Red Beans and Rice with Coconut and Ginger transforms regular rice into tantalize, can’t-stop eating rice!


This Red Beans and Rice recipe is infused with coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, garlic and ginger all swirled with cilantro and lime  juice requires hardly any more prep than boring white rice.   This rice is so good it stands alone or makes anything it stands with better.

Red Beans and Rice in a blue bowl with a spoon in the rice.

Easy Red Beans and Rice Recipe

I make rice All THE TIME.  Whether it’s Mexican rice or Asian rice, 99% of the time, I will add beans to my rice while it cooks because I love beans. And because rice and beans go together like Kiwi and her ball (Click HERE – she sleeps with it every nap and every night).

I may or may not have told you that refried beans are one of my favorite foods that I used to eat cold as a child. Gross. I know. Please don’t let that affect how you view my adult palate. Point being, I love beans in all their varieties. Black beans for my Mexican Rice, red kidney beans for my Asian rice. But for both varieties, cilantro and lime. Always cilantro and lime.

This Red Beans and Rice recipe is practically as easy to make as plain white rice and takes jut 1 minute longer for you to saute your Red curry paste, ginger and garlic together.  Then add your coconut milk, water and beans, followed by your rice and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

In that short amount of time while you have prepared the rest of your meal, the Red Beans and Rice literally drinks in all the coconut, red curry ginger deliciousness.  To finish it off, stir in some fresh cilantro and bright lime.

And you have a Red Beans and Rice recipe so good, you will wonder why you even made anything else but subtle enough it will enhance anything you serve it with.

easy Red Beans and Rice in a black pan with a serving spoon in the rice.

Red Beans and Rice Ingredients

This is a naturally vegetarian red beans and rice, which is another reason it’s such a good side for, well, anything! Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy red beans and rice recipe:

  • Rice:  Use white long grain rice for best results.
  • Coconut milk: I like using Chaokoh brand coconut milk.
  • Red kidney beans: Need to be drained and rinsed before using.
  • Oil: Coconut oil or olive oil will work in this recipe.
  • Thai red curry paste: Doesn’t make the dish spicy, just adds flavor.
  • Garlic: 3 minced garlic cloves.  Use more or less depending on your garlic love.
  • Ginger: Just 2 tablespoons — it’s very subtle in flavor (remember, you’re flavoring lots of rice!).
Close up view of Red Beans and Rice with a serving spoon in the rice.

How to Make Red Beans and Rice

This is a super quick red beans and rice recipe; it’s done in less than 30 minutes! Here are the basic steps for this coconut ginger rice recipe:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add Thai red curry paste, garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Add coconut milk, water and beans and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in rice, salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer.
  5. Cover and reduce heat, then simmer until rice is tender.
  6. When rice is tender, remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes, covered.
  7. When ready to serve (not before), stir in some lime juice and cilantro.
Showing how to make Red Beans and Rice by cooking beans in a black sauce pan.

Tips for Making Homemade Red Beans and Rice

  • Rinse and drain rice thoroughly:  rice contains a lot of starch which will cause the rice to stick together and can even make it mushy once cooked. To eliminate the mushy problem, it is crucial to remove the extra starch from the rice by rinsing it with cool water in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear – don’t shortcut this process!
  • Use a nonstick pan. It is essential your pan is nonstick because the rice will soak up all the liquid, evaporating the protective barrier between the rice and the pan.
  • If liquid evaporates before rice is done: then add just a little liquid, keeping in mind that the rice will continue to steam for 5 minutes once it’s removed from heat, so it doesn’t need to be 100% cooked once liquid is gone.
  • If rice is still wet: don’t worry, it will continue to absorb the 5 minutes while it is steaming.  When you remove the lid after 10 minutes, you can let the rice sit an additional 5-10 minutes to dry out.
  • Let it steam:  don’t shortcut the 5-minute steaming process as it gives the rice time to finish cooking and firm up which in turn, makes it fluffier. 
Showing how to make Red Beans and Rice by mixing rice and beans with cilantro.

Recipe Variations to Try

I love this vegetarian red beans and rice as is, but you can easily transform this dish!

  • Mix in cheese. You can do a little for a taste or a lot so it’s cheeeesy.
  • Stir  in sour cream. Sour cream makes it decadently creamy. I like to stir in cheese and sour cream. Gah, so good!
  • Add protein. You can instantly transform your red beans and rice recipe into a meal-in-one by adding protein such as ground turkey, ground beef, shredded rotisserie chicken, or chopped chicken.
  • Add other veggies.  Corn, carrots, red bell peppers or zucchini would all be fabulous.
Showing how to make easy Red Beans and Rice mixing rice and beans withs lime on the side.

CAN I PREP Red Beans and RICE AHEAD?

Yes!  While this easy red beans and rice recipe doesn’t require much prep, you can still prep everything in advance so it can come together in minutes.

  • Chop aromatics. Chop your garlic, grate the ginger, and store  in separate airtight containers in the fridge.
  • Measure seasonings. Measure out all of the seasoning and store in a separate airtight container.
  • Rinse rice. Thoroughly rinse basmati rice and leave it in the strainer to dry.

