Black Beans and Rice

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Black Beans and Rice is a tasty Cuban recipe, with chicken broth, white rice, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and black beans.

If you love this classic Latino Recipe, you’re going to really enjoy the incredible flavors of Mexican Rice as well as Classic Chicken Enchiladas and Tacos Al Pastor

Black Beans and Rice close up

If you’re looking for a rice recipe with latin flavors and a quick cook time for a busy weeknight, then this is the recipe for you! Black Beans and Rice is a great side dish, and can be served up with burritos, enchiladas, tacos, and more. If this is your first time making dinner or you’re trying to teach the kids a fun way to cook rice, this is an easy recipe to start with. The beans give the rice a delicious, rich flavor and are a great source of protein.

Black Beans and Rice has been around since the two crops were cultivated together. Many people and cultures around the world use beans (legumes) and rice as the base for their daily meals. Before the science was understood, the indigenous peoples felt better when they ate the two together. Today we know that eating legumes and rice together forms a complete protein and is healthy for the body. By adding the spices to this dish, you get an incredible one-pot meal that’s ready in under an hour!

The combined flavors in this Black Beans and Rice dish make it a perfect side dish to bring to family dinners and pot lucks. The dish is packed with flavor on its own and is well worth the minimal effort! Plus, with the delicious flavor profile of the Black Beans and Rice, you can pair this with so many flavorful dishes the whole family will love, like Easy Taco Soup!

How to Make Black Beans and Rice

Making this one-pot wonder is pretty easy. Everything is cooked in one pot in specific stages. Check it out! 

  • Step One: Cook the chopped onion and garlic in a pot for a few minutes. 
  • Step Two: Rinse the starch off the rice with water until the water isn’t murky. Then add it to the onions and garlic and cook a bit. 
  • Step Three: Add the tomatoes and broth and cook for about 20 minutes, or when all the water is cooked into the rice. 
  • Step Four: Once the rice is finished cooking, add in the spices and beans, mix, and serve hot!

More Yummy Cuban Flavors

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Black Beans and Rice recipe from?

Black Beans and Rice are a traditional Spanish dish that’s a favorite in Cuba. Cuban Black Beans and Rice, also called “Moros y Cristianos,” or “Moors and Christians.” According to Cuban tradition, Black Beans and Rice represent Spanish history, with the beans representing Muslim Moors and the rice representing Christians. The idea is that separate, both elements are tasty, but together they make a much more delicious dish.

Do I have to rinse the rice and beans first? 

Canned beans will be drained and rinsed in this recipe. It shouldn’t be harmful if they aren’t rinsed though. If you’re using dry beans, they will need rinsed before soaking overnight for this recipe. 

Rice has starch on it that can be rinsed off. Most people do this using water until the water is no longer cloudy. But you won’t ruin your meal if you don’t rinse it. 

Can I use Brown Rice instead of the White Rice?

You can substitute brown rice for the white rice. Brown rice will take an extra 15 minutes of cooking on the stove, and the ratio of broth should be 3/4ths cup of non-cooked rice and only 1 cup of chicken broth. Too much water while cooking brown rice can make it mushy rather than fluffy. Be sure to follow the instructions on the brown rice package for more details for your specific rice. Soaking is particularly helpful when using brown rice for this recipe.

Should I soak the rice before cooking? 

You don’t have to soak your rice. It is good to soak it, however, because it helps it cook faster and aids in digestion of the rice. Soaking is particularly helpful when using brown rice for this recipe. 

Can I use Pinto beans instead of black beans? 

Sure! If that’s what you have, go for it! You won’t be disappointed. 

Black Beans and Rice cooking in pot

Key Ingredients in Black Beans and Rice

The ingredients used in this recipe are easily found in your local grocery store if you don’t already have them stocked up in your pantry. 

  • Beans: The canned beans used here are the regular 15oz cans for a total of 30 ounces of cooked beans. This is about two cups of beans you soak yourself. You can use one large 32oz can of beans instead of two 15oz cans of beans with no problem. 
  • Rice: You can use any white rice you have, like Jasmine, Basmati, Calrose, etc. This recipe calls for white long grain rice. 
  • Tomatoes: The 14oz can of diced tomatoes with chilies has a nice kick to it if you get the spicy kind. There is a mild version available that is better for some people. 
  • Spices: Cayenne is a bit spicy so half it if it will be too much. Turmeric adds an earthy and flavorful base to the dish and shouldn’t be skipped if possible. Adding the spices in at the end give is the extra flavor wanted. 
  • Vegetable Oil: You can use any vegetable oil, olive oil, or virgin olive oil for this recipe. 

