Easy Black Beans and Rice

Black beans and rice is such a classic combination, especially in Caribbean or Southern cooking. There are probably dozens of ways to make it; this one is an easy recipe that cooks up quick and tastes great.

Now, if you are really serious about your beans you’ll soak dry black beans overnight and then cook them for an hour or two first, but then that wouldn’t be quick and easy. So we’ll save that approach for another recipe.

This recipe is better for a “the chicken is on the grill, what am I going to serve it with?” side dish, and uses canned black beans. By the way, my pal David recommends mixing some chopped up canned green olives, the ones with pimentos in them, for giving an additional boost to basic black beans and rice.

Easy Black Beans and Rice Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (for added flavor you can substitute roasted red bell peppers or some chopped pimentos)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 16-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • A few dashes of Tabasco or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 heaping Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Lime wedges and cilantro for garnish


1 Cook rice according to package instructions. White rice usually takes 15 minutes to cook once the water is simmering, and 10 minutes to sit.

2 Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high. Sauté onions and bell peppers for 3-4 minutes, until just beginning to soften, then add garlic and sauté a minute more. Add the black beans, vinegar and Tabasco or cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

3 Stir in rice and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Showing 4 of 31 Comments

  • platy

    I’m loving the vegetarian friendly recipes from you, Elise!


  • Jerry

    What a fantastic quickie version! This one is definitely going in my “go to” file, though I’ll avoid the olives, we use those for my wife’s Puerto Rican Rice.

  • itzpapalotl

    Mmm.. In Costa Rica we call this Gallo Pinto, it’s our typical breakfast dish. It needs special “Lizano” sauce added in the end, but the idea is the same! Also in the caribbean coast it is prepared with coconut milk and jalapeños. Always delicious!

  • Preeta

    I make versions of this all the time with whatever I have on hand, and I love it! I make it extra spicy and I love to put lots of cilantro leaves on at the end. Alas I can’t make the quickie version because I live in a small town in France and there are no canned black beans here. But it’s really no trouble to soak and boil the dried ones — it only requires foresight, not work, so I don’t mind.

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