What Goes With Red Beans & Rice to Make a Cheap Meal Taste Amazing?

Everyone knows that rice and beans is the cheapest food, but the toppings can really elevate this basic dish to be extraordinary! It is great on its own, but what goes with red beans and rice? I am going to teach you how to make beans and rice fun and flavorful by adding two amazing sauces that will elevate your meal every time.

Beans and rice have essential amino acids, and when you put them together, they complement one another and create complete protein. This makes rice and beans one of the healthiest meals, so we eat it pretty much every week.

Rice and beans are a timeless classic, but what makes a plate of rice and beans so delicious is what you put on top. We like to flavor that plate up with pineapple, mango, olives, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn - so many possibilities!

Anything you have in the fridge that you need to use up, this is the time. Just make it a big buffet-style meal if you are able to. And if you are on a very tight budget, just the two delicious sauces that I will show you will make your dish taste amazing. So let’s get started!

How to make a chimichurri sauce for rice and beans

1. Chimichurri sauce

The first on our list is chimichurri sauce - it is out of this world and so simple and inexpensive to put together.

Start with a bunch of cilantro. Many people prefer not to use the stems because they are bitter. I personally do not mind the stems, but I take off just the bottom part. Then wash the cilantro and get it in the food processor.

Add one garlic clove if it is big or two smaller ones. Cut a lemon wedge and squeeze it in - you want about one teaspoon of the juice. You could also use any kind of vinegar, like apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar, or lime juice.

Then, of course, just a little salt and pepper, and between ⅛ and ¼ of a cup of oil - either olive or avocado. Olive oil makes it very rich, so I prefer not to add too much.

That is it, blend it up and that is our chimichurri sauce! It smells like the dressing of the house salad at El Torito Mexican restaurant. 

This is an intense flavor combination. As you can see, it does not make much, but you do not need much: just drizzle it over your rice and beans, and it will totally elevate your plate without adding anything else. It is incredible. 

How to make a fiesta dip for rice and beans

2. Fiesta dip

Next, we are making a fiesta dip, reminiscent of sour cream with taco seasoning. It just reminds me of my childhood. I love the creaminess of the cheese and sour cream, but I cannot have that, so I use cashews.

First, soak a cup of cashews in boiling water to soften them. Put them in a blender and add one cup of fresh water. Next, we add a tablespoon of ketchup - I know, it sounds weird, but trust me: it is that tanginess from sour cream that we are trying to emulate.

Also add some paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder - about a teaspoon of each, half a teaspoon of cumin, and then salt and pepper - half a teaspoon of each. Then we just blend it all up. 

This would also be great as a dip for a bowl of chips. 

What goes with red beans and rice?

What goes with red beans and rice?

Look how beautiful this plate of rice and beans is - we just added some spinach, olives, mango, pineapple, tomatoes, and then our two sauces. My kids adore rice and beans, and the way we serve them is definitely part of the experience.

I really hope that you will try this at home and let me know how it goes. What do you add to your rice and beans?

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