Recipe: Bean and Rice Botana

This simple dish is easy to make and full of flavor.

by Nashville General Hospital
rice and bean botana

Bean and rice botana is often served as an appetizer. Paired with a salad or lean meat, like chicken or pork, it can be a healthy part of a complete meal.

Serves: 6


  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3 small onions
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 4 ounces low-fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 (15½-ounce) cans pinto beans (low sodium)
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced or crushed tomatoes, no salt
  • Non-stick cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook rice following package directions. Set aside.
  3. Peel, rinse, and dice onions. Rinse and dice bell pepper. Peel and finely chop garlic. Grate cheese. In a colander, rinse and drain canned beans.
  4. Over medium-high heat, heat oil in a saucepan. Add onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until veggies are soft and just starting to brown. Add spices. Stir to toast, about 30 seconds. Add drained beans and canned tomatoes with juices. Simmer mixture on low until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  5. Coat baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Spread cooked rice on bottom of baking dish. Cover rice with bean mixture and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and botana is thoroughly heated.

For more recipes like this, including written in Spanish, visit the Nashville General Hospital Foundation website. This site also includes information about The Food Pharmacy, which addresses food insecurity through the distribution of no-cost food totes filled with fresh produce and shelf-stable food. 


Nashville General Hospital Foundation Cookbook, Shared by Jilah Kalil, Summer 2021.