Black Beans and Rice Recipe:
Cuban Black Beans

I'm always on the lookout for new things to do with beans. I like this black beans and rice recipe because it's easy, because it's delicious, and because the beans and rice cook in the same pot - one less thing to wash!

cuban black beans

The trick with this recipe is to find just the right temperature for cooking the rice. Here are some tips:

  • If the heat is too high, the mixture will scorch and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • If the heat is too low, the rice won't cook.
  • The first time you make this, stay close to the stove so you can keep an eye on the pot.
  • Lift the lid occasionally and check that the mixture is barely simmering. You should see tiny bubbles breaking the surface.
  • Once you've made this successfully, make a note of how high you set the heat. Next time will be easy!

Be sure not to drain the canned beans!

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • olive oil
    • garlic
    • dried oregano
    • cumin
    • canned black beans
    • white Basmati rice

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • onions

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a large pot with a lid
    • a cutting board and sharp knife
    • measuring cups and spoons
    • a mixing spoon
    • a can opener

  • Nice to have but not necessary

    • a garlic press (if not, mince the garlic with the sharp knife)

    The black beans and rice recipe

    1 Tbsp/15 mL olive oil

    1 large onion, chopped

    2 cloves garlic, pressed

    1/2 tsp/2 mL oregano

    1/2 tsp/2 mL cumin

    2 cans (each 19 oz/540 mL) black beans, undrained

    2 cups/500 mL water

    1 1/2 cups/375 mL white Basmati rice

    In a large pot that has a lid, heat the oil.

    Add the onion to the pot.
    Sauté until soft.

    Add the garlic, oregano and cumin.
    Sauté for about a minute.

    Add the beans, water and rice.

    Turn up the heat.
    Bring to a boil, stirring.

    Reduce heat to a bare simmer.
    Put the lid on the pot.
    Simmer until the rice is tender (about 25 minutes).


    • Use another vegetable oil instead of olive oil.

    • Use a couple of teaspoons of fresh oregano instead of dried oregano.

    • Use another variety of rice instead of white Basmati. (You may have to adjust the cooking time.)

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • Top each serving with some chopped tomato, or some sliced radish, or some cilantro.


    • Add some minced green pepper when you add the chopped onion.

    • Add some tomato paste to the pot when you add the beans, water and rice. Or add a bit of cider vinegar, or some Worcestershire sauce. Or how about some lemon or lime juice?

    Menu suggestion

    Serve this dish with

    If you enjoy this black beans and rice recipe, you may also like these other bean recipes: