Caribbean-Style Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Caribbean-Style Black Beans and Yellow Rice

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 7 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
162 Calories
6g Fat
21g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 548mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 235mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rice and beans are staples in Caribbean cuisine. This recipe is very easy and combines yellow rice with black beans to create a nice side dish or light entrée. Feel free to make it with any type of bean you like.

The yellow rice gets its color from annatto (or achiote), which is included in the packet of sazón seasoning. This is a very popular salt and spice mix that is added to many Caribbean dishes, eliminating the need for a lot of ingredients. Sazón is also available without annatto, though that seasoning mix will not produce the yellow rice we're going for in this recipe.

The other key ingredient here is sofrito, a flavorful puree of vegetables and spices that is also common in Caribbean food. It's easy to make your own sofrito and the basic recipe can be adapted to suit your taste or what's in your kitchen. This will, of course, affect the flavor of your yellow beans and rice, but the ease and versatility of sofrito are what makes it a great ingredient.

"The yellow rice and black beans were excellent—great flavor and color. I used long grain basmati rice (rinsed) and the dish cooked in about 20 minutes. I made the rice and beans with chicken broth, then I made it again with water." —Diana Rattray

Yellow Rice and Beans Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 cup sofrito

  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) sazon seasoning with annatto

  • Salt, to taste

  • (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice

  • 4 cups water, or chicken broth

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Caribbean-Style Black Beans and Yellow Rice ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

    oil in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. Add the sofrito and lightly fry for about 1 minute.

    sofrito in a pot with oil

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Add the sazón, salt, beans, and rice. Stir to combine the ingredients and coat the rice with color.

    Add the sazón, salt, beans, and rice to the sofrito in the pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Pour in the water (or chicken broth) and bring to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for 1 to 2 minutes, then stir the rice mixture.

    add water to the rice mixture in the pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid that will not allow steam to escape. Do not lift the lid during the cooking time.

    rice mixture cooking in a covered pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  7. Cook on low for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the rice, and then cover again and let sit a few minutes before serving.

    Caribbean-Style Black Beans and Yellow Rice in a pot

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni


  • It's always a good idea to rinse rice because rinsing removes some of the surface starch and helps keep the grains from sticking together.
  • If using chicken broth instead of water, check the seasoning before adding salt, as commercial chicken broth usually contains some salt.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover yellow rice and black beans in an airtight container and eat within five days.
  • Yellow rice and black beans may be frozen for longer storage. Spoon the beans and rice into zip-close freezer bags. Label the bags with the name and date and freeze for up to six months.
  • To reheat, put the rice and beans in a skillet or saucepan with a few tablespoons of water. Heat gently over low heat, stirring frequently, until hot.

Can I make yellow rice and beans with brown rice?

Absolutely! You may use brown rice to make yellow rice and black beans, but you need to add to the simmering time. Brown rice typically takes 40 to 45 minutes.