Slow Cooker Cuban Black Bean and Rice Bowls

Cuban-style black beans go tex-mex! Served with rice they are a satisfying meal in themselves, especially when you load them up with toppings like sour cream, tomatoes, avocado and tortilla chips for scooping.

Black beans have a ton of flavor all on their own. Their earthy flavor only intensifies when seasoned with oregano, bay leaf and cumin along with a sofrito of onion, bell pepper and garlic.

The goal is to cook the beans until they’re super soft and creamy so they just about melt in your mouth. You can mash up a cup or two of the beans and add them back to the pot for extra creaminess.

They’re best made in the slow cooker but I’ve also included the stove top method in the recipe. They are a bit of work as they call for dried beans that need soaking first. I included a quick method for that too.

The good thing is the recipe makes a lot so you can count on leftovers unless you’re feeding a crowd.



Slow Cooker Cuban Black Bean and Rice Bowls
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Cuban-style black beans go tex-mex! Served with rice and toppings they make a great meatless meal!
  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • for the bowls:
  • cooked rice
  • your choice of:
  • avocado/guacamole
  • sour cream
  • hot sauce
  • shredded cheese
  • diced tomatoes/salsa
  • tortilla chips
Soak the black beans using one of the methods below before using.
Stovetop Directions:
  1. Put beans, bay leaf, oregano, and 1 tablespoon of the oil into a large pot, then cover with cold water by 3". Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, adding more water as needed to keep beans covered, until beans are very soft about 2 hours.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add cumin, onions, green peppers and garlic. Saute until soft and onions translucent. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add to beans. Continue cooking beans, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes, tasting and reseasoning as needed. For a super creamy texture remove a cup of the beans, smash them up and mix back in. Remove bay leaf before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with rice and your choice of toppings.
Crockpot Directions:
  1. Add the beans, bay leaf, oregano, 1 tablespoon oil and enough water to barely cover the beans.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add cumin, onions, green peppers and garlic, saute until soft and onions translucent. Add to beans.
  3. Cook on high 4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low until beans are very soft - take the lid off for the last hour or so to reduce down the liquid and let some of it cook off - keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. For a super creamy texture remove a cup of the beans, smash them up and mix back in. Remove bay leaf. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and your choice of toppings.
*Quick Soak Method: Sort and rinse beans. Add to a large pot with 6-8 cups cold water, bring to a rapid boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 water. Drain and rinse before using.
*Long Soak Method: The night before sort through the dried beans and throw away any stones. Rinse under cold water and place in a pot with 6-8 cups of water and allow to soak overnight.* Drain and rinse before using.
Adapted from Saveur

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano
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  1. Sarah Dymond says

    They’ve been on since about 10:30 this am. It’s not 7:35 here. So, they really *should be done in the next hour (I accidentally put 10 hours). My crockpot is a little wonky sometimes, but I don’t know. I’ve never even eaten black beans and rice before, but am trying to make them for my dad because he LOVES them.

  2. Sarah Dymond says

    We’re talking cupfuls of extra liquid on top. I did it in the crockpot and filled an entire cereal bowl with extra liquid, plus there was even more than that. I will try taking the lid off. Also, I tasted them and they didn’t seem to have much flavor. But I KNOW the sofrito was good because I ate a bite before I added it.

  3. Sarah Dymond says

    So…I don’t know if I did something wrong, but I feel like there’s a LOT of liquid left in my crockpot. Will it thicken up when it stops cooking? I’ve never made any beans from dried beans before.

    • Reeni says

      Hi Sarah! You can cook it with the lid off for a little while so some of the water evaporates! It may thicken up as it sets like you said. Are we talking cup fulls or just a few spoonfuls?

  4. Natalie says

    Just made this tonight for dinner using the stovetop method, and it was delicious! I used red bell pepper instead of green because it was what I had on hand, and I ate it with a little bit of shredded Jack cheese as well as some baked corn tortilla chips. Thanks for posting this! I’ll be trying the slow cooker method next time.

  5. Mary says

    I giggled when I saw your page today, because I roasted sweet potatoes very much like you did, just a few nights ago. I also served my guys black bean and rice burrito bowls last night for dinner. Apparently, we are thinking alike! Any chance you are making stuffed peppers tonight? 😉

    Have a great week!

  6. Becki's Whole Life says

    Love this recipe. Rice bowls are such a great way to enjoy so many different flavors together. The black beans provide so much flavor and protein and then topped with some different veggies and spices they just get better!

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