20 Different Versions Of Arroz Con Frijoles You’ll Find In Latin America
While most Latin American countries have overthrown our colonizing nations of Spain and Portugal we decided to keep the imported long-grain rice and make it better.
Rice and beans is so integral to our culture these days, it gets personal when an argument ensues between someone who thinks their country’s Arroz Con Frijoles are better than yours.
1. Casamiento | El Salvador
Literally meaning a marriage of two, the Salvis know how to make every meal a celebration. You can make this “crispy” or “soft” depending on how much black bean broth you add to the dish.
2. Arroz Congri | Cuba
Every Cuban (and Puerto Rican) knows to never drain the Goya can of black beans. That liquid is gold. You use 1 cup rice, dump that can in the pot, and use the can as a measuring cup to make sure you get all the flavor to add another can of water.
3. Feijoada | Brazil
This is more like a black bean stew and of course there are chunks of ham all up in this. It’s Brazileano.
4. Platillo Moros y Cristianos | Mexico
Inspired by a Cuban influence, you serve this Mexican dish with pork chops and plantains, no question. The uniquely Mexicano part of this dish is that you cook it with a dash of oregano. Rico!
P.S.- Does “The Christians and the Moors” namesake trigger post-colonial grief or what?
5. Habichuelas Guisadas | Puerto Rico
I’m biased, but there is nothing better than this sofrito based dish. You use red or kidney beans and the potatoes soak up all the flavor. Puerto Ricans know that green olives are meant to be simmered in with this, and all served up with tostones.
6. Arroz con gandules | Puerto Rico
We killin’ it, what can I say. Arroz con gandules is traditionally cooked with sofrito, pigeon peas, rice and pulled pork all in the same pot. All the flavors mix together and it’s the ultimate comfort food.
7. Moro de Habichuelas | Dominican Republic
Similar to the boricua version, in that Dominicanos know to add those green olives. This dish is known for it’s subtle thyme flavor as well! #pinkiesout
8. Gallo Pinto | Costa Rica
Meaning “Spotted Rooster”, the dish is said to look like the wing of a spotted rooster. Gallo pinto is traditionally served as breakfast with scrambled or fried eggs.
9. Calentado Paisa | Colombia
I love Colombians for serving this on arepas con huevos. Traditionally, it’s made with leftover beans and rice and is all cooked together with a cup of fresh tomatoes.
10. Tacu Tacu | Peru
Latinos know how to make the most of leftover rice and beans. Puruvians, specifically, turn it into a masterpiece. Traditionally using rice and canary beans, it’s formed into a large patty and fried on the skillet.
11. Rice and Beans | North Coast Honduras
Typically prepared with coconut milk, this take is creamy AF. Add some coriander and chicharrones and you’ve got a Honduran staple.
12. Pabellón Criollo | Venezuela
In Venezuela, you keep the rice and beans separate, and enjoy the mezcla of a rich black bean stew with platains, shredded pork and rice as the flavors meet for the first time. I’m hungry.
13. Cuban Rice and Beans
If you go to any Cuban restaurant in Miami, they will serve you rice and beans like this. It’ll be soft white rice with a Cuban black bean stew that’s been refried and flavor seeping all through every other meat and tostone on your plate.
14. Arroz Mamposteao | Puerto Rico
What’s different about this recipe is that you cook the rice first. Then you cook up your bacon or pancetta, add onions and peppers, and Sazón, Adobo, cumin, sofrito and beans. You add the rice at the end and the whole thing ends up being this creamy, soft rice dish.
15. Frijoles Negros | Caribbean Countries
Then of course, there’s the option to cook the rice and beans separately. Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto rico, and Mexico are known for making this with ham hocks, onions and garlic, cumin, oregano and sometimes tomatoes. These next few are different variations of rice and beans that can be combined.
16. Frijoles Charros | Mexico
“Cowboy beans,” frijoles charros are pinto beans simmered in tomato sauce with bacon and chile. The dish is named after the actual Mexican charros who cooked their frijoles a la charra over an open fire while on the range. Try this with arroz amarillo and try not to cry.
17. Fríjoles Colombianos | Colombia
Colombianos rightfully cannot have their beans without a diced green (or ripe) plantain in the dish. Some versions also include pig’s feet, but every version uses red cargamanto beans, potatoes and garlic. Traditionally served with white rice, but you can use brown rice if you tryna be healthy.
18. Yellow Rice | Caribbean Countries
If you’re my mom, you just use Goya’s Arroz Amarillo boxed rice, but you can also tint your rice with Badia’s Annatto Achiote oil if you protest Spanish saffron.
19. Arroz con Huevo Frito | Caribbean Countries
OK, not traditionally served with beans but such a childhood cult classic. We were always stoked when my non-Latino dad went out of town because it meant my mom would fry up leftover rice and top it with a runny fried egg. There are many ways to dye rice yellow.
20. Spanish Rice | Mexico
Last, but not least, is the Mexican take on Spanish Rice. You have to blend up a tomato, garlic and onion with chicken broth to form a tomato puree. After frying raw rice, you add the puree and chopped carrots, peas and zuchinni and cook for 20 minutes. Disfrute!