Cuban Black Bean and Yellow Rice Bowls (with roasted plantains!)

This is easily my older daughter’s new favorite meal, and I even have the text screenshot to prove it, LOL. She was on a 3-day 8th-grade field trip to the Outer Banks and trying to power through all sorts of mass-produced and questionable fast food when she sent me this text message.

I love that our homemade meals had her missing us at least a tiny bit! She was having so much fun that I’m sure she didn’t think much about us otherwise.

Lisa's daughter's text message about cuban rice bowls with plantains

She’s funny! I have to say though, this does come together as a very hearty vegetarian dish, and the sweetness of the roasted plantains are quite a tasty finishing touch. I don’t think to make plantains very often, but I have a feeling I’ll be doing it more in the future with her requests for this recipe!

What’s funny is, when I first started exploring the idea of yellow rice for this dish my mind went straight to those little flavored packets of it you find at the store. I am almost a decade into cutting out processed food and still finding things I’ve never made from scratch before!

All it takes (I’ve learned) is a little turmeric and other seasonings, and you’ve got yourself some tasty, whole-grain homemade yellow rice. Also, I’m always looking for ways to switch up brown rice—it’s a tad boring all on its own, don’t you think?! :)

I know at first glance this recipe looks like a lot of ingredients and prep, but I promise once you get into it, it’s reasonably straightforward. Nothing complicated going on here at all!

Cuban Black Bean and Yellow Rice Bowls on 100 Days of Real Food

As I mentioned, my daughter keeps asking me to make this recipe, AND whenever we have leftovers she’s begging for them in her lunch box (pictured)! Also, this one does hold up leftover well, especially if you’re on-the-go—a good enough reason to double the recipe next time I make it!

Hope you enjoy this one as much as we do.

Cuban Black Bean and Yellow Rice Bowls on 100 Days of Real Food lunch box

Cuban Black Bean and Yellow Rice Bowls (with Roasted Plantains!)

Inspired by Southern Living Magazine
4.7 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 4 people


For the whole-grain yellow rice

For the plantains

For the black beans

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced or diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
  • 30 oz black beans two 15 oz cans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water (or more broth)
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For assembly

  • 1 red bell pepper seeded, cored, and thinly sliced or diced
  • 1 avocado sliced or diced. Can use 2 avocados if you’re a big fan!
  • 2 handfuls fresh cilantro leaves


For the whole-grain yellow rice

  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the shallot and garlic, while stirring, until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice, broth, turmeric, and salt, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender, between 20 and 40 min (depending on the rice). Add more liquid if necessary to ensure it’s cooked all the way and creamy.

For the plantains

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Peel and slice plantains into 1/2″ pieces and place in one even layer on the baking sheet. Spray or brush with a light coating of olive oil and season with salt. 
    Cuban Black Bean and Yellow Rice Bowls on 100 Days of Real Food
  • Bake until golden brown on the bottom, 16 to 18 minutes.

For the black beans

  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion and jalapeno until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Add in the black beans, water, lime juice, cumin, and salt, and cook while stirring until the liquid evaporates almost all the way. Turn off the heat. Add more water if necessary to keep the beans from drying out while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

For assembly

  • Divide the yellow rice among four bowls. Top it off with sections of plantains, black beans, bell pepper, avocado, and cilantro. Serve or add to the lunch box for the next day and eat cold or at room temp. 


We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
To make this dish vegetarian use vegetable broth rather than chicken broth.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Cuban Black Bean and Yellow Rice Bowls (with Roasted Plantains!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 800 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 1443mg63%
Potassium 1766mg50%
Carbohydrates 130g43%
Fiber 24g100%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 2245IU45%
Vitamin C 77.4mg94%
Calcium 127mg13%
Iron 7.3mg41%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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33 thoughts on “Cuban Black Bean and Yellow Rice Bowls (with roasted plantains!)”

  1. 4 stars
    This was really delicious! I loved the flavors of the rice and beans (especially the lime!) and the meal was super simple. I felt like the rice did not keep the garlic or shallot flavors after cooked, though. – we skipped the plantains this time!

  2. 4 stars
    I’ve been searching this site for vego food I can prepare in a caravan. We don’t have an oven. This amazing black bean bowel has given me so many ideas!

  3. Jackie Giordano

    5 stars
    we love this meal! We make modifications based on what we have in the house but it is a staple now in our regular rotation.

  4. 5 stars
    We made this last night for dinner and thought it was delicious! The only change we made was to switch a chopped heirloom tomato for the red pepper. I’m not a big fan of raw peppers. We still had a lovely red color and a flavor we both enjoyed. The ripe plantains were excellent!

  5. Jackie Giordano

    5 stars
    This has gone into our regular rotation! We love how easy the leftovers are to reheat, and I add any extra rice to all kinds of things- it is so tasty!

  6. 5 stars
    Yummy! My whole family ended up enjoying this. They weren’t too excited from the looks tho haha. My son did not like the plantains much but he doesn’t like bananas either. Loved the combo of everything. We especially liked the rice cooked w the turmeric surprisingly to me. I’ll definitely;y make rice like this more often. And I’ll make this for dinner again too. Thank you for sharing!.

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