This saucy black bean bowl with rice has a wonderful harmony of spicy, cool, sweet, and salty.
Enjoy each flavor one by one, or give the bowl a good stir for a mixture of tastes in every bite. Vegan & gluten-free.
Some foods are perfect in their simplicity.
They’re not fussy or expensive. They don’t take long to prepare.
Yet, they work together in such a way that you feel comforted from the inside out whenever you tuck into a bowl.
Take this saucy black bean bowl with fried plantains.
Not only is the combination of beans and rice friendly on the wallet, it is nourishing, satisfying, and filling.
Put them together with a dollop of guacamole and a side of sweet fried plantains, and it becomes my “happy place” of lunches.
For this kind of dish, I like my beans to be a little on the saucy side.
I don’t want them overly soupy or liquidy. But they should have just enough moisture that they coat the plain rice alongside of them.
For the brown rice, you can make it from scratch.
Or if you don’t have an extra 45 minutes to wait, pop some frozen rice into the microwave. I like to buy Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice.
(It’s one of my favorite vegan Trader Joe’s products.)
Plantains really kick a black bean bowl up a notch.
With a touch of sweetness and caramelized edges, they take a classic lunch, and make it something worth celebrating.
And obviously, every meal is better with avocado…
This quick guacamole uses just one avocado, which is a nice amount for two.
Top this saucy black bean bowl with jalapeño slices, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and/or a handful of tortilla chips for dipping.
Saucy black bean bowl with fried plantains
Saucy black beans
- ½ teaspoon organic canola oil
- ½ medium-sized yellow onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 can (15 ounce) black beans drained and rinsed (1 ½ cups)
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 avocado pitted and removed from peel
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
- ½ teaspoon lime juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon organic canola oil or other neutral-flavored, high heat oil
- 1 plantain cut in ½ inch pieces on a diagonal
Brown rice bowls
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
For saucy black beans
- In a medium-sized pot, bring oil to a medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté several minutes, until fragrant.
- Add black beans to the pot along with water, cumin, ancho chili powder, paprika and salt. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Once it is simmering, turn the heat to low and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the beans have thickened. Remove from heat.
For the guacamole
- In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients with a fork until mashed and fully combined.
For the plantains
- Bring a separate non-stick skillet to a medium high heat with organic canola oil. (Put a shallow layer of oil into the skillet. The amount will vary, depending upon the size of your skillet.) Test the oil to see if it is hot enough by putting in one plantain slice. If bubbles immediately form around it, you know it’s hot enough.
- Put the plantain slices into the skillet, being careful not to overcrowd. (If necessary, work in batches.) Fry the plantains on one side until they are nice and brown, then flip them. Brown on the other side for a few minutes. Lower heat and continue cooking for several minutes more until the plantains have fully softened. (Flip again if the plantains start to burn.)
- Once they are fully browned and softened, move the plantains to a separate plate.
Putting it together
- Add spoonfuls of rice, beans, guacamole, and plantains to two serving bowls. Top with any extras you prefer like pickled jalapeños, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, lime wedges, and/or tortilla chips.
Originally posted November 2014. Content updated April 2019.
I don’t know why I thought we were making black beans from scratch. Would’ve appreciate “canned black beans” put in the recipe. So I had to salvage my black beans by using the IP. Great meal! Thank you👏🏽
That is a great suggestion! I’ll update my bean posts this week to clarify canned/cooked beans instead of dried. I didn’t think about that being confusing, but it makes sense. Sorry about the confusion, and I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe despite of it.
Sarah De la Cruz
This meal has my family’s name all over it! We eat meals like this about once a week! Lately I’ve been doing my sweet plantains in the air fryer and we are all obsessed! Delicious!
That’s great, Sarah! It’s awesome when the things that are the easiest to make are also healthy & delicious to boot. Do you have a particular method for frying sweet plantains in the air fryer that you recommend?
so good, lady.
Thanks, friend! 🙂
This meal looks so yummy! I love the idea of eating all of these foods together. I think it could be a happy place for me, too.
Thanks, Shell! I could see you really enjoying this!
Our avocados have not been great the past couple of months and I miss eating them with bowls of beans and rice.
Oh, I hate when that happens. For a while, avocados here were ridiculously expensive (like $2 per avocado). I had to take an avocado hiatus, and I really missed them.
what a beautiful meal 🙂
Linda @ Veganosity
Hi Cadry! I just discovered your amazing blog, thanks to the Finding Vegans Blogger FB page. This looks like my kind of dinner! I’ve never made plantains before, but I love them, so I should! Thanks for the great recipes.
Oh, that’s great! Thanks for stopping by, Linda! I look forward to popping over to Veganosity after this. 🙂
Oh yum, I want this meal right now! I love black beans and rice, never tried cooking the beans in beer before though, sounds like I need to do this asap! I’ve been subbing coconut milk for half the water in my rice lately and this seems like the perfect meal to incorporate that, a very Caribbeanish dish (ok probably not a real word but you know what I mean : )
Oh, what a good idea on the coconut milk! That sounds fabulous. I’ll have to try that!