Dinner on the Cheap: Rice & Bean Casserole with Guacamole

by jenna on April 8, 2013

Oh, the simple joy of rice and beans. It’s such a staple meal. I’m in a big money saving mode right now {turns out weddings and honeymoons are, um, pretty expensive} and therefore, have been working on cooking with what I already have on hand in my kitchen.

I don’t know about y’all, but I always have a couple cans of beans in the pantry, I always have brown rice, I always have some tomato sauce and I usually always have avocados. I take that back. I always have avocados. That’s a fact.

This could, quite possibly, be the easiest dinner ever. It’s along the same lines as a slow cooker meal — you just dump everything together then let it cook. I put five minutes as the prep time for this recipe, but I’m pretty sure it only took me twenty seconds when I think about it. So easy.

A couple years ago, I got super crafty and put all my grains and flours into these large glass jars. They’re pretty and functional because I don’t have half empty bags of flour and rice clogging up my pantry drawers any more.

Rice and beans is delicious, hearty, and filled with protein and fiber. This is a super yummy vegan meal that pleases just about anyone!

Now hear me though — do NOT skimp on the guacamole. It makes this dish complete. My version is pretty simple, but there’s just something about the creamy spicy guac on top of the warm beans and rice that makes my heart flip flop.

Hope y’all enjoy this! I’m sure there’s dozens of recipes for rice and bean casserole all over the Interwebs, but I think this one is pretty darn tasty.

Rice & Bean Casserole with Guacamole

serves 4

Print this Recipe!


1 cup brown rice, dry

3 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 8-oz can tomato sauce

1 14.5 oz can beans {I used kidney beans — drained and rinsed}

1 4-oz can diced green chilies

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 avocados, very ripe

1 whole jalapeno, minced

pinch of cumin

big pinch of garlic salt

juice of 1-2 limes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9 x 13″ pan, combine the rice, broth, beans, tomato sauce, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, salt and garlic powder. Stir well then cover TIGHTLY with tin foil. Place in oven and bake for 90 minutes {no peaking!}.

To make the guacamole topping, mash the avocados with the minced jalapenos, cumin, garlic salt and lime juice. Season with additional cumin and garlic salt to taste. When the rice and beans has finished cooking, serve on plates topped with a big scoop of guacamole!


active time ~ 5 minutes

total time ~ 90 minutes

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{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth April 8, 2013 at 1:59 am

Where are the beans in your recipe? It appears you left them off the ingredient list and the directions.


jenna April 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

Oops! They are there now 😉


Marie-Sophie April 8, 2013 at 2:21 am

I was just thinking the exact same thing – where are the beans ? And do you use dry beans ? (probably not but just want to make sure)

One of my staple dinners is kind of similar: Throw a cup of brown rice (I make a big pot Sunday night) and an egg in a pan, stir, add some veggies (can use frozen beans or peas), salt and pepper – and serve with half an avocado. Done! 🙂


Live Love Yum April 8, 2013 at 4:22 am

Yum…does it firm into an omelette with the egg in?


Marie-Sophie March 28, 2014 at 2:02 am

Just saw that, a year later (by coincidence) – sorry! If you stir in the egg, it won’t become an omelette if it is just one egg (it will Kind of disintegrate, but in a yummy way). But if you add more eggs, this could easily be turned into an omelette!


jenna April 8, 2013 at 7:06 am

One can of kidney beans – sorry about that!


Averie @ Averie Cooks April 8, 2013 at 2:34 am

I’m all about money-saving, fast, and easy meals! And it’s vegetarian and looks super tasty…and happens to use avocado 🙂 And I love cumin. Happy to see it well represented in this dish!


Miss Kim @ behgopa April 8, 2013 at 3:24 am

I love your quick ‘n easy meals on a budget recipes. I’m rarely without avocados too (not never but rarely). They’re so delicious and versatile. And when they tend to get a little overripe, I can use them for facial masks!


Emily @ Life on Food April 8, 2013 at 3:35 am

active time 5 minutes. I will take that for sure. Always nice to have a few of these recipes up your sleeve. Plus topped with avocado makes it so drool worthy.


Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 8, 2013 at 3:43 am

Haha I noticed that the beans were missing, too. 😉 Oops! But I’m sure it’s delicious!!!


mary (sisters running the kitchen) April 8, 2013 at 3:45 am

yum this looks delicious. i have been trying to save money too as i am saving for my wedding/honeymoon/house! I will definitely be making this!


