Beans and Rice a Budget Friendly Dinner

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Heather says:

You’ve heard that rice and beans can reduce your grocery budget. On the rare occasion, we have ham, I freeze the bone and save it for a week when I need our grocery dollars to stretch just a bit further. Cornbread rounds out the meal nicely and keeps the grand total, for us, under two dollars. Yes, even if you use a mix like Jiffy. This dish simmers for several hours but requires almost no attention. It’s wonderful on a damp or chilly day.

It’s especially wonderful on a damp or chilly day.

Season navy beans with a leftover ham bone to a filling dinner that can slash your grocery budget.

Beans and Rice Recipe

  • 1 ham bone
  • 1 1lb bag of dried navy beans – soaked according to the directions on the bag
  • water
  • onion for garnish – optional

Place the ham bone in a large pot with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Cover tightly and cook over low heat, this draws out a lot of flavor from the bone.

Add the beans when the water has turned brown and the ham has darkened to a reddish brown. Add just enough water to cover the beans and simmer on low for at least two hours, it is done when the beans are tender.

Pick out the ham bone and if there is any ham attached, cut it off and toss it in with the beans. Serve over cooked rice. We love our beans and rice with Louisiana Hot Sauce.


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21 thoughts on “Beans and Rice a Budget Friendly Dinner”

  1. Julie and Shanele it’s practically a requirement for New Year’s Day here.

    Local tradition has it that Hoppin’ John and collards are eaten for luck and money in the new year.

  2. I do not make collards because I cannot stand them. I don’t eat grits either, and live in fear that my Good Ole Southern Girl card may be revoked at any time 😉

  3. @ Mrs.Micah: You can try shrimp shells and/or heads (I freeze them if they’re shelled fresh), chicken bones, anything you could use for stock to flavor the beans. My aunt simmers them in a little cream and rosemary (grows out in the field here). Personally, I like to throw in a few pickled jalepenos I keep in the fridge.

    Great recipe, Heather.

  4. I was born and raised – still living – in Charleston SC. Hoppin Johns is a staple for New Years dinner. My husband is from Dalton, GA and hates grits. How can you be from the South and hate grits?

  5. Shanele, I’m from Tennessee, and I hate grits. And I’m with Julie … afraid I may get kicked out of the South. 🙂

  6. We do this a lot; even if you haven’t got a ham bone in your freezer, ham hocks are cheap. I like to add a bay leaf or two, an onion, and some chopped celery. If you have a pressure cooker, it works great in there.

    (I’m from the West, and I love grits! LOL)

  7. Can you say carbs?

    Now I love me some beans & rice. I really do. But now that I’m diabetic, this is a major no-no! Please, do not eat this often as a main course, especially if anyone is at risk for diabetes. And how about making brown rice instead of white?

    My biggest regret is that most of my comfort foods (largely from what my family ate when we were kids) are carbs–bread, potatoes, rice.

    Sorry… had to offer another opinion here.

  8. Mrs. W,

    Heather does a fabulous job of serving her family a varied and nutritious menu. I’m grateful that she takes the time to post things like this here. She certainly isn’t forcing you to make this dish.

    Just another opinion.

  9. take a look at the net carbs in this recipe however- beans, and brown rice are both very high fiber! Diabetes can actually be managed very effectively with a diet rich in legumes and high fiber grains. Beans, wild or brown rice, millet, oats, and more are all great sources. In fact diets high in legumes can actually improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Generally beans and grains form a complete protein but if you feel the rice is too high carb for your diabetic diet use only lentils- they are the only bean that are a complete protein unto themselves, and they taste great with the ham bone. If you want to use a veggie stock instead of the ham, a vegetarian diet goes a long way in helping diabetes since it often goes hand in hand with weight loss necessary to keep the disease under control. Also if you eat a diet high in fiber (such as one beans include), it is great for preventing type 2 diabetes. Fiber also lowers the risk for heart disease (which diabetics are highly prone to). As long as you don’t use a ham soaked in an uber sugary glaze, this is a GREAT diabetic meal. 🙂
    here are some links with diabetic veggie recipes many of which include beans, brown rice, and can stretch a long way on a budget grocery day:

  10. Rice and beans for every meal (CHECK)

    I really don’t think anyone was planning on having R&B for every meal Mrs W so no worries there. I tend to see beans as a great protien source for my household. Even my picky DH will eat them so I will take any recipes for them I can get.

    I am sure we are all able to make our own food choices that work best for our families- diabetic or not.

    5 week left till delivery date opinionated pregnant woman’s opinion.

  11. I’m a northern-born and raised girl and I LOVE grits. Actually, I think I like southern food more than the stuff I was raised on. Collards, cornbread, biscuits, fried chicken, tomato gravy, sweet potato pie (don’t know what y’all define as southern) yum – love it.
    Beans are my go-to meal! I rarely use a recipe because they are so fun to tinker with. I also rarely soak the beans either – just cook ’em a little longer.
    I still have my Easter ham bone in the freezer – I think I’ll break it out this week!

  12. We have this meal (different beans different times) once every 2 weeks. Well, I use sausage for red beans, bacon (sounds gross, but it’s good!) with northern, Black beans and…whatever is handy.

    I love bags of beans!

    high in fiber. low in fat.

  13. I do this with pinto beans. We usually just serve with cornbread and cheese, no need for the rice. Then the leftovers are cooked up with a bit of bacon grease for some yummy refried beans, for tacos, nachos or fajitas!

  14. Alli, your comment took me back twenty years. Suddenly I was sitting in the cafeteria poking at a government sausage and suspiciously eyeballing the rice.

    I am quite familiar with red beans and rice, I think we had it several times a month in school (or at least it seemed that way). I need to make it myself and face it from an adult perspective, well that and with real smoked sausage.


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