Beans and Rice gets a flavorful makeover with a satisfying blend of fiesta flavors in a simple creamy tomato sauce! This dish reminds me of a "fully-loaded" version of Spanish Rice! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
Let's bring it back to basics with beans and rice!
Except this simple dish gets an exciting flavor-packed makeover.
We combine tender black beans and brown rice with a medley of colorful vegetables. Then it's simmered in a creamy, cheesy, tomato sauce spiked with my homemade taco seasoning blend.
It reminds me of a "fully-loaded" version of Mexican Rice!
Ingredients for Fiesta Rice
For this recipe you will combine in a large skillet or pan:
- Brown rice: I use long-grain brown basmati rice for this recipe. But you can also use white rice, jasmine rice, etc.
- Yellow onion: Or use white onion, red onion, or sweet onion if desired.
- Bell pepper: I use orange bell pepper, but yellow, green bell pepper, or red bell pepper work great too.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Or substitute with dried garlic powder.
- Taco seasoning: I use my homemade taco seasoning blend for this recipe, but simply use your own favorite. My mixture combines warm, bold flavors like chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, onion, garlic, and oregano.
- Tomato sauce: This comes in a 15 ounce can. (Be sure to use plain tomato sauce not marinara.)
- Nutritional yeast: This gives the sauce more richness with a cheesy, savory taste.
- Black beans: Or you can substitute another bean such as pinto beans or kidney beans if desired.
- Sweet corn: Either use canned, frozen corn kernels, fire-roasted corn, or freshly cooked corn.
- Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes: I like these because they are so sweet and flavorful. But simply substitute roma tomatoes or other ripe garden tomatoes if desired.
Make it spicy: Stir in chili powder, red pepper flakes, jalapeno, chipotle in adobo sauce, or simply top with hot sauce to taste.
Make it "meaty": Stir in your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles. Cook these separately according to package instructions. Then toss in with the fiesta rice before serving.
Make it extra-cheesy: The slight cheesy flavor in this dish comes from nutritional yeast. But you could certainly add more, or increase the cheesy flavor with your favorite vegan shreds or dairy-free cheddar cheese.
Quinoa: You could also replace the brown rice with quinoa if desired.
Enjoy as is, or add your favorite toppings before serving. A few ideas include:
- Fresh cilantro
- Avocado or guacamole
- Crumbled tortilla chips
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice
- Vegan sour cream
Enjoy as a side or main: This rice bowl is a great side dish, but it's also filling enough as a main dish. (And a good source of plant-based protein and fiber.)
Other uses: You can also enjoy it as a burrito filling, chip dip, taco salad, or layer it in a baked enchilada casserole, etc.
Tip: It's a great make-ahead meal if you like to meal prep. Simply reheat in the microwave when ready to enjoy!
Fiesta Rice and Beans
- 1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 orange bell pepper (or other color)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 cup sweet corn (frozen, canned, or freshly cooked)
- 1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes (or roma, etc.)
- Salt to taste
- Avocado, cilantro, fresh tomatoes, hot sauce, dairy-free cheese shreds, tortilla strips
- Cook rice according to package instructions.*
- Meanwhile, make the taco seasoning and set aside.
- Finely dice onion and bell pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion and bell pepper for 8-10 minutes. (For no-oil sauté method, I use 3 Tbsp. broth/water to sauté and add more as needed.)
- Meanwhile, mince garlic and dice tomatoes.
- When onion is translucent, add minced garlic and 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning. Cook 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce heat. Add tomato sauce, nutritional yeast, black beans (rinsed and drained), corn, and tomatoes. Stir and let simmer on medium-low for a few minutes (or longer if the rice isn't finished cooking yet).
- When rice is cooked, add to skillet and stir well. Heat for 5 minutes to let flavors combine. Salt to taste.
- Serve with your favorite toppings. For an extra-cheesy version, add your favorite dairy-free shreds.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
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