Low Carb Vegan Rice and Beans

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Rice and beans is one of those staple foods that vegans tend to make over and over. I used to basically make one giant slow-cooker batch of beans and rice every week, and then just add a cup to every meal. With that in mind, I set out to create something similar that I could make a large batch of at the beginning of the week, and just eat throughout. Recently, I was thinking that I really missed having my old standby, and set out to find a way to make a low carb vegan keto rice and beans recipe.Β 

Something you guys have been asking for a lot lately is more slow-cooker meals. It can be hard to adjust to a new way of eatingΒ (like vegan keto!), so meal-prepping can be a huge help. Using a slow-cooker to help meal prep is even better because you can just toss everything in, give it a stir, and get on with the rest of your recipes. I specifically decided to make this low carb vegan rice and beans in the slow cooker for this reason.

The ingredient that makes this entire thing is potentially a little surprising:Β black soybeans. I actually found these at my local grocery store, but they were cheaper to buy by the case on Amazon, so IΒ  went ahead and treated myself. You can also by these beans dry, and soak them ahead of time, but I like the convenience of the canned ones right now. Plus, you can do some pretty cool things with the liquid in the can of beans (more on that later!).

While black soybeans don’t taste exactly like black beans, they’re surprisingly close! Cooking them for a while in the slow cooker with all the spices really makes them tender and flavorful. They really are a delicious vegan keto rice and beans substitute.

Low Carb Vegan Rice & Beans | MeatFreeKeto.com - This low carb vegan slow cooker twist on a vegan staple is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, while still being keto-friendly and delicious!

Notes on Making Low Carb Vegan Rice and Beans

  • These cooked in my slow cooker on high heat for 4 hours and were perfect. You can achieve the same thing on low in 8 hours if you’d prefer to leave it going all day or overnight.
  • The black soybeans are the only thing I’ve really found that not only taste good but are also super low in carbs. They have just 1g of net carbs per 1/2 cup serving.
  • For a fun change of pace, you could use a curry powder of your choosing instead of the chili powder. Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. πŸ™‚
  • I like to mix in hemp seeds with the rice, to add more protein, as well as omegas. If you can’t find hulled hemp seeds where you are (or they aren’t allowed where you are), you can use pepitas or sunflower seeds instead. You could also just omit the seeds entirely, and reduce the veggie broth to 1/2 cup.
  • Garnish with cilantro and lime juice, and serve with avocado.
Low Carb Vegan Rice & Beans | MeatFreeKeto.com - This low carb vegan slow cooker twist on a vegan staple is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, while still being keto-friendly and delicious!

Low Carb Vegan Rice and Beans

Print Recipe
This low carb vegan slow cooker twist on a vegan staple is loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, while still being keto-friendly and delicious!
Course dinner
Cuisine vegan keto
Servings 6 servings
Calories 299


  • 2 packages frozen cauliflower rice 12oz/340g each
  • 2 cans black soy beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup 80g hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or stock
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp mexican oregano
  • Garnishes of choice


  • Add everything but the mexican oregano to your slow cooker and mix around as best as possible. Let cook on high for about 3-4 hours (depending on how your slow cooker tends to cook - see notes), until the "rice" is tender. Stir in oregiano.
  • Garnish as desired and serve, or portion out for the week.


A commenter (hi, Neil!) raised a really good point, and it reminded me that not all slow cookers are exactly the same. Mine cooks this in about four hours, but it takes a really long time to warm up, which is compounded by using frozen cauliflower. If your slow cooker tends to be a bit on the speedier side, you might want to check this at 3 or 3.5 hours.


Serving: 1.5 | Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.9g | Protein: 19.3g | Fat: 20.2g | Fiber: 11.8g

Join the Conversation

  1. Can fresh cauliflower rice be substituted?

    1. Liz Author says:

      Hi Susan, absolutely! I’m not exactly sure how the cooking time would need to be adjusted, but since it’s a slow cooker, it might not actually be all that different in the end!

  2. Thank you!
    Trying this recipe today

    1. Liz Author says:

      I hope you enjoy it, Susan!

  3. Hi Liz

    Awesome recipe plus I love beans. Used to eat the baked ones right out of the can πŸ™‚

    Can I use quinoa instead of rice for this recipe as well?

    1. Liz Author says:

      Hi Alan! Thank you πŸ™‚

      You can use quinoa here, but keep in mind that it is much higher in carbs than the cauliflower. If this is okay with you, go for it!

  4. Would regular black beans work?

    1. Liz Author says:

      Hi Shelly! Regular black beans would definitely work, but be aware that they are much higher in carbs. If that isn’t a problem for you, go for it! πŸ™‚

  5. I am not able to eat soy, (if possible) could you recommend a substitute for the black soy beans ? Thanks!

    1. Liz Author says:

      Hi Jaymie! You could try using lupini beans instead – they’re a little higher in carbs, but will work if you really have a craving for beans and rice! If you do this, I would recommend rinsing them, and using reduced salt veggie broth and halving the salt in the recipe. Lupini beans are typically sold in jars of brine in the section of the grocery store with Italian import items. You can also find them with the kosher foods in some markets. πŸ™‚

      1. The label on the lupini beans I buy states 2 carbs, 2 fiber. Am I mistaken that lupini beans have zero net carbs?

        1. Hi Diane, this is a great question! I’ve noticed some brands of lupini beans use a European label instead of a US one, where the fiber is not included in the carbohydrates. So, the net carbs appear to be zero, but in this case, it’s 2g. πŸ™‚

  6. with Keto can you eat pinto or black beans?