Variations on Black Beans and Rice

There is a lot you can do with this versatile food. Check out some of these yummy options!

  • Serve with: Try serving up your Black Beans and Rice topped with fresh cilantro, sour cream, or a sprinkle of lime juice. 
  • Meat: Black Beans and Rice with chicken, as well as Black Beans and Rice with sausage, are two delicious variations that are popular in Cuban cuisine. 
  • Veggies: You can try making spicy Black Beans and Rice by adding in or serving with cut serrano chiles or red peppers with a little dash of hot sauce. You can also mix in chopped green bell pepper, jalapeño slices, or fresh avocado. If you add the green pepper, make sure to add it fairly early on to keep it from being tough. 
  • Vegan: This recipe is already pretty close to being completely vegan, all you have to do is exchange the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Once you make the change, this recipe uses no animal products and is perfectly vegan friendly. 
  • Puerto Rican Black Beans and Rice: This version of Black Beans and Rice is based off of the Cuban variety, but you should also try Caribbean and Puerto Rican Black Beans and Rice. Puerto Rican Black Beans and Rice tends to use vinegar, Sazón Goya, and sofrito, as well as a few other ingredients. 

More Easy Rice Dishes

How to Store Black Beans and Rice

  • Serve: Black Beans and Rice will keep at room temperature for about 2 hours.
  • Store: Keep the Black Beans and Rice in an airtight container, like Tupperware or an airtight bag, and the Black Beans and Rice will stay good for up to a week. You should always allow the Black Beans and Rice to fully cool down to room temperature before you seal it up and put it away. 
  • Freeze: You can freeze Black Beans and Rice for up to 3 weeks as long as you keep it properly sealed. 
Black Beans and Rice top-down in pot

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Black Beans and Rice

Black Beans and Rice is a tasty Cuban recipe, with chicken broth, white rice, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and black beans.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Cuban
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans black beans , drained and rinsed


  • Add the oil to a pot on medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add the cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, black beans and mix together.


Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1150mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg
Keyword: Black Beans and Rice
pot of black beans and rice pin 1

Photos used in a previous version of this post:

Black Beans and Rice collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Wonderful quick supper. Changes made: no added salt, no cayenne, 1 can low salt black beans + chopped leftover chicken thighs to make up for no second can of beans. Served with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top. Yum!!! Leftovers will make lovely breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs.

  2. Delicious!! Thank you for sharing! I added some garlic powder, onion powder and a fresh jalapeno for some additional spice. This has become a new family favorite ?

    1. Our Nutrition Calculator only listed the following:
      Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1150mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg

    2. There is no cholesterol because there is no meat in this recipe (other than a wee bit of chicken broth that is negligible).

  3. In South Asian fashion, I fried the spices with the onions and garlic vs adding at the end. It may have made it spicier because it had some bite. It is a tasty and simple recipe.

  4. The flavor was spot on. I added a 1/2 cup red peppers and 1/2 cup green peppers when I sautéed the onions. I only had regular canned tomatoes. I also subbed kidney beans for the black beans. Paired well with yams on the side. Definitely adding this to my meatless Mondays!

  5. Made this black beans and rice dish tonight. It is very good, but quite hot, which is how many like it, but marginal for me. Next time, and their will be one, I may cut back on the spices, and/or replace the tomatoes and chilies with stewed tomatoes.

  6. This recipe look Delish!! I want to try it but I normally used dry bean cause the cost is way less!. Do you think that I could used them directly in the recipe by adding more liquid or I should cook them before?

      1. I made this for my husband and I. I only had diced tomatoes, so I added 2 generous teaspoons of diced pickled jalapeños. Also didn’t have any Turmeric. I used a medley of rice. Followed the rest of the recipe as written. It was so good. I could’ve eaten the entire pan myself. Thank you.

  7. Ive made this twice now and it is so easy and delicious! My daughter loves black beans so it makes a perfect work lunch. Thank you!Angela

  8. This was yummy! I didn’t have turmeric on hand so did without. I did double the garlic, but I always do! Love garlic. Enjoy!

