Fiesta Rice Recipe

August 7, 2019

A perfectly delicious and healthy rice recipe! This Fiesta Rice is packed with nutritious goodness and incredibly hearty. It’s made up of brown rice, black beans, tons of fresh colorful vegetables and it’s all tossed with a bright cilantro lime dressing. You’ll love it!

Fiesta rice recipe in a large white serving bowl.

An Easy Healthy Rice Recipe!

This has been one of my favorite sides to make this summer. It will remind you of a Cowboy Caviar (Texas Caviar) Dip but instead of serving as a chip dip it’s a refreshing side dish.

I love to serve it with grilled chicken or pan seared salmon, and it would also be delicious with shrimp. Honestly though it’s so filling that you could just serve up a bowlful of this for lunch or dinner and no one would be complaining.

We all get caught in the slump of “what am I going to make to go with it”? This seems like a good all-purpose place to go, no more boring plain rice!

And it’s made with simple ingredients yet it’s brimming with flavor! Fresh ingredients make the best recipes!

It’s just one of those recipes that you can feel great about eating, possibly even giving you a little pep in your step instead of feeling weigh down after dinner. This is fuel you through the day food.

Close up image of rice with colorful vegetables and black beans.

How to Cook Brown Rice

I usually opt for the stovetop (in a saucepan) method because it’s just what I’ve always done but there are four ways you can cook the brown rice:

How Much Does 1 Cup Dry Rice Make?

For this recipe I begin with 1 cup dry brown rice which will make about 3 cups cooked, so you’ll have a little extra leftover for lunch the next day.

Ingredients needed to make fiesta rice.

Ingredients for Fiesta Rice:

  • Leftover cooked brown rice – I like to use leftover chilled brown rice for two reasons, it absorbs the dressing better since it’s not as wet and it cold which works perfect for this recipe. If you don’t plan ahead no worries just serve it warm.
  • Black beans – be sure to rinse and drain well. Rinsing remove excess salt and that mucky brown liquid which would tint the dish and make it soggy with the excess liquid.
  • Roma tomatoes – I like to use roma but another type of tomato would work fine like vine ripened or grape tomatoes.
  • Bell pepper – I like to use a blend for a colorful dish but if you don’t feel like buying two colors 1 will be fine, I’d go with green.
  • Jalapeno – this adds a spicy kick feel free to omit for a mild rice dish.
  • Frozen corn – fresh corn will work great too just cook it first.
  • Red onion – I like to rinse before adding to the mixture to help remove some of the excess harsh bite.
  • Olive oil – this is the base for the dressing. You won’t need much.
  • Lime juice and zest – this really brightens up the rice and makes it an exciting recipe!
  • Fresh cilantro – this adds a delicious herbaceous flavor, it’s a key ingredient don’t omit it.
  • Cumin – this bring some depth.
  • Garlic – raw garlic is much stronger than cooked garlic so here we don’t use very much.
  • Salt and pepper – you may not need a very much salt depending on how much you added to the rice when cooking. Taste first then season.
  • Avocado – this ingredient is optional. I love it here but if you plan on leftovers I’d only add to the individual servings otherwise it will turn brown and unappetizing.

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board with corn in a colander to drain and rice in the background in a bowl.

How to Make this Fiesta Rice Recipe:

  • Prepare dressing: in a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, cumin and garlic.

Rice dressing ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.

  • Add remaining ingredients to a bowl: to a large bowl add brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeno, corn, red onion and avocado.
  • Toss with dressing: pour lime mixture over ingredients rice mixture and toss to evenly coat while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Fiesta Rice Ingredients in a salad bowl before tossing together.

Can I Use White Rice?

Yes. White rice will work fine here too. But when you get a chance I recommend trying brown, it adds extra flavor and texture. It’s more nutritious too.

Can I Serve this Rice Recipe Warm?

Yes. This would also be delicious served warm instead of chilled. While it is so refreshing served cold in the summer another time of year you may want a warm rice dish.

If doing so I recommend sautéing the bell pepper, onion, corn and jalapeno in a little oil until just crisp tender, the add tomatoes and black beans and just heat through. Toss with warm rice and dressing.

How Long Will It Keep?

If you hold the avocado it should keep well in the fridge for 3 days. If needed you can toss in a little more oil.

Bowl full of rice with colorful vegetables

More Easy Rice Recipes You’ll Love:

Fiesta Rice Recipe

4.5 from 2 votes

A perfectly delicious and healthy rice recipe! This is packed with nutritious goodness and incredibly hearty. It's made up of brown rice, black beans, tons of fresh colorful vegetables and it's all tossed with a bright cilantro lime dressing. You'll love it!

Servings: 6
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (1 large clove)
  • 2 1/2 cups leftover cooked brown rice, chilled
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 2 medium roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped green or orange bell pepper (or a blend)
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed according to package instructions*
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion, rinsed under cold water to remove harsh bite and drained well
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional)**
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, cumin and garlic.

  2. To a large bowl add brown rice, black beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeno, corn, red onion and avocado.

  3. Pour lime mixture over ingredients rice mixture and toss to evenly coat while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

*It is now advised to cook frozen corn to 165 degrees due to possible bacteria. I cook in a little water in the microwave to heat through, then run under cold water and drain well to cool.

**If you plan on leftovers I recommend only adding avocado to the portion you'll be serving so you don't end up with browned diced avocado in the rice.

Nutrition Facts
Fiesta Rice Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 304 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 271mg12%
Potassium 626mg18%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 874IU17%
Vitamin C 39mg47%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: Rice Recipe
Author: Jaclyn