Savory Black Beans and Rice

This is our favorite black beans and rice recipe – it’s really easy to make, and the beans turn out savory, with enough garlic and spices to make them deeply flavorful. They’re a yummy accompaniment to Monterey Chicken (shown in the photo), Easy Chicken Quesadillas, or any dinner to which you want to add a healthy side.

Monterey Chicken with Savory Black Beans and Rice - The Sweet Road

Savory Black Beans and Rice
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 - 8
This recipe can be easily halved.
  • 2 cups Dried Black Beans
  • 12 cups Water (divided)
  • ⅔ cups Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 1 large Yellow Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (chopped)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Whole Bay Leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano (Mexican, if you have it)
  • 1 tablespoon Epazote (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3-4 cups Cooked, Long-Grain Rice
  1. Rinse beans well, discarding debris and rocks. Put beans and 6 cups of water in a large pot and soak for at least 5 hours, or overnight. Just before cooking, drain and rinse the beans. Place in the pot with the remaining 6 cups of water.
  2. Add the olive oil, wine, onion, green pepper, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, epazote, cumin, coriander, pepper, salt, and sugar to the beans. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beans are soft. Add the red wine vinegar and simmer, uncovered, to thicken the beans until ready to serve, about 15 minutes.
  3. Discard the bay leaf and serve over rice, about ½ cup of cooked rice per serving.
This recipe uses dried black beans, so you need to factor in soaking time. But don't be daunted by the extra step of soaking - the results are worth it! I usually get out the beans the night before I'm going to use them and let them soak overnight. Recipe adapted from Maile Soto's "Cuban Black Beans and Rice" from Penzey's Spices One Magazine. The original recipe calls for 45 minutes of simmering time to soften the beans, but I find that I need closer to 1 hour or even more. So leave yourself plenty of time the first time you make them so you can experiment with how long your beans need to cook before they're soft. Note on canned beans: Because I can't find canned black beans in Spain, I haven't yet tried this recipe using with them, but I would imagine that you could use 4 15-oz. cans of beans, rinsed and drained. Add the same amount of spices, but cut way back on the salt, and only add one or two cups of water. Please experiment and let me know how it works out!


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