Lubia Polo | لوبیا پلو | green beans, mince and rice

lubia polo
Yields: 4 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 40 Mins

This rainbow rice is a delicious and nutritious dish full of vegan proteins, vegetables, spices and complex carbohydrates. Lubia Polo (green beans, mince and rice) is a classic Persian dish to add to your culinary repertoire, perfect to brighten up evenings in lockdown.

What is Lubia Polo?

Lubia Polo – لوبیا پلو – is a traditional Persian comfort dish. Mixed rice and vegetables are served under crispy golden potatoes (tahdig). Originally, it would contain ground meat but it is easy to swap for dried soya pieces or vegan mince, widely available at health stores and supermarkets. Fresh tomatoes are another traditional ingredient. Nowadays, these are often swapped for puree/paste such as in this recipe.


Instead of lamb, this recipe uses soya mince for a vegan source of protein. Colourful vegetables in this dish also add a variety of vitamins – eat the rainbow!

If you use the Persian mixed rice – Polo – برنج مخلوط recipe to serve the rice, I’m not going to pretend it’s super healthy. It contains oil and potatoes but tastes amazing and is a traditional part of Iranian cuisine. Serve Lubia Polo with plain wholegrain rice for a healthy alternative.

Can you freeze Lubia Polo?

As vegetarian food is safer to cook and freeze than meat, this vegan Lubia Polo is the perfect dish to make in a large batch then freeze in separate servings, ready for a quick lunch on a busy day. You can also keep it in the fridge for a few days. In fact, it may even taste better the next day because the food soaks up the spices giving a more intense flavour.

How to serve

Lubia Polo goes well with:

  • vegan yoghurt
  • salads
  • dips e.g. tzatziki
  • pickles
  • a dusting of cinnamon

This recipe gives the option to achieve the same key flavours of Lubia Polo with less time and effort by serving with plain boiled rice. However, if you are serving this for guests or have more time, I recommend using this recipe as a filling in the Persian mixed rice – Polo – برنج مخلوط recipe to enjoy the complete, traditional dish.

If you are feeling adventurous, play around with spices such as turmeric, chilli, rose petals or paprika… but not all at once…


0/11 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
    For rice follow my Persian mixed rice recipe or cook plain rice according to packet instructions For filling


0/6 Instructions
  • Prepare 250g rice according to packet instructions, or for the full traditional dish, follow my Persian mixed rice recipe (see notes below) to make an impression on your dinner guests
  • If you are using soya chunks, rinse and soak. If you are using frozen soya mince, defrost. Chop the onions into small cubes and fry until soft.
  • Meanwhile, chop the beans into small pieces. Add to the pan once the onions are soft.
  • While the beans and onions are cooking, peel and chop the carrots into small cubes. Then add to the pan and continue to fry. Prepare the fresh chilli, slicing finely. Remove seeds for less intense spice.
  • Once the vegetables are soft, add the spices. Continue to cook on low heat. You may want to finish preparing your rice. Finally, add tomato puree to fry and mix in before turning the heat off.
  • If serving with plain rice, simply mix together. Or use as a filling for the Iranian mixed rice recipe. Tastes best with salad and a dollop of vegan yoghurt.


Use this recipe as a filling in Persian mixed rice – Polo – برنج مخلوط or mix into Tahdig for soft rice with crispy potatoes.

Did you make this recipe? Tag @vegan_middle_east on Instagram or comment below.

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