Black Beans & Coconut Rice


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Black Beans & Coconut Rice | Food Made Simple | Vegetarian Food | Coconut Rice with Black Beans | Coconut Rice & Beans | Coconut Rice Beans Recipe

I am vegetarian but my family is not, so I am used to cooking both ways.  My non-vegetarian friends & family, however, often panic at the thought of cooking something vegetarian for me.  Inevitably, their minds go blank, and they give me salad.  And I have a confession:  I am a vegetarian who doesn’t really like salad all that much.


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I’ll skip the pious lecture about the horrors of meat versus the virtues of vegetarianism.  The truth is that I don’t really care that much whether someone eats meat or not.  I personally don’t like the taste, and never have.  But from simply a cost standpoint alone, there are some very cheap, great tasting vegetarian recipes that are worth trying whether you are a charter member of PETA or whether you prefer your beef still mooing.

This one is probably my favorite.  Rice, coconut, vegetable stock, beans, butter, salsa, & sour cream are all great staples to stock up on when they are on sale, and the remaining produce ingredients–onion, cilantro, & lime–are super cheap, even when they’re not on sale.  It is equally delicious on its own for a simple, cost-effective meal, or paired with marinated then grilled vegetable and/or chicken skewers.  I have even made a vegan version by substituting the butter for olive oil.  If you prefer a milder dish, just skip the cayenne pepper.

Here is what you need:

1 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup rice
3 1/2-4 cups vegetable broth, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. butter, divided (or olive oil, for vegan version)
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (skip if desired)
1 lime
3 green onions, sliced
approximately 3/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (I usually use 1 whole bunch)
sour cream (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread out coconut on baking sheet and bake until toasted, 5-10 minutes.

2.  Bring 2 1/2 cups of the broth, salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp. butter to a boil in large saucepan.  Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook about 20 minutes until water is absorbed.

3.  Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute onions 5-7 minutes, or until tender.  Stir in black beans, spices, and 1 cup of broth.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.  If bean mixture begins to look too dry, add a little more broth.

4.  Roll the lime around on the counter, pressing down with your palm as you roll to loosen the juices.  Remove rice from heat.  Cut lime in half, then squeeze in juice from both halves.  Stir in toasted coconut and cilantro.

5.  To serve, spoon rice onto plate.  Top with beans, and then garnish with sour cream and salsa.

Black Beans & Coconut Rice | Food Made Simple | Vegetarian Food | Coconut Rice with Black Beans | Coconut Rice & Beans | Coconut Rice Beans Recipe


  1. Mrs. Muffins
    September 14 at 04:07AM

    Mmm! Looks yummy! I'm vegetarian too 🙂


  2. Rachael
    April 22 at 08:14PM

    Can’t wait to try this! Looks delicious! Does the coconut have to be flakes or could I use shredded unsweetened coconut instead?
    I have really enjoyed reading your posts! Thanks for all the great resources you’ve posted!

  3. Dancing Monkey
    May 15 at 09:19AM

    How much rice?

  4. Lynnea Mueller
    May 20 at 06:05PM

    How much rice?

    • Anonymous
      March 27 at 04:40PM

      1 cup

  5. Carey C
    June 1 at 12:02PM

    What kind of/how much rice??

  6. Maria H
    June 10 at 07:15PM

    When do I add the coconut? I would use my rice cooker. Also wondering about the rice…with a whole cup of coconut it seems like I would use more than a cup of rice??

    • Ruth Soukup
      June 12 at 07:24AM

      The coconut just gets mixed into the rice at the end, so using your rice cooker should be fine!

  7. Hilary
    June 30 at 07:36PM

    I think you forgot to add rice to your list of ingredients 🙂

  8. H.
    July 17 at 03:11PM

    This was SO good! I still cannot get over how amazing that rice is. We used brown rice and it worked beautifully. I also toasted the coconut on the stove which worked just fine (and keeps the house cooler!). Thank you for this new favorite!!!

  9. Kristen
    July 26 at 08:02PM

    OMG! Made this tonight along with Coconut Panko Tilapia! I will say this is DELICIOUS! I was in Heaven and my hubby said one of the BEST dishes I have ever made! Thanks soooooo very much for sharing. Will share with my family and friends!

  10. Jessica
    August 3 at 09:19AM

    I made this a few days ago and just had to come say thanks – my meat-lover hubby raved about how delicious it was and how he would eat it 3 times a week. (I loved it, too!) So great to have such an easy, economical dinner recipe on hand that nobody will mind seeing in frequent rotation.

  11. D
    August 21 at 04:13PM

    Just wondering what you do with the green onions? Do they go in the beans or the rice, or are they garnish?

  12. September 10 at 09:28PM

    Yes, I was wondering the same as above…when do the green onions go in?

  13. Lisa
    October 13 at 11:53AM

    This sounds delicious! Too bad I didn’t see it in the summer. Still, will have to try this soon. Seems like it might also be really good with quinoa instead of rice. Thank you for the recipe.

  14. Anonymous
    July 22 at 08:54PM

    Had this for dinner… It was amazing!!!!

  15. Colleen
    February 8 at 10:39AM

    I made this last week and it was really good. My 7 year old loved it and asked to take some to school for lunch the next day. This will definitely be in regular rotation in our house.

  16. Erin
    October 21 at 05:32PM

    Looks great! I’m curious, where does the green onion go? In the rice, the bean mixture, or as a garnish? Thanks!

  17. Michelle
    July 20 at 09:57PM

    Fixed this as a light main course for dinner tonight and loved it. Even my 8-year old ate it up. The mango salsa is what takes it from ordinary to scrumptious, so be sure to use mango that’s nice and ripe. Made no changes other than omitting the red onion from the mango salsa because my family won’t eat raw onion. Will be fix this again and will recommend to vegetarian friends. Thanks!

  18. Aletha
    April 1 at 07:54PM

    Wondering the same thing about unsweetened coconut flakes…

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