Arroz Moro (Cuban Black Beans and Rice)

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 in a green bowl on a dinner table with a salad.

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.

green bowl filled with arroz moro on a dinner table

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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.


ingredients for arroz moro on a white table
  • 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.

garlic frying in oil in a saucepan with a wooden spoon in it

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.

cooked black beans and rice in a saucepan

Uncover and fluff with a fork. The fork separates the grains so the rice is fluffy.

fork fluffing cuban black beans and rice in a saucepan.

You can also see the step-by-step instructions here on Google!


What type of rice is best for Arroz Moro?

Choose a long-grain white rice such as basmati or jasmine. It may also just be labeled “long grain white rice”.

Can I use jarred garlic instead of fresh?

You can substitute one tablespoon of jarred garlic in place of the fresh garlic cloves.

Can I use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic?

You can replace the fresh garlic with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.

Can I make this dish ahead?

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.

dinner plate with steak, cuban rice, plantains, and salad with a gold fork.

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.

arroz moro in a green bowl.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

arroz moro in a green bowl.

Arroz Moro (Cuban Black Beans and Rice)

Published by Kate
A simple, Cuban inspired dish of black beans and rice. Serve with grilled skirt steak, tacos, or fajitas! 
4.78 from 31 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine cuban
Servings 8 servings
Calories 282 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, undrained
  • 2 cups white rice (I used basmati)
  • 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.



The garlic will cook quickly in the hot oil. Take care not to burn the garlic. Have the water ready to add to the pot, and add it quickly if you see the garlic starting to turn brown. 
I chose not to rinse the rice for this dish. If you desire rice that’s less sticky/starchy, then rinse the rice before adding it to the pot. 
Promptly store any leftover rice in the refrigerator. It will keep for 3–4 days in a covered container. To reheat, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of water on top of the rice and place it in a covered dish. Microwave for 1–2 minutes, or until hot. 
I don’t recommend freezing the rice, which can compromise the texture of the beans.


Calories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 10gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 701mgPotassium: 380mgFiber: 8gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg
Keyword arroz moro, black beans and rice
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times. It super easy to make, and very yummy. It’s a great side dish.

  2. i love how you have included the nutritional info. but could you list what exactly is a serving size? how many grams, ounces or cups?

  3. 5 stars
    Hello! I just wanted to say how thankful I am for this recipe. I grew up in WPB, Fl where the Havana restaurant is and Arroz Moro has always been one of my favorites from there. Now living across the country, I have made this recipe so many times. It’s been awhile so I just came back to check the specs, I love it so much !

  4. Very nice and well explained recipe i ll try so i can revive my memories of cuba. Just one critic: you can easily find beans that are not in cans. Would have been nice to get the recipe without readymade stuff even if you know, i m beeing peeky.

  5. I often visit Havana just for this rice. Today I decided to search for a Arroz Moro recipes. Was happy to see you compare this to the rice served at Havana.

    1. I hope I did the rice justice—I absolutely loved it at Havana and wish we lived closer! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Patrice! It’s one of our go-tos for an easy side dish at our house. 🙂

4.78 from 31 votes (27 ratings without comment)

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