    1. Liz Author says:

      Hi Lori – great question! Both pinto and black beans are pretty high in carbs, so most people tend to avoid them on keto. However, if you can fit them into your particular macronutrient goals (which isn’t impossible, especially if you are eating on the higher end of the 20-50g spectrum), then you can certainly eat them. πŸ™‚

  7. Jenna Sita says:

    I “accidentally” came upon your site and so grateful! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Never tried black soybeans. Thank you!!

    1. Liz Author says:

      What a happy accident! πŸ˜€

      I hope you like the recipe – I just stumbled upon them a month or so ago and am so happy I did!

  8. Neil Juhl says:

    I’m excited to try this recipe! It has a great nutritional profile, and I love all of the ingredients. But, four hours on high seems like it would cook everything to mush. So ….really? I’ll believe you if you tell me “it ain’t so”. Thanks!

    1. Liz Author says:

      Hi Neil! You raise a very good point – not all slow cookers might cook the same way. Mine didn’t turn to mush at all after 4 hours on high, but my slow cooker also takes a really long time to heat up. If yours seems to cook things more quickly, then you might want to pull it at 3 or 3.5 hours. πŸ™‚

      I’ll make a note about that in the recipe. Thanks for bringing this up!

      1. Neil Juhl says:

        Thanks Liz! I’m making it tomorrow and am thinking about using our Instant Pot for it. I imagine it’d cook it in way less time if I did. Research might be in order before I try it. I may chicken out and just use the crock pot for the first go-round. I’ll let you know how it went!

        1. Neil Juhl says:

          Turned out great! All of your spice recommendations were spot on! I did sub Piri Piri powder for the cayenne (because I was out). Like you said, it’s nice to have that “old standby” back in my menu rotations.

          1. Liz Author says:

            I’m so happy to hear this, Neil! πŸ˜€

          2. Hi all.

            Using my instapot for this. How long should I cook it for.? Thank you.


          3. Liz Author says:

            Hi Mirna, I don’t actually have an instapot, so I’m not sure how long it would take. But, since the beans are already cooked from being canned, I would imagine you could cook the whole thing in the amount of time it would take to make cauli-rice in the instant pot. This recipe (https://frugalhausfrau.com/2017/10/25/instant-pot-cauliflower-rice/) says less than 2 minutes, which is crazy fast and makes me want to get an instant pot! πŸ˜€

  9. Hi Liz – This looks awesome.. i’m curious what you think about the reputation that soy has.. I often see, read, or hear that soybeans are bad for us.. I try to be open minded, but I get so confused sometimes. Thanks!

    1. Liz Author says:

      Hi Jill! This is a really good question. Soy is one of those really hotly contested foods and there seems to be good research on both sides of this issue, making things all the more complicated. I try to limit the amount of soy I eat to a can of soybeans or 1 block of tofu or tempeh every couple of weeks. I also aim to purchase organic soy, as it appears to be less problematic.

      Finally, I try to purchase minimally processed soy. As in, things I could reasonably create at home. So, whole beans, tofu, tempeh and soy flour (which is just ground up beans) as opposed to meat substitutes or “textured vegetable protein.”

      I’m actually working on a post right now that talks about the positive and negative aspects of eating soy. I’ll be sure to put the link here when I’m done!

  10. Arletta Sloan says:

    Would fava beans work in place of black soy beans? After reading your recipe and some of the comments (plus your replies to them) I went to Google up information on how many carbs beans have.
    According to what I just read fava beans have 22 g of carbs for 1 cup, raw as compared to 56 g for soybeans.

    It did not say the color of the soybeans, though, so I don’t know if black soybeans have less carbs than other soybeans. Also, I don’t know if, perhaps, fava beans would be such a different texture or cooking time that it wouldn’t work.

    Do you know? Please and thank you.

  11. Alison Isaac says:

    THANK YOU!!! This is such a perfect recipe that seems cheap, easy, filling, AND healthy. It’s so hard to hit all those categories. Can’t wait to try this πŸ™‚

    1. Liz Author says:

      Thank you, Alison! I’m so happy this fits the bill for you! Haha, it really isn’t easy to tick off all those boxes!

  12. Should the beans be drained and rinsed before dumping in the slow cooker? I’m making this right now and I did drain and rinse but not sure I should have…

    1. They should! You’re good. I’ll update the recipe to make sure that’s clear. πŸ™‚

  13. Cassandra Pierce says:

    What would be the recommendation on cooking with dry black soy beans

    1. Liz Author says:

      Hi Cassandra! I would recommend cooking the beans first, as they will take much longer to cook than the “rice.” Alternatively, you could also soak the beans overnight and try using them in the recipe that way, so they have a bit of a head start. πŸ™‚

      1. Has anyone tried with dry soybeans? The instructions I have for them is to soak for 6-12 hours then cook on high for 6-8 hours. Then use “immediately” in soups, stews or bean main dishes. Should I therefore cook them for, say, 4 hours, then start your recipe so they cook a total of 7-8 hours, or start your recipe after the initial cooking, which means they would cook for 10-12 hours? I did read if they are cooked improperly they will turn to mush, you have to keep the skins intact. Dried beans were the only way I could get them, and even then only available from two online stores. I would have preferred the convenience and reliability of canned. Thanks.

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