  9. I’m not a fan of cayenne pepper because it’s just hot without flavor and always too hot…I substituted sriracha sauce which gave just enough heat and a complimentary flavor

  10. Loved! Loved! This recipe!! Had a craving for black beans and rice and this definitely hit the spot. My family cannot stop talking about it or eating it and the best part, it was so easy to make.

  11. This recipe was delicious!! The reason for the 4 star (instead of 5 star) was that the diced tomatoes with chiles were too hot!!! I wish I had bought the MILD version instead of the ORIGINAL version of these tomatoes. (there was even a HOT version!!!) I think you should add this to the recipe. The MILD would have been perfect. My husband likes spicy, however, this was too hot for even him. I added cheddar cheese and lots of sour cream and was able to manage it. I will make this recipe again, only this time use the MILD diced tomatoes and chiles.

  12. This was delicious and very easy!
    I would cut the cayenne by 1/2 for our taste. Especially since we have leftovers and they only get hotter!!

  13. It was 3pm on a busy day, we had worked hard without thinking ahead about dinner. I flipped through Pinterest looking for healthy and quick meal, and found that I had every ingredient already in the pantry for this recipe. Hour later I had this meal on the table, and between the two of us we ate every bite! Excellent! And only one pan to clean!

  14. Thanks for this recipe! This is my go-to dish for black beans. Great healthy lunch for me to meal prep with. My one year old loves it too. I ease up on the cayenne for her sake and add hot sauce to my serving. I also like to add cilantro if I have it. We’ve added diced bell pepper before too and that’s also good for more veggies.

  15. I love the flavors in this recipe. I did use just one can of bean and added 1 cup of corn.It’s great as a side dish. I added it to shredded chicken for enchiladas.

  16. This was the best ever. I made it exactly as written. This will be a keeper in my vegan (used vege broth) recipe arsenal. Would like to know how to make it with brown rice instead of white? Not sure if I use more liquid or just cook longer? Hmmm?

    1. I would start the rice first, then 30 minutes in add the beans and cook the rice the rest of the way. You don’t want the beans simmering for an hour or they’ll get a bit too mushy.

  17. Easy excellent recipe !!!! I substituted vegetarian no chicken broth and cut down on the spices and and the recipe was still outstanding…. Thanks so much

  18. This recipe is super easy to make, tastes great, and it uses cheap ingredients, too. Bonus, there’s no chopping and it’s mostly hands off while the rice cooks. Win win! I used about 1/4 teaspoon less of each spice than the recipe calls for and just a pinch of cayenne pepper, since I don’t like much spice. I’ll definitely be coming back to this one!

  19. Absolutely delicious! I added corn and we wrapped it in flour tortillas and topped with shredded cheese and slasha.

  20. The first time I made this recipe I followed it to a T. It was really good. The next time I made it I got “experimental”. Turned out I was OUT of cumin. How do you manage that?!? So I looked up cumin substitutes. I found 9! Of those I had 5….so I combined them into a seasoning mix. I added a can of corn and a pound of diced smoked sausage. Pretty darned good for a quick one pot meal. My point is this is an excellent recipe as is, but also very adaptable which makes it that much more marvelous! Thank you!

  21. Absolutely Devine! I added fresh lime juice on top. I have tried many of your recipes, they are exceptional. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Excellent dish! Tried it for a family dinner and everyone enjoyed it! Definitely will work it into our meal rotation as we try to find more dishes that can work with little or no meat since prices and availability are being impacted right now. We like spicy and this has a pleasant nip and great flavor. Only comment made was that it needed a bit more salt, but others thought the salt level was just fine, so that’s a personal preference. We doubled the recipe and added about 2lbs of chicken tenders to our dish. We used the same spices in this recipe to coat the tenders, then cooked them separately in olive oil, about 5 minutes per side. Then we chopped them up to mix throughout the dish. We served it as a main course with kale salad on the side. Looking forward to trying it with sausage too. A keeper for sure!

  23. This was a great recipe. My boyfriend normally avoids bean and rice dishes but this one had him going back for seconds! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

  24. My family really enjoyed this recipe packed with flavor and delicious! I will make this again soon! Thank you!

  25. This is so tasty! I made this for my whole family last weekend and it was such a hit they all loved it!

  26. This dish is full of flavor!! I am so glad I have plenty of rice & beans! I will be making this asap!!