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A healthy and satisfying dinner can be on the table in just 20 minutes! My Mom’s recipe for Red Beans and Rice is a childhood favorite that has stood the test of time. Whether you prepare a vegetarian version or whip up the original with beef, it’s a simple meal that the whole family will love!

Rice and beans in a yellow bowl topped with cheese

This is one of those recipes that just totally reminds me of my childhood. My mom served Red Beans and Rice on a regular basis, and now I know why.

Rice and beans in a yellow bowl topped with grated cheese and herbs

It’s an easy, quick-prep dinner that comes together in less than 30 minutes (and it tastes like it took MUCH longer)!

This Red Beans and Rice can be prepared ahead of time for those crazy days when you don’t want to do anything more than reheat a meal. It’s freezer-friendly, and I swear that it just gets better as it sits!

A close up of rice and beans in a bowl topped with cheese

When I recently made a batch of Mom’s Red Beans and Rice for dinner, I substituted ground turkey for the beef that she calls for in her original recipe.

We had feasted on French Dip sandwiches the night before, and I just figured a day (or 3) off from red meat was probably a good idea! The turkey worked really well, and so would ground chicken if that’s your preference.

Cook’s Tips – Red Beans and Rice

  • Cooking for Two? This recipe can be cut in half to serve two portions. It also freezes well, so if you prepare an entire recipe you can save half in the freezer for a later date!
  • Want to Prep Ahead? You can prepare this meal ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Cook the rice just before serving, and reheat the meat and beans.

Rice and beans in a bowl topped with herbs and cheese

Variations – Rice And Beans

  • Prefer a vegetarian dish? Mom’s Red Beans and Rice can easily be made meat-free — just add an extra can of beans in place of the beef.
  • Want a low-carb or healthier version? Try serving the beans over cauliflower rice, brown rice, or quinoa!
  • The dinner is so customizable, and the toppings are an added bonus! My boys love to pile their bowls high with a mountain of shredded cheese (of course), while Keith and I love a fresh burst from the green onions and the zip from a dash of hot sauce.

Make the meal your own, and enjoy! It’s sure to become a classic in your family as well!

More Delicious Comfort Food Meals To Try;

Rice and beans in a yellow bowl topped with cheese

Mom's 20-Minute Red Beans and Rice

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 188 kcal
This super easy rice and beans is ready in only 20 minutes and can easily be adapted with your favorite toppings!


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or can substitute with ground turkey or chicken -- *SEE NOTE for a vegetarian option!
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 4.5 ounce can chopped green chilies
  • 1 15 ounce can pink beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • For serving: cooked rice; shredded cheddar cheese; sliced green onions; sour cream; hot sauce


  • In a large skillet, brown meat with onion and garlic. Drain.
  • Add remaining ingredients.
  • Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve with rice. Top with cheese, sour cream, green onions, and/or hot sauce.


*For a vegetarian option, replace the meat with an additional can of beans.


Calories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 25gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 407mgPotassium: 537mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 630IUVitamin C: 3.2mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 5.1mg
Keyword: Red Beans and Rice, Rice And Beans
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: The Seasoned Mom

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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  1. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says:

    I can see why this was a childhood favorite of yours…it looks amazing! I’ve always been a fan of red beans and rice, but have never made it myself before. I need to try out these easy version. Sounds perfect for busy weeknights!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Gayle! Yep — it’s so perfect for busy evenings. In fact, I think I need to add it to the meal plan again soon!

      1. Rose says:

        5 stars
        This is SO GREAT and an easy fix ! Love that good taste , reminds me of HOME thanks for posting family loves it .

        1. Blair says:

          Awesome! Thanks so much, Rose!

    2. Dena Holland says:

      Hello in canada here. Mature lady.. to be kind lol
      What is meant by “pink” beans please??? Do you mean pinto beans? Kidneys are darker red. Thank you !

      1. Dena Holland says:

        Oh so sorry!!! No sooner did I post them scrolled down and saw my questioned answered!!! So sorry
        This recipe sounds so good and I have PINTO BEANS lolol

        1. Blair says:

          Excellent! 🙂

  2. laurie says:

    What kind of beans are pink beans please?

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Laurie! Pink beans are often found in barbecue recipes, Old West recipes, and Mexican-American recipes. They’re very similar to pinto beans, so you can substitute with pinto beans or kidney beans in this recipe if you prefer. 🙂

      1. Dena Holland says:

        Thank you Blair!! I asked the same question to much later and then read your response. I have pinto beans and love them since I first tasted them in mexican restaurants in the usa. Thk u !!!!

        1. Blair says:

          Excellent! Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂

  3. Kristy from Southern In Law says:

    I actually just made red beans and rice for the first time last week! I think I’ll have to try your version next as it’s a little bit different!

    1. Blair says:

      This is certainly the easiest way that I know how to make it! 🙂 Thanks, Kristy!

  4. Jackie says:

    This looks really good and easy. I have tried those awful mixes for RB&R and it seems they are 75 percent salt. Good to know that it can be this easy to make my own!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Jackie! Totally! It’s so easy and so much healthier than a packaged version!

  5. Luann says:

    5 stars
    I made Mom’s 20-Minute Red Beans and Rice tonight using pinto beans – delicious! I topped mine with sour cream, cheddar cheese and hot sauce.

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Luann! Thank you so much for letting me know! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the meal as much as we do! 🙂

  6. Valerie Roche says:

    Can this be made without the chillies as I don’t like them.

    1. Blair says:

      Definitely, Valerie! Just leave them out. 🙂

  7. Brianna says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was such a big hit! I wasn’t able to use red beans so I used black beans. Super good and definitely recommend this!

    1. Blair says:

      Yay! So glad to hear that, Brianna! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  8. Sarah says:

    Is 2 tablespoons of cumin correct? Seems like a lot. Looks delicious otherwise!

    1. Blair says:

      Hey, Sarah! It’s definitely a strong amount, so feel free to adjust to suit your taste. Maybe start with half of that and see how you like it?

  9. Cynthia says:

    5 stars
    Came together quickly and easily! Delicious!

    1. Blair says:

      Great! Thanks, Cynthia!

  10. MaryEllen Edwards says:

    5 stars
    I loved your red beans and rice recipe. I am on a search for a recipe a lady who I babysat for made regularly made. It consisted of ground beef, a can of pork and beans, and tator-tots. I think. I’m not really sure. Do you have anything like that in your collection? Thanks for your help.

  11. Karhy says:

    Sorry, I can not rate as I have not made. I am a big fan on red beans and rice, so I will be making this. I have a question on one of the ingredients. What are pink beans?

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Hi Karhy! Pink beans are very similar to Pinto beans. They’re often found in barbecue recipes, Old West recipes, and Mexican-American recipes. If needed, you can substitute them with Pinto or Kidney beans instead.