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.

Rice is the ultimate easy side dish, whether it’s Mexican rice, rice pilaf or this black beans and rice dish, it’s sure to be a big hit!

Black beans and rice in a pot topped with cilantro sprigs.

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.

This recipe is a perfect side dish for my favorite Mexican and Cuban dishes like a taco bake, albondigas soup, chicken fajita foil packets and a Cuban sandwich. Make this rice with your favorite entree!

Black Bean And Rice Ingredients

To make this delicious black beans and rice dish you will need olive oil, onion, garlic, white rice, cumin, chicken broth, black beans, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Onions, garlic, white rice and spices in a pot.

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 and seasonings. 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!

Cooked rice and black beans in a pot.

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 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.

Quick Tip

Fresh lime juice is necessary for this recipe; don’t use the stuff that comes in a bottle.

Rice and beans mixed together in a red pot.

Recipe FAQs

Do I need to cook canned black beans?

You do not need to cook canned black beans, they are cooked and edible in the can. However, you will want to drain and rinse black beans. Warming the beans, like in this recipe, makes them taste better.

What are the benefits of eating rice and beans together?

Beans and rice have complementary proteins that when eaten together provide all the essential amino acids making them complete proteins. Beans are also high in fiber and low in fat. They are a good option for part of a nutritious meal.

How long do black beans and rice stay good in the fridge?

Black beans and rice is perfect for leftovers. You can store your beans in the rice in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Reheat the mixture in the microwave or over low heat on the stove top.

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A plate of black beans and rice with grilled pork and Mexican corn.

Black 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.
  • 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 or add a little of my taco seasoning or fajita seasoning.
  • Beans: You can use pinto beans instead of black beans. If you want creamy pinto beans, try my Mexican pinto beans and rice!

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

Love This Recipe?

Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

4.98 from 34 votes

Black Beans and Rice

AuthorSara Welch
Black beans and rice in a pot topped with cilantro sprigs.
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.
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Cuban
Serves 8

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Make sure to drain and rinse your black beans before you add them to the rice.
  4. Fresh lime juice is necessary for this recipe; don’t use the stuff that comes in a bottle.

Nutrition

Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 325mg | Potassium: 129mg | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 8.4mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I just made this tonight to go with an Instant Pot herbed pork roast, and it was so delicious.
    I love rice and beans of any kind.

    I thought it could use a little more lime juice, which I will add to the leftovers. I have leftover lime juice from the one I squeezed.

    I don’t usually make changes the first time I try a recipe, but it seemed like two cans of black beans was too much, so I used one, and substituted the other with canned corn and added it at the same time as the beans…that’s the only reason for 4 stars.

    Thank you for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Tried this last night. I am gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free and this recipe was great with those restrictions.

    Simple ingredients, easy to make and very delicious! It is a keeper in my recipe box!

  3. 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe! To make a main dish, I added cooked andouille sausage (cut into wedges) and it’s awesome!

    Thanks,
    Mary

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful! I make it in my Instant Pot and it is super quick and easy. It’s our go to when we have burritos or tacos for dinner.

      1. 5 stars
        There is usually a 1 to 1 ratio for the rice in an Instant Pot. 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water/broth. Cooking times vary depending on the type of rice you are using. So for this recipe, I would reduce the broth amount to match the rice and cook for 3 minutes, natural release for 10 minutes.

      2. 5 stars
        Hi- I followed the recipe exactly as is- but used my instapot. I do rinse and soak my rice (6 rinses and the final 7th I let it sit for a while then rinse) then added as the recipe said and used about 3 cups homemade broth. Hit the rice button and when natural release happened I added the beans and cilantro. Great recipe to accompany a lot of things!

  5. 5 stars
    So yummy!! And Thank you for explaining cutting against the grain. I never really understood that but your diagram was awesome and made my meat fantastic!!!

  6. 5 stars
    Enjoyed this recipe last night with our fajita dinner and it was the perfect combo! Making this again tomorrow! Delicious!

  7. Oh my gosh this looks amazing! What are the other foods on the plate picture? Chicken? Do you have recipes for the whole meal?

  8. 5 stars
    Such a classic combination, especially in Caribbean or Southern cooking. Thanks, Sara for sharing!

  9. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love black beans and rice — one of my favorites!

  10. 5 stars
    I love one-pot rice meals and haven’t tried beans and rice together yet. Such a simple, excellent idea!