Sunday, September 19, 2010

Slow-Cooker Cuban Red Beans and Rice

Can you tell how much we love beans around here?  They are a great way to get protein and fiber, and very inexpensive!  Lately, I am really loving making them in my slow-cooker.  That enables me to use dried beans and avoid the sodium that is added in canned beans.  I used red kidney beans in this recipe, but you could also try using black beans.  It's a delicious recipe -- lots of flavor from the smoky cumin and sweet fennel seeds.  There is just a little bit of heat to this, but feel free to top it with lots of hot sauce, the way that we did!  Best of all, this is really easy to throw together!  I soaked my beans the night before, and I put together the broth, water, peppers, and seasonings at the same time.  I put them in a large Tupperware container in the fridge, and then just threw everything into the slow-cooker before I left the house in the morning.  I came home, just made a little quick-cooking brown rice, and had a yummy, warm dinner to fill my belly on a chilly fall evening.

As I mention, I served this with a little hot sauce on top (actually, I used a Chinese chile-garlic sauce).  This would also be cooked topped with cilantro, a few bacon crumbles, or sour cream.  We ate this as a one-dish dinner, but a few sauteed plantains or a green salad would make a great side dish!

Slow-Cooker Cuban Red Beans and Rice
serves 10
adapted from The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites


1 pound dried red kidney beans
2 cups water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (to make this vegetarian, you can use vegetable broth)
2 cup chopped onion (about 2 small white onions)
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 chopped Cubanelle pepper
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp fennel seeds
4 tsp cumin (or you can use 2 tsp cumin + 2 tsp coriander)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (drained if you prefer)
5 cups hot cooked rice (I used brown minute rice)
Hot sauce, cilantro, bacon, sour cream to garnish (optional)


1. Sort and wash beans and place in a large bowl.  Cover with water by 2 inches, and leave overnight (or at least 8 hours).  Drain.
2. Combine beans, 2 cups water, and next 10 ingredients (through oregano).  You can do this ahead of time and refrigerate in a container, or you can do this right into your slow-cooker before cooking.  Place in an electric slow-cooker.  Cover, and cook on HIGH for 5 and 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender.  Add the vinegar and tomatoes before serving.  (I cooked mine an addition 30 minutes on HIGH at this point to to heat through the tomatoes, but you do not have to.)  Serve over hot cooked rice.  A serving is 1 cup of the bean mixture and 1/2 cup of rice.
3. Garnish to taste with hot sauce, bacon crumbles, cilantro, or sour cream.


  1. I think red beans & rice was my husband's only food he would eat back in his bachelor days. We love making this dish, and we too, dump tons of hot sauce on! (Hot sauce is like an extra food group for us.) I love using non-canned beans, I think they taste better and you can't beat the health benefits. Yum!

  2. I can't wait to try this! I love the slow-cookier - the weather is just getting nice and chilly, perfect for this sort of meal.

  3. This dish sounds so homey and warm. I love recipes like this. I'm so glad you came to visit. I hope you visit often. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. I pretty much put away the slow cooker for the summer, but it seems like it's time to bring it out again. This is a perfect fall dish. Yum!

  5. Yum! We're also huge fans of beans at our house--I'll add them to just about anything! Thanks for the great red beans and rice recipe. It reminds me that I need to bring out the crock pot and put it to good use! We've got chili on the menu this week, and it would definitely save me some time to use the crock pot before work.

    Have a great Sunday :)

  6. Total comfort meal!!! Love it...sounds absolutely delicious =)

  7. Yum, I love anything with a little hot sauce on top! This looks fabulous! :)


  8. Now that it is getting colder, I love using my slow cooker again! Right now I have pulled chicken warming up on the slow cooker!

  9. Great meal, you are one of my favorite bloggers

  10. I just wish that it was a little bit cooler...still too warm in Austin for something as hearty as this! But I promise you I will be breaking out the soup pot and the beans as soon as it begins to cool down. Thank you for sharing!

  11. oh thanks for the reminder of how much I love this meal!

  12. I love this choice. I need to get a new slow cooker. Mine has two settings. High and nuclear.

  13. I can't wait to try these in my new crockpot! Such a delicious and comforting meal!

  14. I love cuban-style beans plus anything is better if you can make it in a crockpot! This sounds like a wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing it!

  15. This looks fabulous, glad you are getting so much use out of that slow cooker! I've been making a lot of meals in mine lately. I made a vegetarian bean curry 2 weeks ago, and yesterday I threw in ingredients for a vegetarian chili in the morning before I left for class and got home in the evening to a wonderful dinner that was ready to eat. It's starting to get cooler here, so warm, hardy meals are ideal. I love using dried beans, too. They are healthier for the body and for the budget!

  16. I'm sorry, but I happen to be Cuban...and this is in NO way anywhere close to Cuban cuisine. Cuban food is well-seasoned...NOT spicy. Leave the hot sauce, green chiles, fennel, cilantro and sour cream out of this (cilantro is used sparingly in Cuban food - chiles and fennel not really at all), add liberal amounts of garlic and you'd be much, MUCH closer to actual Cuban food, but to call this dish "Cuban" is insulting to real (and very tasty) Cuban food.