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Pesto Rice and Beans

May 10, 2010
Pesto Rice and Beans

Pesto Rice and Beans

I love rice and beans.  Why this simple combination tastes so good is mysterious to me – but I don’t question it much. Pesto Rice and Beans is simply another delicious variation on the beloved rice and beans theme.

A quickly needed dinner was the inspiration for this dish.  I thought I was soooo original – “I’ll be pesto would taste really good with rice!”  So I quickly Googled it from the computer on the kitchen counter.  And of course there are many pesto and rice recipes out there, including this Mom Advice inspiration based on a Pesto Rice Mark Bittman recipe from “How to Cook Everything”.  But what would Striving Bean be without a little “bean flair”?  Naturally I added my own touch.

It’s such a treat to have something nutritious and tasty on the table so quickly.  And I nearly overflowed with joy when my kids told me it was * yummy *.

Pesto Rice and Beans

Recipe from Mom Advice and Mark Bittman
Modified by Striving Bean


  • 1 15 oz. can white beans (rinsed and drained) OR 1 2/3 cups (1.66 cups) cooked white beans (I used navy beans)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (1.5 cups) basmati rice
  • 2 1/4 cups (2.25 cups) water
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup  (0.5 cup) pesto
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced


  1. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the basmati rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is coated with oil.
  3. Add the water and season with sea salt.
  4. Turn the heat up a bit and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to medium-low.
  5. Sautee the diced red bell pepper.  Set aside.
  6. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat under the rice, but leave the cover on. Wait 10 minutes, then stir in the pesto.
  7. Stir in the white beans.
  8. Stir in the red bell pepper.
  9. Serve immediately.

Our family weighs in:

  • Daughter loved it.
  • Son loved it
  • Husband loved it.
  • I loved it.


Chef’s notes:

  • Toss diced red bell pepper for garnish on top (like we did) if your kids don’t like it.
  • Try basmati rice if you haven’t before.  You will love how it enhances the taste of this dish.

What’s a healthy fast dish you like to make?

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This post is linked up to “Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays” at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2010 7:28 am

    I’ve been finding out about all kind of cool ways to use pesto lately. This sounds great. I never would have thought to combine it with rice.

  2. May 11, 2010 6:48 pm

    Great use of pesto! I love this recipe.

  3. May 11, 2010 8:25 pm

    Hi Lori and Mags – Oh how I love pesto. I’m looking forward to making my own from the garden this summer!

  4. May 14, 2010 12:46 pm

    pesto and beans what a great combo…


  5. May 18, 2010 9:37 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. I bought the ingredients tonight and hope to make it for dinner tomorrow. Yum!

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