Rice and Beans Two Ways

Rice and beans are a staple in my house, like they are in many houses around the world. Most of the time, it’s a matter of throwing everything in the Instant Pot (that’ll be the second recipe), but sometimes I do something a little fancier. This first recipe is from when I was doing meal kits. It was a short-lived phase, because meal kits are so much more expensive than buying the equivalent amount of groceries. But I’ll admit it was nice for giving me some new inspiration and also kicking my butt into gear when I didn’t feel like cooking, because I had fresh produce that I had to use up before it went bad.

Crispy cheesy rice and beans

  • 10 oz white rice
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning*
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with their liquid
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • Cheddar, coarsely grated (4 oz or so?)
  • Salt and pepper

Cook rice, then keep covered. You know how to cook rice. I like to do mine in the Instant Pot, but do yours how you like. Or use a microwaveable bag of rice (I always keep those on hand for when I’m pressed for time).

Preheat broiler. Heat some oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. Add garlic and taco seasoning, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in beans and tomatoes. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in the same skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Swirl to coat the skillet with oil. Add rice and use a spatula to press firmly into an even layer, pushing rice up the sides too. Cook, without disturbing, until the rice starts to brown on the bottom, 8–10 minutes. 

Lay the beans and tomatoes over the rice. Top with grated cheddar. Broil on top oven rack until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, 2–3 minutes.

Instant Pot rice and beans

This picture is actually from an earlier iteration of the recipe with a different ratio of ingredients, but the result is similar

I make this all the time, and it’s good as is, or wrapped up in burritos. I should warn you that when I made it recently without carrots or soy crumbles, it was soupy, so you should adjust liquid levels if you change up the ingredients. It was still tasty though, just messy as a burrito. I should also note that this recipe results in leftovers for days, which is how I like it.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ~8 oz shredded carrots
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
  • 1 ½ cups corn
  • 12 oz bag soy crumbles (fake ground beef – I like Morningstar or Boca) 
  • 10 oz can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chiles) 
  • 1 ¾ cups veggie broth or water
  • 4 tsp taco seasoning*
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, just gives a little cheesy flavor) 

Press the saute function on Instant Pot. Add some oil and saute onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Turn off saute.

Add everything else, stir, secure lid, and set to high pressure for 20 minutes.

Let pressure release naturally for 10 min, then quick release. Remove the lid and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

*Note: Both of these recipes call for taco seasoning. You can buy it, but I prefer mixing up my own because store bought is primarily salt. I do equal parts cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and then a half part of black pepper and oregano (so like 1 tbsp of the first four, 1/2 tbsp of the last two). You’re welcome to also add onion and garlic powder, as most commercial taco seasoning has, but I’m usually using onion and garlic in my recipes already. If your taco seasoning is different from mine, you may need to tweak the amount used.



  1. That looks very tasty, and I have a cast iron fry pan. We are moving into increasing our consumption of the heart-healthy legumes and whole grain/natural rices at home, and this first recipe really fits the bill!

  2. /me likes to add raisins to his rice whenever a recipe says serve with white rice….(ha fuck you recipe cant tell me how to make rice as a side dish..umm but yeah..its surprisingly nice)
    also..sorry that had nothing much to do with your recipes
    which both look delicious

  3. Don’t have an Instant Pot.  Mostly because there is literally no place to put it, but also because I honestly don’t have a use for one.  However, I will give the first recipe a shot.  I have a cast iron skillet, but that might not work because the shit might go over the sides.  I can use one of the stainless pans though.

    • I debated the Instant Pot for a while, and was resistant to it because it was so goddamn trendy (I’m still very opposed to air fryers WHICH ARE JUST CONVECTION OVENS ANYWAY), but once I got one I really did enjoy it. It’s the set and forget nature of the recipes for me mostly. That said, I imagine you could make the recipe on the stove top basically the same way – throw it all in and simmer it until the water absorbs. Probably stir it occasionally, and you might need to add more liquid to make up for evaporation loss.
      A skillet on the first one could be dicey, though I think it would work if you cut the amount down a bit. 

      • Ha. I just realized I wrote the first recipe with a skillet, so it’s kinda funny for me to now say a skillet could be dicey. What I meant was that I use a somewhat deep pan (3-4″?) and a shallow pan could make it tricky. 

  4. I’m still very opposed to air fryers WHICH ARE JUST CONVECTION OVENS ANYWAY

    Preach it!  Every single time I hear the words “air fryer”, I immediately say “convection oven–there is no such thing as frying with air.”

    • I was actually the same way. I hated beans as a kid and it was probably in my late teens that I finally started liking black beans, but not other beans. But given time and repeatedly forcing my own exposure, I’m now a fan of most beans. Black beans, garbanzos, and red kidneys are the ones I use most. I don’t love limas though. 

  5. That first one looks really good! Might just have to give that a go 🙂 
    I used to make something very similar to the second, except I made it in my rice cooker and used canned chicken breast instead of the crumbles. There’s another version where I put whole, raw chicken breasts in a 13×9 pan, add a chopped onion, a couple crushed cloves of garlic, a can of ro-tel tomatoes, a can of drained and rinsed black beans, a can of corn, sprinkle the whole thing with salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin, cover with foil, and bake for an hour at 350F. Then serve that over plain white or brown rice.

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