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Recipe for Black Beans and Rice: Costa Rican Style

Rice and Beans are a staple dish in many cultures. But it means different things and has unique flavors for different people. There are red beans and rice dishes famous in the Creole country of Louisiana, Indian bean and rice dishes, and thousands of other variations of the rice dish throughout Latin America and beyond.

Our recipe below is reminiscent of time spent in Costa Rica with friends and family. The cooking process is simple, and the best results are reached after allowing the mixture to simmer in a large skillet on low or medium heat while everyone visits for up to a few hours.

Of course, our recipe is its variation, but the star ingredient, Salsa Lizano, makes this dish truly unique. On the surface, this dish may look like a typical taco salad or rice and beans dish, but this one ingredient sets it apart.

Image Credits: Marly, Simply Living Happy

Salsa Lizano is a sauce that crosses flavors similar to tomatillo salsa and a traditional BBQ sauce, like Sweet Baby Rays, to create a uniquely savory and mildly tangy taste. This may not be the perfect summarization of the taste, and I hope the description won’t dissuade you from trying it. This sauce packs a lot of extra flavor. After tasting it for the first time, I would love to hear how you would describe it. 

This simple rice and bean dish is a quick, easy recipe with minimal meal prep. It heats up well and can easily be made in large batches for the whole family or to share at events and festivities. You could also enjoy this dish wrapped in a tortilla like a burrito or serve it in smaller portions as a side dish. There are many ways to enjoy this meal.

Maybe you’re looking for something to liven up your usual menu or an opportunity to make something memorable with the ones you love. Either way, we hope this dish will be a hit with your crew and regular on rotation.

Basic Ingredients

  • ​White or brown rice
  • Ground Beef
  • black beans
  • corn
  • Salsa Lizano
  • Cheddar cheese

Manage Cooking Time

  1. If you don’t have much time, you could make this meal in 30 minutes if you don’t mind it being an instant rice dish or a rice cooker that can be started in advance.
  2. Canned beans instead of dried ones will also help reduce prep time but may impact the flavor. 

As you continue reading, you will find that the essential elements of this dish are similar, but the result is entirely up to personal preferences.

How To Prepare

Step 1: Heat olive oil over medium-high in a saucepan.

Step 2: Add onions; until they are light golden brown. Then, add beans, tomatoes, oregano, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Add the secret sauce.

Step 3: Add cooked rice. Gently simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on, then turn off the heat and let the flavors meld for 5 minutes before serving.

Experiment with adding Extra Flavor

  • Add a dollop of sour cream
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro
  • Sauté diced green pepper into the mix or any other vegetable of your liking.
  • Modify the spice level with black pepper, hot sauce, or red pepper flakes
  • Add lime juice or lemon juice

Ways to Make Healthier Simple Rice and Beans Recipe

Swap white rice with brown rice and use olive oil instead of butter or lard. Another healthy eating consideration is portion size. Rice and beans are a filling dish packed with simple pantry staples high in essential nutrients and daily values. So controlling how much we eat in one sitting will ensure a balanced calorie diet.