How the World Does Beans and 16 Recipes

Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice on a white plate
Photo: Mart

Beans and rice do the impossible. Together, they make a complete protein, meaning that combined, beans and rice offer sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids necessary for human health. Better together, beans and rice also do it super cheap. Beans, in fact, are the least expensive protein source around. Plus, they're high in fiber, low in fat, but still wonderfully filling. Yes, the perfect meal. No wonder so many cultures get into the act. Here are some of our favorite interpretations of rice-and-beans recipes from around the world.

01 of 17

Bahamian Style Peas and Rice

Caribbean-inspired beans and rice! "Peas and rice, often served under a tropical sun," says DANIELLE2877. "You may have had it last while sitting on soft white sand, and looking at a clear blue sea. Goes excellently with other traditional Caribbean fare, such as chicken curry or souse."

02 of 17

Quick Black Beans and Rice

"Some say beans and rice is the most nutritious and well balanced meal in the world," says Kathy Miller. "Try adding your favorite chutney or salsa to this dish when you serve it!"

03 of 17

Pacific Cuban Black Beans and Rice

"I am not claiming this to be an authentic Cuban dish, rather my version of it," says Fancy Nancy. "Garnish with chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and sour cream."

04 of 17

Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice on a white plate

Beans and rice with some serious Louisiana flavor. "Authentic Cajun flavor," says MIAMI BEACH. "I grew up in Louisiana and love red beans and rice; these are just like I remember. Serve with Tabasco sauce for a little kick. My family loved to splash a little cider vinegar in each bowl."

05 of 17

Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

Here's how they do rice and beans in Portugal and Brazil. "This is my version of a traditional Brazilian black bean stew that maintains the rich smoky, flavors famous in Brazil," says L Ireland. "Additional meats, including sausage, may be added if desired. This is excellent served over brown rice."

06 of 17

Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans and Chickpeas

Middle East and Persia-inspired beans and rice. "The flavors are just delicious. The possibilities of add-ins are endless," says ," says JULIEP. "Ground beef, lamb, or pork may be used instead of turkey."

07 of 17

Persian Sabzi Polo (Herb Rice with Fava Beans)

"This is a Persian dish which I often make for my husband," says GONDWANA. "It will taste much better if you use fresh herbs. It also goes very well with either fish or chicken. Hope you like it."

08 of 17

Spicy African Yam Soup

"An unusual combination of simple ingredients that render a spicy, tasty soup that's ready in less than 45 minutes," says Colleen Campo.

09 of 17

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani is an India-inspired beans and rice. "I hated lentils before I discovered Indian food," says SOGOLONDJATA. "This version is very rich, but you can leave out the cream to make it lighter."

10 of 17

Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry)

"Rajma is comfort food at its best," says SUSMITA. "I like rajma best with simple jeera (cumin) rice. Of course, some roti would be great too. When I was in college, I ate rajma at least once a week. Cheap, nutritious, and comforting. What is not to like?"

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"Yummy, healthy, comfort food. This simple dish of beans and rice is tasty and helps cleanse the body and heal digestion," says Roxy B. "An easy, healthy, pantry meal I can throw together when I have nothing else in the house. Top with ghee, salt, liquid aminos, or whatever you like. I like lemon pepper, sriracha sauce, and feta cheese."

12 of 17

Black Beans, Corn, and Yellow Rice

Here's a Southwest-inspired take. "I put this together with what I had in my pantry," says tahoegirl. "It makes a lot and is quite inexpensive. Serve with tortilla chips or as a filling for flour tortillas. It's even better the next day."

13 of 17

Green Risotto with Fava Beans

Here's an Italian take with risotto and fava beans. "I can't stress enough how much better this is if it is stirred constantly," says DJFoodie. "If one arm gets tired, switch arms. Taste the rice for doneness before serving. Nothing worse than a plate of crunchy risotto. Try it, and you will find it is well worth it!"

14 of 17

Risotto with Butternut Squash and White Beans

"Steamed butternut squash folded into a creamy white bean risotto is the perfect flavorful dish for a weeknight or entertaining your favorite guests," says Parker Whittle. "Known as Risotto con Zucca i Fagioli in Italian."

15 of 17

Amazing Mexican Quinoa Salad

This one is inspired by Mexican flavors. "Extremely yummy, spicy marinated salad that will keep in the fridge for up to a week," says Rita. "You have everything you need for a very healthy meal in one dish! Substitute barley for the brown rice if desired. Turtle beans can be substituted for kidney beans."

16 of 17

Green Lentils and Rice Assyrian Style

"Lentils and rice have come a long way" says sharon younan. "In Assyrian, we call this dish jadarah! I hope you enjoy this great and easy recipe of jadarah!"

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