Black Beans & Rice with Roasted Poblanos and Garlic

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 4 votes

Black beans and rice with roasted poblanos and garlic is comforting, delicious, naturally vegan, and perfect as a base for so many meals. This recipe makes a great plant-based meal prep component too!

An overhead shot of black beans and rice with some herbs and vegetables in a Dutch oven-style pot on a dark wood background.
A 3/4 angle shot of spiced black beans and rice with slices of ripe avocado on top.
Two images show poblano pepper plants in a garden outside.

Most of the time, I just want black beans and rice. It’s comforting, easy to fix up a bunch of different ways, and it’s a naturally complete protein for all of the plant babes.

It’s also the brownest of brown food to ever brown food. Most of my very favourite foods (ie the ones that I weirdly don’t make here) are undeniably beige/brown and less glamorous like this one. But they’re so important! Plant-based doesn’t have to be a neon rainbow smoothie bowl with a jillion superfoods tucked in (even though those can be cool). Variations on this recipe and the root vegetable dal in my cookbook (casual plug lol) are the first things I crave when we get cool temperatures in the evenings again. Those more down-to-earth, naturally rustic vegan things are 120% my scene.

So this recipe is part of an ongoing effort to communicate that amazing plant-based food can be pretty chill and easy on the ingredient/cooking method front, but also so special if you put some love into it. Sometimes I just do my black beans and rice up with a quick sauté of onion, pinches of spices, the beans, rice, water, and then we wait. This one takes advantage of all the deep summer produce that we’re swimming in right now.

I roast a tray of poblanos, a hot chili, some sweet little tomatoes, white onion, and full cloves of garlic with freshly toasted cumin and coriander. This mix gets all golden and soft in the oven, and is then puréed into a “flavor paste” of sorts that we just scrape right into the pot with everything else from the very beginning of the beans and rice cooking process. I think you could make the paste ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for 5 days or so.

If you can’t find poblanos (I have a bunch in my garden right now that I can barely keep up with), I would use a bell pepper and maybe add an extra hot chili to the roasting tray. I typically eat my black beans and rice with some fresh greens and a little pile of cooked vegetables on top for that crucial balance.

Two images show cherry tomatoes being measured and a bunch of chopped peppers, onions, and tomatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
An up close, overhead shot of roasted onions, poblano peppers, and cherry tomatoes.
An overhead image of brown rice, black beans, and a pureed roasted vegetable flavour base inside a white Dutch oven-style pot.
Image shows a hand squeezing a lime half into a pot of black beans and rice.

Black Beans & Rice with Roasted Poblanos and Garlic

Black beans and rice with roasted poblanos and garlic is comforting, delicious, naturally vegan, and perfect as a base for so many meals. This recipe makes a great plant-based meal prep component too!
5 from 4 votes
Black Beans and Rice with Roasted Poblanos and Garlic - The First Mess
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4 -6


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 fresh chili
  • ½ medium white onion, sliced
  • 1 cup grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 15½ oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce
  • 2 ¼ cups filtered water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • handful chopped cilantro



  • I bet you could make a delicious version of cauliflower rice with this. Just roast and purée the poblano, garlic etc., and then stir it into some cauliflower rice as you sauté it all in a large skillet. Add a couple splashes of water if the skillet seems dry. Voila!
  • If you don’t have a spice grinder, simply use 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander instead, and skip the toasting step.
  • I’m out of bay leaves, but if I had one, I would have added it to the pot at the very beginning along with everything else.


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small-medium soup pot or medium braiser-style pot, dry toast the cumin and coriander over medium heat until fragrant. Transfer the toasted spices to a spice grinder and grind until spices are powdered. Set aside.
  • Remove the stems and seeds from the poblanos and chili. Cut the peppers into rustic, 2-inch-ish pieces and place them on the baking sheet.
  • Place the sliced onions, tomatoes, and garlic cloves on the baking sheet as well. Toss the vegetables with the ground cumin and coriander, avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Slide the vegetables into the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and uniformly soft.
  • Let the vegetables cool slightly before transferring to a blender or food processor. Pulse the mixture a few times until you have a chunky paste. You’re just trying to avoid large pieces of garlic and chili. Scrape this mixture into the soup pot from earlier.
  • Add the rice, beans, tomato paste, coconut aminos, and water to the pot. Set the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook the rice and beans for 40 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Check the pot and stir every 10-15 minutes or so. Add more water if necessary.
  • Take the pot off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes with the lid on. Then, remove the lid and stir in the lime juice, cilantro, and a good pinch of salt. Serve the black beans and rice hot.
07/09/2017 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, black beans, earthy, gluten free, main course, nut free, refined sugar-free, roasted, side dish, spicy, spring, summer, tomatoes, umami, vegan, winter


5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating

  • Nicole

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! I’ve made it many times, but today I didn’t have poblanos or bell peppers at home so I used a zucchini instead (along with jalapeños) and it turned out great!

  • E.A.

    I almost didn’t bother roasting the vegetables because it’s too hot to turn the oven on, but decided I’d do double-duty and make zucchini muffins at the same time to make it worth it, and boy am I glad I did. The roasted vegetables were SO good (also added carrots) that I didn’t even puree them, I added the chunks straight into the pot (after toasting the rice – 1 1/2 cups – in a quarter stick of butter first, not vegan anymore but worth it). Also used canned black beans and Calrose white rice, which worked fine. This was fantastic. Even my husband who isn’t really a fan of beans-and-rice actually ate a second bowl and said I could make it again. We topped the bowls with homemade guac which was really refreshing and added great flavor (especially since I’d used up all my lime and cilantro in the guac and had none left for the beans, so it all evened out). Make this, you won’t regret it.

