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Posted on Sep 12, 2014 in Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack | 2 comments

Simple Black Beans and Rice

Black beans and brown rice are simple to make yet nutritious and filling as they are a complete protein; and did I mention versatile?

Simple Beans and Rice by Freshly Cut Kitchen

The inspiration for this recipe comes from a Costa Rican staple, Gallo Pinto. The Hubs and I took our Honeymoon this past summer to Costa Rica where we absolutely fell in love with the country. If hiking through the rainforest one day and laying on the beach the next sounds like your sort of vacation, Costa Rica is calling for you. On top of it all, the people. The people there are incredibly nice and go out of their way to help you any way they can. And monkeys, how can you not love monkeys? We hope to go back soon!

Views of Costa Rica

How can you pass up those views and the adorable little monkeys!?

The ‘typical plate’ of Costa Rica whether it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner included a side of ‘gallo pinto’ also known as rice and beans. You wouldn’t think something as simple as rice and beans would be all that special. But what if it was?

Costa Rica taught me (amongst many things) that rice and beans are not only a tasty side dish, but they are highly versatile and kept us fueled up for our day’s adventure. Fueled up for a day full of adventure is kind of a big deal for us.

Have you ever heard of the term…hangry? Let me explain. Hungry + angry = hangry. If you were to ask my husband about this he would be able to tell you the ins and outs of someone being hangry because well… he married ME! I get hangry. He now makes me carry emergency hangry food when we leave the house together. It’s for the best really. 😉

So as I was saying, this recipe is not only tasty, filling, and versatile, but it’s also nutritious and gluten free. Packed with whole grains…brown rice, fiber…black beans, and when combined you have a complete protein.

Beans and Rice by Freshly Cut Kitchen

Reasons we love rice and beans is how simple they are to make especially if you have a rice cooker. My life was changed the first time I was introduced to rice made in a rice cooker rather than stove top. It makes a HUGE difference in the texture. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the pot boiling over and making a mess out of your stove, winning! If you’re in the market for one, this is our faithful rice cooker, highly recommend it!

This recipe couldn’t be easier. Toss your rice, beans, appropriate amount of water, spices, and any other add-ins from the fridge in the rice cooker, set it based on your rice cookers settings for the type of rice you’re using and that’s it. Come back in an hour (or however long your rice cooker says) and there ya have it.

Simple Beans and Rice by Freshly Cut Kitchen

I like to make a big batch of this ever so simple rice and beans so I can freeze some of it for later. We enjoy rice and beans as an accompaniment to eggs for breakfast (our favorite combo), with leftovers from the grill (like we did with these chicken burgers), or even straight up with some avocado and salsa as an afternoon snack. Perfect addition to a Sunday cook-up and freezer friendly. Can’t beat it.

Do you have a recipe that you can’t get enough of that was inspired by a recent trip whether that’s somewhere tropical or even a local restaurant?


Simple Black Beans and Rice


  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (long grain or jasmine)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, diced (optional)
  • 1 bundle fresh cilantro, diced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • Dash of crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. worcestershire


  1. Add everything to your rice cooker, stir, cook according to directions on rice cooker. Since I used brown rice I used the "whole grain" setting on the rice cooker.
  2. Store covered in refrigerator up to 7 days. Can also freeze in air tight container for later use.


*For 1 1/2 cups rice (dry), keep 'add ins' (cabbage, peppers, onions) between 1 to 1 1/2 cups. More than that will result in mushy rice.

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  1. Black beans and rice have always been one of my most favorite side dishes! Great recipe and cool pictures from Costa Rica!

    • Thanks Julia! The pictures of Costa Rica don’t even begin to serve it justice. 🙂


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