Brown Rice Pilaf with Spinach & Pinto Beans aka “Chunky Soup”

Some years ago, when I first experimented with a Zone diet, I came up with this delicious rice pilaf made with short grain brown rice, spinach, and pinto beans.  For whatever reason, my daughter Sara dubbed this “Chunky Soup” and the name stuck in our household.

A Zone meal would consist of 3 oz. of protein with 2 cups of vegetables and 1/2 cup of rice pilaf.  It makes a very satisfying meal for me although I will admit to being guilty of eyeballing a rather large half cup of pilaf.  It’s so good I can’t help myself!

I think someday I may just surprise Sara and make some chicken soup and add some of this rice pilaf to it to see if she likes a more liquid version of chunky soup as much as the pilaf version.

One year ago:  Ladysmith Cake

Brown Rice Pilaf with Spinach & Pinto Beans aka “Chunky Soup”

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  • 2 cups short-grain brown rice (long grain can be substituted)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 to 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-oz. package of frozen spinach cooked according to directions with excess water squeezed out
  • 1 28-oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Combine the rice, chicken broth, and water in a pot with a tight-fitting lid.  Bring to a boil.  Stir once.  Cover with lid.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 50 minutes.  (If you are using another type of rice, follow the cooking directions on the package.)  Remove from heat; let stand in covered pot for 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork, salt to taste.  (Depending on how salty the chicken broth you use is, you may not need to add much salt.  As far as pepper goes, I crank my pepper mill and give it about 10 grinds.)

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan until it shimmers.  Add the onion and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes before adding the garlic.  Continue sautéing for another 2 to 3 minutes until garlic is fragrant.  Add the cooked spinach to the pan and stir to combine.  Set aside to add to rice when the rice has finished cooking.

After the rice has been cooked and fluffed, add the onion-garlic-spinach mixture and the drained and rinsed pinto beans.  Stir to combine and it’s ready to serve.

Fran’s Notes

If you can find Lundberg short grain brown rice, I highly recommend it.  The rice has a nice “al dente” type bite to it which I thoroughly enjoy.

Source:   A frantastic original

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