Jeanne v April 8, 2013 at 4:28 am

Definitely going to make this! Looks really good. Did u use dry or canned beans and how much? Thank u


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 8, 2013 at 4:38 am

Oh SNAP! I just made guacamole yesterday and I happen to have rice, beans and tomatoes in my cupboard – I think I know what’s for dins tonight! Oh, and about wedding planning – one of my besties is getting married in July and she was here visiting on the weekend. She’s of the same mind as you when it comes to saving, and said “There’s a reason why people only get married once!”


Molly @ RDexposed April 8, 2013 at 4:46 am

I just love quick dinners that can also serve as lunch leftovers. Perfect!


Betsy April 8, 2013 at 4:51 am

yum! what kinda of tomato sauce do you use?


Dana April 8, 2013 at 4:54 am

Yum!! I always have brown rice, black beans and chickpeas in the pantry. I need to start buying more avocados. Love this kind of meal! ????


Dana April 8, 2013 at 4:57 am

Oops… Not sure why a million question marks appeared. Wanted to leave a smiley face. 🙂


DessertForTwo April 8, 2013 at 5:15 am

Yum! I’m all about healthy & easy vegetarian meals! This one looks great!


taylor @ taylormade April 8, 2013 at 5:21 am

I’m also in the midst of planning a wedding and a honeymoon, and YES, rice and beans are kind of necessary right now 😉 I could seriously eat this every other night… yum!


Tieghan April 8, 2013 at 5:24 am

I am in LOVE with this! Mostly because I ca not stop eating avocado and really any mexican food for that matter. So, this is pretty much just awesome!


Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots April 8, 2013 at 6:09 am

I will be eating this every single night for the next yr and a half until my wedding ha! But this sounds delicious, if only my fiance’ at beans 🙁


Ali | Gimme Some Oven April 8, 2013 at 6:15 am

I love a good meal of rice and beans! Such a delicious staple!


Laura Z April 8, 2013 at 6:15 am

This sounds like food i grew up on! YUM! THe beans are in the crockpot for tonights dinner and now I knwo how I’ll fix the leftovers…


Sarah @ Yogi in Action April 8, 2013 at 6:21 am

This sounds great! Easy, quick, cheap and SPICY! All things that I love 🙂


erin @hooleywithaz April 8, 2013 at 6:25 am

oh wedding planning and budgeting…i had many a meal of tortillas, beans and salsa around this time last year!


Heather @ Heather's Dish April 8, 2013 at 6:34 am

IN LOVE with this meal – extra guac is key to pretty much anything in life 😉


Kelly @ Flavours of Africa April 8, 2013 at 6:41 am

This looks delicious! Thanks very much for sharing!


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health April 8, 2013 at 6:42 am

I am all for a quick and cheap meal! Vegan with extra avocado? This one sounds perfect for me!


Leah April 8, 2013 at 6:47 am

What kind of beans do you use? And are they canned or dried?


Katryn April 8, 2013 at 7:01 am

This is yet another recipe that makes me wish my husband didn’t despise beans!


Deb @ Dietitian Debbie Dishes April 8, 2013 at 7:18 am

I love simple dinner recipes/ideas! Beans and avocados are such super foods – I try to keep them on hand and add to meals often!


dishing up the dirt April 8, 2013 at 7:31 am

I love quick cheap dinners! This looks perfect 🙂


Kari@Loaves n Dishes April 8, 2013 at 7:36 am

I cannot get enough of rice and beans, they’re both healthy and comforting…it’s just a bonus that they’re cheap! Yummo!


joelle (on a pink typewriter) April 8, 2013 at 7:56 am

I adore meals that can be cooked in one pot – I’m totally trying this recipe for a weekly lunch. It’d be great for reheating at the office!


seth the dad April 8, 2013 at 8:30 am

Great one! Rice and Beans is always my ‘goto’ when I’m on the run or on-the-cheap. Throwing in an amazing energy source like an avacodo makes this a can’t miss meal for long days.


addie | culicurious April 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

Great recipe, Jenna! Some of the best tasting food is the simplest… And avocados rock anyways!


Jessica @ This Blessed Life April 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

awesome! LOVE recipes that use up pantry staples…and when they’re mexican-flavored, even better. thanks so much!


Megan @ Megan's Miles April 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

You had me at “dinner on the cheap”! I also love that it’s simple and fast to throw together – definitely will be making this very soon!


Caroline L. April 8, 2013 at 11:01 am

And it looks delicious, as well! This is certainly my type of meal 🙂


dixya@food, pleasure, and health April 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

lovely recipe and perfect for the weeknight 🙂 I dont even want to think about wedding and honeymoons right now- too pricey


Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog April 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

I’ve been looking for a good rice and beans recipe. I’m thinking it would be a good lunch food to make a big batch of at the beginning of the week.


