Caribbean Yellow Rice and Pink Beans

Caribbean Yellow Rice and Pink Beans

The Spruce / Danielle Moore

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
402 Calories
13g Fat
55g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 402
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 2009mg 87%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 7g 23%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 734mg 16%
*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 Latin Caribbean food. You've probably heard about rice with black beans and rice with pigeon peas, but this recipe combines yellow rice with pink beans.

Pink beans are actually a pinkish-brown in color and have a semi-sweet taste. They are lighter but similar in appearance to red kidney beans.

Theoretically, you can use any type of bean you prefer in this recipe and, to speed things up, canned beans have been used here. 

What makes this dish distinct is the use of sofrito (see all about sofrito after the directions) and sazón with annatto (a seasoning available at Latin markets).


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought sofrito

  • 1 packet sazón with annatto, about 2 1/4 teaspoons

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can pink beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice

  • 4 cups water, or chicken broth

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Caribbean Yellow Rice and Pink Beans ingredients

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sofrito and lightly fry for about 1 minute.

    Add the sofrito to the oil in the pan and lightly fry

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  3. 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 pan

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

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

    beans and rice cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  5. 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.

    beans and rice cooking in a covered pan

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  6. Cook on low for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and put the lid back on. Let sit a few minutes before serving as a side dish.

    Caribbean Yellow Rice and Pink Beans

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

All About Sofrito

A sofrito is a blend of herbs and spices used to season countless dishes, such as stews, beans, rice, and occasionally meat.

Sofritos exist in Latin Caribbean and other Latin American countries and comes from the Spanish word which means "to fry something." 

Spanish sofrito uses tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, paprika, and olive oil. Caribbean versions range from green to orange to bright red and vary in heat from mild to pungent to spicy.

In the Dominican Republic, sofrito is called sazón and is made with vinegar and annatto for color. In Puerto Rico, sofrito is called recaito and it includes the herb culantro and ajies dulces (sweet chile peppers).

In Cuba, sofrito is made with tomatoes, red bell peppers, and ham. In the Yucatan area of Mexico, sofritos are extra-spicy with the addition of habaneros.

Sofritos can be added at the start of cooking but, in other recipes, it isn’t added until the end of the cooking. And in still other recipes, it's used as a topping sauce for grilled meats and fish. 

To further confuse things, an Italian sofritto is made with chopped celery, green peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs sautéed in olive oil and used to season soups, sauces, and meat dishes.