rice dishes are highly valued for protein in areas where animal proteins are often hard to obtain and expensive.

What single food can you survive on the longest? ›

It is argued that the single, most complete food a human needs to survive is human breast milk. Other foods may be nutritious but inevitably lack certain vitamins, minerals, etc.

What is the simplest diet you can live on? ›

The Simple Diet
  • Eat three meals each day. ...
  • Eat your heavier meals for breakfast and lunch with a lighter meal for dinner.
  • Eat two healthy protein choices at each meal or 6-8 choices per day. ...
  • Choose lots of color for each meal. ...
  • Fill in with 100% whole grain choices, 1-3 servings daily. ...
  • Drink water, tea or fat free milk.

Is there any one food you can survive on? ›

While no single food can provide all the nutrients the body needs for optimal health, potatoes are one of the more nutritionally complete options. However, relying solely on potatoes would still lead to deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals over time, so it's not a sustainable or healthy long-term strategy.

Is rice and beans healthy or unhealthy? ›

Rice and beans, a classic comfort food combo in Latino and Caribbean communities and some parts of the American South, is one of the healthiest dishes you can eat. It's rich in plant protein—12 grams per cup—and it provides nutrients that most Americans don't get enough of. Top among them is fiber.

Is it OK to eat beans every day? ›

Is it healthy to eat beans every day? Yes! "Eating beans, including canned beans, every day is one of the best things you can do to help increase nutrients [that you may fall short on] and substantially improve the quality of your diet," says Papanikolaou.

How many days is rice and beans good for? ›

Rice is best eaten as soon after cooking as possible, i.e. the next day, but generally, cooked rice, if cooled and stored correctly, lasts three to five days. The USA Rice Federation recommends only storing cooked rice leftovers for set periods: In the fridge, cooked rice leftovers may be stored for 3 to 5 days.

Is it healthy to eat beans all the time? ›

Studies show that when eaten regularly as part of a healthy diet, legumes may help to: Protect against type 2 diabetes. Improve blood sugar and blood fat control for people who have diabetes. Lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Roderick King

Last Updated:

Views: 5868

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Roderick King

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: 3782 Madge Knoll, East Dudley, MA 63913

Phone: +2521695290067

Job: Customer Sales Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Embroidery, Parkour, Kitesurfing, Rock climbing, Sand art, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Roderick King, I am a cute, splendid, excited, perfect, gentle, funny, vivacious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.