Recipe: Tropical Rice and Beans

Tropical Beans and Rice recipeTropical Rice and Beans Recipe – simple, flexible, and frugal.  Vegetarian and Kid approved.  What’s not to love?

When I originally shared this recipe on another blog, I used a package of processed saffron rice.  The bright yellow rice made for pretty photographs.  I have since made it with brown rice made with chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water) with a teaspoon of mild curry powder (or 2 threads saffron) and a small pinch of salt.   The homemade stuff is just as good, if not better.   

This is more of a set of guidelines than an actual recipe.  Pick what sounds yummy to you and leave out the rest.  Visually, the contrast of yellow rice, black beans, and brightly colored fresh ingredients is hard to beat. To maximize textural contrast and interest, you want warm rice and beans and cold toppings.  You also want creamy textured beans and crispy vegetable toppings.  Spicy, sweet, cold, warm, creamy, crunch, and salty can all jump onto your spoon at the same time.

Tropical Rice and Beans Recipe

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 6 cups “yellow” rice (3/4 cup per person)
  • 6 cups black beans (3/4 cup per person)

Pick from the following toppings, planning on about 1 cup per person total (or more if you have big appetites!)

  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Chopped Green Onions
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Diced Bell Pepper (red, yellow and/or green)
  • Diced Tomato
  • Diced Jalepeno
  • Small Pieces of Tropical Fruit (mango, papaya, pineapple)
  • Cubed Chicken Pieces
  • Cubed Avocado
  • Fresh Lime Wedges
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Corn


Make a ring of the rice and gently pour the beans into the ring.  I made individual servings, but it also works to serve it family style.
tropical beans and rice assembly

Serve the toppings on the side or pre-assemble in the kitchen.
toppings for tropical beans and rice


For your kids, an easy way to serve this dish might be to present things more simply, like this:
kid friendly beans and rice variation

If there are any leftover toppings, they can be used at the start of a nice salad for your lunch the next day.

tropical beans and rice salad

tropical rice and beans recipe

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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