It's another easy, one-pot meal featuring black beans and rice cooked in your favorite salsa. This Spanish rice and beans meal is naturally vegan, and so hearty. The leftovers are great, and it's freezer friendly, too.
This One-Pot Spanish Rice Recipe makes the best go-to meal!
I shouldn't admit out loud how much I eat this one-pot meal, but I truly rely on it so much. Anytime I can turn beans into the main meal, I'm so there. This Spanish rice and beans is a fancier version of my basic black beans and rice.
Both recipes are one-pot and easy to make, but this version has a few more ingredients. Instead of cooking in just broth, we're cooking in a mix of broth and your favorite salsa. You can customize this pot of rice and beans to taste like your favorite jar of salsa, as long as the salsa isn't too thick and chunky, ok?
The ingredients here should be mostly pantry staples, as long as you keep a bottle of smoked paprika around. If you're missing the meat, you might like my red beans and rice recipe. Otherwise, this Spanish rice and beans recipe is entirely vegan because we're using vegetable broth.
Spanish Rice and Beans Recipe Ingredients
- Olive Oil. Two full tablespoons of olive oil (it doesn't need to be extra virgin) to saute the onion and garlic.
- Onion. One large onion, small diced yields about 1 ¼ cups.
- Garlic. One clove of fresh garlic, minced. If you don't have this, substitute one teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Smoked Paprika. One teaspoon of smoked paprika gives the rice a smoky flavor, but also contributes to the red color.
- Rice. You need two cups of long-grain white rice; give it a quick rinse and drain before using.
- Salsa. Grab a 12-ounce jar of your favorite salsa. If it's overly chunky, use a blender to puree it a bit. We need the liquid from the tomatoes to help cook the rice, so an overly thick salsa will make a dry final dish!
- Vegetable Broth. Three cups of vegetable broth or stock.
- Black Beans. One 15-ounce can of black beans that have been rinsed and drained.
- Cilantro. This is optional for garnish; if you don't like cilantro you can omit or use fresh parsley.
- Olives. I happen to think that garlic-marinated green olives really are the best garnish for this Spanish rice and beans, but if you're not an olive person, omit.
How to Make Spanish Rice and Beans
- In a medium 10-inch stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, and saute for 10 minutes. Lower the heat if the onion starts to burn. Then, add the garlic and paprika and saute for 30 seconds.
- Next, add the rinsed rice and cook while stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. We're just cooking the rice enough that the edges of the grains are transparent. This extra step of par-cooking makes the Spanish rice and beans extra fluffy.
- Add the salsa and vegetable broth, and stir very well. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and then place a lid on the pan. Cook for 19 minutes.
- After 19 minutes, turn the heat off and remove the pan from the stove. Take off the lid from the pan, place a clean kitchen towel on top, and then place the lid back on. Let it steam for 10 minutes.
- After the 10 minute rest period, remove the lid and towel and fluff the rice very well.
- Just before serving, stir in the black beans, cilantro and green olives (if using).
Spanish Rice and Beans Recipe Variations
- Beans - You can use almost any type of beans in this Spanish rice and beans recipe. I chose black beans, but pinto beans are great, too.
- Salsa- To customize this recipe, use your favorite salsa. Just be sure it’s a runny salsa, not a super thick one, because we need the moisture to help cook the rice.
- Broth - I used vegetable stock to keep this recipe vegan, but you can use chicken or beef stock, if you have it.
Tips for making Spanish Beans and Rice
- Be sure to use a big enough pot with a wide bottom to make this Spanish beans and rice. If your pot is too small, the rice will not cook properly and might burn on the bottom. I used a 10-inch stock pot. We need a wide, shallow pan to evenly distribute the heat and help the rice cook evenly.
What to serve with Spanish Rice with Beans
I like this dish plain, as is, with extra salsa on top, but you can also add a fried egg. If I make a pan of enchiladas, this Spanish rice with beans is a great side dish.
Storing leftover Spanish Beans
Leftover Spanish rice and beans keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days if tightly sealed. To reheat, place a scoop in a bowl and bury an ice cube in the center. Microwave until steaming hot, stir and remove the ice cube before serving. The ice cube helps create steam in the microwave to warm the rice through evenly.
Can I freeze Spanish rice and beans?
Yes, you can freeze this in food storage containers that are freezer-safe. Portion it out into individual containers, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and heat in the microwave with an ice cube in the center until hot. Remove the ice cube before serving. If you want to reheat this on the stove, add a splash more broth.
Spanish Beans and Rice FAQs
There is absolutely no gluten in this recipe.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion ( 1 ¼ cup chopped)
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed
- 12 ounce jar of red salsa
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- ¼ cup of green olives (optional)
- In a medium stock pot with a wide bottom (at least 10”), heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion, and sauté for about 10 minutes, lowering the heat if the onions start to burn or turn golden around the edges.
- Next, add the garlic and paprika, and then sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the rice and cook while stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. You just want the edge of the rice to become translucent.
- Then, add the salsa and vegetable broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently and then turn the heat to low. Place a lid on the pan, and cook for 19 minutes.
- After 19 minutes, turn the heat off and remove the pan from the stove. Remove the lid from the pan, place a clean kitchen towel on top, and then place the lid back on top. Yes, we’re trapping steam with a kitchen towel. Let the rice rest for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and stir in the black beans, chopped cilantro, and chopped green olives. Serve immediately.
Rice: You need two cups of long-grain white rice; give it a quick rinse and lightly drain.
Salsa: Grab a 12-ounce jar of your favorite salsa. If its overly chunky, use a blender to puree it a bit. We need the liquid from the tomatoes to help cook the rice, so an overly thick salsa will make a dry final dish!
Garlic: If you don't have fresh garlic, sub one teaspoon garlic powder.
Storage: Leftovers keep in the fridge up to 3 days. To reheat, place a scoop in a bowl and bury an ice cube in the center. Microwave until steaming hot, stir and remove the ice cube before serving. The ice cube helps create steam in the microwave and warm the rice through evenly. You can also freeze this. Portion it out into individual freezer-safe containers, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and heat in the microwave with an ice cube in the center until hot. Remove the ice cube before serving. If you want to reheat this on the stove, add a splash more broth.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 863mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g