This sweet potato coconut rice and beans is accompanied by a bright, cashew cilantro lime sauce. It’s so hearty and healthful, and it’s bursting with flavor.
I could probably live off of different combinations of rice and beans. Rice and beans are perfect nourishment in so many ways: a mix of protein and complex carbs, filling, full of fiber.
Rice and bean dishes are also a perfect canvas for endless flavor variations. I’ve made them with turmeric and greens, tomato and cumin, pickled onions and chickpeas.
This sweet potato rice and beans features large flakes of coconut, tender roasted sweet potato cubes, and a bright, tangy cashew cilantro lime sauce. It’s a lot more flavorful and fun than the many plain pots of rice and beans that I make. I serve it both warm and cold, and it’s an easy dish to make ahead.
Rice and beans can be cooked together or separately. The beans can be made from scratch, with dry beans, or they can be pre-cooked (canned or defrosted).
In the sweet potato rice and beans, rice is cooked from scratch, toasted a little in oil prior to cooking. I think this helps to give it nice, fluffy texture. I use precooked beans, usually canned. And I roast sweet potatoes till they’re nice and tender before folding them together with the other ingredients.
You don’t need to soak your brown rice ahead of time, as I do for the sweet potato rice and beans. However, I find that soaking rice beforehand makes it cook faster, and I’m generally in the habit of doing it when I have time.
Even one hour of pre-soaking rice can reduce the cooking time by five minutes or so. When you’re busy or in a rush, every minute counts.
Rice and bean dishes are even better when they’re paired with a good sauce. The cashew cilantro lime sauce in this recipe is a winner! It’s creamy, tangy, and bright.
I rely heavily on cashews in my recipes. I use them not only in sauces and dressings, but also for vegan cheese and cream. It’s a little inconvenient for those with cashew allergies (or tree nut allergies in general), I know!
If you have a cashew allergy, you can use hulled sunflower seeds in their place.
There are lots of ways to prepare one or a few components of the coconut sweet potato rice and beans ahead of time. I often roast the sweet potatoes a day in advance of making the recipe. You can also cook the rice ahead of time. Both potatoes and rice can be made up to two days before you combine the ingredients.
The cashew cilantro lime sauce can also be made ahead very easily. It will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge!
The sweet potato rice and beans makes good leftovers. I enjoy preparing it on a Sunday for weekday lunches. You can store the recipe leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
Best thing about the rice and beans? The fact that they smell faintly of toasted coconut when you dig into them.
I hope you’ll come to enjoy this nourishing dish as much as I do!
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Such a simple dinner but so yummy. The dressing makes the dish next level. I added a jalapeno for extra kick.
I’m really glad that you enjoyed it!
The cilantro lime sauce is wonderful. I have made it a number of times and even use it in place of guacamole at times. The coconut rice, yams and beans with it are absolute comfort food. I baked the yams in an air fryer for this yesterday and it added an interesting complexity to the flavor. I’ve made it with canned beans and fresh cooked. Both work well. I prefer fresh cooked with some Jamaican herbs. This recipe is excellent as written yet easy to play with without going wrong!
I’m so glad that you enjoy it, Gail!
I made this tonight. It’s simple but so good! I didn’t have time to soak my cashew for very long. They soaked only for the time it took the sweet potatoes to cook and it turned out great!
So glad you enjoyed!!
This recipe looks really good, think my family will love it. Can’t wait to make it.
Sounds like such a simply comforting meal! I also love those spontaneous and easy to throw together dishes!
This sounds delicious! I want to try making a variation of it.
Question about the rice- I find that when I soak my rice (usually for just 15-20 minutes) it significantly cuts down on the amount of water needed (I don’t add close to 1:2 when I do this). I’m surprised that you still cook it 1:2 with 2 hours(!) of soaking time. Does it really absorb all that water? I’m also confused about sautéing wet rice in oil- how does that work?
I’ve always found that I need a little more than a 1:2 ratio with dry (unsoaked rice), so it’s entirely possible that I like my rice a little on the softer or mushier side. You could definitely try 1:1.75 as a starting point and see how that goes.
The wet rice will emit a lot of steam when you sauté it in the warm oil—and it’ll splatter a bit. But I think this step leads to fluffier and more flavorful results for this particular recipe. If you wanted to cook rice according to your normal process, I think the meal will still come together nicely!
Thanks! Yes maybe we like our rice differently. I love the kind you get at Jndian restaurants where it’s still fairly firm and never sticky. Because of this I actually follow the directions from “The Asian Vegan Kitchen” (good cookbook by the way!) when making white basmati or jasmine rice and cook it 1:1 for 8 minutes after soaking for 15. Brown rice I do a little differently.
Anyway, I still want to try this! The flavors sound great. Thanks for your response.
Sounds awesome! Am off to purchase cilantro for this! Do you have a nutritional breakdown?
Or perhaps a calorie count?
I don’t have either, but there are numerous apps and programs that can help you to calculate. I hope you enjoy it!