Inspired by the Cuban Black Beans and Rice I grew up with, this easy, homemade original will become a family favorite!

Recipe: Easy Homemade Black Beans and Rice

Today I’m sharing with you one of my all-time favorite dishes. You see, I grew up in South Florida (Ft. Lauderdale to be exact), and I loved it when we went out to eat at a little Cuban restaurant near our home. I think every time we went there I ordered the same thing—roasted chicken, black beans and rice, and plantains.Inspired by the Cuban Black Beans and Rice I grew up with, this easy, homemade original will become a family favorite!

Last month I had the chance to go back to Florida on vacation and visit my family. Although they’ve moved from Ft. Lauderdale, we all still went to a little, family owned Cuban restaurant, and I ordered the same thing. Boy did I love it. Especially the black beans!

Now I don’t claim to make authentic Cuban black beans and rice. But over the years I do think I’ve come up with a delicious and easy homemade version of Black Beans and Rice that’s inspired by my childhood memories of eating Cuban food with my family. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!

And stay tuned. In my next post I’ll be sharing how to make the yummiest side dish to go with my Black Beans and Rice … Sweet Fried Plantains.



Inspired by the Cuban Black Beans and Rice I grew up with, this easy, homemade original will become a family favorite!

Inspired by the Cuban Black Beans and Rice I grew up with, this easy, homemade original will become a family favorite!
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Black Beans and Rice

Recipe By: Bruce Bradley
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dinner

Note: For most recipes you can adjust the measures for more or less servings by hovering over the servings number and moving the slider.


  • 2 cans 15 ounces each black beans, drained and reserve juice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes not drained (14.5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons oil olive or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onion diced
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper I usually use a 50/50 mix of green and red bell peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Season to taste with the following

  • salt and pepper
  • hot pepper sauce of your choice


Garnish Ideas:

  • lime wedges
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • diced mango
  • sour cream


  • In a 6-quart pot warm oil over medium heat and cook onion until it starts to soften and become translucent. Add garlic and bell peppers. Cook another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, black beans, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook for 4 minutes. Add vinegar and reserved juices from beans. Cook for another 5-10 minutes then season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.
  • Remove bay leaves. Serve over brown rice and garnish as desired.


We recommend using organic ingredients when possible.
If using dried black beans, prepare first and make enough for 3 1/3 total cups.
If you prefer fresh tomatoes use about 1 1/2 cups, diced.
For seasoning I use about 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1-2 teaspoons of hot pepper sauce.

Kitchen Tips and Resources:

  • A great garlic press makes child’s play of mincing garlic. I love this top-rated one but there are lots of great alternatives out there at all sorts of kitchen, department, and discount stores.
  • Looking for a solid set of pans that doesn’t cost a fortune? I’ve been making Black Beans and Rice in these Cuisinart pans for 20+ years, and they still look great!
  • A high quality set of cutting knives can make a huge difference, especially when you’re cooking REAL food. My local knife shop advised me to invest in the higher quality Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature brand (much higher quality than the J.A. Henckels International brand) and time has proven them right. (To make sure you know which Henckels knives are better, here’s a tip — look for the “twins” on the knives vs. the single guy sporting the trident.) While you can buy these knives online, if you’ve got a local knife/cutlery store, support them instead. I love my local cutlery store and bring my knives in every six months or so to get them maintained with a nice, sharp edge!
  • A great, non-slip cutting board is an invaluable kitchen asset when cutting up the vegetables. I upgraded to these Epicurean non-slip boards a year or so ago, and I’ve been really pleased with them.
Inspired by the Cuban Black Beans and Rice I grew up with, this easy, homemade original will become a family favorite!


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Laura

    Yum! Can’t wait to try it. I’ve seen a lot of Cuban black bean recipes that call for orange juice, which makes it taste “fakey” to me. Thanks for the post!

    1. Bruce Bradley

      Hi Laura! Thanks for your comment. I’ve never tried using orange juice in my black beans. That sounds like it would make them sweet. My recipe is definitely more savory vs. sweet. Lots of flavor which comes from the onions, garlic, peppers, and vinegar. I love them, but I know I’m biased. =) When you make them, please come back and share your thoughts!

      Thanks again for checking out my blog!



  2. j

    5 stars
    This Black Beans & Rice recipe is wonderful. Just made it with the plantains last night. The whole family loved it! Thanks for helping my family eat more real food!

    1. Bruce Bradley

      So glad you loved the Black Beans and Rice recipe, J. Always good to hear from our readers!



  3. Rachel Weissman

    Thanks so much for the recipe! Any substitution advice for someone who doesn’t like bell peppers?

    1. Bruce Bradley

      Hi Rachel!

      Thanks for sharing your comment. The bell peppers don’t add a huge amount of flavor. I like to use red bell peppers more for a little bit of color. If you don’t like bell peppers, I’d just omit them. And if you’re looking to add some color — perhaps try some carrots.


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