How to Store Red Beans and Rice

Let coconut ginger rice and beans cool to room temperature then transfer to a tightly covered airtight container or to several small containers for meal prep. Store in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

How to Reheat Quick Red Beans and Rice

  • Microwave: For small portions, microwave in a microwave-safe container with a couple teaspoons water for 60-90 seconds or until warmed through.
  • Stove:  For larger portions, transfer to a nonstick skillet along with a dash of water or chicken broth.  Heat over medium heat, stirring often until warmed through.

HOW TO FREEZE Red Beans and Rice

This easy homemade red beans and rice can also be frozen:

  • Let the rice cool completely before transferring to a freezer bag (recommended) or freezer-safe airtight container.  If using a bag, squeeze out as much excess air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Let rice defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat in the microwave or stove as directed above.
Extreme close up of Red Beans and Rice with a serving spoon and cilantro on top.

What Goes with Red Beans and Rice?

Looking for more Rice Recipes?

Red Beans and Rice with Coconut & Ginger - Carlsbad Cravings

Red Beans and Rice with Coconut & Ginger

Red Beans and Rice with Coconut and Ginger transforms regular rice into tantalize, can't-stop eating rice! This Red Beans and Rice recipe is infused with coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, garlic and ginger all swirled with cilantro and lime  juice requires hardly any more prep than boring white rice.
Servings: 4 -6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grained rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 13.5 oz. can. unsweetened coconut milk (I like Chaokoh)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and rained
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger *
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Garnish

  • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • freshly cracked salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add Thai red curry paste, garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute.
  • Add coconut milk, water and beans and bring to a boil then stir in rice, salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low (dial should be a little above lowest setting). Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring at 15 minutes, adding water if necessary.
  • When rice is tender, remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes, covered.
  • When ready to serve (not before), stir in lime juice, and cilantro.
  • Taste and season with freshly cracked salt and pepper and additional lime juice to taste if desired.

Notes

*2 tablespoons is very subtle ginger taste.

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32 Comments

    • Jen says

      Hi Jill, I am so happy you are enjoying my blog thank you so much! Your muffins look spectacular – gorgeous pics! I am so happy you love them so much! Thank you so much for your well wishes! My God bless you and yours as well! Hugs!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Sophia! I love me some rice and beans!

  1. Bonnie says

    This looks delicious! Great idea! I’m loving your blog and I’m exited to read more. 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Bonnie! It was so nice to meet you! Heading to your blog now 🙂

  2. Grace says

    Just curious about what the individual serving size would be?

    • Jen says

      It would be about 1/2 cup cooked rice if you are calculating 6 servings per recipe. Hope that helps!

  3. Erica @ Dwell Beautiful says

    Just made this last night! Had to substitute yellow curry for red and cannelini beans for red beans because that’s all we had on hand, but it turned out fantastic! The hubby kept saying how much he loved it 🙂 Thanks so much for a great recipe!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Erica! I am so happy you both loved it – especially the hubby 🙂

  4. Jessamyn says

    Has anyone tried this with brown rice? Wondering how much longer i should cook if I swapped it

  5. Alexis says

    I found this recipe on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and haven’t forgotten about it. It sounded awesome. I finally made it for my husband and I tonight and it was FANTASTIC! The lime and fresh cilantro really set it off and brought together all of the flavors! Thank you for sharing! This recipe’s a keeper!

    • Jen says

      Hi Alexis, I’m so glad you you found me on pinterest and that this recipe did not disappoint, yay! Thank you for your kind comment and I hope you find more recipes to love here!

    • Jen says

      I would say it is seasoned but not spicy. The ginger does adds a little kick so if you are really sensitive, then just use 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger instead of 3. Enjoy!

  6. Sara says

    Would this be a good side for something like cilantro-like shrimp?

  7. Jenna says

    Another amazing recipe! We love this, added it to my “give to my kids” handwritten favorites that I’ve been collecting. It’s definitely not the only Carlsbad Cravings recipe in my ‘Favorites’ notebook. Making it again tonight with BBQ fish.

    • Jen says

      YAY! I am so happy you loved it enough to make into your “favorites notebook”- what a special project- your kids will love those precious gifts forever! I am honored to be included 🙂

  8. Joan says

    I’m glad I found this recipe. I just made it and it was delicious!!! My family loved it too.

    • Jen says

      I am so happy to hear that Joan, thank you so much!

  9. Britt says

    This was delicious! I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I’ll be trying many more of your recipes. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Britt, welcome to my site! I am so happy you enjoyed this recipe and I hope you have fun exploring my other recipes! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  10. Kirti Yadav says

    Sometime back I made Cilantro rice which was plain but I really like the idea of adding Red -Beans in coconut gravy. That Red Thai curry paste seems so promising in this recipe. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Kirti, hope you love it as much as us!

  11. Meghan says

    I unfortunately don’t have any fresh ginger in the house…any idea how much powdered ginger would suffice? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      absolutely! I would use 3/4-1 teaspoon ground/powdered ginger 🙂

  12. Marissa says

    Hi! I just made this and we are eating it right now! Monday nights are rice nights for us and this will be on rotation for sure! My husband loves Thai food and I’m trying to get more into it for him. He’s very pleased!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Marissa, I’m so happy you love it and it’s going to be a regular! I LOVE Thai food too, so I can’t wait for you to try ore of my Thai recips!

  13. Stephanie says

    You turned ordinary boring white rice into a flavor bomb with this recipe. Wow it was good served along side your Mojo Chicken recipe.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Stephanie, it’s honestly been a while since I made this one so I love hearing it still holds up!