Erika April 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Nice simple recipe! I’ve been eating a lot of avocados lately so this will fit right in. Thanks!


Brianna April 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Cheap. Fast. Easy. and a lotta guacamole. What’s not to love. Making this next week! Thanks for posting 🙂


Pam April 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Oh I love this recipe!! Must make soon 🙂


Julia April 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I love how easy and fast this is (and cheap!). I am all about this during the week–can’t wait to try it.


Emily April 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm

A great option for Mexican night, reducing the need for expensive fajita steak and risk of forgetting the taco shells!


Jamie | Thrifty Veggie Mama April 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I love rice and beans! So simple and delicious and so many options.


Anna April 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I like the addition of guac but I’m not sure running an oven for 90 mins really saves money. I would crockpot this if the rice isn’t precooked


Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food April 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I am all about dinner on the cheap. Thanks for the recipe!


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking April 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I love that part of the recipe is to absolutely not skimp on the guac! I love rice and beans. Such a classic! I might add an egg on top just for kicks!


Amy April 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Could this recipe be adaptable for a slow cooker? If so, can you give some suggestions?


Jane @ Not Plain So Jane April 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Rice & beans: a complete protein. It has all the essential amino acids your body needs, in a vegetarian option. That looks so tasty! I bet it would be good leftover too 🙂


Sarah @ An Apple A Day April 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I will be making this stat.


Susan April 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm

My children are away this week with my husband for their spring break; I’m catching up to them later in the week. I decided to try this tonight for dinner, hoping that it might be something the kiddos would eat–they love rice and beans.

It was TERRIFIC!–absolutely making this for the family! Thanks for such an easy dinner for the family. And I have dinner already made now for the rest of the week. 😉


Christa @ Edible Balance April 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Never ever would I skimp out on the avocado! So, so good 🙂 I love this kind of dinner, simple and hearty! Who doesn’t love rice and beans?!


Michelle @ Simply Well with Michelle April 8, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Looks delicious! I have actually been looking for an easy rice and bean recipe. I will be giving this a try!


Lyric April 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm

So Simple SOO good! Anything with avocado is considered gourmet in my household. They are so darn expensive here. Grr.


Stephanie April 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Oh my…I just had visions of this recipe topped with your crock pot chicken tex mex. YUM


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. April 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I love how easy this is and it looks so tasty!


Maria April 9, 2013 at 4:11 am

Oh my word, I will definitely be making this. I’ve been craving “Mexican” and I know this will hit the spot.


Coty & Mariah April 9, 2013 at 9:47 am

We love simple, delicious recipes like these. Especially when theres guacamole involved!


Moni @ {Moni Meals} April 9, 2013 at 9:53 am

This is something I make basically once a week. Always looking soo good over here-always great recipes Jenna!
There’s something about rice and beans and with guacamole too right. 🙂


Jess April 9, 2013 at 9:57 am

Thanks for the recipe Jenna! I made it last night and it was super yummy. I had everything already in stock except for the guacamole ingredients, so I put a bit of shredded cheese on top. I think plain greek yogurt would be a great topping too.


Laura April 9, 2013 at 11:41 am

Mmmmmmm! This post totally inspired me, and last night for dinner I made my own version with cauliflower rice. Definitely a win. Thanks for sharing:)


Kate April 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

This is similar to a pinto beans & rice recipe from Food & Wine that I make a lot, so can’t wait to try yours. Adding guac is pure genius!


lindsey April 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I’ve made your guacamole before -it is uncomplicated and very delicious- so this dish will probably be made very soon. I just have to wait for those avocados I have to ripen (they are hard and green right now 🙁 )


Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl April 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I absolutely love making rice and beans in my slow cooker, but next time I will definitely have to make sure that I top them with off with some guacamole before I eat them :).


Jennifer L April 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I made this tonight, and it turned out better than I expected (maybe it was the guac? haha). “Cheap” meals are usually just okay, but this was really good! And so, so easy. Thanks!


gidget April 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm

added this to my menu plan. I love beans and rice 🙂 Wanted to say I got your book today and can’t put it down. Seriously I love it! Have so many post it flags for new recipes. The way you wrote it is like we are sitting over lunch and gabbing. Great book! Great blog!


Astrid April 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Looks amazing and making it for us the second i get back from London! It’s the simplest things sometimes 🙂


Amy April 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Made it tonight with black beans. Good stuff, will make again, perfect for week night. Thanks, Jenna.


