A Tasty Twist on Tradition: Black Bean Rice Recipe

Rice dishes are a mainstay of Caribbean food with red bean rice and the iconic rice and peas being among the most cherished. However, for those seeking a delightful alternative that maintains the essence of tradition while introducing a novel flavor, black bean rice emerges as a tantalizing option. This recipe for black bean rice is not just a side dish; it’s a hearty, nutritious, and flavorful complement to any meal, offering a new twist on beloved classics.


– 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and drained
– 2 cups long-grain white rice
– 1 large onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 bell pepper, diced (color of your choice for added visual appeal)
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1 bay leaf
– 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (for a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth)
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable oil
– Salt and black pepper to taste
– Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)


1. Prepare the Beans: In a large pot, cover the soaked and drained black beans with fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender but not falling apart, about 1 to 1.5 hours. Drain and set aside.

2. Cook the Aromatics: Heat the coconut or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper, sautéing until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent.

3. Spice It Up: Stir in the ground cumin, dried oregano, and bay leaf, cooking for another minute until the spices are fragrant.

4. Combine Beans and Rice: Add the cooked black beans to the skillet, along with the rice. Stir well to ensure the rice is coated with the aromatics and spices.

5. Add Broth: Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

6. Finish and Serve: Once the rice is cooked, remove the bay leaf and fluff the rice with a fork. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

This black bean rice recipe not only stands out for its robust flavors and nutritional value but also for its versatility. It pairs wonderfully with grilled meats, seafood, or vegetables, making it a perfect addition to any meal, from casual family dinners to more festive gatherings. The black beans offer a rich, slightly earthy taste and a wonderful creamy texture that complements the fluffy rice, while the aromatics and spices imbue the dish with a depth of flavor that’s both comforting and invigorating.

By embracing this delightful alternative to more traditional rice dishes, you’re not just expanding your culinary repertoire; you’re also celebrating the spirit of innovation that lies at the heart of Caribbean cuisine. So, the next time you’re in the mood for something familiar yet refreshingly different, let black bean rice be your go-to choice for a meal that’s as satisfying as it is nutritious.