Cheesy Beans & Rice

You see it on my menu plan every single week.  You ask about it.  You request the recipe.  And I, blushing, think to myself, “Really?  They want THIS recipe?  There’s nothing to it!”  But, because you’ve asked, I’m providing the “recipe” today.  Laugh if you will, but this is how I do it:


To feed my three young children with big appetites:

  • 1 cup rice (traditional white or brown, whatever’s handy)
  • 2 cups water (sometime more for the brown, depending on how I decide to cook it)
  • 1/2 cup refried beans (I make my own, but canned would be totally fine here) OR 1/2 cup pinto or black beans (canned or soaked/cooked)
  • round about 2 oz. cheese (any kind– seriously), shredded, sliced, or curled with a veggie peeler
  • salsa, taco sauce, sour cream, +/or guacamole(according to preference or, in my case usually, availability)


Okay.  So I cook the rice in the water.  Once it’s done and fluffed, I stir in the (unheated) beans.  The resulting mix is just the right temp for kids– warm, not hot.  I divvy it up into three dishes and sprinkle/lay cheese over the top.  Finally, I drizzle or spoon the sauce, salsa, sour cream, or guac on the top.


*I serve this dish every single Friday for lunch.  It works out perfectly because everyone likes it, it’s extremely inexpensive, and it’s a super flexible way to make use of whatever we happen to have left.

*Because this is a meatless meal, I don’t have to alter my plan during Lent.  That might sound silly, but it helps keep it simple for me!

*I most often use cheddar or jack cheese for this but, at various times,  I have absolutely used: colby, co-jack, pepperjack, mozzarella, muenster, or American.

*If for some bizarre reason I don’t have beans cooked up, I’ve been known to serve “Cheesy Eggs and Rice”.  I prepare the rice, top with a fried egg, and layer cheese and salsa on that.  This is also quick, cheap, and popular.


So there you go.  Cheesy Beans & Rice in all its glory.


(This can be “fancified” in any number of ways.  I’ve been known to add:

  • shredded lettuce
  • chopped tomato
  • caramelized peppers and onions
  • sliced jalapeno
  • chopped raw onion
  • a side of chips (corn or tortilla)
  • a drizzle of ranch dressing
  • even… meat!)
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