Flavor-Packed Cuban Black Beans and Rice Recipe

Greetings, my fellow food lovers! Today, I am excited to share with you my newest creation: a delicious and hearty Cuban black beans and rice vegan recipe.

If you’re in the mood for a flavorful, nutritious, and easy-to-make meal, then this recipe is perfect for you. Whether you’re a vegan or not, you’ll love the savory taste of this dish.

As a vegan chef, I believe that plant-based meals don’t have to be boring. That’s why I’ve been experimenting with different ingredients to bring Cuban-inspired dishes that are simple and healthy but also have the ability to satisfy your appetite.

The recipe is centered around black beans and rice, which are staples in Cuban cuisine. The combination of these ingredients results in a flavorful dish full of aromatic spices and herbs that will make your sense of smell tingle with excitement.

This meal is perfect for weeknight dinners or family gatherings but also can be served at any special occasion as it requires minimal prep time and yields impressive results. Not only is the dish delicious, but it also holds high nutritional values such as protein, fiber, antioxidants while being free from gluten and fat.

So why not give this simple Vegan Recipe a try and take your taste buds on a journey through the streets of Havana? Trust me; once you’ve tried this dish once, it’ll be hard to resist having it again! So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cuban Black Beans and Rice - Vegan
Cuban Black Beans and Rice – Vegan

Fellow food enthusiasts, if you’re in search of a simple, vegan recipe that’s as delicious as it is healthy, then look no further. I present to you my Cuban-inspired black beans and rice. This dish is perfect for those looking to add some flavor to their meal plan, but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

First off, let me tell you what makes this dish great. The combination of black beans and rice is a classic Cuban dish called “arroz congri” or “Moros y Cristianos.” But rather than using traditional ham hock or bacon (found in many Cuban recipes), we’ll be optimizing for hearty plant-based protein instead. The dish is high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, while also being low in fat, vegan and gluten-free.

What’s more? This recipe is extremely versatile because you can easily substitute ingredients based on your personal preference or dietary requirements. It caters perfectly well to those looking to cut back on their meat intake or following a vegan lifestyle. So whatever your dietary preference might be, this recipe is adaptable enough that it won’t compromise taste or nutritional value.

And if cooking in bulk isn’t your thing, don’t worry! This recipe will be equally delicious even if prepared in small quantities. Plus, it’s budget-friendly due to its use of inexpensive but nutritious ingredients like beans and rice.

Overall, this dish offers simplicity without sacrificing flavor nor health benefits- perfect for weeknight meal prep. So why not give it a try? You won’t regret adding this Cuban classic to your arsenal of healthy meals that can help maintain optimal health while delighting your tastebuds at the same time!

Ingredient List

 A hearty bowl of Cuban black beans and rice, infused with flavors of the Caribbean
A hearty bowl of Cuban black beans and rice, infused with flavors of the Caribbean

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious Cuban Black Beans and Rice vegan recipe:

  • 1 cup of dried black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight, or use canned beans for a quick option
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of long-grain rice
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable broth if desired
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Juice of one or two fresh limes
  • Optional toppings: cilantro, diced green onions, diced avocado

To make it cuban-style black beans rice or “Arroz Congri,” you can replace half the water with tomato sauce and add a teaspoon of red wine vinegar.

This recipe uses simple vegan ingredients that are accessible in most grocery stores. Not only is this meal vegan, but it’s also gluten-free, high-fiber, protein-and antioxidants-rich and low-fat.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect vegan comfort food for any day of the week
The perfect vegan comfort food for any day of the week

Now that you have all the ingredients for this Cuban-Inspired dish, let’s dive into how to create a flavorful and healthy meal.

Step 1: Preparing the Beans
Instant Pot Method

If using dried black beans, rinse well and soak overnight for up to eight hours. Drain the water and rinse again.

Add black beans, 4 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 diced yellow onion to your instant pot with 4 cups of water. Set pressure release valve to sealing, cook on high-pressure for 25 minutes, then allow to naturally release pressure for 10-15 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure.

Stovetop Method

If you’re using canned beans instead, drain and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water after opening the can.

Step 2: Preparing the Rice

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add rice (use either arroz or white rice), water (use a 2:1 ratio of water to rice), salt, and bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 18-20 minutes until completely cooked through.

Step 3: Making the Sofrito

Sofrito is a mix of sautéed aromatic vegetables used in Latin American flavor bases. For this Cuban recipe, we will use minced garlic cloves (”yummy”), green and red bell peppers that are finely chopped (”colorful”), cilantro (”fragrant”) and onions finely diced (”aromatic”). Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the veggies, oregano, cumin, salt, and cook until the veggies are soft.

