Cuban Black Beans and Rice (Moros y Cristianos)

The name of this classic Cuban dish - Moors and Christians - refers to the Islamic Moors and Christian Spaniards living in Spain hundreds of years ago.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 2 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 1½ cups black beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, divided
  • 1 small Spanish onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, seeds removed and cut into ¼" pieces.
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ tsp. salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1½ cups long-grain white rice


  • Simmer beans in 6 cups water until very tender (about 90 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 cloves garlic, onion, green pepper, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and sauté until onions are soft. Add this mixture to the beans and simmer 20 minutes more. Stir in cilantro.
  • In a soup pot over medium heat, sauté remaining garlic gently in 1 tablespoon oil until it begins to brown. Add rice and stir to coat.
  • Add 2 cups water and remaining salt; bring to a boil and cover. Lower heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; pour in remaining oil and fluff to separate grains. Serve topped with a ladle of black beans and garnish with cilantro leaves.