This simple rice recipe has just 5 ingredients, and it’s ready in 30 minutes! It’s the perfect side dish for chicken, fish, beef, and more.
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 Longe to do the same. As soon as we took a bite, we both fell in love with Arroz Moro.
Many recipes call for ingredients like peppers, onions, oregano, and even bacon. But Havana, where we ate, kept it simple. And so does this recipe.
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.
What to serve with Arroz Moro
I served Arroz Moro for a small dinner party. I made Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce as the main dish. Skirt steak is on the pricier side for my dinner parties, so I wanted a low-cost side dish. Arroz Moro fit the bill perfectly, along with 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. And since you are combining beans and rice in the same pot, it’s like getting two dishes in one! I frequently make it as a side dish for dinner instead of plain rice.
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.