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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- This Vegan Lentil Soup is the best!
- Speaking of soup, this Pinto Bean Soup is smoky and delicious!
- You’ll love this Black Bean Vegan Burrito mix to serve on salads or on burritos, soft tacos and more!
- Make this amazing Black Bean Dip because it’s fresh, delicious, and filling!
- These Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers are perfect to make and freeze for meal prepping!
- Make this Vegan Jambalaya for a spicy treat!
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!
Red Beans and Rice
- 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
- 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).
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.