Cuban Black Beans and Rice

It’s been a while since I have shared a recipe on here, so I figured it was high time.  Cubans call black beans and rice “moros y cristianos” which translates into “Moors and Christians.” This title harkens back to the time that the Muslim Moors invaded and conquered most of Spain and ruled over the Spanish Christians for seven centuries. My Abuela has a time consuming and complicated version of this dish (it involves the overnight soaking of dry beans and a pressure cooker) that is so delicious you cry tears of joy when you take your first bite, and this version, which is way easier and almost as good. I cooked this one tonight and it was a real crowd pleaser. So, without further ado,

Black Beans and Rice 

Servings: 8-10 

Time: 30-45 minutes 

Difficulty: easy


  • 5 tablespoons olive oil or 4 pieces chopped uncooked bacon
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 chopped bell pepper (you can use raw green bell pepper but I usually use roasted red peppers from a jar)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 15 oz cans of black beans, undrained
  • 2 cups of uncooked long grain white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste (this dish can take a lot of salt)


  1. In a large pot with a lid, cook the bacon 6 minutes over medium heat (until just before it becomes crisp) or heat the olive oil until fragrant.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. (Behold the sofrito!  The building block of pretty much every Cuban dish!)
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over medium high heat until all of the water has been absorbed, but the dish is still moist. 15-20 minutes.
  4. Stir and cover. Reduce heat to low and cook until the rice is tender, 10-15 minutes.  Take out the bay leaf and add some more salt. 
  5. Serve and enjoy!


Please excuse my horribly amateur-ish food photography. Clearly, I should have had Ruthie take the pictures. 

It goes well with some plátanos maduros (you can find these in the freezer section of the grocery store).


About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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8 Responses to Cuban Black Beans and Rice

  1. schnellerbauer says:

    It looks delicious. That definitely comes on my “to cook” list although my family only loves pasta and are no fans of beans either.
    Whatever 😆
    how much dried beans are two cans this size? A cup? I think I never saw canned black beans anywhere but I guess the organic food store probably has dried ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sylcell says:

      I’d say closer to 2 cups each. It makes a TON of food. My grandmother always uses dry beans. I’ll have to get that recipe from her. I know you have to soak them overnight, and then cook them in a pressure cooker.


    • sylcell says:

      Oh whoops, I just realized you were asking for the dry beans equivalent. You would use 1 cup of dry beans for this recipe.


      • morgan says:

        Thank you!
        I don’t own a pressure cooker. Those things scare me to death. It MUST be possible to make them without one. Will probably take longer to cook.
        Talked to my brother (he’s the expert in our family on all things involving pots and kettles) on Wednesday. His comment: yes you get them at the organic food store. You should plan that for autumn when you have a fire burning anyways because it takes a h*ll lot of time…


      • sylcell says:

        So yeah, you can do it in a regular pot. You would soak the beans overnight, and basically cook them in a regular pot all day. And pressure cookers aren’t any scarier than any other kitchen tool, I promise;) That choo choo train sound of the steam coming out the top reminds me of my childhood. My grandmother usually had something delicious cooking in the pressure cooker.


  2. Ashley P says:

    Wow, looks great! I love seeing food from other cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Matty Perez says:

    Good Silvia I,am impressed.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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