Dominican Rice and Beans – $5 Dinner Challenge

I’m back in my kitchen! It feels great to be back!

Here is the best recipe that I can remember for making Dominican Rice and Beans. I’m not sure there’s an “exact” recipe for these anywhere, as they are made everyday for lunch. They’re just made. I watched and helped out a few times…so we’ll see how it goes! I am no expert, so if you know better or have any tips, let us know!! I’m including some extra photos to help out :)New Feature: I will now be adding a “Print This Recipe” link at the end of each recipe. The link will take you to a GoogleDoc that contains just the recipe. So if you want print off a recipe that you want to try, you won’t waste a ton of ink or have to do any copying and pasting! (If I forget to add the link, let me know…it might take a few misses to get me “into the habit”!)

1 cup rice ($.20)

2-3 Tbsp oil ($.15) (I used canola to keep the meal GFCFSF!)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried red kidney beans ($.50)
1/2 of a 6 oz can tomato paste (Free! Muir Glen on sale for $.75 and used $.75 coupon!)
1/4 green pepper ($.25)
1/2 onion ($.10)
1 large sprig of fresh cilantro ($.25)
Adobo Seasoning ($.25)
1/2 cup frozen veggies ($.25)

Traditional Sides: Salad with avocado slices, fried chicken, tostones (twice fried plantains), potato salad, macaroni salad, cabbage slaw salad

1. Rinse beans in colander. Soak beans overnight in lukewarm or for at least 2 hours in HOT water. Drain beans. Replace beans in pot (the pot you see in the pictures is from the DR!) and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly (I set mine to 8 on my burner) and let boil/simmer for 1.5 hours, or until soft. You will add seasonings as they are cooking (see #4!) Keep an eye on the water level, and add water more if necessary.

2. In saucepan or medium pot, add 2-3 Tbsp oil. Turn on heat. When oil starts to bubble, add rice. Stir rice through to cover it all with oil. Stir rice continuously for approximately one minute. Some rice kernals will turn color and brown slightly. This is your cue. Add 2.5-3 cups HOT water and stir. Once it returns to a boil reduce heat (6-7 on my stove) and cook for 20 minutes. If all the water has not boiled off, cook a little longer.

3. Rice will “sizzle” once its reached the right “consistency” (I didn’t know rice had a consistency! What I mean is that the right amount of water will have boiled off.) Cover rice with a trash bag. WHY??? I assume to keep the rice nice and moist, until its ready to be served!

Trash Bag Insulation

4. Thinly slice and dice green pepper and onion. After beans have been cooking for about an hour, add tomato paste, diced green pepper and onion. Add seasoning and cilantro sprig (you can remove it later if you like). Let the beans finish boiling (another 30 minutes), giving the flavors time to mix and mingle!

5. Scoop rice onto plate and ladle beans with lots of juice over the rice. Serve with favorite side of vegetables.

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Cost $2.20

MANY of you sent me soup recipes for my missing soup during “Soup Week”! Thank you so much! I’m thinking another soup week will be in order in Febraury! If you left a link in the comments from your blog with your favorite meal, be sure to link it up tonight’s $5 Dinner Challenge!!!

Have a Frugal and Healthy Recipe to share?

Post the recipe on your blog and then add the link below. Other guidelines can be found here. To make it easy for other readers to find your recipe, please leave the link that leads directly to your recipe post. Any links that lead to your homepage will be deleted. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your recipe in the comments section!


  1. Catherine and Zoe says

    oh. and i totally did not read the part about linking if you have a frugal recipe. doh! since i don’t.

  2. Mo Diva says

    I make this dish with Black beans instead of kidney beans and something called “sofrito” which can be found in the freezer section. Its inexpensive, can be homemade, and a little goes a long way so it will last forever!

  3. Nil Zed says

    Trash bag? why not just use the lid of the pan??

    I’m not sure that putting even a brand new trash bag over food is a good idea. I know that a the bakery/restaurant I worked at, health dept wouldn’t allow us to store bread in them b/c of offgassing and/or contact transfer of chemicals. We had to buy bags made of a different plastic–they were like humongous versions of the small bags you get in the produce dept.

  4. vaneblu says

    Hey I am dominican so this recipe put a smile on my face :) here in DR we use a bag for isolation because if you put the lid of he pan the water will condense in the top and waist your rice, if you dont feel confortable with a bag some people place a porcelain dish :)

  5. Tres Chic Boutique says

    I made this for dinner last night… you might wonder how, since it takes overnight, but I am just way too lazy to cook my own beans (plus I don’t have any) but I do have canned, so I improvised. I am sure yours were better, but these were really good. I also did not have a green pepper. I did not know what to expect, and for some reason thought maybe it would be spicy (cause of the Adobo seasoning) but it was not, it was a yummy dinner. So thanks for sharing! We all decided its a keeper!

  6. Linda says

    Wow, we made something the other night and I thought of this blog. I wonder if I can find the recipe and join in?

  7. taisha says

    instead of using a trash bag to cover the rice, try aluminum foil.. both my parents are from puerto rico..thats how they and their ancestors have been doing it. My husband is from haiti and that is how they do it there..idk y, but i do it 2.

  8. mosaicgrrrl says

    LOVED this recipe! And my honey student taught in the DR and was so excited when I made this dish! Big smiles all around…and I’ve already been asked to make them again!

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