Black Beans and Rice

Black Beans and Rice is a delicious side dish made with white rice, black beans, spices, and lime juice. It can also be served as a vegetarian main course.

We love to mix it up with black beans and rice as a side for Baked Chicken Tacos, Cheese Enchiladas, and California Burritos.

black beans and rice in a large skillet with a wooden spoon

This Black Beans and Rice recipe is popular in Latin American cuisine. It’s made with canned black beans, but you can go all out and soak your own dried beans overnight and then cook them separately before adding to the rice. The flavors pair so beautifully with all kinds of Latin dishes.

It’s also a great vegetarian dish that’s full of fiber and protein.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients for Black Beans and Rice
  2. How To Make Black Beans and Rice
  3. Serving Suggestions
  4. Variations
  5. Storing and Reheating Leftovers
  6. Expert Tips
  7. More Recipes with Black Beans
  8. Black Beans and Rice Recipe

Ingredients for Black Beans and Rice

  • Canned Black Beans – It’s way easier to use canned beans, but you can do the dried beans thing if you want.
  • White Rice – Long-grain or jasmine rice is best for this recipe.
  • Olive Oil
  • Onion and Garlic Cloves
  • Spices – Ground cumin and a bay leaf.
  • Vegetable Broth – Feel free to swap for chicken broth if you like.
  • Limes
  • Fresh Cilantro or Parsley – Your call based on your preference. Cilantro is more authentic, but if you don’t like it you can use parsley.
ingredients for black beans and rice

How To Make Black Beans and Rice

Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.

  • Heat some oil in a saucepan and cook onions until soft.
  • Add spices and rice and toast for a couple of minutes. Pour in vegetable broth and simmer, COVERED, for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and fluffy.
  • While the rice is cooking, drain and rinse the black beans.
  • Fluff the rice and stir in beans, cilantro, and lime juice. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes, then serve garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.
collage of images depicting how to make black beans and rice

Serving Suggestions

There are so many ways you can serve this dish, but here are a few of our favorites.

Side Dish – Serve with your favorite Mexican recipes, or as a side for Easy Grilled Jerk Chicken, Steak Fajitas, or Baked Salsa Chicken.

Lunch – This is an easy and filling lunch any day of the week.

Main Course – Fill tortillas with the rice and black beans and top with your favorite Pico de Gallo, Fresh Pineapple Salsa. Or fill lettuce cups to make lettuce wraps topped with Mango Salsa.

Fajita Bowls – This is a great base for a bowl! Top with chicken or steak, sauteed red or green bell pepper, salsa, and more.

Variations

There are plenty of mix-in options to try!

  • Tomatoes – Toss in some fresh or canned and drained diced tomatoes
  • Fresh fruit – Fresh diced mango or pineapple is delicious and adds a sweet spin.
  • Bring the heat – Add some spice with a diced jalapeno, some fresh salsa, or a few dashes of hot sauce.
  • Add some veggies – Stir in some corn, chopped green olives at the end, or saute some bell pepper with the onion.
  • Cheesy beans and rice – Top with some shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese.
skillet and bowls with rice and black beans

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Storage – Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

Freeze – Cool and store in a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months.

Reheating – Microwave for 60-90 seconds, stirring at least once. If it seems a little dry, add a tablespoon of water and heat for another 30 seconds to rehydrate.

Expert Tips

  • Resist the urge to lift the lid while the rice is cooking or it won’t cook properly.
  • Add the black beans to the hot rice and cover for a few minutes.
  • Feel free to swap in brown rice and adjust the cooking time.
  • Toss leftovers into taco soup.
a small bowl with a serving of black beans with rice

More Recipes with Black Beans

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Black Beans and Rice

Black Beans and Rice is a tasty side dish made with white rice, black beans, spices and lime juice. It can also served a vegetarian main dish.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 5 servings
Calories 277kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice long grain or jasmine rice
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 15-ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice 1-2 limes, or more to taste
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a 3-quart saute pan or saucepan. Add onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened.
  • Add garlic, cumin, bay leaf and the rice and toast for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth and add salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low for 20 minutes. Resist the urge to peak or the rice won’t cook properly.
  • Meanwhile, drain and rinse the black beans. Set aside.
  • Once the rice is fully cooked, stir with a spoon to fluff. Remove the bay leaf and discard it. Stir in the black beans and lime juice. Cover with the lid and let sit for about 5 minutes to warm the beans. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately.

Notes

Storage – Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Freeze – Cool and store in a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months.
Reheating – Microwave for 60-90 seconds, stirring at least once. If it seems a little dry, add a tablespoon of water and heat for another 30 seconds to rehydrate.

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 239mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Keyword black beans and rice

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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