Step 4: Combine Beans with Sofrito

Add sautéed sofrito into the black beans with a splash or two of apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar (choose your style). Continue cooking all together for about ten more minutes.

Step 5: Putting It All Together

Finally, serve your delicious vegan Cuban Black Beans with some yellow or ripe plantains (maduros) for some sweetness and sliced limes (limon) on the side to drizzle over beans and rice (yum)! Enjoy this high protein rich vegan meal that is also gluten-free!

Substitutions and Variations

 A deliciously satisfying meal, packed with protein and fiber
A deliciously satisfying meal, packed with protein and fiber

One of the beauties of cooking is that there’s always room for creativity, and this Cuban black beans and rice recipe is no exception. There are many ways you can put your own spin on this classic dish without compromising its flavor or nutritional value.

Firstly, if you’re short on time or don’t have access to dried black beans, you can definitely use canned black beans instead. However, keep in mind that canned beans are usually high in sodium, so make sure to rinse them well before using them in the recipe.

Another option is to swap out the white rice for brown rice or quinoa for a healthier twist. Brown rice contains more fiber and nutrients than white rice, while quinoa is a complete protein that is also gluten-free.

For those who love a bit of spice, consider adding jalapeño peppers or hot sauce to give this dish an extra kick. Alternatively, if you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of cumin and chili powder used in the recipe.

If you want to add some color and texture to your Cuban black beans and rice, consider throwing in some diced tomatoes or roasted corn. On the other hand, if you prefer a simpler approach, stick with the classic ingredients like onion and green pepper.

For those who are looking for more protein options or want to avoid soy-based products like tofu, try substituting the caribbean tofu with tempeh or seitan.

Finally, for those who love sweets as much as they love savory food, ripe plantains would make an excellent addition to this recipe! They can be sliced and pan-fried until golden brown on each side for a crispy caramelized finish.

With so many options for substitutions and variations, you’re guaranteed to create a unique version of Cuban black beans and rice that suits your taste preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 A colorful dish that will brighten up any dull day
A colorful dish that will brighten up any dull day

Now that your delicious Cuban black beans and rice vegan dish is ready, it’s time to serve it up and enjoy! To add a burst of flavor to this dish, serve it up with some fresh limes. Squeeze some lime juice on top of the dish or slice up some lime wedges for each person to add individually.

This meal can also benefit from a dash of salt added for taste. However, be careful not to add too much as these delicious black beans are already well-seasoned.

One great pairing option for this dish is a side salad, such as our recipe for a tangy green salad with red wine vinegar dressing. Another popular choice is sliced ripe plantains, which are sweet and contrasts nicely with the savory flavors of the Cuban black beans and rice.

This vegan meal is perfect for lunch or dinner, as it provides tons of nutrition alongside its delightful taste. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, make it hearty by serving this dish with a side of avocado slices or guacamole.

Overall, the pairing options are endless when it comes to this dish. Experiment according to your palate’s preference — just remember to balance out the flavors!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get ready to savor the flavors of the Caribbean with every bite
Get ready to savor the flavors of the Caribbean with every bite

One of the advantages of Cuban Black Beans and Rice is that it’s a dish that can be made in advance and stored for later use. The beans and rice can be prepared separately, kept in the refrigerator or freezer, and then reheated together for convenience.

To make-ahead, let the arroz congri and beans cool completely before storing them in separate containers. You could also store them together if you want to save space in the fridge. Make sure to keep them both covered tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out or absorbing unwanted odors. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

When it’s time to reheat, place the beans and rice in a saucepan over medium heat with a splash of water, veggie broth or olive oil, stirring occasionally until heated through. You may need to add additional seasoning like salt or cumin depending on how much was used initially since some flavor can get lost during storage.

Additionally, left-over Cuban Black Beans and Rice makes an excellent meal prep option for lunches throughout the week. It’s a satisfying and nourishing vegan meal that will energize your day while staying easy on your wallet.

Pro Tip – This dish is also perfect for potlucks and parties since it can be made in advance, easily transported, and reheated on-site without losing its delicious flavor!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A filling and flavorful meal that will keep you satisfied for hours
A filling and flavorful meal that will keep you satisfied for hours

Creating the perfect bowl of Cuban Black Beans and Rice requires proper preparation and cooking techniques. Here are some tips to get the best results every time:

1. Allow the beans to cook until they are soft

Black beans can be tough if not cooked long enough, so make sure you give them plenty of time to soften. This should take about an hour on the stovetop or 20 minutes in an Instant Pot.

