The Best Mexican Rice and Beans You’ll Ever Make (2024)

Hi, I'm Saul Montiel.

I'm a professional chef

and today I'm gonna teach you how

to make the base rice beans at home.

They need to be rich, they need to be thick,

they need to be full of flavor.

This is rice, beans, uno, and uno.

When it comes to rice beans, it's basically the side dish.

For most of you, Mexican dishes can eat this with mole.

You can eat this with enchilada.

It's simple, it's easy, and I'm gonna show you how to do it.

It's time to make the best part of Mexico, rice and beans.

[upbeat guitar strumming]

In front of me, I have two cups of black beans,

dried beans from scratch can give you a better

taste, a better texture.

To me, it's a hundred times better than a can.

The first step, very important step is to go

through all the beans to make sure there's no pieces

of rock, pieces of wood.

Like any imperfection.

When I was four or five years old,

my mom would sit me on the table

and make me go through all the beans and I will do this.

You know, like find little imperfect beans.

Things, we don't want this, [speaking Spanish]

Okay, so now I'm gonna rinse these beans

because beans can have a lot of dust.

Okay, for this recipe, you need 5,642 pieces of black beans.

No less, no more.

They look perfect, nice and clean.

Gonna dump it in here. Now I'm gonna put four cups of water.

You have to have a lot of water

because the beans, they're going to get soft overnight.

So basically the the size they're going to increase.

If you don't have enough water

and the beans get uncovered,

the ones on top that are going to be drier.

So you have like two different textures. We don't want that.

Wanna store this dish on the fridge. Let it sit overnight.

Look at this, the size. See the difference?

Big bean, baby bean.

Now I'm gonna drain the beans and give a little rinse.

Now we're gonna move into cooking the beans.

[upbeat guitar strumming]

I'm bringing eight cups of water to a boil.

Now, when cooking black beans,

you're gonna make sure they have enough water.

So now I'm gonna do one and a half onion,

four cloves of garlic.

Now I'm want to smash them a little bit halfway.

You will remove the leaf easier

and also you will break the flavors

of the garlic so it will be stronger.

I added two avocado leaves.

The reason why I'm using avocado leaves to my beans

because I want to add an aroma to my beans.

I want them to taste like Mexico.

If you don't have an avocado leaves,

bay leaves will do the work.

Two bay leaves and four epazote leaves.

Epazote, it's a bitter green, little mustardy with licorice

and it makes the beans get a richer flavor.

If you don't have a epazote, you can use three

or four stems of cilantro.

Now the all the aromatics are in, we bring this to a boil.

Now that you see the vegetables having blast, dancing all

over the beans, I'm gonna lower the heat,

simmer for 60 to 90 minutes.

It depends on your size of the beans.

When cooking black beans, make sure the beans are,

have enough water all the time.

When you simmer the beans, it's very important

that you stir it once in a while.

Not a lot, because remember the skin

of the beans is fragile.

So my black beans, they've been simmering

for almost 70 minutes.

One way to find out if your beans are

ready, you're just gonna grab one bean.

If it's easy to smash, that means it's on point.

I can feel that it's tender. It's meaty enough, it's soft.

Now we're going to remove the onion, also the leaves.

Epazote, we don't want this.

You can find the garlic, remove the garlic. If not, eat it.

It's okay. It's healthy for you.

Now what I'm gonna do, what my mom calls [speaking Spanish].

It's gonna be like an onion sofrito.

I'm gonna dye some onions, little chop cop.

[oil sizzling]

For my beans, I'm using vegetable oil

because I don't want to add another level of flavor.

Sofreir, when you re-fry vegetables

and then you add more flavor to your beans.

I'm gonna do salt in here 'cause I don't want brown them.

Want them to also sweat. The heat is a lower heat.

Now I'm going to add some of the beans.

We're not gonna add all the liquid,

'cause we want to have rich beans, no watery beans.

A little bit more salt. We gonna stir.

Make sure you get the salt everywhere.

I'm going to leave this simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Next, I'm going to be making tomato broth

for my Mexican rice.

[upbeat guitar strumming]

I make the best Mexican rice by using canned tomatoes

because the tomato is more concentrate, it's more richer.

Little more on the sweet side. Just gonna dump this here.


I love the flavor of cumin. Put in a quarter of a teaspoon.

We're gonna do half an onion.

Two cloves of garlic.

A little bit of salt.

That's what it means a little bit for chef.

Chicken stock.

I'm pouring around 14 ounces of chicken stock.

And now we're gonna puree this.

We're looking for something between sauce and a broth.

This is the consistency that we are looking for.

If this becomes too thick,

just add a little bit more chicken stock.

Too loose, just add more tomatoes. My sauce is set.

Let's time to make some rice. Arroz.

[upbeat guitar strumming]

The rice that I'm using from a Mexican rice is

long-grain rice.

First step on making Mexican rice is wash your rice

to remove all the star out of the rice.

So you see all this liquid right here.

That's all the starts from the rice.

We wanna have a clear water.

