Vegan Red Beans and Rice

When swamped or not in the mood for a complicated dish, my default is to whip up something in under half an hour. And what could be more perfect than this simple yet delicious red beans and rice recipe?

Here’s the step by step video of this recipe:

🗒️ The Necessary Ingredients

Red beans and rice ingredients

Before we dive into our kitchen escapade, let me introduce you to the carefully chosen ingredients.

Each one offers its own little magic, whether that’s a burst of flavor, a splash of color, or a delightful nuance. 💖

Olive Oil: The base of our sauté and a healthier fat option that provides a smooth texture and rich flavor.

Onion: Adds a sweet, caramelized undertone, crucial for the sauté base.

Garlic: Essential for any savory dish, garlic brings a zesty kick and aromatic depth.

Paprika: Provides a mild, smoky sweetness that enhances the overall flavor profile.

Cumin: A pinch for earthiness, adding a layer of complexity to the dish.

Black Pepper: Adds a subtle heat, which pairs well with the softer flavors.

Soy Sauce: A multi-tasker that deglazes the pan, while also contributing to the umami and salty dimensions.

Carrot: Adds a hint of natural sweetness and a pop of color, not to mention its nutritional value.

Green Bell Pepper: Provides a vibrant color contrast and a mild, peppery bite.

Red Beans: The star of the dish—rich in protein and fiber, they lend a hearty texture.

Bean Cooking Water: Used to maintain the bean flavor and bring the dish to the right consistency.

Nutritional Yeast: A dash for a cheesy, umami twist and an extra layer of nutrition.

Salt: Less is more here. A small amount accentuates the flavors without making the dish overly salty.

Lime: A squeeze to brighten up the dish, adding a refreshing, citrusy note.

Parsley: The final flourish, adding color and a fresh, herbaceous element to your plate.

Rice: The perfect match for beans— some white rice. I love Thai and Basmati, but choose the one you like best.

👨🏻‍🍳 How to Make This Delicious Red Beans and Rice Recipe

This recipe is a total breeze—like, seriously my go-to when I’m in no mood for kitchen complexity.

So, let’s get the ball rolling, shall we? First up, if you’re a dried-bean kind of person like me:

Soaking the Beans: If you, like me, prefer using dried beans, a 24-hour soak is the way to go. It not only quickens the cooking process but it also improves the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Cooking the Beans: Moving on to cooking—no pressure cooker on hand? No problem. It will naturally extend the cooking time to around 45-50 minutes. And don’t forget—a little salt in the cooking water goes a long way.

onions and garlic sateéing on the pan

Sauté Base: Grab a large pot and warm up the olive oil over a medium flame. Toss in your minced garlic and diced onion. Let them dance in the pot until the onions turn dreamy and translucent, and the garlic fills the air with its aroma.

Blooming the spices along with the onion and garlic
deglaze the pan with some soy sauce

Add Spices and Herbs: Time to let those spices and herbs really come to life. A quick moment in the pot helps their flavors to bloom and distribute evenly throughout the dish. And for a little culinary magic, deglaze the pan with a splash of soy sauce. It gathers all those lovely aromatic bits stuck to the bottom, making sure nothing goes to waste.

add the carrots and bell peppers

Vegetable Medley: Let’s invite some color and nutrition to this cozy pot. Toss in your diced carrots and green bell pepper, mingling them with the sautéed base. Place the lid on and let them simmer away for 10-12 minutes, or until they’ve softened up and become one with the dish.

add the beans and bean water.

Bean Addition: Next, welcome your cooked red beans to the pot, giving them a gentle stir to marry them with the sautéed ensemble of flavors. Then, for that extra touch of richness, pour in a cup of the bean water you’ve saved from the cooking process.

add the tbsp of nutritional yeast

Nutritional Boost: Sprinkle in the nutritional yeast for that subtle cheesy, umami kick. Add a pinch of salt for balance. Let the entire medley simmer away for about 20 minutes to let all those wonderful flavors truly come together.

using the bean water to cook the rice
cooked bean rice

Preparing the rice: While all that goodness is simmering, let’s get that rice going. I’m using Thai rice this time, another fave of mine next to Basmati. A little drizzle of oil in the pan, a quick sauté of the rice, and then in goes the water.

Pro tip: Use some of that leftover bean water on the rice—waste not, want not, right? It also gives it some extra flavor, provided you’ve added some salt to the water.

drizzle some lime juice on the beans

Finish with Lime Juice: As we’re nearing the finish line, let’s add a splash of lime juice for that oh-so-refreshing citrus kick. Give it a good stir to spread that zesty love all around.

Taste and Adjust: After letting everything simmer and meld, give it a taste. Need a pinch more salt or something else? Now’s your chance to make those final tweaks.

red beans and rice

Serve: Time for the grand finale! Lovingly spoon that vibrant bean medley over your perfectly cooked rice. And don’t hold back—sprinkle a generous handful of chopped parsley for that fresh, green finish. Voila! You’re ready to dig in.

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vegan red beans and rice

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

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  • Author: Alexandre Valente
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Looking for a quick, hassle-free meal that’s bursting with flavor? Meet your new go-to: an irresistibly tasty Red Beans and Rice dish that comes together in under 45 minutes.


Units Scale
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion ((diced))
  • 3 garlic cloves ((diced))
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 carrot ((diced))
  • 1 green bell pepper ((diced))
  • 1 cup dried beans ((2 cups of soaked beans))
  • 1 cup bean cooking water
  • 1 tbsp malted yeast / nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pinch of salt ((adjust if needed))
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • Parsley ((chopped))


  1. Prep the Beans: If using dried beans, soak them for 24 hours to reduce cooking time and ease digestion.
  2. Cook the Beans: Boil until tender, seasoning with a pinch of salt. Takes about 45-50 minutes.
  3. Sauté: Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add minced garlic and diced onion. Cook until fragrant and translucent.
  4. Add Spices: Toss in paprika, cumin, and black pepper. Deglaze the pan with soy sauce.
  5. Mix Veggies: Add diced carrots and green bell pepper. Cover and cook until softened.
  6. Combine with Beans: Stir in cooked beans and a cup of bean water.
  7. Flavor Boost: Add nutritional yeast and simmer to blend flavors.
  8. Cook Rice: While the beans are simmering, prepare your favorite rice, optionally using some bean water for added flavor.
  9. Citrus Twist: Stir in lime juice for a zesty finish.
  10. Adjust Seasoning: Taste and tweak seasoning if needed.
  11. Serve: Plate the bean mixture over rice and garnish with chopped parsley.


  • Canned Beans Alternative: Opt for canned beans to cut down on prep time. In that case, bypass steps 1 and 2. Since you won’t have bean cooking water, vegetable broth or plain water are good substitutes.
  • Spicy Option: Feel free to introduce a dash of cayenne pepper for extra heat. I personally leave it out to accommodate different spice tolerances, but go ahead and spice it up if you’re into that.
  • Malted Yeast: As I’m staying in France (at the moment), we weren’t able to find nutritional yeast, so we had to go with malted yeast. But if you have access to nutritional yeast, please go with it! 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American

🙏🏻 Before you go, I’ve got a favor to ask!

I’d love to get your feedback on this recipe! Feel free to leave a comment below detailing your experience— and let others know how you feel about it!

Of course, you can also ask any questions you may have about the recipe— and we’ll try to respond ASAP.

me holding the red beans and rice

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