There’s black beans in this vegan Spanish rice, making it especially filling in a burrito or wrap.
A Facebook friend asked me recently if I had a list of my favorite recipes, and I was sorry to say that I didn’t. But what a good idea! Or so I thought, until I started to name all the recipes I considered favorites and found that the list would be so long that it would be useless.
So I decided to reshape the question: Which recipes do I make over and over again? I decided to focus on the recipes I actually make week-in and week-out plus a few that I make regularly for holidays or special occasions, such as green bean casserole for Thanksgiving.
After I thought of it like that, my list became both much shorter and much less fancy. It includes the Dirty Little Secret Soup that I make once a week (a little differently each time), the chickpea “tuna” salad I pack in my daughter’s lunch, and at least 4 different kinds of split-pea soup. All have been thoroughly tested and are dishes that we–teenager included–love. You can see the full list of my family’s favorites here (it’s now a regular category in the recipe index).
As I was making the list, I asked my husband to help me think of every meal we eat regularly, and I was a little surprised to discover that several of the dishes in our regular rotation haven’t appeared on the blog. I guess I’ve been so busy trying to feature new recipes that I haven’t bothered with the very simple, stand-by dishes that make up a big part of our diet.
So I’ve decided to rectify that. For the next three weeks, I’ll be adding a new “old” recipe each week. I’ll reveal what food we always travel with and tell you how to make the vegetable-rich pasta dish my daughter loves.
My first old favorite reveals another “dirty little secret” of my family’s eating habits: about once a week, we eat burritos for dinner. On really rushed nights, we rely on canned fat-free refried beans (I know, I know–sodium and BPA, but we’re talking emergency meals) and wrap them in whole wheat tortillas along with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, and my daughter’s specialty, guacamole (there’s another recipe I’ve never posted.)
But when I have leftover brown rice, I skip the refried beans and throw together this easy vegan Spanish rice. It makes a great burrito filling or side dish and doesn’t take much longer than heating up a can of beans.
Spanish Rice and Black Beans
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 green or yellow pepper stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 - 1 jalapeno chile add more or less to taste, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes fresh or canned fire-roasted, liquid reserved
- 1 1/2 cup black beans or 1 15-ounce can, rinsed well
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder or other pure, mild chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or more, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat a deep, non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown. Add the pepper, jalapeno, and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. If it becomes too dry, add a little vegetable broth or reserved tomato juice. Check the flavor, and add salt and additional seasonings to taste.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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KarinaJuly 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm
I am not very talented in the kitchen, I am going to give it a try, the rice looks really good!!
JessicaJuly 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm
I made this with quinoa instead of brown rice & added a couple of handfuls of chopped baby bellas and it was SO GOOD!! Spices were perfect. Delicious in a burrito OR by itself.
marjorieAugust 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm
I just made this and it was pretty yummy. Wasn’t flavorful enough for me though, so I added some soy sauce and more chili powder, etc. Thanks for the recipe–your blog is great!
BeckyOctober 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm
Hi, this looks delicious and I have so many of your recipes marked I can’t wait to start cooking, I love what your doing! I was just wondering, I have a low budget and don’t have a lot of the “extra” things and I only have regular paprika and regular chili powder, do I need to do anything different to make sure I don’t ruin this recipe? Or do I need the specialty powders? Thanks!
WendyApril 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm
Becky, I used regular paprika and regular chili powder. I did purchase the chipotle chili powder just for this recipe simply because I knew I would like the flavor. I don’t like to buy things for one recipe either. I also don’t like a smokey flavor.
I say try it! The recipe is so yummy I doubt you will miss what you leave out.
LeslieOctober 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm
Oh my gosh! I made this recipe this weekend, wrapped them in some oat/flax seed wraps, froze them and finally just had one for lunch. Delish!! Much cheaper and better than an Amy’s frozen burrito. Loved it. Thank you!
KirstenNovember 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm
Many thanks for this recipe!
I’ve been in a food rut lately, making the same things over and over, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. Then I found this recipe. I upped the spices quite a bit — some like it hot! — but otherwise followed the recipe. Ate it with homemade guacamole and tortilla chips. It was delicious! Can’t thank you enough.