  • Marcy youker

    Love your recipes, I wish I had more people to fix them for, I am only one, so when I make your recipes I just cut them in half, love them thanks for sharing.

  • Paula

    Love the simplicity of this dish. Not to mention, black beans are my jam! Can’t wait to try this out on my people.

  • Nicole

    And here I was wondering what to do with these soaked black beans tonight! Your description of liking simpler, rustic vegan recipes is also very much along my lines of preference. Hence I am quite fond of your blog and recipes ;) looking forward to trying this tonight :)

  • Hillary

    Just made this after a rough week it was super comforting and yummy! Despite being an even more pastey Ontario girl than you, these flavours are my all time comfort food! Didn’t have whole spices but next time I will make sure I do. Thanks for the inspiration, keep on doing your thing

  • Lauren

    Just made this for dinner tonight, and it was so tasty!! I even made a double batch of the poblano paste so that I can make it again later this week! I used a jalapeño pepper and I think next time I’ll try leaving the seeds in to give it a bit more kick. Anything topped with cilantro, lime juice, and avocado is right up my alley, but the rice and bean mixture on its own was super flavorful. Will definitely put this in my rotation of favorite recipes!

  • Annie

    Hi Laura! Adding this to my meal plan this week… could I make the pablano roasted purée mixture ahead of time and store in the fridge for a few days before adding to the rice & beans for a week night dinner? Thank you!!

    • Laura

      Yes definitely! The roasted poblano etc. purée will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  • Kimberley

    In love with this. And yeah, I crave dal every week when it cools off too. You’re the best.

  • Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek

    VERY excited about this recipe. It seems like the perfect thing to make this time of year! Let the roasting season begin :) xoxo

  • Allie

    I have your book, loving it! Which page are the variations on??

  • Linda

    Yes, yes, yes! This is my favorite kind of food too. Don’t hold back on the brown/beige recipes. As the other comments attest, there are a lot of us out here who find this food the yummiest. Even if the gourmet world doesn’t find it glamorous. ;)

  • carlos at Spoonabilities

    It’s a very Latin influenced dish. Love it

  • Cassie Autumn Tran

    Black beans and rice definitely are an amazing combination, PLUS they are a COMPLETE protein! :D This recipe with poblanos and garlic sounds and looks to die for! Love the deliciously roasted quality that each vegetable adds to this dish!

  • Caroline

    Making this right now and the roasting veggies w/ cumin and coriander smell SO good. I recently have fallen victim to the colorful, instragrammy, way of eating plant based and I’m craving something more substantial. Making warming, happy, belly-filling food like this is why I love to cook (and eat!) plant-based! I’m happy to be going back. Quick newbie question though – for this recipe why did you choose to toast the whole seeds and then grind? Does it enhance the flavor of the spices that much more (i.e should I be doing this every time I use cumin and coriander?)

    Thanks for the reply!



    • Laura

      Thank you for this Caroline! If I can help it, I always toast whole spices and then grind them for my cooking. The flavour is miles away better for my own taste. I have a super cheap coffee grinder that I pretty much keep on the counter for spice grinding and it adds so much to my cooking. I would really recommend trying it!

  • Thea Hudson

    This speaks volumes to me!! Rice and beans are the ultimate in comfort foods, and this jazzed up chilli sauce really is taking it to another level. Laura keep on being the inspiration that you are, I always look forward to your posts and wise words XO

  • Halli

    Hey Laura, I was wondering how I should use the one Poblano pepper growing in my garden this year. This is a perfect recipe for it, especially since some of my tomatoes are ripe now too!

    Thanks for sharing, it looks so good. Can’t wait to try it :)

  • Rachel - Clean Eating for the Non-Hippie

    This is my kind of (Cali-style) comfort food!!

  • Susan

    This recipe sounds wonderful. I love poblanos! But, since poblano is a type of chile pepper, it would be helpful if you specify what you mean by the ingredient “1 chili”. A jalapeño? A Serrano? A habanero? Chiles range from mild (like Anaheim) to very hot (like habanero). Sorry, I’m a bit of a chile geek because I live right on the border with Mexico.

    • Laura

      I think the one that I used was a fresh cayenne pepper. You can catch a glimpse of it in the pics that show the roasting pan, but I’m fairly confident that’s what it was.

  • Jessica Kelley

    Laura, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this! It’s like a sophisticated (yet, simple!!) version of the red beans and rice my mom used to make for me growing up. Thank you for sharing, and allowing me to take a trip down memory lane :) I will be making soon. xx, Jess

  • Marta Lee

    These are my favorite kind of recipes! I can almost taste that delicous roasted paste from here, hehe :) I’ll also try the cauliflower suggestion, it sounds perfect for the occasional lighter version.
    I’m also SO happy to say that I finally have your cookbook – my man got it for me as a surprise and just said “I knew you really really wanted this book <3 I can now confirm that it is my favorite cookbook (and that is saying a lot, believe me!) Thank you Laura, for all you share here and for the amazing, comforting, gorgeous recipes from your book [and for not having too much recipes with impossible-to-find ingredients]* Much love from Portugal :)


    This looks fantastic!
    What I especially like about this recipe is that it is practical and allows for practical variation.

  • Maria

    This is the rice dish of my dreams! Oh my word. This looks incredible. I have been eating all the poblanos I can get my hands on. I think thick-sliced and roasted portobello mushroom caps could go nicely too! I love that flavor combo together!

  • Becky

    Love the simplicity! Thanks Laura

  • Anne

    I love your recipes. Please don’t stop creating new ones or stop blogging.

  • Jessie Snyder

    I love love love this Laura! I’m all about the same, simple beans and rice dinners. Especially with the summer veg, I’m so jealous of your poblanos! Wishing I lived nearby to come take a few off your hands ;).