Megan-Simple taco beans with zeera rice

Guest post by Aurora

Here’s a recipe for Megan-simple taco beans with rice. This is something that will please everyone, veggies and meat-eaters alike, and it’s SO FREAKING EASY. It also stores and saves well, so you can dish up three or four portions and stick them in the fridge and you have lunch for part of the week.

To make the taco beans

What you’ll need:

  • Four standard size cans of beans — I like a mix of different types, like garbanzo, black beans, kidney beans, and black-eyed beans, and this way you’ll have leftovers you can store
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2/3 cup of olive oil
  • 4 taco seasoning packets
  • A large non-stick skillet or pot

Place the beans in a colander and rinse all the juicy/goopy stuff off that was in the can — this makes the beans easier to digest and you’ll be less gassy.

Throw the beans in the non-stick skillet or pot, and add the water and olive oil. The amounts I list here are what the particular brand of taco seasoning I used called for — some brands have you use ¾ of a cup of water per packet, and some brands don’t call for oil. I would recommend replacing a small amount of water with oil anyway to make the seasoning stick to the beans better. My general rule is that if it calls for 2/3 cup of water, do 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup oil, and if it calls for ¾ cup of water, do ½ cup water and ¼ cup oil. And if you’re making a larger batch, like I am here, you may want to adjust it so there’s even less oil (which is what I did).

Now, place the lid on the pot and wait for it to come to a rolling boil.

While the beans are getting to a boil…

To make zeera rice

What you’ll need:

  • Two cups Basmati rice
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Three teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • Four cups of water (if you’re not using a rice cooker)

Mix cumin seeds and rice.
Mix cumin seeds and rice.

If you’re using a rice cooker, mix the cumin seeds with your Basmati rice using your fingers to make sure the cumin seeds aren’t just sitting on the top and not spreading the flavor throughout the rice. Then add however much water your rice cooker calls for, add the olive oil, and turn your rice cooker on. If you don’t have a rice cooker (which you should, just ask Ariel), then add the rice, cumin seeds, olive oil, and water into a pot and bring to a rolling boil. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer until all the water is evaporated.

Add taco mix.
Add taco mix.

Now, back to the taco beans. Once the taco beans come to a rolling boil, add the four packets of taco seasoning and stir. Continue to stir occasionally on medium heat until the taco mix has a thick, soupy texture. It doesn’t have to be super solid, because it will firm up once you take it off the heat, but you don’t want it really watery either. Here’s what it should look like before you take it off the heat.

Mix and boil.
Mix and boil.


Once the rice and beans are done cooking, you’re ready to serve! I love mixing them together in a big bowl and eating it like a mixed curry, but you can stick it on a plate and serve separately. Alternately, the taco beans make a great substitute for meat if you’re eating tacos, and you don’t even have to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy them that way — was meat too expensive this week? Taco beans! I also like eating them as a dip with tortilla chips.

Comments on Megan-Simple taco beans with zeera rice

  1. Ooooh this looks really good!!! We have a regular taco night where I do crockpot chicken for the meat eaters & this looks like a nice change from refried beans for me! I love my rice cooker…it’s the most underrated kitchen tool ever! It lets me throw rice in there for dinner and run around after the kids without worrying about it burning or boiling over. In college I cooked everything from rice to soup to even “baking” bread in it.


      OP: This recipe looks delicious, and I probably will add some corn as well. How spicy is it with 4 packets of taco seasoning?

      • I bake in our rice cooker! We don’t have an oven and our maid taught me how to use the steaming tray, that came with the rice cooker, to bake! To use it as a steaming oven, it’s pretty easy-peasy. Put the cake batter or cookies or whatever in a pan/on a tray just like you normally would. (Except it needs to fit in your rice cooker — my rice cooker is pretty big, so I use a pie tin for it.) Put some water in the rice pot, place the steaming tray inside, put your pan/tray inside the steaming tray, close the lid, and turn it on. It cooks surprisingly fast and it’s basically impossible to burn — and your baked goods will be soooo moist!

        • Wow! And here, my husband has always used that little tray thingie as a trivet for the rice pot (taking it off the warmer). Makes way more sense.

          For a while in grad school, I lived in a studio apartment that didn’t have a proper kitchen. I became pretty proficient in stovetop-type cooking in that rice cooker, but I never realized I could actually BAKE in it, too! Fascinating!

      • As far as spicy goes, it depends on what kind of taco mix you use. If I were making this for taco filling, I’d probably use one can of beans and assume that the one can equals however much meat you’d normally need. Since you’re cooking a lot of beans as the recipe dictates, it’s not like you’re adding spice – you’re just using multiple servings. If you’re worried about it being too spicy, just be sure to grab mild taco seasoning! =)

  2. I am a terrible cook, so I need these Megan simple recipes! I’m normally a takeout food type, but I’m trying to go gluten free, so I want to start cooking at home. Does anyone know if these taco seasonings are gluten free (I’m kind of guessing no…)? If so, I’m heading to the store for this stuff tomorrow, because this looks tasty!

    • Some of them are, some of them aren’t. You’ll need to check the ingredients, as most taco seasonings do not say on the package they are gluten free even if they are.

      If you need it to be free of all traces of gluten (made in a facility with no possibility of cross contamination) and labeled as such, that might be more difficult and you might need to look into making your own. Google recipes for homemade taco seasoning, they are not too difficult if you have the spices needed.

      • Yeah, I was thinking about cross contamination. Even if the ingredients are ok, there’s a chance it isn’t truly gluten free because of that. I probably would need to make my own. Yeah, I’ll google some recipes for homemade taco seasonings. Thanks!

  3. REVIEW:

    I made this over the weekend and now have lunch serves in my fridge for the week. Just here to give the thumbs up!
    Didn’t quite stick to the recipe…

    I used brown rice instead, just a personal preference.

    I also used 3 cans of beans and 2 sachets of taco mix, with 3 cups of water and 1/4 cup of oil.

    Not to say these quantities are better, I just used what I had. I just wanted to point out that the recipe is very forgiving and basically impossible to stuff up.

    Thanks Aurora, this ticks all my boxes. Cheap, easy, mammal-free, healthy and yum!

    Also my husband is coeliac and all the taco mixes we use are gluten free, we mostly use old el Paso. (But I am in Australia and practiced at reading stupid ingredients on packets)

  4. This stuff is delicious! I made it almost two weeks ago, with only three cans of beans and three taco seasoning packets. Mixed the beans and the rice with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese, and salsa for some of the best taco salad I’ve ever had. And I’m a pretty devoted meat eater!

    It also freezes and reheats very well. We have lots of delicious leftovers, which is really great for a couple of furloughed guvmint employees!

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