2. Keep an eye on the liquid levels

As the beans cook, they will absorb liquid, so it’s important to check the pot often and add more water or vegetable broth as needed. You don’t want your beans to dry out or burn.

3. Add fresh lime juice for extra flavor

A squeeze of fresh lime juice right before serving adds bright citrus notes to this dish, balancing out the richness of the black beans and rice.

4. Use aromatic spices for depth of flavor

Black beans can be rather bland on their own, but adding spices like cumin and oregano give them a more complex flavor profile that will keep you coming back for more.

5. Don’t forget the onions and bell peppers

The mirepoix (onions, bell peppers, and garlic) is a crucial base for many Cuban dishes, including these black beans and rice. Cooking them down until they’re caramelized before adding in the other ingredients adds a depth of flavor that complements the beans perfectly.

Follow these tips and enjoy a flavorful and nutritious meal that celebrates Cuban flavors with this vegan dish!


As you embark on your journey to make this delicious and nutritious Cuban black beans and rice vegan recipe, you may have some questions that arise. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) and their answers to guide and assist you in making the perfect Cuban-style black beans and rice vegan dish.

What is Cuban black beans and rice?

In this recipe, rice and black beans are cooked together and the result is a stunning black-colored rice. The dish is heavily flavored with peppers, onions, garlic, cumin, and bay leaf. Apart from being delicious, this meal is also healthy, as it’s rich in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, and low in fat. It’s also suitable for those following a vegan or gluten-free diet.

Why do you add vinegar to black beans?

To enhance the flavor and digestibility of the beans, it’s best to wait until they’re almost cooked before adding a dash of apple cider vinegar and a couple of teaspoons of salt to the pot. The apple cider vinegar helps to break down indigestible sugars and adds a tangy taste, reducing the need for excessive salt.

What are Cuban style black beans?

Black beans are an essential ingredient in Cuban cuisine, commonly known as frijoles negros. To make this dish, we begin by creating a base of aromatic vegetables known as sofrito, which is a key element in many traditional Cuban recipes. While sofrito shares similarities with the Holy Trinity used in Creole cooking, which includes onions, bell pepper, and celery, Cuban sofrito has its unique variation, replacing celery with garlic.

Are canned black beans vegan?

Black beans or any kind of canned beans are versatile ingredients that can be used in various ways. They can be served as a soup, a side dish, or as a wholesome vegan meal when paired with steamed rice.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Cuban Black Beans and Rice recipe is a simple yet delicious vegan meal that is perfect for any occasion. It is packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants while being low in fat and gluten-free, making it a healthy option for anyone looking to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet.

As someone who has been a vegan chef for many years, I can confidently say that this recipe is one of my favorites. The combination of black beans, rice, and the perfect blend of spices creates a mouth-watering dish that will leave you wanting more.

So why not try this Cuban Black Beans and Rice recipe today? Whether you’re making it for yourself or serving it to friends and family, it’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Take advantage of the substitutions and variations section to make it your own, and don’t forget to pair it with some ripe plantains for the full Cuban experience.

I hope this recipe brings you as much joy as it has brought me over the years. Happy cooking!

Cuban Black Beans and Rice - Vegan

Cuban Black Beans and Rice – Vegan Recipe

My whole family loves this meal. Mix the leftovers together and use as a filling for fried burritos. Just place a scoop of warmed, mixed beans and rice in the middle of a large tortilla, sprinkle a handle of Daiya Cheddar Shreds (vegan) on the "flap" of the burrito. Roll it up so that the part with the cheese is the last section to be rolled. Then put that side down on a grill-pan covered in vegetable oil, so the heat seals the seam shut by heating the cheese. Turn burrito over so that all sides get crisp and brown.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Calories 434.9 kcal


  • 2 -3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, undrained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 extra large green pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons Earth Balance natural buttery spread
  • 2 limes, squeezed of juice (reserve)


  • Heat the oil in a large, non-stick pan. Fry the onion and pepper in the oil until nearly tender. Add the garlic and saute for minute, being careful not to burn.
  • Add a little of the bean liquid until all previous ingredients are soft. Add the beans with the remaining liquid. Add spices and simmer about 30 minutes. Stir in the vinegar just before serving.
  • In the meantime, place rice, water, salt, and "butter" in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
  • Add lime juice and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve with beans over the top.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 245gCalories: 434.9kcalCarbohydrates: 82.2gProtein: 14.2gFat: 5.7gSaturated Fat: 0.9gSodium: 1170.3mgFiber: 11.3gSugar: 1.9g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Black Beans, Caribbean, Cuban, Easy, Free Of…, Lactose-free, Rice, Savory, Vegan, Weeknight, White Rice
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