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How to make Cuban Red Beans and Rice

Updated on February 23, 2015
4.9 stars from 18 ratings of Red Beans & Rice
Red Beans & Rice Dish
Red Beans & Rice Dish

In the Cuban culture, this dish is often called "Gallo Pinto". This is an easy to make dish you and your family will love. If your looking for comfort food or just a traditional Cuban meal this is it! You can turn it into a Costa Rican dish the next morning and warm up the left over rice and beans and cook with eggs!

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour 50 min
Yields: Serves Six People


  • 1/2 pound red beans, dried
  • 2 cups rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth, optional
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth, optional
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ham, chopped
  • olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste


  1. In a pot add red beans and cover with water. You can boil them for faster cooking or just cook them on low for a few hours until tender.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Wash and drain uncooked rice and set aside
  4. In a skillet add olive oil and sauté the onions, red peppers, and ham on medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for another minute and set aside.
  5. Poor 2 cups of the uncooked rice in a oven baking pan and mix 4 cups of cooked red beans and its stock. Add the vegetables and ham that were sautéed, bay leaf, chicken stock, vegetable stock, oregano, turmeric, ginger, cumin, cilantro, sea salt, and pepper to taste. Cover with aluminum paper and cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Then mix rice and beans and cover and cook for another 15 minutes. Then cook uncovered in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out of oven and drizzle olive oil on top of the rice and beans for the finishing touch.


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    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love the recipe. Just looking at the picture makes me hungry. I can't wait to make it soon. Thanks for sharing. Voted up!


    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I will try your recipe, though leaving out the ham (I don't eat pork). The spices should make it very tasty. Thanks for sharing it with HP readers.

      Voted Up++


    • uzma shaheen profile image

      Uzma Shaheen Bhatti 4 years ago from Lahore,Pakistan

      This recipe looks yummy and delicious. Thanks for sharing up,useful and sharing.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      This recipe sounds great. I am not a big fan of rice, but, I must try this dish.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      I love trying out new recipes, and this one looks great. Thanks for sharing with us. Voting up and useful......

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for the recipe. I Love red rice&beans. I will try this. And no cholesterol to speak of!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I feel so strange when I cook Cuban food for him, but my (Cuban) man loves it! I'll have to surprise him with this some time.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      This looks delicious. Going to have to give this a try. Pinned!

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is a recipe which I have never tried before. Cooking rice in oven, sounds interesting and yummy. Sure the flavour must be very different. Thank you for sharing this. This also sounds healthy as you are using olive oil.

      Voting up, sharing and pinning!

    • titi6601 profile image

      titi6601 4 years ago

      Suzie thank you for your support. I hope you enjoy this yummy recipe!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Sounds so tasty with all those wonderful herbs and spices. I love red beans and this rice and beans would be a great dish to add variety into my meals, many thanks for this interesting dish from Cuba!

      Voted Up, Useful, Interesting, Shared.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      Sounds yummy! Voted up and useful!