At first glance, you can be forgiven if you’re intimidated by this recipe. It calls for nearly two dozen ingredients, after all. But don’t worry, says chef and recipe developer Miriam Hahn: "This is a beginner level recipe. [It uses] lots of ingredients but most are just spices. It is a one-pot recipe, making it great for clean up too."
Not only is this a manageable recipe, it’s one that you will want to make again and again. Cuban Black Beans and Rice is a total crowd pleaser; it’s a dish everyone of every age will enjoy, and it’s a perfect pairing to all sorts of other foods. "It can be served as a complete meal," says Hahn, adding: "I usually pair it with a green salad and it is super filling and satisfying. However, it can be eaten as a side dish as well, pairing with something off the grill or in the oven."
And this is a great dish to prepare in advance, too. "This meal keeps well just stored in the fridge in an airtight container for about 5 days," Hahn says. "It is a great meal prep recipe that you can make on a weekend and have ready to go for a busy weeknight. You can reheat it in the oven, microwave, or stove."
Gather your ingredients for Cuban black beans and rice
OK, time for quite a grocery shopping list.
You’ll need a diced onion, avocado oil, minced garlic cloves, a green pepper sliced into small strips, a red pepper sliced into small strips, a diced carrot, uncooked long grain rice, fire roasted tomatoes (canned, with liquid), a can of black beans (rinsed and drained), and vegetable or chicken broth. For your spices and herbs, you’ll need dried oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, fresh chopped cilantro, and diced fresh oregano. You’ll also want limes, sliced into discs and as wedges to be used for garnish later.
Cook the onions and garlic and then add rice, spices, and veggies
In a stock pot or large frying pan with high walls, sauté the onion and garlic in the avocado oil, letting them cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the onion is softened and translucent and both the onion and garlic are fragrant. You can add a bit of water to the pan if things start to dry out.
Add in the rice and ground spices and stir for a minute or so until you smell the spices adding fragrance. Now add in the broth, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and black beans.
Simmer and then serve and enjoy
Bring the pot to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the cooking instructions for the rice you are using, as they all differ. In fact, you may have to cook a few more minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed. (On the other hand, keep a close eye and add a bit more broth if things are drying out too quickly.)
Once the dish is done cooking, scoop servings out into bowls and top the rice and beans with the fresh oregano and cilantro and garnish it with limes.