Black Beans and Rice – one of the best side dishes ever that’s easy to prepare yet very versatile. Can be thrown together as a side for your favorite meat or a hearty meal on its own.
Black beans and rice is a classic dish from Latin American cuisine with different variations from country to country. Among the popular ones are the Puerto Rican, Cuban and Mexican black beans and rice. Though they are almost alike, these three slightly vary with its seasonings.
Take for example, the Puerto Rican version uses seasonings like adobo, sazon and sofrito which are popular in Puerto Rican cooking. On the other hand, the Mexican version has chipotle peppers (or any type of peppers), cherry tomatoes and sour cream. It is said to have been influenced by the Cuban version that cooks the rice together with the beans.
This version here maybe a fusion of all those three, but I guarantee you that you’ll love this as much as you love the authentic ones. So let’s dive right in.
Are Black Beans Low Carb?
Black beans are a staple here at home. In fact, my grocery list won’t be complete without bags of it. I just love how it makes you full longer than your usual sammy or salads, however, black beans are actually high in carbohydrates.
Wait….wait.. hold your thoughts right there. They are high in carbohydrates, but it is balanced with its high fiber content. According to this, a 1/2 cup serving of black beans has 20 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fiber.
Numerous studies have shown that a fiber-rich diet helps maintain weight goals and aids in weight loss. And if you’re cutting back on sugar, black beans is a perfect choice as it contains ZERO sugar with a little fat and loads of protein.
Can I Eat Black Beans and Rice Every Day?
While this combination may be a staple in Central American and Latin American countries, as well as in some Southern parts of the U.S., eating pure black beans and rice daily could lead to other nutritional deficiencies. Even if you keep it completely vegan style and low in sodium and fat, the USDA recommends that you also eat a variety of proteins, leafy greens, starchy vegetables, fruits.. in short.. a balanced diet.
Can I Use Brown Rice?
Yes, you definitely can. Please take note though that since brown rice still has its outer bran coating, it’ll take longer to cook compared to white rice. Thus, you need to add more water when cooking it. A good rule of thumb would be for every cup of brown rice, you should add 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Stick to it, and you’ll have no worries.
Do I Need to Cook Canned Black Beans?
Canned beans are a staple here at home. It’s one of those inexpensive ingredient that can always save your meal. For this recipe, I use canned black beans primarily for two reasons: it’s what I have in my pantry and it’s quick and easy to use. No soaking needed or pre-cooking. Those black beans in a can are already pre-cooked. All you have to do is drain and rinse them thoroughly to get rid of that thick and goopy liquid that’s full of sodium. But if you’re pressed for time, you may use dried beans and cook them beforehand.
Tip: When substituting canned beans to dried beans, follow this rule: 1 cup of dried beans is equals to 2 (15-ounce) cans of beans. Dried beans actually increases in weight and volume as they cook.
Black Beans and Rice Add-ins
Aside from listed in the ingredient list, you may add-in a couple more to make this dish black beans and rice even heartier and delicious:
- fresh chopped tomatoes
- bell pepper
- pitted black or green olives
- bacon bits
- ground or diced meat
- diced jalapenos
More Tasty Recipes Using Black Beans
Baked Stuffed Plantains with Black Beans (with video)
What to Serve with Black Beans and Rice
Cooking outside this coming 4th of July? This rice recipe here pairs well with your grilled meat. So go ahead and grab the ingredients for this recipe!
How To Make Black Beans and Rice
Add spices: Creole or taco seasoning cumin, paprika, bouillon and cayenne pepper. Continue stirring for about a minute. Then add in the rinsed rice and toast until lightly brown, about 2 minutes.
Pour in chicken broth or water and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil stirring once or twice, reduce heat to low and place tightly fitting lid on the pot. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid has been completely absorbed. Use a fork or serving spoon to fluff the rice and bean mixture. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges and serve.
Black Beans and Rice - one of the best side dishes ever that's easy to prepare yet very versatile. Can be thrown together as a side to your favorite meat or a hearty meal on its own.
- 2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon (0.80 g) fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons creole, or taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon (2.60 g) cumin
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) bouillon powder
- ¼ teaspoon (2 g) cayenne pepper
- 2 cups (370 g) long grain white rice , rinsed and drained
- 2 14-ounce cans black beans , rinsed and drained
- 4 cups (1 L) chicken broth or water
- salt and pepper to taste
- freshly chopped cilantro and lime wedges to serve
In a large Dutch oven pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Sauté until fragrant and onions is translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
Add spices: Creole or Taco seasoning, cumin, paprika, bouillon and cayenne
pepper. Continue stirring for about a minute. Then add in the rinsed rice and
toast until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Next add in the beans and stir for
about a minute.
Pour in chicken broth or water and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil stirring once or twice, reduce heat to low and place tightly fitting lid on the pot. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid has been completely absorbed.
Use a fork or serving spoon to fluff the rice and bean mixture. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges and serve.
- When substituting canned beans to dried beans, follow this rule: 1 cup of dried beans is equals to 2 (15-ounce) cans of beans. Dried beans actually increases its weight and volume as they cook.
- Drain and rinse canned black beans thoroughly to get rid off that thick and goopy liquid that’s full of sodium.
- You may substitute it with brown rice, but have to adjust cooking time and rice to liquid ratio as brown rice cooks longer than white rice (almost double the time). For every cup of brown rice, you should add 2 1/2 cups of liquid.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.