Learn how to make my favorite quick, healthy, and affordable weeknight dinner, Black Beans and Rice!
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After college, I moved to Florida with my boyfriend (now husband). We lived in St. Petersburg, and the whole thing was kind of a disaster. From the minute I arrived in August, I was overwhelmed by the weather, and I soon found out that my car’s A/C was iffy at best. Moving day was hellish, and that kind of set the tone for my whole Florida adventure.
I didn’t even last a year … ha!
It wasn’t all bad though, and one of the highlights was working at the arts center downtown. My job wasn’t the greatest, but I loved my co-workers. Almost everyone came from a creative background, and I enjoyed being surrounded by art and artists every day.
During the holidays, our staff had a potluck, and that was the first time I tried real Black Beans and Rice. One of my co-workers (an older Cuban lady) brought a huge pot of black beans, which she had cooked from scratch, starting with dried beans. It was so good!
After that party, I only lasted a few more months in Florida before I was Audi 5000! I left just as the weather was heating up again … I wasn’t sticking around for summer.
Once I returned to Wisconsin’s cooler climes, I came up with my own easy version of that Cuban Black Beans and Rice. I’m not claiming that this is an authentic Cuban recipe, but it’s very tasty, and I’ve been making it ever since!
Black Beans and Rice is one of those dishes that’s super basic, yet totally delicious. The ingredients are all very healthy, and it doesn’t get much more budget friendly,
My easy version of the classic black beans with rice recipe is quick to make (no dried beans) and so delicious. It’s the perfect meal for busy weeknights!
How to Cook Black Beans and Rice
My Black Beans and Rice recipe starts with a base of sauteed onions and green peppers. Once the veggies start to brown, you’ll add a mixture of garlic and spices for lots of flavor.
I typically drain and rinse canned beans before adding them to recipes, but for this one, I include the liquid that clings to the beans. Just drain a little off the top before you add the beans to the veggies, and what’s left will create a tasty sauce.
Then, there’s the rice. I usually use brown rice since it’s healthier. White rice is more traditional though, and it cooks faster, so use whatever kind you prefer. If you do use brown rice, make sure to start it before the beans, because it takes longer to cook.
For extra flavor, I like to cook my rice with a cube of vegetable bouillon added to the water. Have you ever tried that?
Once your beans and rice are ready, it’s time to eat. You won’t believe all the flavor that’s packed into this simple dish.
Pair this easy Black Beans and Rice recipe with a salad, and you’ve got dinner on the table fast. Make it tonight!
This easy Black Beans and Rice recipe makes a delicious, fast, and affordable week night meal or side dish!
- 1 cup white or brown rice
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, lightly drained but not rinsed
- chopped cilantro, optional
Cook rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Saute onions and green pepper in oil until softened and lightly browned around the edges.
Mix in garlic, cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes; cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
Stir in black beans, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until liquid from the beans is reduced/forms a sauce and veggies are tender. Add a little water if the beans get too dry.
Serve beans over rice, sprinkled with cilantro if desired. Enjoy!
This Black Beans and Rice is a Hello Little Home classic! I originally published the recipe way back in November 2014, which feels so long ago at this point. My photo skills have improved drastically since then (if I do say so myself), and it was time for a photo update.
I hope you’ll give it a try … it really is one of my go to recipes!
And if you love Black Beans and Rice as much as I do, you can check out all of my black bean recipes or start with these faves:
- Baked Black Bean Taquitos
- Smokey Black Bean Edamame Burgers
- Black Bean and Cream Cheese Enchiladas
- Cheesy Baked Black Bean Dip
What is your favorite weeknight meal?