Leah April 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

my 3 favorite ingredients of all time…….*swoooning and salivating


Jenna April 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Made this tonight! It was very tasty, and I’ve been craving beans lately so it was perfect. I love making stuff like this and being able to have leftovers to eat for the week! Thanks for the recipe.


Wendi April 10, 2013 at 8:13 am

Made this last night using black beans and subed salsa for the tomato sauce…my husband LOVED it. He thinks he doesnt like brown rice but this time he didnt even know!!


Rebecca {Foodie with Family} April 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I have a mad love affair with anything beans and ricey so I’m going to make this for our busy night tonight! Thank you!


Melissa April 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Does this freeze and reheat well?


cianne April 10, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Made this tonight- really easy and yummy and made the kitchen smell like I had put a lot of effort in to what was in the oven. You rock Jenna! And from a gal who is past the wedding/honeymoon budgeting… hang in there! It’s so worth it.


Elizabeth April 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

Made this last night. Like you said, so easy and tasty, and it made my whole house smell delicious. Boyfriend loved it.


Ashli @ The Sweat Revolution April 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I love quick, easy and cheap vegetarian meals, and both me and my husband have an avocado addiction – we seriously put it on EVERYTHING!
I’m definitely going to be trying this recipe next week 🙂


BB April 11, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I made this tonight and I just took it out and it wasn’t done and it was super liquid-y. What did I do wrong??? I followed all directions/amounts. I’m giving it another 15 minutes??? Help.


jenna April 11, 2013 at 5:42 pm

It sounds like it needs another 15-20 minutes…cover it tightly back up with tin foil!


Suzanne Holt April 11, 2013 at 5:36 pm

I can’t wait to try this! It’s so hard to find inexpensive meals that are healthy and delicious….but this looks perfect!


Ja @Ja on the RUN April 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Avocado makes every meal so refreshing. Thanks for the recipe!


thatchic April 12, 2013 at 5:33 am

Hi this looks soooo yummy….but I have a question I need to make it for a larger group so if I used 4 cups of rice should i maybe douple up on all the ingredients and also how long would I keep it in the oven than?


Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl April 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I love beans and rice so I love this recipe. Lately I’ve been making some beans and rice, throwing them in a whole wheat tortilla shell, then adding some seasoned tomatoes and salsa verde. Such a simple meal, but so good!


Jana April 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Do you suppose quinoa would work as well? Same method, use dry quinoa…?


jenna April 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm

I don’t think quinoa would work the same in this recipe, as it cooks a whole lot faster than rice. You can play around with that, but the ingredient amounts would be much different.


Erin @ Making Memories April 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm

This looks wonderful! I love beans and rice! Pinning this for later. Thanks.


Ally April 13, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Great recipe as usual.


pamela April 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Made this last night and it was as yummy as I’d hoped it would be! I’ve always been a rice-and-beans fan, but the guac really tied it all together – don’t know why I never thought to add it before. I have to say though that I did brown up some turkey kielbasa and threw it in our bowls before serving. I can’t help it – whenever I see a veg recipe, my first thought it always, “Mmm, that’d be even better with some type of sausage in it!”

Thanks for another delicious – and SO EASY! – recipe!!


Jen April 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Thank you! It is very tasty!


Kim April 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

This was delicious and so easy to make. I added in some extra black beans I had hanging out in the frig. My kids asked for seconds of this. A definite repeat on our menu now!


Allie April 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I absolutely LOVED this!! It was fast, easy, and healthy (not to mention vegan and gluten free)! I appreciate these kinds of recipes 🙂


Lori April 16, 2013 at 10:38 am

Hi, just discovered your blog over the weekend and love it! Also, already made this dish! Although it turned out pretty mushy (I always have trouble with rice!). I’m determined to get it right though 🙂 I did use black beans and left out the chilies, do you think that had any affect?


Nikki April 16, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Do you use conventional long cooking rice or minute type rice?


jenna April 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Regular long cooking rice 🙂


Tia April 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm

YES! LOVED it! Just made it for dinner and everyone from 18months old to my man loved it! It was super easy and fast and oh so delicious! I always love myself beans and rice but this really is a great recipe…. and indeed, the gauc makes it all!


Keanna C. April 17, 2013 at 11:49 pm

It does look tasty! I love how you added avocados and guacamole to your rice and beans. They are the perfect additions to this simple dish. What makes this dish a healthy one is because of the absence of fatty or fried foods. It is a vegan meal worth trying by everyone even by those who are not health conscious. There is a great amount of fiber that can be drawn from this dish because of the presence of bean and avocados. Overall, it looks like a perfect, inexpensive dinner to me!


