Here’s a simple, delicious, and healthy twist on a brown rice and pinto bean combo. This pinto bean brown rice grain bowl works with leftover or freshly made beans and rice. Just add fresh veggies and a little cheese – and you have a grain bowl full of protein and flavor. If you’re vegan, omit the cheese and you still have a bowl full of protein.
The combination of pinto beans and rice goes back a long way and it’s a very common and popular combo in parts of the US. Read more about that here. We chose brown rice over white rice because it adds more nutritional value. If you’re thinking about having beans and rice plus a side salad, just put it all in one bowl and call it a meal! We added our favorite veggies to this but you can include other things to make it yours. Jicama and radishes are both crunchy, flavorful options. Some spinach or kale would add healthy greens.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this pinto bean brown rice grain bowl. Make the brown rice and pinto beans ahead of time as those ingredients can take a while.
If you’re not into making your own, use canned beans but be sure to drain and rinse them. It’s not too hard to find quick-cooking brown rice. For vegetables, add leafy lettuce such as romaine, some fresh tomatoes, and top it off with avocados. Fresh corn roasted on a grill or in a skillet goes great with this grain bowl. Sprinkle a little fresh cilantro for added flavor.
Making a Bean and Rice Grain Bowl
We use our Instant Pot for both the beans and the rice and make them ahead of time. Home-made brown rice has a nice chewy texture that can’t be found in the quick-cooking kind of brown rice. When the rice and beans are ready, get the other ingredients ready.
Remove the husk from a cob of corn and rinse the corn to remove any fibers. Put the whole cob of corn in a skillet with a little bit of oil and brown it on each side. Set it aside. After it has cooled a bit, cut the kernels off the cob. An easy hack for this part is to use frozen corn. Just toss some in a skillet and brown it before adding it to the bowl. If you want to go with fresh corn on the cob, you can cut the kernels of corn off the cob prior to grilling it in the skillet. Do whatever seems easiest to you. In the photo, we left the corn on the cob to show how we prepared it, but you’ll probably want to cut the corn off the cob and sprinkle it on top with the other vegetables.
Tear or slice the romaine lettuce, cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, and slice the avocado.
Go here to see how to make beans using an Instant Pot. The dressing is our very own smoky chipotle ranch dressing. It makes a nice topping for this pinto bean brown rice grain bowl. However, either traditional Italian dressing or ranch dressing are good options too.
If you like grain bowls, check out our Black Bean Quinoa Grain Bowl. And, if you’re looking for a delicious dressing for this bean rice grain bowl, try this chipotle ranch dressing.
Pinto Bean Brown Rice Grain Bowl
- 1 cup cooked pinto beans
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
- 1 avocado sliced
- 2 Tablespoons pan grilled corn
- 1 cup romaine lettuce
- 4 Tablespoons cheddar cheese shredded
- Prepare the pinto beans and rice ahead of time and set aside.
- Cut or tear the lettuce.
- Remove the husk from an ear of corn, wash it, and then grill it in a pan with a little oil.
- Cut the grilled corn off the cob.
- Slice avocados (one or more depending on how many grain bowls you’re making).
- Arrange the ingredients in a bowl and add some dressing.
- Nutrition values do not include cheese or salad dressing.
- The cook time is not listed because that depends on how you prepare the pinto beans and the rice. Prepare both according to package instructions.
Products used in this recipe
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