Recipe: Arroz con Frijoles | Coconut Rice & Beans

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

In my family Sundays usually meant two things: fútbol and food. Fútbol at the park with my siblings, fútbol on the radio on the way home, back to back fútbol games on the TV, and of course my mother's special Sunday feast. What my siblings and I aptly named "Sunday Food".


The star of this meal was a slow-cooked, juicy roast beef accompanied by potato salad and Arroz con Frijoles. While the roast beef was definitely the star of "Sunday Food" it was always the smell of rice and beans cooking in coconut milk that overpowered the house on Sunday mornings.


No matter where you travel in Latin America, the Carribean, and yes, even New Orleans you will find some version of Arroz con Frijoles. This quick and easy weeknight dinner will quickly become a go-to favorite. You don't want to miss out on this simple, delicious classic.


What You'll Need


1.5 Cups Basmati Rice

1.5 Cup Coconut Milk

0.5 Cup Water

3 Tablespoons Whole Cumin Seeds

2 Cups Cooked Black Beans

1/2 Yellow Onion

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

1 Bay Leaf


If you don't have time to cook black beans from scratch, there's no shame in using a can of Goya brand beans, they work great!


Here's What To Do

  1. In a skillet on low-medium heat ( I prefer cast iron for this method of cooking rice), add the butter and coconut oil.

  2. Dice the yellow onion and add to the butter and oil mixture.

  3. Grind up the cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle and add to the onions.

  4. Once the butter starts to brown a little bit, add the rice and the bay leaf and use a wooden spoon to stir the rice around. You're looking to get the rice a nice coating of the mixture and slightly crisp texture. This should take about 3-5 minutes.

  5. Add the coconut milk, water, and black beans. If possible, add some of the liquid from the cooked or canned black beans.

  6. Turn the heat up to medium-high for about 2 minutes and allow the liquids to get close to a rolling boil. Then, turn the heat down to just above a simmer.

  7. You will not want to lift the cover too early, so be patient and wait about 25 minutes.

  8. Once 25 minutes have elapsed, you can proceed to uncover the rice and mix it around. The rice should be soft and tender, and the aroma of coconut should be fairly strong.

  9. Plate your rice with your favorite entree or sides and enjoy.