Easy Recipes: Beans and Rice (A Budget Friendly Meal)

Pinto beans are one of the very first things I ever learned to cook in the crockpot- my mother made them pretty regularly when I was a child. Generally she would make them on a Sunday and serve them with roast or a beefy dish.

Beans  are very inexpensive, very filling and one batch is plentiful. They certainly fall into the easy recipes category.

There was a time in my life where I made beans in the crockpot every week- because that is all we could afford.

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This recipe will make plenty and should give you some leftovers that you can freeze and use for a later recipe.


  • 2 lbs dry pinto beans
  • 3 oz salt pork
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 t Cumin
  • pepper, just a couple of cracks to taste
  • 2-3 cups steamed rice
  • shredded cheese, optional for topping
  • sour cream, optional for topping

In a large bowl, cover your beans in water and soak them over night.   Soaking them at room temperature is perfectly fine.

The next morning dump the water and thoroughly rinse the beans. There will be a significant amount of dirt in the bottom of the bowl, it can be kind of yucky.

Pick out any bad beans and any rocks. Yes, I’ve found rocks.

Once rinsed and picked through, place them in the crockpot and cover in water. It is very important not to fill it up with water to the very top. Make sure your crockpot is only 3/4 of the way full, max.

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I buy salt pork in a 12 oz package.

I open the package and chop it into four even sections.

I only use one of those sections in a 2 lb pot of beans.

Pop the other 9 oz in the freezer to use at a later time.

Place 3 oz of the salt pork in the crockpot.

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Chop up a small onion.

I prefer purple onion in beans.

Toss them in the crockpot.

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Toss in the chopped cilantro.

Less if you want, more if you want.

I love cilantro and I love the smell of it cooking.

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Toss in a can of Rotel, undrained.

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Measure out the cumin and toss it in.

Add a couple of cracks of fresh pepper too.

No salt is needed-  that is the purpose of the salt pork.

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Cook on high, yes high, for 10-12 hours.

Beans take a long time to cook and with your crockpot this full it will take even longer.

If you want, after 10-12 hours on high, move them to low and let them even cook longer over night. Not a must, but makes the flavors even more amazing.

Once the beans are done, remove the salt pork.

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In a bowl, place about 1/4 of a cup of steamed rice.

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Pour a couple of scoops of beans on top of the rice.

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Top with cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, etc.

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And enjoy!

I like to stir it up a bit.

Add some grilled cooked chicken or some diced steak and you have a homemade Chipotle bowl.

Freeze any leftover beans for burritos, nachos, tostados or taco soup.


  1. says

    Yum! We actually have beans and rice about once every week or so. Inexpensive and filling, and we’ll even make homemade tortillas, which makes it extra special. Then with leftovers we’ve got lunch for the next day, too. Thanks for sharing your recipe, I’ll try them like this next time!
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  2. Cynthia Smith says

    I’ve never heard of salt pork before. Where do I get that? Is it sold at regular grocery stores? Could I just use regular salt instead? How much would I use? Oh, I’m in Southern California in case it matters as far as finding salt pork.

  3. says

    I know beans are really frugal, and we’ve just never gotten into them. I remember my mom making baked beans and hot dogs, and loving them. My dh isn’t a big bean fan; maybe that’s why they’re not in my repertoire.

    I have been known to sneak black beans into brownies. That’s a start. 😉

    Thanks for linking up at Motivation Monday!
    Barb @ A Life in Balance recently posted..frugal thursday rewind: saving money on party suppliesMy Profile

    • says

      Barb- if your dh is a meat eater it can be hard to eat rice and beans and think you’ve had a meal. I understand.

      What I love about beans is that they are high in protein, inexpensive and very filling. Let me know if you give them a try.

      Crockpot beans minus the rice are great as a side too.

    • says


      I used my 6 qt to make 2 lbs of beans.

      And you’re right, size does matter for the amount of food. You do not want to fill the crock more than 3/4 of the way full or it will take days for the beans to cook.

  4. Amanda says

    Your beans might be taking longer because of the addition of the Rotel at the beginning. Tomatoes (or anything acidic) can increase cooking time. Of course, this really isn’t that big of a deal with the crock pot doing the work :)


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