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Mexican Red Beans and Rice

Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She is the original Ninja Writer.

Mexican red beans and rice

Mexican red beans and rice

Beans and rice are staples in Mexican and Latin American cooking. This is my favorite way to prepare this simple and humble—but seriously delicious—food. Serve it by itself for a light, plant-based meal, or serve it with eggs for breakfast.

It can also make the base for a rice bowl, topped with any type of protein. A favorite in my family is to serve it with shredded chicken that has been slow-cooked in green enchilada sauce. We also love it with pork carnitas meat.

If you have any leftovers, they reheat well. Leftovers can also make an excellent base for soup.

This is a great recipe for using up what's in your fridge at the end of the week, as well. While onions, garlic, and peppers are required if you want an authentic taste, you can add any kind of vegetable you have on hand. Bell peppers, any type of squash, celery, carrots, cabbage, and other greens all work well.

I like to think of it as a Mexican stir-fry.


  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 zuccini, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • pinch red pepper flakes


  1. Add the rice to the water in a pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Steam the rice for 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, and zucchini. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until the onion softens.
  3. Drain the beans and rinse. Add to the pan with the vegetables. Cook until the beans soften and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Add the rice to the pan and stir gently until well incorporated.
Mexican red beans and rice

Mexican red beans and rice