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Mexican Rice and Beans

One-Pot Mexican Rice and Beans recipe
Maggie Shi
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
20 mins

Chef notes

We love a one-pot meal and this one delivers both ease and flavor. This colorful vegetarian meal gets plenty of protein from black beans, and a big boost of flavor from the chili powder and cumin. In fact, you should be able to find most of the ingredients in your pantry. Think: long-grain rice, diced tomatoes, frozen corn, onions, bell peppers and a few spices. Everything is cooked in one heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven, but feel free to use a skillet, so long as it has a lid.

One thing we love about this recipe is its versatility. Don’t have black beans? Use pinto or kidney beans! Want to use yellow bell pepper instead of red? By all means, do so! And be sure to take advantage of fresh vegetables when they’re in season. Cut fresh corn off the cob instead of cutting open a bag of frozen kernels — and then thank us later.

Once you've prepped all of the ingredients, the dish comes together quickly. It takes about 10 minutes of prep work and then cooks for 20 minutes, leaving you with plenty of time to wash a few dishes or open a bottle of wine. Just before serving this one-skillet dinner, stir in some grated cheese (choose cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese for a milder flavor, or pepper jack if you prefer an extra kick).

Serve this updated version of rice and beans immediately (no fancy plating necessary) with a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro on top.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish



In a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, corn and black beans and cook, until the corn and beans are heated through, about 2 minutes.


Stir in 1½ cups water, the diced tomatoes and their juices, chili powder, cumin, rice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.


Stir in the cheese until melted. Taste for seasoning and serve garnished with chopped cilantro.