Perfect Black Beans and Rice

I love anything with black beans. I could probably eat black beans every day and never get tired of them.  So many delicious possibilities.

Even though they may not look like much, these are easily the best black beans I’ve ever made; the spices are just perfect. They also don’t require any time-consuming soaking, and still come out soft and evenly cooked.


Perfect Black Beans and Rice

Adapted slightly from Dinosaur Bar B Que An American Roadhouse
These Cuban-style black beans are fantastic over white rice. Serve plain, or topped with anything from cilantro, diced onion, or cheese to diced avocado. A nice salad or some grilled veggies, would make this a perfect vegetarian dinner. 
The Beans
2 cups black beans
3 to 8 cups water
1/2 large onion, diced 
1/2 green pepper, diced 
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 
Black pepper
The Sofrito
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
pinch of kosher salt
3 large cloves garlic, chopped 
The Finish
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup dry sherry 
Tabasco sauce, to taste

Sort through the dry black beans and pick out any little stones or shriveled up beans. Rinse beans and then add to large saucepan. Add 3 cups of water, and remaining bean ingredients. Turn the heat to high, and bring mixture to a boil. Cover the pan, leaving lid slightly cracked, so steam can get out. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, adding remaining water 1 cup at a time as it absorbs into the beans. Stir every so often so beans cook evenly. My beans only needed 6 cups of water. When the beans are done, they should be soft, and the water should have turned to black “gravy”.

For the sofrito, heat vegetable oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables are soft. Add garlic and cook one additional minute. Add to beans, stir and remove bay leaf.

To finish beans, stir in all of the finishing spices.

Serve with white rice. Our rice of choice is Jasmine rice.


  1. says

    Hi Heather,

    This looks great. I’m an American living in Germany, where plain canned black beans are unobtainable. Could you tell me what kind of dried black beans you used? I’ve tried to make them from dried before and they were just not right.


    • says

      Hi Sarah! I used Goya’s standard dry Black Beans. Not sure how helpful that is if you’re in Germany, but the beans are jet black, slightly shiny and about 9-9.5 mm long. Hope this helps!

  2. Karla Germany says

    Not sure if this comment is still needed for Sarah in Germany, but I am also living in Germany and can get dried black beans from local Asia shops or online from, actually, even the Metro and Handelshof have them too! Good luck and happy cooking!

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