Black Beans and Yellow Rice

A simple yet flavorful side dish or main dish is this Black Beans and Yellow Rice recipe! Using basic items from the pantry this version of beans and seasoned rice is ready in under 30 minutes.

Close up seasoned yellow rice with beans

If you enjoy this recipe you may also enjoy our Instant Pot Rice Pilaf, Sausage and Fried Rice or Sausage, Broccoli & Rice Casserole.

Easy Black Beans and Yellow Rice Recipe

Black Beans and Yellow Rice is a side dish that can go with pork chops, beef, chicken and almost any whole cut of meat! The combination of beans and rice adds protein and fiber in a low fat and nutritionally powerful dish.

A little zest from the lime and cilantro along the spices add an enjoyable flavor that is not overpowering. Similar to a make at home version of Taco Bell’s Black Beans and Rice the fresh ingredients amp up the taste.

This recipe is a winner! Very versatile and filling this side dish is unique enough to help mix up the meal time routine. We love that it is a healthy and tasty way to fill up and it’s very budget friendly!

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Spoon full of warm and tender black beans and yellow rice recipe


Vigo saffron yellow rice or arroz amarillo is an authentic Spanish recipe that we typically start with. Zatarains also makes great flavored rice options including yellow rice. They have a jambalaya mix which is the base for our Easy Sausage Jambalaya.

The dish is also popular in the Caribbean and reminds me of a side that we enjoyed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort restaurant.

It’s also similar to food served on our family trip in San Antonio with the strong Spanish and Mexican influence. Adjusting the herbs and spices can put a different spin on the recipe.

Seasoned black beans nestled into cooked caribbean yellow rice

Ingredients Needed:

  • Yellow rice
  • Olive oil
  • Black beans
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Sour Cream or Yogurt


A bag of yellow rice starts with enriched rice and adds dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated chicken, spices including saffron or tumeric and other extracts to add flavoring and the yellow color to rice.

Adding a few more easy spices, fresh herbs like cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice at home creates a restaurant quality side dish with very little effort!

Black beans can be stirred in to the rice to make a great side dish or poured over the top to make a simple meal. Rice is low fat and beans add protein, fiber and more carbohydrates to make a filling dish.

Big bowl of yellow rice with black beans and cilantro on blue and white napkin


  • Cook rice according to the directions on the package that you have. Ensure rice is tender, but does not run out of water and burn before reaching desired doneness.
  • Leftovers reheat very well. A teaspoon of butter can be stirred into the rice before putting in the microwave if desired.
  • Rice can be cooked in chicken broth if desired, we feel there’s plenty of flavor just using water.
  • Black beans do not have to be rinsed and drained, this is a personal preference. If this step is skipped just pour warmed beans over top of the rice instead of stirring into it.
  • Onions can be sauteed in butter and garlic and added to the dish if desired.
  • One of the following may also be added if you have on hand: chopped green pepper, jalapeno, green onions or parsley may be used in place of cilantro.

How to Make Black Beans and Yellow Rice

In a large sauce pan boil 2 1/2 cups water, then add olive oil or butter and package of rice. Stir for a minute and then cover tightly and turn down to simmer which is very low heat. These instructions may vary depending on the bag or box of rice that you use. Follow the directions on your package if they vary from those listed.

Allow rice to simmer for 20 – 25 minutes until tender. Fluff rice with a fork.

Pot of cooked Spanish yellow rice

While the rice is cooking prep cilantro and beans. 

In a separate saucepan or skillet add black beans that have been drained and rinsed. Set to medium heat. 

Sprinkle cumin and chili powder over the top. Stir well.

Black beans warming in skillet with cumin and chili powder

Then add cilantro and lime juice. Stir until warmed.

Cilantro and lime juice added to skillet of warming black beans

Mix rice and black bean mixture together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with sour cream or yogurt and more fresh cilantro.

Skillet of rice and beans seasoned and mixed together on a bright blue and white napkin

What to Serve with Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Other Easy Side Dish Recipes

Jiffy Broccoli Cornbread is another simple recipe that uses pantry staples to quickly enhance your meal.

Sweet Corn Spoon Bread melts cheese on top of a Jiffy corn bread casserole to make your taste buds happier.

Calico Beans uses a combination of 4 kinds of beans, meat, onion and celery.

Sautéed Zucchini, Squash & Onions is a quick and easy skillet side dish that also goes good with steak.

Spoonful of warm, tender and lightly seasoned yellow rice and black beans recipe

Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Servings 8 servings
Author: Jennifer
A simple yet flavorful side dish or main dish is this Black Beans and Yellow Rice recipe! Using basic items from the pantry this version of beans and seasoned rice is ready in under 30 minutes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 10 ounces Yellow rice
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil or butter (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 15 ounce can Black beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup sour cream optional


  • In a large sauce pan with tightly fitting lid bring water to a boil. Add olive oil or butter, then add yellow rice.
  • Stir for one minute while boiling. Cover tightly and reduce heat to simmer, cook for 20 – 25 minutes until tender and serve.
  • While rice is cooking drain and rinse a can of black beans. Then pour into a skillet or sauce pan. Turn to medium heat.
  • Add cumin, chili powder, cilantro and lime juice to taste.
  • Once rice is done stir seasoned beans into rice and serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.


Calories: 248kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 7gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 14mgPotassium: 253mgFiber: 5gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 98IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

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