Easy Red Beans And Rice Recipe

This easy red beans and rice is wonderful with our without the meat!

I’ve always read about getting adequate protein (all 9 amino acids) through the combination of rice and beans. And while this classically southern dish is typically served with sausage, it doesn’t have to have the sausage to be a filling and tasty meal.

Easy Clean Eating Red Beans And Rice Recipe

There are typically two camps of people in clean eating. Those that believe whole in the benefits of white rice and those who believe in the whole grains approach of brown rice. Both have their pluses and minuses.


  • White rice has more thiamin, iron and folate but is more processed.
  • Brown rice has more niacin and is less processed.
  • Both have about the same calorie content.

Those in the white rice camp site the fat that it is fat free. But at about 1 gram of fat per cup, brown rice has such minimal fat, it’s hardly worth the argument, and at the end of the day, clean eating avoids processed foods. So brown rice has always been my first choice.


  • Rice and beans create a complete protein with all 9 amino acids.
  • If you are plant based but others at your dinner table are not, you can serve yourself a meat-free portion while giving them the sausage they will no doubt prefer with this meal.


A dish of green salad on the side is excellent with this meal. It will give you extra veggies and fiber while making the meal feel even more substantial.


  • Freeze this in portioned sizes.
  • Freeze up to 4 months.
  • Defrost in the fridge.
  • If freezer space is an issue, freeze this in sandwich bags (for portioned sizes), flatten and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, it will be flat and easy to wedge in or pile up inside your freezer.

A note on the beans: Traditional southern red beans and rice use a small, red bean. But I don’t have access to those here in my area, so I subbed with kidney beans. Use what’s available to you.


Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry


Easy Clean Eating Red Beans And Rice Recipe

Red Beans and Rice

This classic southern favorite gets a healthy upgrade that can be enjoyed with meat or as a plant based meal.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 352kcal


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup red onion (minced)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped fine)
  • 1 cup green bell pepper (chopped small)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (divided)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder (yes, 2 tbsp.!)
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp. Italian Seasoning (see link above to make your own)
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 2 ½ cups cooked kidney beans (or small red beans – canned is fine too. )
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (I cooked mine with vegetable broth instead of water)
  • pre-cooked meat of your choosing (optional)


  • In a large skillet (I used a wok), warm the oil and add the onion, celery and bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until they begin to soften.
  • When the oil runs out, add in 1 cup of the vegetable broth and the spices and beans.
  • Add the rest of the broth as needed.
  • (Add any pre-cooked meat here if using.) Cook until the vegetables are properly cooked through and everything is nicely combined.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible. Data does not include optional meat.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1505IU | Vitamin C: 28.1mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 7.1mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.