Rice and beans may be a tried and true side dish, but doctored up a bit, it can serve as a delicious and filling main course alongside a salad. Here, five hearty recipes for dinner-worthy rice and beans.

December 08, 2015

1. White Rice with Black Beans and Winter Squash 
Sweet and tender butternut squash is a great addition to fluffy rice and beans.

2. Baked Rice and Beans with White Veal Sausage 
This satisfying dish fuses the classic Latin combination of rice and beans with the sausages and bread-crumb topping of cassoulet, the much-loved French casserole.

3. Black Bean and Rice Salad with Fresh Crab 
Throughout the South, a hot pilaf of beans, salt pork and rice is known as hoppin' John; in South Carolina, it's served cold with fresh crabmeat.

4. New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Pickled Peppers 
In New Orleans, red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays because the dish uses up leftover Sunday ham. But this recipe can be made any day of the week because the ham is replaced with smoky bacon.

5. Puerto Rican Red Beans and Rice 
Basic red beans and rice recipes are ubiquitous in many cuisines for a reason: Kidney beans soak up a ton of flavor and, when served over rice, will keep you full for hours. While some cooks use ham or sausage, this Puerto Rican–inspired meal uses bacon lardons.