So now I'm gonna do it like three or four times until this,

the water is nice and clear.

See that?

That what you're looking for. Clear water.

I'm going to toss the rice to have nice

and brown, to get like a nutty flavor to the rice.

I turn the heat to medium heat and I add some canola oil.

The rice, we're gonna be stirring here

until it's nice and brown.

The reason why I'm moving the pot

and the spoon at the same time is just

to make sure we toast the rice evenly,

so everybody gets the same love.

Normally it will take, I would say, five

to seven, eight minutes.

But you know the color is gonna tell you.

When making this rice,

you need to keep stirring most the time,

until the rice is nice and brown.

This is how it's supposed to look, nice and toasted.

Now I'm gonna add the tomato.

Before you add it, let's just mix it.

I'm not putting all the liquid in,

'cause I want to see if it needs more liquid or not.

It'll stir right here. I want to stir it once and that's it.

Now that it's simmering low heat, I'm gonna do corn on top.

Then I'm gonna do fresh green pea, fresh diced carrots,

and a whole Serrano.

This just going to add the aroma of the pepper

and some cilantro.

Now we're just gonna leave this alone.

We're not going to touch it.

We're gonna come back like in

12, 20 minutes and see how's it going.

No stirring, nothing.

Let's take a look.

Smells like my grandma's house.


Woo. [twinkly bells chiming]

Can already tell it's ready.

Why? Because it's cooked evenly.

If I mix it now, right?

It's a bad idea because it's still a little bit wet.

So you have to let it sit before mixing it in.

Now I'm just gonna let it cover,

shut the heat off and let it sit.

Go get my beans and have a rice beans feast.

[upbeat guitar strumming]

Is time to plate.

Look at this beauty.

Look how nice and dry this rice is, just perfect.

Now you just need some moles,

some [speaking Spanish] tequila.

The whole family.

The Serrano is just there just

in case you need extra heat.

And now the beans, they look nice, rich,

thick, creamy.

Now I'm gonna garnish the beans

with a little bit queso fresco.

Queso fresco is basically is a cow's meal cheese,

salty, crumbly, fresh, it's delicious.

And there you have it. The best way to make rice and beans.

Alright, the best part of the day. Tasting the food.

I call it quality control. Let's try this separately, right?

Mm, mm-mm.


It's fluffy, it's full of flavor.

It tastes just like the rice

that my mom used to make, even better.

Mom, you watching this?

I just said

that I love you very much and I hope you are here.

But in Spanish.

Now, the beans.

They need to be rich, thick,

and they need to be full of flavor

and this is how it's done.


I mean, I don't know why you choose

beans from a can over this.

And now the two together.

[upbeat Latin music]


It's delicious.

Now you can put this into your burrito,

you can serve this with enchiladas.

You can serve this with mole. I mean, it makes me happy.

You know, tasting these flavors just makes anybody happy.

Saul Montiel's demonstration of preparing rice and beans is a culinary masterclass rooted in authentic Mexican cuisine. Let's break down the key concepts and techniques involved:

1. Black Beans Preparation: Saul emphasizes using dried black beans over canned ones for better taste and texture. He meticulously inspects, rinses, and soaks the beans overnight to allow them to soften and expand in size.

2. Cooking Black Beans: He cooks the black beans with aromatic ingredients like onion, garlic, avocado leaves (for aroma), bay leaves (as an alternative), and epazote (to enhance flavor). Simmering the beans for 60-90 minutes until they are soft yet meaty is crucial. Testing the beans for tenderness confirms they're ready.

3. Onion Sofrito for Beans: The final touch involves a sofrito, sautéing onions in vegetable oil until translucent, adding a portion of beans and their liquid, seasoning with salt, and simmering to achieve rich, non-watery beans.

4. Tomato Broth for Mexican Rice: The tomato broth is prepared by blending canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, cumin, salt, and chicken stock. The consistency is adjusted to a sauce-like texture by adding more stock or tomatoes as needed.

5. Mexican Rice Preparation: Long-grain rice is washed thoroughly to remove excess starch. It's then toasted in canola oil until it turns brown. The tomato broth is added gradually, and the rice is left to simmer without stirring. Additional ingredients like corn, peas, carrots, Serrano pepper, and cilantro are added for flavor.

6. Plating and Garnishing: The final presentation involves a beautifully plated dish of fluffy, flavorful rice garnished with queso fresco (a crumbly, salty cheese). The beans, rich and creamy, are showcased alongside the rice for a complete meal.

Saul's expertise lies not only in the ingredients and techniques but also in the cultural significance of these dishes. He highlights the importance of authenticity, traditional flavors, and the sheer joy of savoring these beloved Mexican flavors, suggesting various serving options like pairing with mole or serving in burritos and enchiladas.

This level of detail and reverence for the ingredients and traditions involved truly reflects Saul Montiel's expertise in creating an authentic, flavorful, and comforting Mexican culinary experience.

The Best Mexican Rice and Beans You’ll Ever Make (2024)


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