Now off to find more fun new recipes…
stephanieJanuary 11, 2013 at 6:53 pm
Susan, I loved these burritos! I recently had to gluten free and the only thing I was truly sad about giving up ( I used to be a professional baker, so most bread stuffs are played out to me) was Mexican food and tortillas! Just not right for an AZ girl!!! I recently discovered I could make some pretty good non-gross gluten free corn tortillas from corn flour, salt, a squeeze of lime juice, water, and I use golden flax to bind them bc chia makes them raise a bit. They are gluten free and fat free, so they still don’t wrap very well; I usually fill them with beans, this amazing rice, occasionally your cheeze sauce and then top with veggies once baked. All in all, it takes me a whole day to make the enchilada sauce, beans, rice and tortillas, so it not a quick meal! But, it is an amazing treat and I can never get enough of this rice!
Toni CooperMarch 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm
I’m on a cooking roll today. We just had this for dinner and it was delish !!! I’m going to take some left overs for lunch tomorrow and add it to my salad. I also made the carrot salad…wow I’m having it for breakfast in the morning. Thanks Susan !
WendyApril 2, 2013 at 6:44 pm
I just finished making these and they are so good! They have a nice flavor with a little kick, just the way I like them. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us.
HarrisonJune 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm
I’m sure you do this but remember to check the refried beans for the use of lard. Some brands don’t use lard but off-hand I don’t remember which brands are lard-free.
Susan VoisinJune 3, 2013 at 4:12 pm
None of the fat-free refried beans use lard (because lard is pure fat).
Esther JJune 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm
Oh, I just love this rice. I had some corn which I had cut off the cob and frozen, and some beet greens to use up, so I threw those in there, and garnished with cilantro, lime juice, salsa, and a little avocado. So yummy.
It made for a delectable Sunday dinner. My belly is much obliged:)
AngieJanuary 18, 2014 at 7:32 pm
YUMMY!! I love this recipe and have made it several times now. Great for lunches. I added 1 small can of salt-free tomato sauce for a bit more tomato taste and subbed the jalapeno and used chili flakes instead. Zing!
Maureen DMay 6, 2014 at 6:57 am
Wow! I made these for Cinco de Mayo and they were absolutely delicious. My husband declared them “excellent”. I used 2 1/2 cups cooked rice instead of 4, and didn’t need to modify any other ingredients. This one will definitely be making repeat appearances at our dinner table. Thank you!
kathyMay 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm
Very good! I did leave out the hot pepper and yellow pepper because I just tonight decided to cut meat and dairy out of my diet and my kitchen is understocked! Turned out very good and tasty! Did not miss meat at all! My first vegan meal!
Susan VoisinMay 9, 2014 at 5:50 am
Congratulations on cutting out meat and dairy! I hope you’ll have many more delicious vegan meals.
DanMarch 3, 2015 at 10:05 am
Wonderful recipe and beautiful photo (as always.)! I am having a tough time finding an acceptable tortilla for my burritos. If I buy whole grain, they all seem to have added oil. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. 🙂
Susan VoisinMarch 3, 2015 at 10:33 am
Dan, I am having the same problem. My grocery store stopped selling the one I was using when I wrote this post, and now the closest I can find is one that lists olive oil as its last ingredient. They have less than 1/2 gram of fat each, but they aren’t completely fat-free. Instead of flour tortillas, I’ve been using corn tortillas more often because they don’t have added fat. I recently bought a tortilla press and plan to start making my own flour tortillas, so I may have a recipe for you soon.
James GoldbergJune 7, 2015 at 5:19 pm
Sounded like a great recipe but for some reason my dish turned to a sloppy, mushy tasteless mess. Have a feeling my rice game was off and that threw the entire dish down the drain. But even so, I feel like these spices and peppers should have masked my mistake, I made a chili the other day with basically the same ingredients and that was fan static.
LaceyJanuary 6, 2018 at 11:59 am
This is excellent. I used just half of a jalapeño and left out the chipotle chili powder for one of my children that is sensitive to spicy food and the rest of us added our own chipotle.