Natalie April 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

I saw another comment where you said quinoa wouldn’t work because of cooking times. Would farro work? I’m not sure how its cooking time compares to to brown rice.

Also…I just got your book. Can’t wait to start it! 🙂


Mindy April 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Thanks for this recipe!! It was absolutely delicious and I posted (and of course credited) you on my own blog. Check it out if you have the time.




Beth April 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Doubled this recipe so we can eat it this week! Just took it out of the oven, and nearly burned my tongue off because I was too impatient to wait for it to cool down! It’s delish!! So glad that I doubled it so we have lots!


Beth April 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Forgot to mention that I also added andouille sausage…not exactly budget-friendly, but I had some in my freezer, and it’s so good in this recipe!


Kelly J. R. April 23, 2013 at 11:09 am

I made it with 1/2 the salt and it still turned out great!


Emily April 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I just made this tonight. I added some tomatoes and onion, it was awesome AND easy (one dish)! Definitely going into the regular rotation! Such a fan of this type of recipe…


Parker April 26, 2013 at 7:20 am

Jenna – I just HAVE to comment and tell you that this recipe is CRAZY AWESOME. I’d never made anything like it, so I was curious and never turn down a chance to experiment with a new recipe. With the first bite I was hooked and, no kidding, ate it all over the course of two days! I cannot begin to tell you just how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dish — I just might make it again tonight!

And you’re totally spot on about the guac — the dish is excellent without it but with the guac on top I literally yelled out “WHOA!” when I tried it.

Basically…you ROCK, Jenna!!! 😀


Amy April 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I love it when recipes are so simple — it almost feels like they make themselves! Just one issue though… I *might* be allergic to avocado! I know you said that it’s crucial to the dish, but could I get away with adding some chili powder or chipotle to plain Greek yogurt for the spicy/creamy topping?


Kathleen April 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm

This was good, rice was a bit overcooked and mushy. I used brown basmati rice. I would suggest cooking less if you use basmati, probably 15 minutes less or so.


MamaLaLa78 May 14, 2013 at 3:41 pm

This was so easy and a fool proof method to cooking brown rice. I share your link to lots of women who need a great and inexpensive dinner. Well done. I am a believer of your website. 🙂


antwanika August 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm

This came out really good! I used white rice so it was a bit overcooked, but yummy. Pairing it with the guacamole was genius. Absolutely delicious!


antwanika August 15, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Oh I was out of chili pepper (don’t know how that happened). So I used Cayenne and it was fine. I only used a bit though. Couldn’t remember which is hotter, cayenne or chili, so I did not want to chance it. I also used black beans in my recipe since that is what I had on hand. Will try kidney next time.


Betsy September 16, 2013 at 10:34 am

I made this last night… it came out a little soupy but once it set over night it was perfect. The flavors really came through after a night in the fridge! LOVED it…esp. with the guac! Thanks Jenna. It made my Monday lunch a lot better than the usual boring salad.


Diana February 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm

I made this casserole last night for supper and was impressed with how quick and easy it was to throw together! Leftovers were great today and co-workers commented on its’ yummy, spicy smell. I’ll be making this again!


Susan February 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I made this for dinner tonight. I forgot the guacamole and my kids still had seconds!


Susan February 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Do you think this would freeze well?


Deb February 20, 2014 at 8:54 am

Made this several times for big family dinners, and it is always a hit! Thank you so much for the recipe! Love your blog!


Cook snoop April 6, 2014 at 6:16 am

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Jaime June 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm

I’m making it now, and took it out of the oven after 90 min – still very soupy 🙁 I’m going to keep in in longer, obviously, but I’m not hopeful it’ll be done in a reasonable amount of time. Oh well. It smells awesome!


Jackie August 15, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Just made this and HAD to come comment! This was perfection. Easy and delicious. One note, you may want to put 1/2-1 tsp of salt because I believe my stock covered the savory bit and the 1 tsp made it just a liiiiittle salty.

Thanks for a great recipe! Will be making this many times to infinity.


Becky November 20, 2014 at 10:16 am

Yummy! Even my picky kids loved it. Thanks for a great recipe….it’s going on my rotation list =)


Kayren Evers April 18, 2015 at 8:36 am

I made this & love the idea of it being combined in 1 pan, less clean up 🙂 It was awesome! Had this for a week, it’s great for a single person on a tight budget!


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