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Saffron Rice and Bean Salad

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Saffron Rice and Bean Salad

Saffron Rice and Bean Salad

Jessica Braider
This dish, shared by Christine Richards, tastes divine, and is so colorful that it brightens up any plate. It is a meal in itself, or is great wrapped in a tortilla or as a side dish with any meat or fish. You can also make it heartier by adding cooked shrimp or chopped turkey sausage to the salad - it’s that flexible! For picky eaters, serve some of the rice and beans separately.
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Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 10 oz. yellow rice see recipe in the Tip below to make your own, saffron or Mexican
  • 15 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans drained and rinsed, or use any variety, or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans for every 15 oz. can
  • 6 plum tomatoes diced, also called Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar or more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley chopped (optional)
  • 6 whole wheat flour tortillas (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 8 – 10 inches across, optional


  • Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  • While the rice cooks, put the beans, tomatoes, and onions in a large serving bowl.
  • Add the warm rice to the bowl, and top it with the vinegar, oil, and cilantro or parsley (optional). Toss it thoroughly. Serve the salad warm or cold, wrapped in warm tortillas if desired. The salad can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Combine the uncooked rice in the slow cooker with 2 cups water or broth and its seasoning packet. Add the drained beans, onions, and tomatoes. Cook on high for 1 1/2 - 21/2 hours. Stir in the vinegar, oil, and cilantro or parsley (optional) and serve as directed above. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the rice, dice the tomatoes and the onion, make the dressing, chop the cilantro or parsley if using, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Use the optional cilantro or parsley and a little extra red onion in the salad and season it with freshly ground black pepper.
Tip: To make your own Mexican yellow rice, heat a heavy medium stockpot over medium heat. When it is hot, add 2 Tbsp. oil, and when the oil is hot, add 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped. Cook it for 2 minutes, then add 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook it for 1 minute, then stir in 1 tsp. turmeric (and a pinch of saffron, if you have it) and 2 cups long grain rice, to coat the rice with the oil and distribute the turmeric evenly. Add 4 cups broth or water, cover the pot, and bring it to a boil. When it boils, cook it for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the rice and season it with salt. to taste.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 170, Total Fat: 5g, 8%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 3%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 320mg, 13%; Total Carbohydrate: 28g, 9%; Dietary Fiber: 4g, 16%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 5g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, Company/Entertaining, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Holidays/Special Events, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, Nut-Free, Picnic, Salads, Side Dish, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian
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