Jasmine Smith's Rice and Beans


This unexpected Thanksgiving side-dish is full of flavor.

Jasmine’s Rice and Beans
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

"My dad always makes this twist on Caribbean rice and beans for the holidays. Usually, these types of recipes call for coconut milk instead of canned diced tomatoes. Dad's version is lighter and more versatile," writes Test Kitchen Professional Jasmine Smith. "The spices and tomatoes give it a Creole vibe. If you want to get fancy, add a pinch of saffron."

This Thanksgiving, Southern Living's editors and contributors are sharing the recipes that grace our tables year after year—like Jasmine's Rice and Beans. This is a great side dish for any occasion—it can complement almost any protein or vegetable—but this year, we'll be enjoying Jasmine's Rice and Beans right alongside our Thanksgiving turkey. This dish packs in lots of flavor, yet requires very little effort. Cumin, cayenne, and ginger form the base flavor of the rice, while the pop of fresh herbs adds a lighter note. The beans and tomatoes bring nice texture to this hearty side.

For the fluffiest rice, don't be tempted to stir; leave it undisturbed as it cooks on low. Leftovers can be used in burritos or enchiladas, or stirred into soup.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 3 cloves) 

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked basmati rice 

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained 

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves 

  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves, plus more for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add rice, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.

  2. Stir in 2½ cups water, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, kidney beans, and tomatoes. Bring rice mixture to a simmer over medium-high. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, undisturbed, until rice is tender, 20 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat, and stir in thyme and oregano. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with additional oregano.

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