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Horizontal image of a wooden spoon inserted into a bowl of rice and beans garnished with herbs.

My Mom’s Favorite Rice and Beans

  • Author: Katherine D'Costa
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This is a classic, nutritious dish that’s full of flavor, which makes it the perfect comfort food. It’s fantastic as a side, and even better as a main course.


  • 16 ounces dried kidney beans (or 4 15-oz cans)
  • 4 quarts warm water (128 fl oz)
  • 1 small red onion, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, or your choice of color, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ripe Roma tomato, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


To Prep:

  1. Clean and rinse dried kidney beans, removing any debris.
  2. Soak in 4 quarts warm water for at least 8 hours before cooking.
  3. Reserve 11 cups of the water for cooking, and discard the rest. Rinse and drain beans, and set aside.

To Make Sofrito and Pressure Cook:

  1. Add the onion, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to a medium-sized saute pan, and place over medium heat. Saute for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add 1 cup reserved water, bouillon cube, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and black pepper.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set pan aside for 2 minutes.
  4. In either a stove-top or electric pressure cooker, add drained beans and 6 cups reserved water.
  5. Transfer vegetable mixture to pressure cooker. Stir. Secure lid and cook for 20 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally.

To Cook Rice and Finish Dish:

  1. Meanwhile, coat a large, heavy pot with remaining vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Add rice and salt.
  2. Saute rice for 2 minutes until slightly toasted, then add 4 cups water and mix well. When water starts to gently boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Uncover rice and fluff thoroughly with a fork.
  4. Fold rice and beans together in the pot or in a large bowl, using a rubber spatula.
  5. Sprinkle cilantro on top and serve.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Grains, Legumes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Side Dish

Keywords: rice, beans, beans and rice, kidney beans