The challenge: Turn pinto beans, rice and taco seasoning into a versatile meal ingredient
The response: Slow Cooker Beans and Rice
Beans and rice are a famously delicious, high-protein alternative to meat when you’re living on a tight budget. And this recipe, for Slow Cooker Beans and Rice, is not only simple to make, it’s easily adaptable to a variety of uses:
- In a rice bowl, with chopped lettuce or spicy cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream
- With tortillas, as a burrito filling, plain or with shredded cheese and salsa
- As a main dish, with sliced apples, cheese cubes and cornbread on the side
Best of all, you can season it to taste, based on what you have available.
Slow Cooker Rice and Beans
Makes 6 servings, 385 calories each
- 1 bag (1 pound) dried pinto beans
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1/3 to ½ cup chunky salsa OR
- 1 14.5-ounce can salsa style diced tomatoes
- 1 package taco seasoning OR
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons dried, minced onion (or ½ chopped fresh onion)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (more or less to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cumin or oregano
Place uncooked beans in a large colander, rinse and drain well.
To a large bowl or cooking pot, add the rinsed beans and cover with water. Cover and set aside to soak overnight or at least 4 hours.
Drain and rinse soaked beans, then place them in a large slow cooker. Add salsa or tomatoes and seasonings. Pour a quart or more of warm water over the beans until the beans are covered by about 2 inches over the top. Gently stir to mix.
Cook beans on low all day (or overnight), until tender (at least 6-8 hours). Check them periodically and add water, as needed.
When the beans are nearly done, prepare rice according to package directions. For added flavor, make Cilantro Lime Rice by adding 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon dried cilantro to the cooking water.
Serve the beans over a scoop of warm rice, or mix the beans and rice together as a burrito filling or in a rice bowl with salad ingredients, shredded cheese, guacamole or sour cream.