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Arroz Congri (Cuban Rice and Black Beans)

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Arroz Congri is a Cuban black bean and rice dish using canned black beans that can be served as a side or meatless main dish.

Cuban rice and black beans

Arroz Congri (Cuban Rice and Black Beans)

The aroma that fills your kitchen while cooking these Cuban rice and black beans will make you want to pump up the salsa music and grab a mojito! You can enjoy arroz congri as a vegetarian main dish with a salad or as a side with steak, Cubano Chicken Chicken Sabroso, Garlicky Pork, or Slow Cooked Pernil. Another Latin rice recipe you must try is my favorite, Arroz Con Pollo!

Rice and black beans cook together, which gives the rice its black color. Peppers, onions, garlic, cumin, and bay leaf give this dish so much flavor. Not only is arroz congri delicious, but it’s also high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, low in fat, vegan, and gluten-free. Win, win!

I grew up surrounded by many Cuban families. In fact, as a kid, my first “grandma” was Cuban and taught my mom how to cook so many authentic Cuban dishes, like Picadillo. I grew up eating arroz congri and make it quite
often, especially when I have leftover cooked beans. But canned beans work well too!

Arroz Congri Tips

  • Rice: White rice is typically used in this dish. I’ve never had it with brown rice, but I’m sure it would be delicious for those of you who prefer brown. You may have to adjust the liquid and cooking time.
  • Beans: You can, of course, cook dried beans and use those if you prefer not to use canned. For this recipe, I don’t recommend you drain the beans since the liquid gives the rice its black color. If you really want to drain the beans, be sure to fill the can back up with some water so it won’t be too dry.


Arroz Congri

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Arroz Congri (Cuban Rice and Black Beans)

4.25 from 41 votes
Arroz Congri is a Cuban black beans and rice dish using canned black beans that can be served as a side dish or meatless main dish.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Cuban
Arroz Congri
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Yield: 5 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, chopped
  • small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 15 oz can black beans, I use Goya (don't drain)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a heavy medium sized pot, heat oil on medium heat.
  • Add onions, peppers and garlic and saute until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add rice, beans, water, cumin, bay leaf, oregano and salt and pepper. Simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice absorbs most of the water and just barely skims the top of the rice.
    sauted veggies for rice and beans
  • Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minute (don't peek).
  • Make sure you have a good seal on your cover, the steam cooks the rice. After 20 minutes, shut flame off and let it sit, covered another 5 minutes (don't open the lid).

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 143 kcal, Carbohydrates: 27.5 g, Protein: 6.5 g, Fat: 2.5 g, Saturated Fat: 0.5 g, Sodium: 322 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 2 g


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201 comments on “Arroz Congri (Cuban Rice and Black Beans)”

  1. I made this tonight to go with some leftover chicken. I’ve tried a few Cuban-ish rice and bean dishes, and this is the best one so far. And the bar is set pretty high for me, since I’m dating a Cuban man hahaha. I did make a couple modifications, I doubled the garlic and also sprinkled in some Adobo. I used jasmine rice because it was what I had and it was a tad overcooked for that reason but the flavor was on point. Boyfriend got home from work and instantly said it smelled amazing. Cuban approved lol.

  2. Hi, I am Cuban and this receipe is pretty spot on with the exception of the canned beans. The recipe would taste better if you actually use real black beans cooked in an instapot and the water from the black beans is what you use to cok the rice in to give it a better color.  Also Cubans like to use pieces of bacon inside the congri to give it a Smokey flavor to the rice.  

  3. Every Cuban I know uses Goya Adobo in place of salt to give it more flavor. So if it tastes bland to you try using that. It’s a seasoning salt and it works great with a lot of dishes. I use it in all the Cuban dishes I make.

  4. It’s a good starting point. I agree with some other commenters that it’s not super flavorful. Idk if that’s from the low sodium beans. I think next time I’ll used Cuban black beans and add some sazon maybe? I’ll compare seasoning levels of other recipes. But I also wonder if it’s one of those dishes that are better the next day as it melds. Some people don’t like salt so much. Easier to add than take away. 
    I would suggest having the amount of water called for available, but don’t dump it all in. Just add water a little at a time. I didn’t use all the water it called for. 

  5. For anyone wanting to do in pressure cooker I tried it. I looked at Skinny taste cilantro rice for timing and amount of water which was 1.25 cup water and 3 minutes with 10 natural release. I put the pepper onion garlic herbs in first for 5 minutes on saute then added rice. I waited to add beans because wasn’t sure if that would mess up water rice ratio, added when done. Cooked perfectly, If I did anything different I would season the entire dish more with the spices, I didn’t add much salt and it needed something. Maybe using broth instead of water would be nice. Makes a nice side dish and had with Slow cooker sweet barbacoa pork which I also made for the first time.

  6. I made this with brown rice – used 2 cups of the liquid from cooking black beans in the instant pot and cooked for 60 minutes on the stovetop. I am not sure how this doesn’t come out with too much liquid when you make it with white rice and the amount of liquid called for in the recipe! It was great for burrito filling for my family and a bowl for me, I dressed it up with salsa verde, avocado, cheese, sour cream and green onions, otherwise I probably would have thought it was a bit bland (and I doubled the cumin). But bland works great for my 9 year old!

  7. Avatar photo
    James Dillard

    This recipe is great! Have made multiple times. Side dish or in a burrito or lettuce wrap, with or without taco meat. Especially good with vaca frita and maduros. Super easy and so good. 

  8. I make this recipe at least once a week, my whole family loves it! I Cook  it for 30 minutes instead of 20, and omit the oregano, bay leaf and peppers. Still delicious