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Posted by Dina-Marie Oswald on

One of my goals for this year is to be more budget conscience, especially where our food budget is concerned. It is really a balance between budget and healthy eating. Let’s face it, healthy eating sometimes costs more! But, I would rather pay the food bill than a doctor’s bill! So, I am always looking for an easy meal that is also economical. That is exactly what Spicy Beans and Rice is – quick, easy and economical!

With my broken arm, I am limited as to what I can pick up – my three and five gallon pots are a no-no! That means, I need help cooking. Feel free to apply for the position of family chef – I am accepting applications!!!! The pay is not great but you will get a lot of fresh air as you work in the vineyard after meals are cooked  😉

Being in the middle of pruning the vineyard (well, we are really just getting started!), Spicy Beans and Rice can easily be made the night before, refrigerated and reheated for lunch the next day. We have our biggest meal of the day at lunchtime and after working all morning in the vineyard, by 12:30 pm everyone is hungry – I mean reeeaaaalllly hungry! So, I need something to fill these guys up!

Spicy Beans and Rice overheade

Spicy Beans and Rice is a recipe that has been in my recipe basket for years. It is an old newspaper clipping from I don’t remember where! It is taped to a recipe card, yellowed, marked with changes and still a family favorite. The original recipe called for water and bullion cubes but what an improvement in taste and nutrition by using the real stuff – homemade chicken broth!

Spicy Beans and Rice bowl

If your family is like mine, you might want to add more sausage – they actually separate out pieces of sausage and count to see who received the most! I would like to say that this is limited to the younger children but, even the older children, although they may not pick them out to count, notice how many pieces of sausage they get! Heaven forbid if a sibling (especially a younger one) got more than they did. Of course, this is all done in a loving fun way!

Spicy Beans and Rice collage

Spicy Beans and Rice




yield 6 servings


  • 3 c. chicken broth (make your own!)
  • 1 lb dry kidney beans
  • 1 1/2 c raw rice
  • 1 lb smoked sausage, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 can (16 oz) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 c salsa, mild


  1. Soak kidney beans covered in water overnight.
  2. In the morning, cook kidney beans until tender.
  3. In a large boiler, bring chicken broth to a boil.
  4. Stir in rice. When the broth returns to a boil, add the remaining ingredients except for the tomatoes and salsa.
  5. Return the mixture to a boil and turn the heat down to simmer. Cover and simmer for 35 min or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat.
  6. Add the tomatoes and salsa - mix well.
  7. Serve and enjoy!


This recipe is easily doubled, tripled and more. Multiply the amounts of all ingredients equally except the salsa - add more and taste as it can become to spicy even with mild salsa.