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Cuban Beans and Yellow Rice

Beans and rice can be a simple, satisfying meal for the entire family. In Cuba, beans are often cooked with a seasoning mixture called sofrito, made from garlic, onion, bell pepper, tomato, cumin, and oregano. Try combining this version of Cuban beans and rice with a crisp green salad of lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes. Add a little sweetness with this fresh pineapple and banana salad.

Serves 8

Cuban Beans

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cans (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15-ounce) red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Yellow Rice

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1½ cups long grain white rice
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Make the Beans

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to cook, stirring often, for several minutes more. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened. Stir in the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the beans, water, and bay leaf, stirring to combine. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro.

Make the Rice

  1. In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turmeric and rice and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the water and salt, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Do not stir the rice. Let the rice sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  3. To serve: Spoon the beans over the yellow rice and serve with a wedge of fresh lime. Serve pineapple-banana salad and green salad on the side.
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