This simple recipe for Cuban Black Beans and Rice is also known as Arroz Moro. It has just five ingredients, and it’s ready in 30 minutes!
Arroz Moro is a simple combination of garlic, black beans, and rice. That’s it! The tender rice contrasts nicely with the slightly chewy beans, and the faint flavor of garlic permeates the whole pot.
I first encountered Arroz Moro at a Cuban restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was a side dish option to accompany my grilled skirt steak, and I chose it because I saw it at the table next to ours.
It came out in a little dome, dark black and intriguing. I had to try it, and convinced my husband to do the same. As soon as I took a bite, I knew I had to take careful notes so that I could re-create it at home!
Many Cuban rice recipes call for ingredients like peppers, onions, oregano, and even bacon. But Havana, where we ate, kept it simple. And so does this recipe.
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Origin of arroz moro
Arroz Moro is also known as Moros & Christianos. Moros refers to Muslims and Christianos to Christians.
The groups battled for centuries in Spain until learning to live peaceably together in the 15th century. The mixture of black beans and rice in the same pot refers to this latter period of peace.
- We’ll sauté garlic in olive oil to add lots of flavor to the rice. Don’t skip it!
- I used long grain white rice for this. Jasmine, basmati, or rice simply labeled “long grain white rice” is great for this.
- Unlike most recipes, we won’t drain the black beans. The liquid gets added to the rice instead!
How to make Cuban black beans and rice
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Take care not to let it burn—have the water handy to add quickly if it begins to turn a deep shade of brown.
Add the rice, black beans (including the liquid), water, and salt to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the stove. Let stand 5 minutes.
Uncover and fluff with a fork. The fork separates the grains so the rice is fluffy.
You can also see the step-by-step instructions here on Google!
Choose a long-grain white rice such as basmati or jasmine. It may also just be labeled “long grain white rice”.
You can substitute one tablespoon of jarred garlic in place of the fresh garlic cloves.
You can replace the fresh garlic with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
I don’t recommend making Arroz Moro ahead of time. Like most rice dishes, it’s best eaten right after cooking.
Storing and reheating
Any leftover rice should be stored in the refrigerator promptly after serving. Place it in a covered container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
To reheat the rice, place it in a microwave-safe dish and sprinkle it with a teaspoon or two of water. Cover and microwave for 1–2 minutes, or until piping hot throughout.
What to serve with Arroz Moro
To keep with the Cuban theme, Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce is the perfect main dish to serve with this rice recipe.
Arroz Moro is also an easy side dish for grilled steak, roast chicken, or even salmon.
When I served the rice and steak for a dinner party, I added a big salad and fried plantains.
My guests gobbled it up! It’s a crowd-pleasing side dish that almost everyone loves. It would also pair well with tacos or fajitas.
I frequently make it as a side dish for dinner instead of plain rice.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Arroz Moro (Cuban Black Beans and Rice)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, undrained
- 2 cups white rice (I used basmati)
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally.
- Add black beans (including the liquid), rice, salt, and 3 cups water.
- Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
- Let sit for 5 minutes off the heat, covered. Fluff with a fork and serve.