Mexican Brown Rice and Beans

Thanks to Critics in My Kitchen, I found just the right filling for those homemade flour tortillas!

I don’t know about you, but I love me some rice & beans. I’ve made it many ways over the years; this variation – opting for brown over white rice – is the healthiest yet. Now I’m not going to lecture you. I will say if you’re not eating brown rice, you really should be. Because in addition to its other amazing health properties, it’s super low in sodium. We’re talking a mere 10 milligrams per cup!

Brown rice takes longer to cook than white, about 40 minutes compared to 20. But start to finish, this dish’ll be on the table within an hour. During that time, you can whip together some additional burrito stuffing ingredients. Can you say guacamole? I flavored my rice and beans with Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle, adding additional seasoning once the cooking was done. For an even bigger boost, top with chopped fresh cilantro, low-sodium salsa, shredded Swiss cheese and sour cream.

Yields 4 servings.

SODIUM CONTENT: 27 mg per serving


1 T. olive oil
1 t. ground cumin
2 t. salt-free chili powder (I used Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle)
1 medium red onion, diced finely
1 c. brown rice, rinsed well
2 c. water
1 T. tomato paste
2- 15-oz. cans no-salt-added pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium. Add the cumin and chili powder and saute until fragrant, 20-30 seconds. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring, until soft.

Add the rice and stir well to coat. Add the water and tomato paste and combine. Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and place contents in a large serving bowl. Add beans to the rice mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and additional salt-free seasoning as desired. Serve immediately.

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11 Responses to Mexican Brown Rice and Beans

  1. Sam @ Critics in My Kitchen says:

    Thanks for linking to my blog! I’m glad you liked the rice and beans 🙂 When I go shopping next week, I am definitely picking up some Mrs. Dash!

  2. Christy says:

    You’re so welcome Sam – and Thank YOU for this great recipe. I’ve used (and use) maaany salt-free seasonings, but Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle is one of my favorites. Hope you like it too!

  3. Sarah says:

    I love love love rice and beans, especially brown rice! This looks delicious 🙂

  4. I just had beans for dinner… mine were ‘not quite’ like this, though.
    And by ‘not quite’ what I really mean is… not at all.

  5. Sandi says:

    What a great redux from the traditional. 27 mg/serving of sodium is amazing! Great work in the kitchen 🙂

  6. Christy says:

    Thanks so much everyone! Must mention that this tastes great the next day too — I added a little more Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning and some Trader Joe’s fire roasted tomato salsa (NO SALT ADDED!) and it was amazing! Thanks so much to Sam for sharing.

  7. Mary Jeanne says:

    I made the Mexican Brown Rice and Beans today. It was yummy with Trader Joe’s No Salt Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa, sour cream, and sprinkled with a few crumpled tortilla chips. I would love to try it with some roasted veggies on top. I’m a bit of a chicken – never roasted veggies myself. I’ve been looking for a recipe or simple instructions that may help. If anyone has any suggestions – I would be most grateful. Thank you 🙂 Now all I need is a delish low sodium recipe for New Orleans style Red Beans and Rice. Is that even possible?

    • Christy says:

      Hey Mary Jeanne! I’ve seen a recipe for N’Oleans style beans and rice – I copied it down ages ago and will try to find and share. Roasted veggies are soooo easy. Preheat your oven to 400-425 degrees. Wash and cut desired vegetables into same-size pieces, toss with a little oil and seasoning, then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet (feel free to line w parchment for even easier clean up). Place on middle rack in oven, and depending upon the veggies, roast for anywhere from 15 or 20 minutes up to 35 or 40. Just keep checking to see when start to soften and caramelize – and remove when you’re happy with the results. Seriously, couldn’t be easier and everything will taste amazing! Best of luck to you. Christy

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