This easy recipe shows you how to make Cuban-style black beans and rice using canned beans!
I’m pretty sure I could serve my husband black beans and rice every day and he’d be fine with it. The night before deployment I made his favorite roast pork tenderloin with black beans & rice and a side of plantains. He loved it. Some people might want a fancy dinner out before leaving or after returning home, but he always wants his Cuban favorites.
My husband is always excited about made from scratch Cuban black beans, but on normal days I use canned black beans that I doctor up a bit. This “weeknight” easy Cuban black bean recipe is what I’m sharing here today. In addition to using canned black beans, I also use bacon in this recipe instead of smoked ham hocks. The bacon really adds that certain something, but it is optional. If you don’t have bacon or don’t eat it, feel free to leave it out for a vegetarian-friendly dish.
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Yes, those are dominoes in the background! Cubans love their dominoes. Dominoes is the national game of Cuba. Traditional Cuban dominoes is played a little differently (with two teams of two) and is almost always played with a “double nine” set (which this set is!).
I classify black beans and rice as both an entree and a side. This recipe makes enough that four people could easily have it as a generous side helping, or two could eat it as and entree (probably with a few leftovers).
We’ll have them as a side sometimes, but I know how much Papi Chulo loves black beans and rice. Or, honestly, even just rice. We have this special rice wooden rice spoon from Cuba that he conditions with Beekeeper’s Gold, a cutting board conditioner, and we use it every single time we have rice. (Edit – now I have my own, all-natural cutting board polish recipe!)
So now that you know how to make your black beans and rice experience extra-authenic with a game of dominoes and a prized rice spoon, let’s get to the recipe!
For the beans
For the rice
For the rice
If you’re not going with the vegetarian option and want even more flavor, use chicken stock instead of water. It adds a little something extra!
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Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher and certified life coach. She shares her passion for education with craft tutorials and free printables. She also shares her experience moving through grief after losing a parent and passion for positive parenting. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.