Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach

I love taking concepts from old recipes and reinventing them into something new. For this Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach I’ve taken my (not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce and used it to flavor a rice and bean combo, similar to my Spanish Chickpeas and Rice. The resulting dish is a full flavored, filling concoction that can be served as either a vegetarian (or vegan) main dish, or a side to go with just about any type of grilled meat. After eating my first bowl I thought that this would also be a great meal if topped with a fried egg (because fried eggs on everything).

As with most rice dishes, the success of this recipe depends greatly on having a heavy bottomed skillet or pot. The heat from your burner must be distributed evenly for the rice to cook evenly, so find your thickest, heaviest pot or deep skillet to use for this recipe.

Rice and beans FTW!

Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach

Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach is a hearty and flavorful vegan dinner that will be loved by meat eaters and vegetarians alike. BudgetBytes.com

4.69 from 19 votes
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Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach

Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach is a hearty and flavorful vegan dinner that will be loved by meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

Total Cost $5.14 recipe / $0.86 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 8 cups total/1.33 cups each

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.22
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp basil $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp thyme $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary $0.03
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper $0.02
  • Freshly cracked black pepper $0.05
  • 3 oz tomato paste (about 1/4 cup) $0.33
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 small yellow onion $0.25
  • 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes $1.50
  • 15 oz can cannellini beans $1.29
  • 1/4 lb frozen chopped spinach $0.43
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice $0.48
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth* $0.19

Instructions

  1. Place the spinach in a bowl and allow it to thaw slightly as you prepare the beginning of the dish. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  2. Add the olive oil to a heavy bottomed pot or deep skillet along with the minced garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and a little freshly cracked black pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill). Sauté the spices over medium-low heat for about one minute.
  3. Add the tomato paste and brown sugar to the pot and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomato paste takes on a deep burgundy color. Add the onion and salt and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or until the onions become soft and transparent.
  4. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the cannellini beans in a colander. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), cannellini beans, spinach, and uncooked rice to the pot. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir briefly to combine the ingredients.
  5. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the contents to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to the lowest setting that allows the liquid to maintain a simmer. Let the pot simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed (there may still be some around the edges. Turn the heat off and let the pot rest, undisturbed, for 10 additional minutes.
  6. Finally, fluff the contents of the pot with a fork, making sure to not stir vigorously. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

*I use Better Than Bouillon concentrate to make my broth.

Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach is a hearty and flavorful vegan dinner that will be loved by meat eaters and vegetarians alike. BudgetBytes.com

Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach is a hearty and flavorful vegan dinner that will be loved by meat eaters and vegetarians alike. BudgetBytes.com

Step by Step Photos

Oil and Herbs

Start by mincing two cloves of garlic and dicing one onion so they’re ready to go when you need them. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a heavy bottomed pot or deep skillet, along with the minced garlic, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/4 tsp rosemary, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a little freshly cracked pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill). Sauté the spices over medium-low heat for about one minute.

Tomato Paste and Sugar

Add 3oz. tomato paste (about 1/4 cup) and 1/2 tsp brown sugar to the pot. Continue to sauté for 2-3 more minutes, or until the tomato paste takes on a darker burgundy color.

Diced Onion and Salt

Add the diced onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Sauté until the onion is soft and transparent.

Tomatoes Spinach White Beans and Rice

Add one 15oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach (does not need to be completely thawed), one 15oz. can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained), and one cup uncooked long grain white rice.

Add Vegetable Broth

Finally, add 1.5 cups vegetable broth and stir briefly to combine the ingredients.

BTB Vegetable Base

This is what I use to make my broth because I can mix up any volume that I need (unlike bouillon cubes) with no leftovers (like cans or boxes of broth), the packaging is small, and once opened it lasts just about forever in the fridge. #winning #notsponsored

Cooked Rice

Place a lid on your pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let it come up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to the lowest setting that still allows the liquid to simmer. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed (there may still be a bit pooling around the edges). Turn the heat off and let it sit for 10 minutes with the lid in place. 

Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach is a hearty and flavorful vegan dinner that will be loved by meat eaters and vegetarians alike. BudgetBytes.com

Carefully fluff the tomato herb rice without over stirring (you don’t want the beans to break down or the rice to get gummy). Serve immediately! Or garnish with a bit of parsley to make it look even prettier, like I did. ;)