Healthy Beans and Rice Pilaf

I always prefer vegetable protein over meat whenever I get the chance. So, legumes are on my favorite dish list constantly. Even Roman gladiators were aware of their superfood powers thousands of years ago. Namely, beans, peas, and lentils can work miracles if you consume them on a regular basis. Plus, it is good to take a little break from all the meaty plates every once in a while. Otherwise, I feel like I am getting closer to the carnivore section on the omnivore spectrum with all the fast-food chains around. Luckily, I like to cook my own food!

Here is a delicious, easy to cook, digestive friendly meal for you; beans and rice! It is a classic at our home. I think magic happens when any kind of beans are served with any type of rice—fried or boiled. You can make different combinations according to your preference. This plate has so many different versions in Latino and Caribbean cuisines. I tend to choose pinto beans more often without any particular reason. However, I like them all. Especially, the red kidney beans salad recipe is another yummy dish that I enjoy frequently.

On a side note, you can try this recipe with other legumes too, such as chickpeas. Plus, you can replace the rice with bulgur pilaf for a twist. If you ask me, lentils are my favorite legumes of all time. Check out my lentil patties recipe if you also favor them. It is a spicy appetizer, and so easy to prepare.

What you will need:

You do not need any special equipment for boiling the beans. However, I strongly recommend using a quality rice maker such as Ninja FD401 Foodi Deluxe. It is a smart kitchen appliance that can steam, slow cook, sauté, air-fry, dehydrate, and more. In other words, you can almost cook all your food with this talented tool.

Ninja Foodi Deluxe

Healthy Beans and Rice Pilaf Recipe

Healthy Beans and Rice Pilaf

Recipe by OzgurCourse: MainCuisine: InternationalDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time






  • Beans
  • 1-pound (454 g) frozen beans

  • 1 medium size white or yellow onion

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon pepper paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups of water (add enough until all the beans are covered)

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

  • Rice pilaf
  • 1 cup of rice (pick your favorite)

  • 2 tablespoons of short-cut vermicelli noodles (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

  • 1-piece chicken bouillon (skip if you want to make it vegan)

  • 1 and 3/4 cups of water

  • For decoration
  • 2-3 baby carrots


  • Beans
  • Dice the onions and sauté them with ¼ cup of olive oil in a large saucepan.
  • Add one tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • Cook them together for three more minutes.
  • Place the frozen beans in the saucepan.
  • Continue to cook and stir a few times.
  • Add three cups of water. (or more until all beans are covered with water)
  • Bring it to a boil, and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Rice
  • Drain and wash the rice.
  • Add three tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of unsalted butter to a medium sauce pan.
  • Add the vermicelli noodles when the butter melts.
  • Continue to cook over low heat until the vermicelli noodles become pinkish. (stir occasionally)
  • Add the rice to the saucepan.
  • Cook for about ten minutes over low heat.
  • Melt the bouillon in 1 and 3/4 cups of water and add them to the saucepan.
  • Cook over low heat for twenty minutes.
  • Bringing it all together
  • Add beans and rice to a medium bowl.
  • Decorate with sliced baby carrots.


  • Use long-grain white rice for making pilaf. If you add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, it will improve the flavor and nutrition significantly.

Our goal here is to cook the beans without making them mushy. Feel free to use canned beans if you are in a hurry. We add tomato paste to improve the flavor. I add olive oil and butter when making the rice pilaf, but this is optional.

Try this delicious recipe on January 6th, National Bean Day!

Is it healthy to eat rice and beans together?

Rice and beans are considered to be healthy dishes. The combination is a good source of plant proteins, iron, and fiber. Plus, rice contains a good amount of starch that provides energy to our bodies.

Is it OK to eat beans everyday?

Most people do not get enough fiber in their daily diet. There are many reasons for this issue. However, most fast-food items and commercial food products lack fibers. On the other hand, beans contain a good amount of fiber. So, eating them often may help to lower high cholesterol and protect against heart disease.

Where are beans originally from?

Beans are originated in Central and South America. They are still a vital part of local cuisine in that region. That being said, beans are considered a favorite dish in many different parts of the world. This is no surprise because beans are highly versatile when it comes to adaptable food ingredients. You can work them in a wide variety of recipes.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *