Fresh summer veggies can transform even the simplest of dishes into something magical. This skillet brown rice and beans gets a flavor boost from a fresh heirloom tomato salsa.
skillet brown rice and beans with heirloom tomato salsa

Apparently, heirloom tomato season was late this summer.

L A T E.

How rude.


Don’t those little juicy rainbow orbs know that their season is already inappropriately short as it is?! There is no room for LATE.

Well, rumor has it that July was dry and hot enough (<– you’re telling me!), so they’re finally ready to show their sweet tart faces.

And I was ready to inhale all of them. Like, yesterday.

This is basically my way of telling you to get ready for an onslaught of heirloom tomato recipes. I have a lot of pent up tomato lovin’ and I am about to unleash it.


First up is this brown rice and black bean skillet!! It starts off as your classic rice and beans, but then gets jazzed up with fresh summer corn, smoky cumin and cayenne pepper, and a refreshing heirloom tomato salsa topping. It’s one of those meals that seems so simple (and is!!), but as a result is just so good.

The recipe itself takes almost an hour to make, but most of this is just hands off time while the brown rice cooks. I chose to use a mix of baby heirloom tomatoes in the salsa, but you can use whatever heirloom tomatoes you can get your hands on.

Or whichever ones are left after I buy out the entire eastern seaboard. I make no promises.


Skillet Brown Rice and Beans with Heirloom Tomato Salsa
Fresh summer veggies can transform even the simplest of dishes into something magical. This skillet brown rice and beans gets a flavor boost from a fresh heirloom tomato salsa.
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3¼ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 20 oz mixed baby heirloom tomatoes, quartered
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the corn and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the rice, garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Cook for 30 seconds, or until just fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the broth to the pot. Bring to a low simmer and cook over low heat, covered, for 25 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the black beans to the pan. Cover and simmer until the liquid is fully absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, toss the heirloom tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and lime juice together in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  4. Serve the rice and beans topped with the heirloom tomato salsa.
Adapted slightly from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙th of recipe

More ways to eat heirloom tomatoes!

fresh heirloom tomato sauce with burrata

Fresh Heirloom Tomato Sauce with Burrata

heirloom tomato salad with capers and mozarella

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Capers and Mozzarella

gratin with tomatoes, eggplant and chard

Gratin with Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Chard

From Around the Web:

Heirloom Tomato Tarts from Hip Foodie Mom

Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Herb Vinaigrette from Cook Like A Champion

Grilled Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Pizza from Blahnik Baker

Creamy Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Gazpacho from Blogging Over Thyme

Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Toast with Balsamic Drizzle from Blissful Basil


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39 Responses to Skillet Brown Rice and Beans with Heirloom Tomato Salsa

  1. This is a lovely dish for all the fresh summer vegetables available right now!

  2. Rice and beans are one of my fav meals. I love this skillet version!

  3. Sues says:

    Why are heirloom tomatoes so beautiful?? And so delicious?? Just one more reason I’m sad that summer is rapidly approaching its end! This dish looks awesome!

  4. Heirloom tomatoes are the most beautiful, tastiest tomatoes of all time. Ugh, I love them. It’s a problem.

  5. I love heirloom tomatoes!! and I could just eat that one shot of you mixing them with the scallions, cilantro, and lime juice!!! GORGEOUS shot! and hey, I would be just as happy to devour these babies and recipes all about heirloom tomatoes in August through early September! love this! and thank you for the link love!

  6. Johanna GGG says:

    Such a lovely dish – I think I need this winterised (if that is a thing)

  7. Christine says:

    So delicious! Can’t wait to make this!

  8. This is a delicious dish and we are craving it right now!

  9. Monica says:

    I am loading up on fresh tomatoes this week! I am ready for all those heirloom tomato recipes. So delicious. And I love this way of having it as salsa over the rice and beans. Genius!

  10. SallyBR says:

    You can unleash your love for tomatoes anytime!

    I’ll be ready and waiting…. 😉

  11. YUM, what a perfect summertime dish!

  12. I think Sam’s Club was hanging onto all the heirloom tomatoes! I remember seeing them there in like early June! Btw – Joanne, rice+tomatoes+beans+corn+cilantro sounds all kinds of wonderful!

  13. Pam says:

    Mmmm. Now that’s a bowl full of goodness! I am so glad the heirloom tomatoes are here.

  14. Zainab says:

    This really speaks to my nursing heart. Love all the summer veggies going on 🙂

  15. this looks fantastic! tomato season has been pretty anti climatic this year. sad day 🙁

  16. Kelly says:

    So beautiful! Heirloom tomatoes are one of my favorite things about summer – the season is just way too short!

  17. This looks delicious and that salsa looks to die for 🙂

  18. I just love a jazzed up recipe Joanne. And this doesn’t look like your everyday rice and beans dish, this looks fantastic. I must try this.

  19. Julia says:

    I LITRALLY have everything I need for this beautiful dish. PLUS my baby heirlooms need to get used up ASAP before they go bad, so I say bravo and thank you for this magnifique recipe!

  20. I am ready for a whole bunch of heirloom tomato recipes. This looks amazing!!

  21. Eileen says:

    Sometimes the simplest food is just the best — especially if that food includes plenty of fresh tomatoes! Mine aren’t quite ripe yet (WHYY) so I am going to live vicariously through this recipe for now. 🙂

  22. Erica says:

    I want ALL of this. Especially that salsa! Beautiful colors 🙂

  23. Oh, what a wonderful summer dish – Joanne – will tuck it away for the heirloom tomato season.

  24. This skillet looks so tasty! I have heirloom tomatoes in my garden, but I have not had any ripe once yet. I can’t wait for them to ripen. This would be the perfect recipe to try them in.

  25. So colourful and amazing! Love those heirloom tomatoes.. my absolute favourite.

  26. How could I miss this deliocus summer-ish dish? This is just so inviting, Joanne! I can have this salad for all of my meals! Salsa, rice and beans — this is an amazing idea! YUM!

  27. This looks great! I love tomatoes any way I can get ’em, and heirlooms are extra swoon-worthy.

  28. I was writing up a diet today where the person needs more beans and rice in their diet so I shall pass the recipe along 🙂

  29. I just love how you were able to get some extra texture in here with that rice. Such a stunning use of heirloom tomatoes. Had no idea they were late this year. But gosh I’m glad they’re here!

  30. Asha says:

    I JUST love love this salad, it would’nt make it to the dining too. This is ridiculously fresh and yum.

  31. What a great way to showcase heirloom tomatoes!

  32. This skillet rice looks so colourful, fresh and delicious!! Love the idea of adding heirloom tomato salsa to this rice dish.. Lovely!

  33. Kate says:

    I feel like we’ve had heirlooms for a while now. But we’ll probably lose them soon as a result.

  34. This is such a pretty dish Joanne! I love heirlooms tomatoes! Can’t believe their season is shortened. Not fair! Have to grab them next time I’m at the store and try out this dish!

  35. cheri says:

    Summer tomatoes are the best especially the heirlooms. Love this dish that you created, beautiful way to showcase this seasons bounty.

  36. Susan says:

    Heirlooms always seem to take longer to ripen! Mine too. What a delicious way to enjoy them. A great meatless meal!

  37. elly says:

    We’ve been putting tomatoes on basically everything. And I think we’ve had some version of this about 10 times in the last 2 weeks, including in my kids’ lunchboxes. Black beans and tomatoes 4lyfe.

  38. […] Skillet Brown Rice and Beans with Heirloom Tomato Salsa recipe […]

  39. Jaclyn says:

    If I wanted to put quinoa in place of the brown rice, do you think the same cooking method should be used or what adjustments do you think would be necessary?

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