Slow Cooker Santa Fe Beans and Rice–brown rice, kidney beans and black beans are simmered with salsa, corn and seasonings in your slow cooker. The beans and rice are topped with garlic lime sour cream and grated cheddar cheese. You can serve this as a meatless meal or add in chicken for some extra protein. We love this easy and healthy, family friendly meal.
Get the recipe for Instant Pot Santa Fe Beans and Rice here
Slow Cooker Santa Fe Beans and Rice
I just love meals like this. I threw beans, rice and chicken into my slow cooker and walked away. I came back to the pot and shredded up the chicken and served the beans and rice with my newly found love, garlic lime sour cream (recipe below). It was a perfect easy meal that is healthy and budget friendly too! I actually loved the leftovers just as much or more than the original night when we ate this dish. This dinner is a winner at my house!
Some notes about ingredients:
Chicken–you can make this meal completely meatless, however if you want you can add in chicken. I added a few boneless skinless chicken thighs on top of the rice and beans and they cooked perfectly. I shredded them up and stirred everything together. You can also use chicken breasts too. It’s up to you on what you prefer.
Corn–because it’s what I had on hand I used a can of corn. I rinsed and drained it first. If you prefer you can use frozen corn too. If you want you can leave out the corn altogether.
Cheddar–initially I was going to stir a couple cups of cheddar cheese into the rice and beans but I decided that it didn’t need it. If you want to make it a cheesy masterpiece then you can stir a couple cups of grated cheddar into the rice and beans after they are cooked. Otherwise you can serve with just a tablespoon of grated cheese on top of each plate.
More meatless Slow Cooker recipes…
What Slow Cooker Did You Use?
To make Slow Cooker Santa Fe Beans and Rice I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.* I love this slow cooker (you can see me talking about it in a video here). It cooks low and evenly. I love the medium heat choice because most slow cookers that I’ve seen only have the option of cooking on low or high. If you’re going to buy just one slow cooker, this is the one that I recommend.Print
Slow Cooker Santa Fe Beans and Rice
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3-5 hours on low
- Total Time: 58 minute
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
For the beans and rice:
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 2 3/4 cups water
- 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz) can corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup picante sauce (I used mild)
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning (I make my own homemade taco seasoning)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Optional: 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- Grated cheddar, for serving
For the garlic lime sour cream:
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Add the rice, water, kidney beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, picante sauce, taco seasoning, salt and pepper into the slow cooker. Stir a bit.
- If desired, place chicken on top of mixture.
- Cover and cook on low for 3-5 hours.
- Cut up chicken and then stir it back in to the pot.
- Make the garlic lime sour cream by stirring together sour cream, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, kosher salt and garlic cloves.
- Serve rice and beans with a dollop of the sour cream on top. Sprinkle with grated cheddar, if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Category: Meatless
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe (no chicken/no sour cream)
- Calories: 302
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 655 mg
- Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 61 g
- Protein: 11 g
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*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Cheryl Williams says
Is this instant brown rice I’m supposed to be using? Been cooking for 2 hours, no change in rice. I think I goofed it up. 😓
I used regular brown rice. Each slow cooker cooks differently. Yours might need more time. I’d turn it to high and keep cooking.
Mom of 3 says
Same here….it’s been cooking on low for 3-1/2 hours & it seems like I’m crunching on little chopped nuts. I’m turning it higher & crossing my fingers for tonight’s supper!!
Lisa Chambers says
This is what I used. I’m in Canada. It was looking hopeless until the last half hour been on for about 3 hrs now, but the liquid is all absorbed and the rice seems cooked.
Great recipe! I have made it several times, adjusting. cooking length. I will try it next time for 3 1/2 hours on HIGH, as rice was still crunchy after 3 hours on high in my slow cooker. I like it for lunch and don’t have 5 hours between morning coffee and lunch:)..
Made this last night and I’m super happy with the results. The beans and rice turned out solid, but oh my god I’m in love with this garlic lime sour cream on top! Easily one of the most flavorful and enjoyable crockpot meals I’ve tried.
Yes the sour cream is a must!!!
Can I use wild rice in this recipe? I’m not a big fan of brown rice.
Yes I think you could. Let me know how it goes!
Thanks so much for responding!
Can this recipe be doubled in a 6 quart or would you need an 8 quart? I am looking to make this for a group. Thanks.
I think it would double just fine in a 6 quart pot 🙂
Priyanka Patel says
Can the rice be substituted for quinoa
If I wanted to substitute with dry beans etc what would it be
Ummmm…I don’t know for sure because I haven’t tried it. The best bet would be to cook the dried beans separately first and then follow the recipe as it’s written.
I see that there are a lot of differences in the crockpot vs. The IP recipies?
I have always been a huge fan of yours and shared your recipes with many!! I’ve told a few new brides that weren’t sure about cooking, that they could fake it with your yummy recipes! Question: shouldn’t the chicken be cooked before placing it in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients? Seems like other recipes ask you to do that.
Hi Jackie, thanks for spreading the word. It can be cooked or uncooked. It is up to you!
Jessica Crooks says
I tried this recipe twice in my 8qt instapot and every time it said burn I don’t know what the problem is any advice would be helpful. Going to try the slow cooker tonight.
I am sorry that you got the burn notice. Did you layer as noted in the recipe card or did you stir? If you stirred that might be the problem. Sometimes tomato products burn if they are on the bottom of the instant pot.
Are the amounts different for white rice?
No but the rice will cook quicker.
I substituted white rice and followed everything else as written, but the rice is still very crunchy after cooking on low for 4.5 hours. Do you have any idea what could have happened or what to do to fix it?
What kind of slow cooker did you use?
I like the flavor but my rice was undercooked. I used a 4qt crockpot. Any suggestions?
Next time add an hour or two. The fuller the crockpot is the longer the food will take to cook.