Vegetarian meals are amazing for when you’re on a budget!
Beans are a great source of protein; and combined with rice, you get all the parts of protein that your body needs.
I also like keeping things simple, and trying a few new combinations. I’m not an amazing cook by any means; but I’d say most of it turns out pretty well!
This is definitely not a traditional red beans and rice recipe. But it’s simple and feeds my family pretty well! It has a short cooking time, which makes it a great recipe for busy nights. And it’s the perfect comfort food!
Scroll to the bottom of the post to get to the recipe card, or keep reading for a cost breakdown and other tips!
How much does this recipe cost?
Let’s break down the cost based on the ingredients I used:
2 cans of kidney beans: $1.60
2 cans of tomato sauce: $.90
Instant brown rice: $.50, using only part of the package
Olive oil: $.10
Adobo seasoning: $.02?
Total: $3.12, or $.78 per serving if it serves 4
Now, you might save some money if you used dried beans and a bag of dried rice. This is what I had on hand, and it still made this dinner pretty cheap!
One thing I recently realized is that red kidney beans and red beans are NOT the same! Red beans are smaller, although both have about the same nutritional profile. Apparently you can find cans of red beans at most grocery stores and I never even noticed.
In either case, you can use either kidney beans or red beans and it’ll be just fine.
Canned kidney beans
Brown rice (I used instant rice here, but regular dried rice is fine)
Extra additions and substitutions
If you have other ingredients laying around, you can certainly add more to this! Here are some extra spices and foods that would go well inside:
- Andouille sausage (Would obviously not make this vegetarian anymore)
- Cajun seasoning
- Creole seasoning
- Hot sauce
- Green bell pepper
- Yellow onion
- Salt and black pepper (Just make sure your other seasonings don’t already have a lot of salt!)
- White rice instead of brown rice
- Cooked dry beans instead of canned beans (Pressure cooking is the easiest method- here’s a good pressure cooker recipe for beans!)
- Broth to cook the rice (Vegetable broth or chicken broth)
How to make
In a large skillet, add the kidney beans, tomato sauce, olive oil, and adobo seasoning. Bring to a boil, then let simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package directions.
Divide the rice into 4 bowls, then pour the bean mixture over top. Enjoy as is, or serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, or other favorite toppings.
If you feel like this needs a little extra, you can add all sorts of toppings:
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Green onions
How to store
Once this has cooled to room temperature, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use up within 3-5 days.
Other budget meals
Need some extra inspiration on those weeks when money is tight? Check out my master post of meals to make when you have little money!
Print the recipe now for this easy red beans and rice:
- 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1 cup dried uncooked rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 teaspoons Adobo seasoning
- In a large skillet, add the kidney beans, tomato sauce, olive oil, and adobo seasoning. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package directions.
- Divide the rice into 4 bowls, then pour the bean mixture over top. Enjoy as is, or serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, or other favorite toppings.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 508Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1191mgCarbohydrates: 92gFiber: 14gSugar: 13gProtein: 22g
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.