This black beans and rice recipe is cilantro lime rice and black beans, all cooked together to make a savory and flavorful side dish. Black beans and rice are perfect when paired with grilled meats or served alongside Mexican or Cuban food.
My local Cuban restaurant serves up the best version of black beans and rice, and this is my take on the classic dish. It’s ready in under 30 minutes, and is packed with plenty of bold flavors. You can serve this as a side dish, wrap it up in a burrito for a fabulous Mexican style meal, or eat it as a meatless main course.
How do you make black beans and rice?
This dish starts with garlic and onions, which are sauteed in a little olive oil until tender. The rice goes into the pot next, along with chicken broth. Once the rice is cooked through, canned black beans are stirred into the mix. The final step is a generous amount of lime juice and chopped cilantro. Fluff your rice with a fork, then serve and enjoy!
Tips for black beans and rice
- I recommend using a long grain white rice for this dish. I typically use standard long grain rice or basmati rice. Short grain rice tends to be stickier which doesn’t work as well in this preparation.
- I use canned black beans for this recipe because it cuts the prep time down to just 10 minutes. If you prefer, you can cook your own black beans from dried beans.
- Make sure to drain and rinse your black beans before you add them to the rice.
- You can make this dish vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- I know that there are many people who don’t enjoy cilantro. You can substitute green onions for cilantro if you prefer.
- Fresh lime juice is necessary for this recipe; don’t use the stuff that comes in a bottle.
- This dish makes for great leftovers! You can store your beans in the rice in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat the mixture in the microwave or over low heat on the stove top.
Beans and rice variations
This is a basic recipe for beans and rice, you can add a variety of other ingredients to make your own flavor combination.
- Vegetables: Try adding vegetables such as diced tomato, corn kernels, red bell pepper, green chiles or diced zucchini.
- Beans: You can use pinto beans instead of black beans.
- Cheese: Try adding a sprinkle of cotija, cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.
- Spices: You can add other seasonings to the mix such as chili powder, crushed chili flakes or ground coriander.
I make this beans and rice almost every week, my kids adore it! It’s one of those staple recipes that goes well with so many different cuisines.
More great side dish recipes
Black Beans and Rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice uncooked
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cups chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 15 ounce cans black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- cilantro sprigs and lime wedges for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
- Add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the cumin, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring the pot to a boil.
- Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Stir the beans into the rice. Cover the pot and let sit off the heat for 3-5 minutes or until beans are warmed through.
- Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Fluff the rice with a fork. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, then serve.