Delicious curried vegan red beans and rice, made using simple, budget-friendly pantry ingredients. This dish is full of bold flavours and is an ideal meal prep option, as well as perfect for a comforting dinner. Gluten-free oil-free, ready in 25 minutes in just one pot.
I think we can all agree that times have been turbulent and very, very unusual to say the least. I've never witnessed anything like it. I mean, I'm just a 20 year old, but my mum shares the sentiment.
A huge change in routine, as well as shopping habits, had me and many others fall back on really easy, comforting meals that you can make with basic ingredients. Two of my consistent staples? Rice and beans. But a rice and means meal does not have to be boring. In fact, it can feel like a min luxury, which hopefully this red beans and rice recipe will show.
Curried vegan red beans and rice
If you're a long-time vegan, you've probably had a rice and beans eating phase during this period. For instance, when I went travelling around Russia with a good friend a few years ago, we made some version of it pretty much every day.
After all, paired with avocado or another source of fat, it's a well-rounded, balanced meal. Not to mention cheap and easy to throw together. If you're travelling, you can find the main ingredients in pretty much any country. With a few other things thrown in, good old rice and beans can be incredibly delicious too!
The key? What spices and flavourings you add in. Personally, I love curried flavours, hence this recipe. Just a couple spoonfuls of curry powder or curry paste, and your rice and beans will reach a whole different level. Serve this as a main course that the whole family will love, or as a wholesome side dish.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Red onion. White onion works too.
- Cabbage, either white or red.
- Rice. I use Basmati, but you can use any other variety of your choice (although this may impact cooking time).
- Plant based milk of your choice. My favourite is unsweetened almond milk.
- Red kidney beans (do not drain them). I love this bean variety, because they have a really deep natural flavour.
- Garlic granules.
- Curry powder. Curry paste works too (just ensure vegan and gluten-free).
- Water or veggie broth. Use water for a lower sodium version.
- Tamari. Use soy sauce if not avoiding gluten, or coconut aminos for a soy-free version.
- Tahini. This is optional, but does help make the dish more creamy. Peanut butter works too.
- Green peas, either fresh or frozen.
Step-by-step to the best red rice and beans
STEP 1: Add the garlic, onion, and around ¼ cup water to a non-stick saucepan. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, to soften.
STEP 2: Add the carrot and cabbage, and sauté for around a minute.
STEP 3: Add the rice, plant based milk, red kidney beans, cumin, turmeric, garlic granules and curry powder. Stir to combine, then pour in the water/veggie broth.
STEP 4: Simmer, uncovered, for around 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid had been absorbed. Around 10 minutes into the cooking process, stir in the tamari, tahini and green peas.
STEP 5: Serve immediately with garnishes of your choice.
What can I add to vegan red rice and beans?
This is a super versatile dish! Feel free to add whatever veggies you have in the fridge, and switch up the spices. For instance, I love paprika for a little bit of extra spice, and dried herbs for an earthier tone. If you want even more heartiness/protein, add tofu, tempeh, or a vegan meat alternative.
How do I serve this?
You can serve this dish either on its own, with a sauce of your choice (such as ketchup), or a side salad. I love serving mine with chunky guacamole!
How should I store rice and beans?
This meal lasts for up to 5 days in the fridge in air-tight container. It is also a freezer-friendly meal: store it in the fridge for up to a month, reheating on the stove as necessary.
You will love this meal!
- Full of flavour thanks to the spices and the curry powder.
- Naturally gluten-free. Just ensure the curry powder you use is GF-certified.
- High in protein, thanks to the addition of red kidney beans.
- Made using staple pantry ingredients, that are easy to find in pretty much any supermarket.
- Ready in about 25 minutes.
- Perfect to serve either as a main course or a side dish.
- Oil-free, as long as you use a good non-stick saucepan.
Other vegan recipes made using pantry staples:
- White bean skillet potatoes with garlic mushrooms
- Quinoa bread rolls
- Butter 'chicken' made with chickpeas
- Easy potato curry
- Kidney bean one pot pasta
Let me know in the comments: what's your favourite fool-proof meal? If you give these curried vegan red beans and rice a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below!
- Non-stick saucepan
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- ½ cup cabbage chopped
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 2 cups plant based milk
- 2 cans red kidney beans don't drain themn
- 1 cup water or veggie broth
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 2 tbsp curry powder or gluten-free vegan curry paste
- 3 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 cup green peas
- Add the garlic, onion, and around ¼ cup water to a non-stick saucepan. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, to soften.
- Add the carrot and cabbage, and sauté for around a minute.
- Add the rice, plant based milk, red kidney beans, cumin, turmeric, garlic granules and curry powder. Stir to combine, then pour in the water/veggie broth.
- Simmer, uncovered, for around 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid had been absorbed. Around 10 minutes into the cooking process, stir in the tamari, tahini and green peas.
- Serve immediately with garnishes of your choice.