Mexican beans and rice is a tasty dish made with black beans, white rice, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and bacon. It’s slightly smokey and garlicky and perfect paired with Tex-Mex meals and summer grilled recipes. 

mexican beans and rice

What are Mexican beans and rice? 

This dish is easy to whip up and perfect for making a double batch. It’s freezer-friendly and easy to make from scratch when you’re craving classic Mexican flavors.

Mexican beans and rice is a healthy recipe that goes well with grilled chicken or hamburgers and is excellent for serving a crowd.  

Ingredients

The ingredients for this warm side dish are easy to get from the grocery store if you don’t already have them in your pantry. 

  • White rice 
  • Bacon 
  • Onions 
  • Poblano chile
  • Garlic 
  • Black beans 
  • Lime 
  • Cilantro 
ingredients for beans and rice

How to make Mexican beans and rice 

Cook the rice, then set aside and keep warm.

Saute the bacon until crisp. Add the onions and poblanos, then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

sauteed vegetables in a skillet

Stir in the beans, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until heated through, then stir in the lime juice and cilantro.

black beans in skillet

Serve the beans over the cooked rice.

Recipe Variations

Mexican rice and beans are a flavorful dish and are easily adjustable based on your preferences. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

  • Make it into a bowl, burrito, or casserole  
  • Try different rice, such as yellow rice, jasmine, short-grain, brown  
  • Switch out the beans with pinto beans, Great Northern, or red kidney beans  
  • Add salsa or tomatillo sauce 
  • Add seasonings like a teaspoon of ground cumin or ground chili powder
  • Make it spicy by adding diced jalapenos 
mexican black beans and rice

Veggies to add to rice and beans  

Add additional vegetables to these simple rice and beans to make it a more nutrient-based meal. 

Some options include diced tomatoes, corn, zucchini, spaghetti squash, mushrooms, or chopped spinach.    

What kind of meat can I add?  

This authentic meal is the perfect pairing with meat to make a complete meal.  

Try shredded chicken, ground beef, ground chicken, ground turkey, ground pork, ground sausage, andouille sausage, or grilled shrimp if you’d like to add protein.   

How else can I make Mexican beans and rice?  

The beans in this dish are canned, but you can cook dried beans in the instant pot or slow cooker

Cooking beans from scratch is incredibly flavorful and easy to do. It takes a little forethought, but it’s so worth it!  

Cook the rice in a rice cooker, if you have one, for perfect rice every single time. Just follow the instructions to make white rice and then combine all the other ingredients after cooking. 

How to serve

This hearty dish is excellent to serve as a side dish with these main meals: 

Chipotle Chicken Tacos, Ground Chicken Enchiladas, Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Sliders, or Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kabobs.    

How to store

Refrigerator: Keep any leftover beans and rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. There’s no need to store them separately, but you can if you need to. 

Freezer: This dish does great in the freezer. Both beans and rice freeze and reheat well to store any leftovers there for up to three months.   

Reheat: Allow the rice and beans to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or put them in the microwave until they’re heated all the way through. You may need to stir in a bit of vegetable broth or water if they’re dry. 

easy mexican rice and beans

FAQs 

What type of beans are in Mexican rice and beans?

This dish is made with black beans, but you can use pinto, red, or white depending on your tastes or what you already have in your pantry.  

What type of cheese can I add to Mexican rice and beans? 

Add Mexican-style cheese to this dish like queso fresco, shredded cheddar cheese, or mozzarella.  

What to do with leftover rice and beans? 

You can use it in other dishes like soups, salads, bowls, burritos, or tacos. This is a great way to prolong the life of the dish and add variety to leftovers.     

Is Mexican beans and rice a vegetarian dish? 

This recipe is not vegetarian as it contains bacon.

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beans and rice recipe

Mexican Beans and Rice

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

Mexican beans and rice is a tasty dish made with black beans, white rice, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and bacon. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup dry long-grain white rice, such as basmati
  • 2 strips bacon, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1/4 cup diced poblano chile
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, do not drain
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. 
  2. While the rice is cooking, saute bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. 
  3. Add onions and poblano chile. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. 
  4. Add beans with their liquid and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. 
  5. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Serve over cooked rice.

Notes

  • Spiciness: This recipe is not spicy at all. I like using poblano chile, which is a Mexican chili pepper, very dark green in color, and mild tasting. If you want more spiciness, feel free to add diced jalapeno pepper. 
  • Leftovers: Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup cooked rice + 1/2 cup beans
  • Calories: 227
  • Sugar: 1.1 g
  • Sodium: 502.7 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.8 g
  • Protein: 9.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 9.2 mg

Keywords: rice and beans, easy, smoky