Quick and Easy Rice and Beans
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slices raw bacon, chopped
medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
lime, cut into four wedges
Heat a large skillet over medium heat on the stove. Once it's good and hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon from the skillet to a paper-towel lined plate with a slotted spoon.
Add the red pepper and garlic to the pan and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften (3-5 minutes). Add the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and stir well again. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down.
Stir in the small red beans. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in the rice until well combined. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.
Serve immediately with wedges of lime for squeezing over.
More About This Recipe
- Quick and Easy Rice and Beans
Rice and beans is one of those iconic dishes that is made a thousand ways by different families, different cultures, different regions. And there are so many great variations out there.
My version is fast, flavorful and absolutely delicious. Inspired by a classic dish, it’s filled with tomatoes, red peppers and red beans and has a nice little smokiness.
But first, I want you to know that I make no claims as to the authenticity of this rice and beans. It’s inspired by Cuban rice and beans, but I took big liberties with it. So, don’t expect it to be just like that fab bowl that you had at the uber-authentic Cuban place. Do expect it to be really amazingly delicious on its own though.
My Quick and Easy Rice and Beans starts like so many other good things: with bacon.
Four slices, chopped (yes, while they are raw). The easiest way to do it is to freeze the whole pound and cut off (against the slices) 4 pieces that are ¼-inch thick. That way, they are easily chopped and you have that pound in the freezer to cut off ¼-inch thick pieces whenever you need a slice for a recipe.
Once the fat is rendered, you remove the bacon and add the red pepper and garlic. Now, if I wanted this to be more authentic, I would add an onion too, but my husband hates onions like you wouldn’t believe, so I leave it out – and the recipe is great without it. Feel free to add 1 small chopped one though if you are so inclined.
Once that all starts to soften, you add the tomatoes and seasonings and let it cook a bit to break down the tomatoes. Finally, the beans go in and you cover it. Let it cook for 10 minutes, stir in the rice and re-season as needed.
That’s it. It’s ready to go with a lime wedge. I serve it with chicken breasts, and a salad. My husband also likes to add a few tortilla chips to the mix as well, but that’s totally up to you.
Rice and Beans Recipes
If you like rice and beans, here are more variations to try:
Spicy Black Beansand Rice
Rice and Bean Roll-Ups
Wild Rice and Bean Salad
Grilled Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Peppers
Rice and Bean Bake
Featured Recipe: Quick and Easy Rice and Beans
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah’s Cucina Bella.