This black bean and rice skillet is an easy one-pot dinner recipe made with pantry staples! This gluten-free recipe is packed with flavor for a hearty vegetarian meal.
This post is sponsored by my friends at Cabot Creamery.
With just a handful of ingredients and lots of flexibility, you can have this easy Mexican-inspired dinner recipe on the table in under 20 minutes!
- Cooked black beans (canned works)
- Cooked brown rice
- Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- Canned diced tomatoes with green chiles (I use mild)
- Red onion
- Smoked paprika
- Dried oregano
- Avocado or other oil
- Garnishes: fresh cilantro, jalapeno peppers, avocado, green onions
This one-pot recipe is easy to make using cooked black beans, brown rice and canned tomatoes as the base. Simply saute onion and spices in the oil. Add the remaining ingredients before a quick broil in the oven for a bubbly, cheesy finish.
Once the skillet is out of the oven, I like to top with lots of colorful and flavorful toppings. Cilantro, sliced jalapenos, lime wedges, and avocado are some of my favorites.
Now before you get cooking, here are a few things to know…
Tips for success
Dice the onion well so it falls into the background of the dish and you’re not stuck eating huge pieces of onion. The recipe doesn’t cook long so the onions won’t have time to cook down much.
Bloom the spices. Though the tomatoes provide lots of flavor, the spices do too. Cooking the paprika and oregano in the oil will help amplify the flavor and infuse the seasonings throughout the dish.
Drain the tomatoes. Because the rice is cooked, you won’t need the additional liquid and it would result in a soggy skillet.
Which cheese works best?
I’m using Cabot’s Monterey Jack cheese. It’s incredibly creamy and melts beautifully into this skillet. But if you don’t have any, no worries.
Feel free to use sharp cheddar cheese or even pepper jack for more spice.
If you are not familiar, Cabot Creamery is a co-operative owned by farm families throughout New England & New York and 100% of profits go back to the farmers. All Cabot cheddars are naturally aged and 100% naturally lactose-free, which I love.
This recipe is quite forgiving. Use what’s in your pantry to make it your own!
The diced tomatoes add flavor and are critical for this dish. If you don’t have the ones with the green chiles, be sure to add jalapenos, swap in a can of (drained) fire-roasted tomatoes, or play around by adding in a dose of chile powder, garlic powder, and cumin with the other dried spices.
If you don’t have smoked paprika or oregano on hand, these can both be left out. Smoked paprika adds a lovely smokiness to the dish but you can easily use chili powder and a little cumin to get a similar effect.
Want other easy vegetarian meals?
Roasted Broccoli Walnut Pasta
Vegan Pumpkin Lentil Curry
Spicy Cauliflower Peanut Stir-Fry
Black Bean & Rice Skillet
- 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1½ cups cooked black beans (or 1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 10-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
- ½ cup shredded Cabot Monterey Jack cheese
- Optional: fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeno peppers, green onions to garnish
- Heat the oil in an oven-safe 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and paprika about 3 minutes.
- Add the black beans, rice, and tomatoes to the skillet. Stir until combined and heat through, about 3-5 minutes.
- Set oven to broil. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Broil on high 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts or is starting to turn golden brown. Serve warm topped with your favorite garnishes like cilantro, jalapeno peppers, avocado and green onions.
Can you advise how to make this without the already cooked rice?
Hi! I would cook the rice ahead of time (per usual 20 min for white, 35-40 min for brown) and start the recipe using cooked rice. I find this to be the easiest way to ensure the rice doesn’t stick or get gummy.
This was so easy to make and tasty!
This will be in my go recipes!
Thank you kindly,
Great tasting and very easy/quick recipe! I used cooked white rice because it’s what I had and sliced up a leftover jalapeño-cheese sausage. Will definitely make again!
Marisa, this is one of the best recipes I’ve ever tried! Thank you for mentioning that “this recipe is quite forgiving” – I have added some minced soy. I’ve cooked the beans with rice and another time thought to replace the rice with quinoa and spinach. I’ve added a bit of feta cheese in both cases. It turned out so delicious…Thank you for adding a great meal to our family menu:)
This is absolutely delicious! I just finished the first batch I made and now I must make it again. I love to have it for a healthy breakfast. Thanks for this total winner!
Any suggestions if one doesn’t have a broiler-proof fry pan?
Yes. After step 2 (sautéing everything), transfer it all to an oven/broiler safe pan. Sprinkle with the cheese and broil as instructed in Step 3.
Didn’t he ask what if he didn’t have an oven-safe pan?
I’m not sure what everyone else was eating, but this was bland. After combining all the ingredients I immediately chopped some garlic/onions and bell peppers, sautéed them in another pan with some cumin, and then it finally had some flavour.
Thanks so much, Jeff.
I did pretty much exactly what you did, Jeff. Added garlic, red capsicum and cumin. Really yummy
Why are you such an idiot Jeff? Your comments are harsh and your tastes may be fine,,,but certainly not refined……oooooooo k intonates more sarcasm.
I’ve made this twice so far. It is so easy to make. The second time I used black lentils instead of black beans and added some left over chicken. My family loves it.
I agree that Jeff is rude and has poor taste.
This recipe is perfect, but I did change a coupke things. I used yellow onion instead of red and I missed draining the tomatoes but it turned out good anyway.
Even my picky 9 year old and meat eater of a dad liked it.
This was great. But I really amped up the smoked paprika and also fried off garlic. It went really dark and I thought I’d burned it aghhh. But no! It bought outa really rich delicious flavour. I also added black beans that already had chilli in the can. Too easy. Thanks all the way from New Zealand / Aotearoa. And Jeff- go suck on a chilli.
Love this. Thanks for your very flavorful review!
Marisa, I really appreciate you offering a healthy pantry recipe and making suggestions for substitutions if we don’t have what the recipe calls for at home. Not only is that frugal but you also encourage us to experiment with our tastebuds. I followed your basic recipe but tripled it for my big family and added a teaspoon garlic powder like you suggested in the blog. The dish ended up sitting on the stove on lowest heat for 30 minutes until the family got home and then I broiled it quickly. We were amazed how flavorful the brown rice became from that and the texture was still great. The lime was a nice addition for depth, worth pulling out if available. This will become a vegetarian staple recipe in our house. You’ve motivated me to soak and cook black beans in advance – will store in freezer for a lower cost and sodium content. Again, many thanks! I’m also happy to have learned about Cabot; I always bought this cheese because of lower price for great quality but now I know even more reasons to keep buying it.
Just read about you in my current (June 2022) issue of the Costco magazine. Delighted that you are in ATL. I have been using Cabot products for decades and am delighted to see you feature them. Thank you. Your recipes look wonderful.
Very tasty and quick to make.
thanks Marisa I so wanted to use up some canned black beans from the pantry and it was a really pleasant surprise even for a non tex mex Aussie like me! Plus it freezes really well too! I garnished it with some jalapenos from a jar and creme fraiche it was great!
It has a perfect taste! this turned out perfect and my daughter said they were better than the other skillets