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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)

4.23 from 40 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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199 comments on “Arroz Congri (Cuban Rice and Black Beans)”

  1. Wow, this is so delicious and so easy! I used only red bell pepper because I don’t care for green peppers and used chicken broth instead of water and it was still sooo tasty! Topped with some sliced avocado and I was good to go. Yummy!

  2. Made it, only changed a few things. In the first step I added a diced jalepeno and when I added the rice etc instead of water used chicken stock. Spicy and flavorful.

  3. Avatar photo
    Juana Evelyn World Rivas

    Casamiento is a similar version, that is what is called in El Savador, Guatemala and Honduras, and Gallo Pinto in Nicaragua and Costa Rica

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    Michael Moffitt

    Thanks so much. My book club just read And discussed Leonardo Padura’s Heretics. I was set on making a rice and black bean dish to match a common meal discussed when in Cuba. So I found this and made it (doubled recipe). It came out great!! Everyone liked it and I was very happy with the outcome.   Tastes great and easy to make!! 

  5. For those of you saying this was bland, it is likely because you didn’t use Goya. It just does’t work otherwise. Best.

  6. Ive been making this recipe for a few years now, and my family and i love it. I thought it was time to review 😛

    thank you Gina!

  7. Hi I made this recipe as a trial run before the holidays and it came out fantastic. I am new to cooking and will be hosting Christmas meal this year. I do not understand the comments about it not Congri because I am also Cuban and my parents and grandparents always called it this. I live in Chicago and cuban restaurants also call it this. Even to the places I have been to in Miami its called this. Anyways, whatever people may call it from where they are from, it is a delicious recipe and I appreciate you posting it.

  8. I’ve made this twice, and both times it has had absolutely no flavor, and does not look like the picture. Do not know what I’m doing wrong. I even added extra spices this time!

  9. This was fantastic! A lot of people were complaining about it being bland, but I beg to differ. Though I tend not to measure my spices (salt, etc) and just eye ball it. I used brown rice (therefore two cups of water) and added garlic salt. My husband and I both enjoyed it and will make it again.  Thanks, Gina! 

  10. Avatar photo
    Sharon Black

    Hi Gina:

    Immediately following sending off my message to fellow commenter Bette, just a minute or so ago, I read through the remaining comments on your recipe page for Arroz Congri. I am very excited to learn you actually have a cookbook (or is it, cookbooks plural?!), too! This is wonderful news!! Needless to say, I must do a lot more exploration on your fab site, beginning with the subheading, “Cookbooks!”

    So happy to have found you, sincerest thanks for all you do including your accessible, welcoming spirit of communication and collaboration!

    I look most forward to making this recipe!


    S. Black, fellow lover of Cuban food and all other forms of interesting, healthful fare 🙂

  11. As someone who grew up on rice this came out mushy. Usually for every cup of rice you add 2 cups of water. You also let your water boil before adding the rice and turn the heat down. Next time I make it I will add less water and boil the beans/water prior to adding the rice. Besides the mushy taste it was fine. 

  12. I have made this numerous times as a Cuban born cook 
    I MUST point out your name for this dish is completely incorrect
    Black beans and Rice is not named Congri ! 
    It’s proper name is Moro a shortened version of Moros y Cristianos … Trabslation Moors of where the dark comes from 
    Black beans our ancestry dates back to Spain where Arabic/
    Moors from Morocco ruled for 800 hundred plus years the white part the rice relates to the white Euoropean Christians – so the dish goes Moro’s- Moors and Cristianos- Christians together in one dish . 
    Congri- is Red Beans and Rice which was a dish brought to Cuba by African slaves from the Congo eg Congri . 
    If you are to publish this recipe it is right to respect its orgibinz 
    Other than this your recipe is overall good . 

    1. I’m Cuban and this is exactly what we call Congri, black beans cooked with white rice. Perhaps it’s regional? This is exactly how my family makes it only we fry bacon first 🙂 and we use 2 cans of beans with one can of rice. I cook this for my kids and they love it! 

      1. DHi do you drain your beans? And do you add water or broth? Thank you if you have a congri recipe c as n you share that please 😊

    2. You got your facts twisted, Moros con Cristiano’s is the red bean an rice, European white and the Arabic mixed, in Spain they celebrated mainly doing dishes Fabada or pati panza, that are perfect it with white beans. In the east provinces of Cuba is popular tu do the Moros con Cristiano’s, but the original Congri is with Black beans and white rice.
      People for the love of God, do the SOFRITO first, Saute your onion and garlic and red and green pepper AND Spices, so the spices and veggies when it hit the water will transmit flavor to the rice and the bean, also another more traditional variant of this dish is you star your SOFRITO with pork skin chicharrones, and then sauteed your ingredients . The bacon variant is the one I really recommend for those complaining that is bland, chopped your bacon in crumbs so it will be all over the rice

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    Jennifer Bozick

    So if I add diced ham to it will that be a terrible idea? I am Puerto Rican and I had this as a kid and love love love this dish excited to make it for my husband which is white and asked if I could add chili powder. Totally not a congri after that. 

  14. This recipe is edible but has no flavor outside of the beans and rice itself. We had to add garlic salt after finishing the dish to give it any flavor. If you are using this recipe, try to up the amount of garlic and other spices.

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    Charlene Busman

    Hey, Gina — I just saw your recipe, word for word, on the Epicurious web site. It says “Submitted by jmoorenc” if that is helpful.  I would hate to think your delicious recipes were being plagiarized without your permission!

    1. I saw it too: