Anyone who has tried to cook a meal knows that choosing the perfect side dish can be challenging. It’s hard to find something that tastes great and complements the other ingredients used. This is especially true when it comes to black beans and rice.
But don’t worry, I’m here to help.
You see, I was in the same predicament a few months ago. I wanted to make black beans and rice for dinner, but I had no idea what side dish to choose. So, I did what any self-respecting person would do: I took to the internet.
After scouring the web, I came up with a list of side dishes that are tasty and complement black beans and rice perfectly. I made each one over the span of a few weeks and took notes on what I liked and didn’t like.
Now, I’m sharing my list with you. So, if you’re ever stuck on what to serve with black beans and rice, just refer to this article. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
Side Dishes for Black Beans and Rice
- Potato Wedges
- Fruit Salad
- Mac n’ Cheese
Now, there is nothing more Southern than a big pot of black beans and rice. It is a dish that is hearty, filling, and can be made very cheaply. One of the best things about black beans and rice is that it is so versatile. You can eat it as is, or add almost any type of protein to it and create a complete meal.
Consequently, one of my personal favorite ways to enjoy black beans and rice is with a big helping of potato wedges on the side. The starchy potatoes are the perfect complement to the rich flavors of the black beans and rice. Plus, they help to soak up any extra sauce or gravy that might be left on your plate.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, potato wedges are also extremely easy to prepare. Simply cut the potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, and bake in a preheated oven until crisp. I like to serve mine with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped chives. But feel free to get creative as these potato wedges are also delicious with cheese sauce, gravy, or even ketchup!
On that account, whether you are looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal or a hearty dish to feed a crowd, black beans, and rice with potato wedges are sure to please.
All things considered, I think that fruit salad makes an excellent side dish for black beans and rice. The sweetness of the fruit helps to balance out the richness of the beans, and the contrasting textures make for an interesting and satisfying combination.
Plus, it’s a great way to get your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables!
Generally, to prepare this dish, simply combine your favorite fruits with a can of black beans and some cooked rice. I like to use a mix of fresh and canned fruits, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Be sure to drain the canned fruits before adding them to the salad.
In addition, for a little extra flavor, you can add a tablespoon of lime juice or honey to the mixture. This dish can be served immediately or refrigerated for later.
Following that, if you are looking for something a little more substantial, then sliders are the way to go. These little sandwiches are perfect for a crowd and can be easily customized to your liking.
One of my favorite things about sliders is that they are small in size which means that they can be easily eaten alongside the rice and beans, plus their flavor goes well with the dish. Not to mention, the slider buns provide a nice contrast in texture to the soft rice and beans.
Beyond that, sliders can be prepared in a variety of ways, but my personal favorite is to top them with a little bit of cheese and an olive. These simple toppings add a lot of flavor without overpowering the taste of the black beans and rice.
Truth be told, there are endless possibilities for how to enjoy black beans and rice, but in my opinion, they are always better when served with a side of sliders.
Another great option for what to serve with black beans and rice is bruschetta. This Italian appetizer is traditionally made with bread, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.
However, the beauty of this dish is that it can be easily customized to your liking. For example, if you want to make a vegetarian version, you can omit the meat and add more vegetables.
Or, if you are looking for something a little lighter, you can swap out the bread for cucumber slices or endive leaves. No matter what version you choose, bruschetta makes a great side dish because it is flavorful and easy to eat with your hands.
And lastly, bruschetta is absolutely delicious paired with black beans and rice! The combination of fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil is a surefire winner. Plus, the crispy bread provides the perfect contrast to the creamy black beans and rice.
Up next on this list of side dishes is pickle relish. This may seem like an odd choice, but trust me, it works! The acidity of the pickles helps to cut through the richness of the beans and rice, and the sweetness of the relish pairs perfectly with the flavors of the dish.
In addition, pickle relish is a great way to add some extra crunch and texture to the dish. And if you are looking for a little bit of heat, you can always add a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce to the relish.
Moreover, pickle relish is incredibly easy to prepare, simply open a jar and spoon it onto your plate. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making your own relish by chopping up pickles, onions, and bell peppers and mixing them with vinegar, sugar, and spices.
Regardless of how you choose to enjoy it, pickle relish is an essential part of any good black beans and rice dish.
Mac n’ Cheese
Following that, we have a classic comfort food side dish, mac n’ cheese. This dish is always a hit with kids and adults alike, and it pairs perfectly with black beans and rice.
The creaminess of the cheese compliments the beans nicely, and the pasta provides a nice contrast in texture. Plus, who doesn’t love a big bowl of cheesy goodness?
And in addition to that, this dish can also be easily customized to suit your taste. For example, you can add diced tomatoes, chopped green onions, or even a dollop of sour cream on top. Best of all, this side dish can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, making it the perfect addition to any busy weeknight meal.
Let me just tell you this straight, there are few quite like a good taco. And when you pair it with black beans and rice, you’ve got a winning combination. Point-blank, the tacos add a touch of flavor to the beans and rice, and the two dishes complement each other perfectly.
Plus, the tacos can be prepared in various ways, so you can always mix things up. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal or a festive dish for a party, black beans and rice with tacos are a great option. And who knows, maybe you’ll even convert some non-taco lovers in the process!
Last but not least, I have coleslaw. This dish is perfect for those looking for a lighter side to accompany their black beans and rice. The crisp vegetables add a cool refreshing crunch, and the vinegar dressing helps to cut through the richness of the beans.
Moreover, coleslaw is easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time, so it’s perfect for busy occasions. Simply combine shredded cabbage, diced onion, and a dressing of your choice. For an extra kick, add some diced jalapeño pepper or chopped cilantro. Serve alongside black beans and rice, and feast away.
What do black beans go well with?
There are many side dishes that go well with black beans, including, pickle relish, mac n’ cheese, tacos, and coleslaw. Each of these sides brings its own unique flavor and texture to the dish, making it a perfect meal for any occasion.
What can I add to black beans for flavor?
There are many ways you can add flavor to black beans. For example, you can add diced tomatoes, chopped onions, garlic, or even a dollop of sour cream. You can also spice up the beans with cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
Are black beans and rice good for weight loss?
Yes, black beans and rice are a great option for those looking to lose weight. The dish is packed with protein and fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Plus, it’s low in calories and fat, making it a healthy option for any meal.
In short, there are many delicious and easy-to-prepare side dishes that go well with black beans and rice. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal like mac n’ cheese or a festive dish for a party like tacos, there’s sure to be a side that suits your taste.
So now that you know what to serve with black beans and rice, what is holding you back from trying it? And who knows, maybe you’ll even find a new favorite side dish in the process.