Vegan Red Beans and Rice Recipe

This Vegan Red Beans and Rice recipe could be described as a hearty comfort food. Serve this vegetarian red beans and rice with with cornbread and topped with a bit of sliced peppers. You can make those peppers jalapeños if you like some kick.

A bowl of beans with rice on the top. The text above it reads: Best Vegan Red Beans and Rice.

I’ve always thought that cooking bean-based recipes from dried beans would be such a hassle. I’ve learned over the last couple of years that nothing could be further from the truth. It does take a little preparation, but it’s not as if it requires that much time. And that’s where the hassle part of most projects come in to play anyway.

That’s one reason I love vegetarian red beans and rice recipes. It provides lots of opportunities to try out my bean skills!

What I love about using dried beans is the control. (Yes, I can be a control freak, but only about beans and canned goods stacked neatly in the pantry…everything else is up for grabs). Here’s my problem with canned beans; too much salt for my taste. Well, there’s also the hassle of recycling the cans.

The trick to make red beans and rice vegan is not the beans, however. For me, it was using TVP, otherwise known as textured vegetable protein. However, you can use veggie meat crumbles instead.

Looking down on a bowl of beans and rice with cornbread beside it. Hot sauce has been drizzled over the top.

What are Red Beans?

Red beans are different than kidney beans. Small red beans are what you’re looking for in this recipe and are easily found in the dried beans section. I love this resource for learning more about the different types of beans.

You can used canned or dried red beans and this recipe will work just fine. But if salt is on your radar screen, either buy low sodium canned red beans or buy a bag of dried beans and make this red beans and rice vegetarian recipe from scratch!

That way you can add as much or as little salt as you like. And you can use your favorite sea salt instead of table salt. See? The control freak in me is completely unfreakified. (I’m fairly certain that’s not a word, but you get the point).

How to Make Vegan Red Beans and Rice

It’s easy to make vegetarian Red Beans and Rice recipes! Start by soaking the red beans in 5 – 6 cups of water several hours or overnight. Drain the beans of the soaking water and rinse well.

FYI about beans: kidney beans are also red. A small red beans recipe like this one is calling for red beans, not kidney beans which are larger.

Looking down on a pot full of beans and broth with a couple of bay leaves on top.

In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil, onions, carrots, bell peppers.

Stop here! You want to make sure the carrots are tender before moving on. If you’re in a hurry, feel free to place carrots in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for a minute or two to help them tenderize more.

OK. So, continue cooking until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the spices and liquid smoke, and cook for about a minute.

Add beans, vegetable broth, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 1 hour. You want to see the water at an active simmer in order to cook the beans.

Stop: Do not proceed to the next step until the beans are fully cooked. How will you know the beans are cooked? First, when you stir them, they shouldn’t “ping” against the spoon. The beans should be heavy and thus move more sluggishly and heavy around the spoon. Second, remove one of the beans with a spoon and allow it to cool and taste it. The bean should be tender, not chewy or crunchy.

Once the beans are cooked you can move to the next step.

Next, stir in the TVP and stewed tomatoes. Cook for another 10 – 15 minutes, until the TVP is tender.

In the meantime, place the brown rice in a medium sauce pan with the water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook covered about 30 – 40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, add a scoop of rice to beans, along with Vegan Cornbread and your favorite toppings (like vegan sour cream, vegan yogurt, chopped jalapenos, fresh parsley).

This recipe should produce 8 servings, depending on the size of those servings.

A bowl of red beans and rice is in the foreground with a plate of cornbread behind it.

Love Vegan Bean Recipes?

Sure, this vegan red beans recipe is amazing, but now you want more vegan bean recipes! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Be sure to try these out:

Cheap Vegan Recipes

Another thing I love about this vegan rice and beans recipe is that it’s cheap! People often have a misconception that vegan diets are expensive.

Meatless red beans and rice is one example that vegan recipes are very affordable! Here’s a breakdown of costs for this recipe based approximate prices at my local grocery store (Price Chopper):

  • A bag of red beans: $1
  • A bag of brown rice: $1
  • TVP (textured vegetable protein — I found a bag of Bob’s Red Mill TVP in the health food section of my grocery store): $4
  • Remaining ingredients like chopped carrots, onion, garlic and seasonings: $5.

This all comes to around to $11 and creates 8 generous and filling servings. That’s $1.38 per serving. If you ask me, that’s a very a reasonably-priced meal that’s not too difficult to make.

Sounds like happiness in a bowl!

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

A bowl of red beans and rice is in the foreground with a plate of cornbread behind it.

Red Beans and Rice

This savory stew is a classic and you'll love this vegan version of Red Beans and Rice. Serve it up with vegan cornbread for the ultimate delicious experience!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Red Beans and Rice
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Resting time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 371kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried red beans 1 bag
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper (green, yellow, or red)
  • 5 large garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1 cup water
  • 32 oz vegetable broth (or 5 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • 1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups textured vegetable protein
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry brown rice
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  • Soak the red beans in 5 – 6 cups of water several hours or overnight. Drain the beans of the soaking water and rinse well. Set aside.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil, onions, carrots, bell peppers. Cook until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the spices and liquid smoke, and cook for about a minute.
  • Add beans, vegetable broth, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 1 hour. Stir in the TVP and stewed tomatoes. Cook for another 10 – 15 minutes, until the TVP is tender.
  • In the meantime, place the brown rice in a medium sauce pan with the water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook covered about 30 – 40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • To serve, add a scoop of rice to beans, along with cornbread and your favorite toppings (like vegan sour cream, vegan yogurt, chopped jalapenos, fresh parsley).

Notes

To cook carrots more quickly, place them in a microwave-safe container and microwave for approximately 2 minutes before transferring them to the pot with the rest of the veggies.
You can find TVP in the health food section of most grocery stores and/or health food stores. Alternatively, feel free to use veggie crumbles.
Nutrition Facts
Red Beans and Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 371 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 528mg22%
Potassium 903mg26%
Carbohydrates 62g21%
Fiber 14g56%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 6777IU136%
Vitamin C 29mg35%
Calcium 150mg15%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Enjoy!

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7 Responses to Vegan Red Beans and Rice Recipe

  1. Yum yum, this is definitely my kind of comfort food. I always cook my beans from scratch now, it really is no work and I’m saving on added sodium, reducing my environmental impact (can production and recycling), money..and not to mention all those dried beans in their containers look so pretty in my kitchen 🙂
    Oh, could you let me know what size can of tomatoes. I’ve noticed that often our can sizes in the UK differ from US ones. Thank you!

    • It was a 15 oz can of stewed tomatoes. Although I have seen some in 14.5 oz cans. And it would be fine to use diced tomatoes too. The options are (not literally) endless!

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