Easy Black Beans and Rice

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

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


  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin 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 tablespoons white vinegar
  • A few dashes of Tabasco or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano OR 1 heaping tablespoon 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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  • [email protected]

    Recipe sounds delicious. Want to make it tonight. Are the nutrients, per serving, available for this dish?

  • Lisa

    can I substitute red beans or pinto?

  • Theresa

    How much does this make? It says six servings but doesn’t say how much is a serving. I need a cup of refried black beans for a recipe and this looks great.

    • Carrie Havranek

      Hi Theresa! Yes, the recipe yields 6 servings. If you want to make a cup of refried black beans, I don’t think you will have an issue, because you’re using two cans of black beans for this recipe. Should be plenty!

  • Rachel

    This has been my go to recipe for years. Thanks so much for all you’ve given us Elise!


  • Big fan

    This is a very helpful recipe. I have a “go to” recipe for Puerto Rican style chicken (pan seared and then simmered in a “sofrito” made from scratch), and this give me an alternative to “arroz con gandules” (pigeon peas and rice).

    Love the splash of vinegar.

    • Gail

      Is the vinegar just for flavor? Also, your chicken sounds amazing.

  • Max T

    Maybe I am a dummy, but in step 2, when it says: “Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes”, I don’t understand what there is to boil, other than 2 tbls of vinegar, after having washed and drained the beans.

    I added a bit of water so that there was something to boil.

    Also, what’s the function of the vinegar, for flavor only? I would probably try again without the vinegar, if it’s only purpose is to add flavor.

    Yes, simmer the vinegar, which heat the beans. The acid in the vinegar intensifies the flavor of the dish, so I would not omit it. ~Elise

    • Will C.

      I was also wondering when it said bring to boil. There was hardly any liquid. Hmmm.

      • Elise Bauer

        I just clarified the wording in the recipe so it is more clear that you want the vinegar to simmer.

  • Latresha

    I also have dry black beans. Once I soak them overnight what is the next step. I dont have a pressure cooker. Do I boil them & then add them into the already cooked rice

    • Dena Parker

      You cook like any other dried bean.

  • Gloria Sumner

    Thanks for the great beans and rice recipes! I am German who is making rice and beans for 40 people for the first time. Our church has a welcome dinner for the migrants who come to a large local corn grower for harvest. Now I feel confident I will be able to make them feel like they are getting a “taste of home” and not some bland, unfamiliar dish!

  • Cassie

    Not sure how I feel about the oregano. Otherwise, absolutely delicious!! Even added some cumin, mmmmm

  • Sarah

    Yummy recipe….I’ve made something very similar in the past. I use Basmati rice almost exclusively with black beans…they compliment each other well, especially when mixed with cilantro and lime!

  • Elise Lafosse

    I have made this recipe alot, especially when for some reason we are low on money during a week and need to make a budget recipe. Just want to say that we often add some kielbasa to get some meet in the dish and it is quite good. Thanks for this recipe…Elise

  • Anna

    I loooooove this. It makes me miss Costa Rica so bad. I could live off of gallo pinto and ceviche (and margaritas).

  • Dan

    What a great dish! I added a serrano pepper for added spice. I also added a 14oz can of diced tomatoes, though I don’t know whether I’ll do that the next time. Following other comments, I also added a dash of cumin. And for health reasons, I used brown rice. An excellent combo! Thanks so much.

  • Theresa

    This was disappointing. Not much flavor. Needs lots of sprucing up. It’s healthy, but not much else.

    I suggest checking out the spicy citrusy black beans recipe if you are looking for more flavor. ~Elise

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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!

  • Kristi

    Wow, these are amazing! I used one can of plain black beans and one seasoned and used Frank’s Hot Sauce (cayenne pepper sauce) and it turned out wonderful. The kids are gobbling it up too. Elise, thank you, I have yet to find a recipe on your site that we don’t absolutely love.

  • Max

    I don’t understand the boiling part for the beans…there is no liquid to boil, the beans are drained…am I missing something?

    There is vinegar. You are heating the beans through and infusing them with the boiling vinegar and Tabasco. ~Elise

  • N

    I love this recipe! I did cilantro instead of oregano, and added a few dashes of cumin. I also topped it with fresh avocado!!! It finishes the dish off perfectly!

  • Elena

    Uuummm!!! black beans and white rice ( arroz y caraotas in Venezuelan or Moros y Cristianos as in Cuba )are delicious in any combination, by themself or other dishes companion. There is not right or wrong, the best way to make them is the way how you like them.

  • Jenny

    I was a bit dubious about this as I’m not really into beans and definitely never heard of beans and rice (good Kiwi girl). Anyway, these were delicious and my little bub loved them too. Thanks

  • Fred Leal

    I’m from Brazil, and black beans and rice is a huge part of our everyday menu – specially in Rio de Janeiro (other states favour brown beans for everyday use, and black beans – feijoada – for special occasions).

    There’s no better way to cook black beans than soaking overnight, then cooking in high pressure for an hour or two. You can cook it with a fat slice of bacon, or some calabrese sausages. It goes great with roasted garlic and onions, too.

  • Stephen

    Nothing beats some good black beans and rice. When cooked together us Cubans call it Moros y Christianos. It signifies the dark skinned Moors (the black beans) and the white Christians (white rice). Interesting I think. To the poster with the canned bean question, when you buy cans of Cuban black beans they just add cumin and vinegar to the sludge. You get less beans and more liquid in the can but I’d rinse them anyways and add my own seasonings.

  • James

    Instead of using red bell peppers, try, if you can , to locate cachucha peppers. That is what the authentic cuban recipe calls for. My wife’s grandmother also uses plenty of lard AND tocino (salt pork). After the rice is cooked, the put it in with the beans and cook it until it’s lost most of the liquid. It’s called congris (cone-gree).

    Not the most healthy food for a white man, but delicious!

  • Karen Hunter

    Being from the South, I love beans and rice in any form or fashion…however, my boyfriend, who is from Chicago, just does not get it! I am having the darndest time convincing him that beans and rice is not only a tasty meal, but healthy. However, the tips presented here, especially the olives, which he loves, perhaps will make them more palatable to him. Although, I am sure they will never replace Polish sausage, Italian beed, and Gino’s East pizza in his mind and heart!

  • c

    Thanks for the great recipes. A little cinnamon adds great flavor as well!

  • A

    me – You can rinse the TJ Cuban black beans, and they’ll still have flavor. I use them to make quick black bean burgers – just rinse and drain, mash ’em up, add some bread crumbs and an egg, and bake.

  • me

    Silly cooking question: I recently purchased Cuban Flavored Black Beans from Trader Joe’s and think that they would be fantastic with this recipe, but I am a little uncertain as to how to use them. Do I still drain and rinse them? If so, does that make them loose all of their lovely flavor? Any thoughts? I fear that if I don’t rinse them, my rice will be blue and a little gross looking…

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • platy

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