Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach

$5.14 recipe / $0.86 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.50 from 42 votes
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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).

Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach

A deep skillet full of Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach, garnished with chopped parsley

What Type of Skillet is Best?

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. I’m using the 3 qt. covered sauté pan from OXO that came with this set.

Can I Make This with Brown Rice?

Unfortunately simply swapping brown rice for the white rice in this recipe will not work. Brown rice requires more liquid and a longer cooking time to cook through, so several adjustments would need to be made to make brown rice work. Unfortunately I have not tested or developed a brown rice version of this recipe.

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Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach

4.50 from 42 votes
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.
Servings 6 8 cups total/1.33 cups each
Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 55 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.22)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary ($0.03)
  • 1 pinch 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 yellow onion ($0.25)
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($1.50)
  • 1 15oz. 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 

  • Place the spinach in a bowl and allow it to thaw slightly as you prepare the beginning of the recipe.
  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Set the onion aside. Add the olive oil, 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) to a heavy bottomed pot or deep skillet. Sauté the garlic and spices over medium-low heat for about one minute.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Finally, fluff the contents of the pot with a fork, making sure to not stir vigorously. Serve immediately.

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Notes

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

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 316kcalCarbohydrates: 55.77gProtein: 11.75gFat: 5.6gSodium: 766.47mgFiber: 7.37g
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Rice and beans FTW!

Side view of Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach in the skillet

Overhead view of Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach being scooped out of the skillet with a wooden spoon.

Step by Step Photos

Oil and Herbs in the skillet

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 added to the skillet

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 sautéed with the tomato and herbs in the skillet

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

Tomatoes Spinach White Beans and Rice added to the skillet

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 to the skillet

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

Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base jar

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 in the skillet

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. 

Finished Tomato Herb Rice with White Beans and Spinach in the skillet on a striped napkin

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. ;)

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Comments

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  1. This looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it. Could this recipe be frozen for meal prep after cooking?

    1. Of course! Spread the cooked rice in a large baking pan and refrigerate it until it has cooled completely, then portion in freezer-safe containers, top with wax paper to prevent freezer burn, and keep for up to a month. XOXO -Monti

  2. This looks really good–can’t wait to make it. Question–is the frozen spinach in block form, or the stuff that comes in a bag?

    Thanks

    1. I would recommend the bagged kind for this one, since you’re adding it straight to the skillet unthawed, that way it can be stirred into the other ingredients. If you have the block kind on hand, I’d just thaw it first so it can be stirred in instead of sitting in the skillet as a big ice cube. :)