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Cheap Healthy Meals: Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Updated on August 4, 2012

Moma's Red Beans and Rice

This simple recipe packs in a lot of flavor.
This simple recipe packs in a lot of flavor.
5 stars from 2 ratings of Mom's Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Red Beans

Red Beans and Rice

If someone asked you to name the cheapest or most frugal meal, you might answer "rice and beans." It is true - rice and beans do not cost much, but they can make a delicious and healthy meal.

You may be that struggling student surviving off of ramen noodles (watch the sodium!) or pasta and cheap tomato sauce (where's the protein?). Or you may be at the end of the month with a paycheck wearing thin. You may just be looking for an inexpensive family meal to get through the week. Or you may be tired of seeing all your money go into the gas tank or for expensive groceries. Whatever the case, try this savory, comforting meal of rice and beans, and you might be surprised to find what a rich meal it really can be.

Red Beans Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 cup dry beans (36g)
Calories 60
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 23 g8%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 16 g64%
Protein 8 g16%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Health Benefits of Red Beans

The small red bean packs in so many good things for the body that it would be a shame to ignore them. Also known as Mexican red bean or red chili bean, small red beans have the following health benefits:

  • very rich in antioxidants (more than blueberries)
  • high in protein
  • high in iron
  • high in fiber
  • low fat
  • low sodium
  • no cholesterol
  • easy to digest

So, don't make the mistake of overlooking the simple red bean for future meals. My mother's recipe below will make you appreciate the simplistic, but tasty, red beans and rice.

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 7 hours
  • Ready in: 7 hours 15 min
  • Yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry small red beans, rinsed and sorted
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Wylar's chicken granules
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
  • white rice, cooked
  • garnish: green and yellow pepper, finely diced

Step-by-Step Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Soak beans for 3 hours, then drain.Add drained beans back into the pot.Add chicken granules, oil and seasonings and simmer for 4 hours (covered with vented top)Add water periodically so the beans do not dry out.Serve over hot white rice and garnish with diced peppers.
Soak beans for 3 hours, then drain.
Soak beans for 3 hours, then drain.
Add drained beans back into the pot.
Add drained beans back into the pot.
Add chicken granules, oil and seasonings and simmer for 4 hours (covered with vented top)
Add chicken granules, oil and seasonings and simmer for 4 hours (covered with vented top)
Add water periodically so the beans do not dry out.
Add water periodically so the beans do not dry out.
Serve over hot white rice and garnish with diced peppers.
Serve over hot white rice and garnish with diced peppers.

Southern Rice Steamer Pot

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Southern rice steamer potWhite rice is a Southern staple.
Southern rice steamer pot
Southern rice steamer pot
White rice is a Southern staple.
White rice is a Southern staple.

How to Make Moma's Red Beans and Rice

  1. Fill a large pot with water and red beans. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, remove from heat, and cover. Let sit 3 hours.
  2. Drain beans in colander.
  3. Put beans back in pot with the chicken granules, oil, and seasonings.
  4. Simmer for 4 hours with pot top open a little.
  5. You will need to add some water 3-4 times while cooking. Keep beans just covered with liquid and be sure not to let them dry out. You want the beans to remain intact and a nice gravy to form.
  6. Serve over hot white rice and top with green and yellow peppers. Diced onions may be used as well for a garnish.
  7. Add a side salad to complete the meal.
  8. Substitutions: You can substitute 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary if you have it. For an even healthier option, substitute brown rice or a mix of half white and half brown rice
  9. Slow-cooker version: Place 7 cups of water and the rest of the ingredients in a 4 quart crock pot and cook on high for 7 hours. You will not have to pre-soak the beans. Keep checking the beans, though, to make sure they don't get mushy.
  10. Note: The red beans freeze very well.

Southern Rice Steamer Pot

Maybe you can help me solve a mystery. In the South, we use a three-piece rice steamer pot (photo above) that does not seem to exist anywhere else. What do you use to steam rice?

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    • profile image

      Jenny 2 years ago

      I hope one of you can help me solve a mystery. My great grandmothers rice steamer pot has just died and I am trying to find another but am having no luck. Can anyone tell me where to buy it or a name of a manufacturer . Any help is appreciated

    • Missy Mac profile image

      Missy Mac 4 years ago from Illinois

      I love beans. I just stock up on all types of beans. Black eye are my favorite. Beans, rice, and corn bread is all that I need. You are correct! Before purchasing the salty noodles, one should get healthy beans. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Hi, Docmo. You are right - they are also very filling - a very satisfying meal. Sometimes simple is the best way to go.

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image
      Author

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Hi, Crystal. Great question - I actually researched that since I am a wavering vegetarian, actually a pescatarian. I could not find vegetable granules, but I did notice something at Publix the other day - Swanson's Vegetable Flavor Boost, which is a packet of concentrated vegetable broth. I think it will do the trick!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      I do love this recipe and often have red beans and rice. As you say it is simple, nutritious and quite filling too. Nice recipe hub- great pics to accompany too. voted up!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      I really like red beans and rice and this is a great recipe. Any suggestions for substitutes on the chicken granules? I'm a vegetarian. Thanks! Voted up!