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Red Beans and Rice
with green beans

Active: 35 minTotal: 35 min

Red beans and rice is budget friendly and quick to put together on a busy weeknight! Served with a flavorful tomato sauce and green beans on the side, this meal has everything you need for a little midweek pick-me-up.
Smarts: This recipe makes enough tomato sauce for Thursday night's calzones.



Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Thyme:
  • Onions, medium - 1, diced
  • Bell peppers, red - 1, diced
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
  • Thyme leaves - 1 tsp, leaves torn
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Paprika - 1/2 tsp
  • Tomatoes, crushed (28 oz / 794 g) - 1 can
Red Beans and Rice:
  • Beans, pinto (14 oz / 397 g) - 2 cans, drained and rinsed
  • Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Thyme (ingredients listed separately) - ~2 cups
  • Cooked rice (leftover from Monday) - ~2 cups
Boiled Green Beans:
  • Green beans, fresh or frozen - 1 lb, chopped into 1” / 2.5 cm pieces
  • Butter - 1 Tbsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Green beans / Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic / Thyme - Prep as directed. Store green beans in one container. Combine onions and bell peppers in another container. Combine garlic and thyme in a third container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make tomato sauce - (This makes enough for Thursday’s meal. If prepping right before cooking, get water for green beans boiling before continuing with prep.) Heat a saucepan with olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers and saute until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and paprika and saute for 1 minute. Pour tomatoes over top and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Beans - Drain and rinse beans.


  1. Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. While water is coming to a boil, combine pinto beans and tomato sauce (reserve half for Thursday) in a large skillet. Place skillet over medium heat and cover. Simmer beans and sauce for 10 minutes to let the flavors come together.
  3. Once water in the stock pot comes to a boil add green beans and simmer until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain.
  4. Return to beans and sauce. Gently mash some of the beans with a fork or spatula. (Note: Mashing some of the beans will give the dish a creamier texture.) Season with some salt and pepper. Stir in some hot sauce if you’d like the beans spicy.
  5. Toss green beans with butter. Season with some salt and pepper.
  6. Reheat leftover rice in the microwave.
  7. Serve red beans / sauce over rice. Enjoy green beans on the side.

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This meal has 35 reviews

Easy and yummy. I love the rice in the meatballs.

By: Davia
Posted: Jan 09, 2019
Diet: Original

I used a lot of shortcuts and still came out of it with a meal that was a heck of a lot more imaginative and nutritious than the one I would have made!

By: Sharyn
Posted: Dec 20, 2018
Diet: Original

We liked this meal a lot! Little bits of the meatballs did stick quite a bit to the skillet. I think this might be from all the starch in the rice and the GF breadcrumbs. Despite that, this was one we will make again.

By: Stephanie
Posted: Dec 13, 2018
Diet: Gluten-free

Enjoyed this meal. Used my Instant Pot to make the potatoes and green beans, which simplified the whole thing. Meatballs were easy to make, though I would add some more spices the next time. The final step of simmering the meatballs in the sauce actually takes FAR less time than the recipe calls for. If you have a meat thermometer, I would defer to that so the meatballs don't get overcooked. Would recommend this recipe, though!

By: Bailey
Posted: Dec 02, 2018
Diet: Original

I thought this was pretty good, and completely missed the step where you finish the meatballs in the sauce...I just ladled the sauce overtop- and it was fine. A bit time consuming, though, and I used at least 3 pans, which is more than I'm used to.

By: Kristen
Posted: Nov 20, 2018
Diet: Original

Meatballs tasted a bit bland to me. Used Trader Joe’s tiny potatoes which turned out great but again a bit bland.

By: Kelsey
Posted: Nov 19, 2018
Diet: Gluten-free