Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans (Gluten-free)

Mom! Are you out there?! Are you reading this? Cuz this one’s for you. My mom makes a mean Spicy Rice & Beans dish that my dad absolutely loves (I think he could probably live on it for the rest of his life). Today, I’ve got a new twist on an old favorite for her and for all of you, too.

Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans Gluten-free

I discovered this recipe from an old post on Naturally Ella, a blog written by a lovely, über talented gal named Erin. I don’t know what’s better, her recipes or her photography. Both are outstanding.

In fact, just browsing her site makes me both depressed (by my lack of photography skills) and motivated (by my lack of photography skills). I know my photos aren’t horrible, but when you compare them to photos like Erin’s, well, there’s just no contest. At all. Ah, someday.

Now that I’ve whined about my sucky photos, let me give you some happy news :) I’m SO thrilled that I tested this recipe because it is AWESOME. So awesome that I’ve made it twice in the past week. I love this new (to me) twist on traditional rice and beans.

What’s the twist? Sweet potato! Not to mention Erin’s choice of seasonings and preparation, which results in a spicy, flavor-infused plate of yum. It’s also super easy and versatile. You can serve it as is with a side of tortilla chips for dipping, rolled up in tortillas with guacamole, or in a wrap with greens and raw veggies.

Hubs said he could eat this just about every day. Sounds just like my dad.

Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans Gluten-free

Serves 4 to 6


Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans (Gluten-free)


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small hot pepper, finely diced* (I used a jalapeño.)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed with garlic press
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (Use gluten-free if desired.)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped into about ½” cubes
  • 1 tsp. thyme (I didn’t have any, so I used oregano.)
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes*
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:  chopped avocado, vegan sour cream, vegan shredded cheese, guacamole


*If you’re not a fan of spicy food and/or you’re making this for kids, I would suggest either omitting the hot pepper and red pepper flakes or cutting the quantity in half. 

Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans Gluten-free


In a medium pot, bring tomato sauce and water to a boil. Add rice, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.

(As you can see in the photo, my rice is really red – it’s because I used leftover pizza sauce instead of tomato sauce. Also, the original recipe called for less rice, tomato sauce, and water, so that’s why there’s not much in the pan. I doubled those portions for you in the ingredients list).

Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans Gluten-free

While the rice is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, and garlic to the pan and sauté.

Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans Gluten-free

When onions and peppers begin to soften, add vegetable broth, sweet potato, thyme, cumin, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat until sweet potatoes are cooked through.

Add in beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice. Continue to heat the mixture for another five minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, I like to add the veggie/bean mixture to the rice and combine it all together, but you can also leave it separate and serve the mixture over a bed of rice.

Up to you. Top with optional toppings and enjoy!

Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans Gluten-free
Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans Gluten-free

p.s. Thank you to all of you who have entered my Stella & Dot Giveaway that I posted last week! I get so excited when I see all the new comments, tweets, and fb likes!!! You guys rock. I can’t wait to draw a winner later this week :)

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10 thoughts on “Vegan Brazilian Rice and Beans (Gluten-free)”

  1. Livvy your Photography Skills are not bad at all. I think they are awesome! You are being WAY too hard on yourself.

    This recipe looks good but ” The Hubs” and I, don’t care for spicy foods.

    Dare to bet that lots of your readers are going to love this. Umm… Avocado.

    • Thank you – they’ll do for now I guess ;) Hey, fyi, you can omit the jalapeño and red pepper flakes for a mild version. It’s really good rolled up in corn tortillas with guacamole.

  2. can I just say….YUMS! Either this is really good or your skills at photography are amazing. Probably both!!! I want to try it!

  3. Hi! I recently found your blog while looking for healthy New Year’s recipes. I made this Friday and my boyfriend and I ate it all weekend! So delicious and filling! And it approved the boyfriend test. :) Thanks!

  4. Hi! I discovered this recipe (and your blog) this past weekend while meal planning and thought this recipe looked amazing! Just made it, and it didn’t disappoint! I subbed the tomato sauce for paste + extra veg broth, added way more garlic, subbed the lime for lemon and didn’t add any of the spicy elements because this will also be dinner for my 16 month old. Tastes delicious! This will be tomorrow’s dinner and I think everyone will be pleased!


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