Easy Black Beans and Rice

Quick and easy black beans and rice with onion, bell pepper, garlic, Tabasco, oregano, and white rice.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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 the rice: 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 Sauté onions, bell peppers, garlic: 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.

3 Add beans, vinegar, Tabasco, then simmer: Add the black beans, vinegar and Tabasco or cayenne. Bring vinegar to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

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

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Easy Black Beans and Rice

Showing 4 of 32 Comments

  • platy

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


  • Allison

    I loved the color in this dish. I used red, green and orange peppers. I was hoping for a little more umph in flavor, but I served it as a side to enchiladas and it was perfect. Thank you!

  • john

    I thought this needed a little extra flavor, so I added feta cheese crumbles – worked well.

    Elise, I love your website. You do a nice job, and your passion for good food really comes through!

    Thanks John! Good suggestion on the feta crumbles too. :-) ~Elise

  • Rachel

    I’ve been using this beans and rice recipe for a long time now. I was initially drawn in by the beautiful photo and I stick with it because it’s easy to make and easy to vary, but always draws loads of compliments from friends who try it. Thanks so much Elise and family!

  • Catherine

    I have been making my own version of Black Beans and Rice for years. I always saute garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil first, sometimes adding chopped green onion, or any onion. Then I add the black beans, cumin, hot sauce or jalepenos, and some kind of citrus like fresh lime juice or orange juice. I have even used fresh grapefruit juice when in a bind! I also add a bit of brown sugar. Then with the fair amount of citrus juice that I have added, I slowly simmer the beans for a bit so they absorb flavor. I like to keep the dish fairly wet. At the end I add some thawed sweet corn and chopped carrots to give it some “health”, and cilantro if I have it around. Then I put some basmati rice in a bowl, top it with the beans, then top that with shredded Monteray Jack! It is a meal in itself and my kids love it.

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