Do you have a go-to dinner for your family that you are excited to make but just need help looking for other recipes to serve with it?
Is that dish black beans and rice? You’re in luck!
Here, we will explore the 10 best options for dishes that pair excellently with this comforting classic.
Whether you’re looking to add some Mexican flair or gravitate towards incorporating tropical flavors, here is how adding a little variety can take an ordinary meal and turn it into something spectacular.
Prepare yourself because this plate of goodness will be mouthwatering and simply unforgettable!
What to Serve with Black Beans and Rice? 10 BEST Options
1. Fried Plantains
Fried plantains are a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed as a side or a main course.
Plantains have a similar taste and texture to potatoes, but with a sweeter flavor.
They can be cooked in many different ways, but frying them is one of the most popular methods.
When frying plantains, it is important to use oil that has been heated to the correct temperature.
If the oil is too hot, the plantains will be burnt on the outside but not cooked through; if the oil is not hot enough, the plantains will absorb too much oil and be greasy.
The best way to test the temperature of the oil is to add one piece of plantain to the pan and see how quickly it browns.
Once you have fried your plantains, there are many ways to elevate this dish.
One option is to top them with shredded cheese and diced tomatoes; another is to serve them with a dipping sauce such as sour cream or salsa.
2. Cumin-Spiced Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Cumin-Spiced Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
These cumin-spiced roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect side dish to any meal.
They’re packed with flavor and have a lovely texture that is both crispy and soft.
Plus, they’re so easy to make.
Simply toss the sweet potatoes in some olive oil and spices, then roast in the oven until they’re nice and crispy.
The cumin gives these roasted sweet potatoes a lovely smoky flavor, while the chili powder adds a bit of heat.
If you want to elevate this dish, you can try serving it with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top.
Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could even add a fried egg on top for an extra-special treat.
3. Sautéed Kale or Collard Greens
Sautéed kale or collard greens make for a great side dish to black beans and rice.
Both kale and collard greens have a slightly bitter taste, but when sautéed with some onions and garlic, they become much more palatable.
The texture of kale and collard greens can also be quite tough, so it’s best to chop them up into smaller pieces before sautéing.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish.
One is to add some bacon or ham hocks to the pan while the greens are cooking.
This will add some additional flavor to the dish.
Another option is to top the finished greens with some shaved Parmesan cheese.
This will give the dish a bit of a salty kick that contrasts well with the bitterness of the greens.
4. Spicy Tomato Salsa
This dish is all about the perfect balance of spice and acidity.
The tomatoes should be ripe and juicy, and the onions add a lovely sweetness to the dish.
The jalapeños give it a nice kick, while the lime juice helps to brighten everything up.
The texture of this salsa is another important factor.
You want it to be nice and chunky, so that you can really get a good mouthful with each bite.
The best way to achieve this is to chop everything by hand, rather than using a food processor.
This way, you can control the size of the pieces and make sure that they’re all roughly the same size.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish even further.
Firstly, you could roast the tomatoes before adding them to the mix.
This will give them an even deeper flavor.
Secondly, you could add some fresh cilantro leaves for a pop of color and freshness.
Finally, you could serve it with some homemade tortilla chips for an extra crunch.
5. Cuban-Style Corn On The Cob
There’s nothing quite like fresh corn on the cob, and this Cuban-style recipe is the perfect way to enjoy it.
The corn is cooked in a flavorful mixture of garlic, onions, and spices, then rolled in cheese and served with a dollop of sour cream.
The result is a dish that is both creamy and crunchy, with a little bit of heat from the spices.
The key to making this dish extra special is to use fresh corn.
If you can’t find fresh corn, you can use frozen or canned, but the flavor won’t be quite as good.
Another tip is to cook the corn until it is just tender, so that it still has a bit of bite.
overcooked corn will be mushy and not as enjoyable to eat.
If you want to really elevate this dish, serve it with grilled chicken or shrimp.
The protein will balance out the sweetness of the corn and make it a complete meal.
6. Avocado and Grapefruit Salad
If you’re looking for a light and refreshing salad to accompany your black beans and rice, look no further than this avocado and grapefruit salad.
The combination of creamy avocado, juicy grapefruit, and zesty lime is sure to please your taste buds.
And the best part is that it’s so easy to throw together.
When it comes to taste, this salad is definitely on the lighter side.
The grapefruit gives it a nice tartness, while the avocado provides some creaminess and body.
The lime juice brightens everything up and ties all the flavors together.
As for texture, you’ve got a nice mix of crunch from the grapefruit segments, creaminess from the avocado, and a bit of zing from the lime juice.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish.
First, try adding a bit of crunch with some chopped nuts or seeds.
Second, if you want some more protein, you could add grilled chicken or shrimp.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices.
A little bit of cilantro or jalapeno would be a great way to give this salad an extra kick.
7. Mojo-marinated Grilled Chicken
This Mojo-marinated grilled chicken is chicken that has been marinated in a flavorful mixture of lime juice, garlic, cumin, and other spices.
The result is a juicy and tender chicken that is packed with flavor.
Serve this chicken with black beans and rice for a complete meal.
The key to making this dish successful is to make sure that the chicken is properly marinated.
The mojo mixture should be left on the chicken for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
This will give the chicken time to absorb all of the flavors from the marinade.
Another tip for making this dish even more delicious is to grill the chicken over charcoal.
This will give the chicken a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the lime and garlic in the marinade.
Empanadas are a delicious snack or meal that can be enjoyed any time of day.
They are typically made with a dough that is filled with meat, cheese, and/or vegetables, and then fried or baked.
Empanadas are a popular food in many Hispanic cultures, and they have become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years.
There are many different ways to make empanadas, but the most important aspect is the filling.
The filling should be flavorful and moist, but not too wet or runny.
The dough should be flaky and crispy, without being too dry or crumbly.
One way to elevate this dish is to use a higher quality of meat for the filling.
For example, instead of ground beef, you could use chorizo or carnitas.
You could also add some chopped vegetables to the filling, such as onions, peppers, or mushrooms.
If you are using cheese in the filling, try using a more flavorful variety such as cheddar or pepper jack.
Another way to make your empanadas more interesting is to change up the dough recipe.
You could use a whole wheat dough for a healthier option, or a pastry dough for a richer flavor.
You could also experiment with different shapes and sizes of empanadas.
Instead of the traditional round shape, you could try making triangular empanadas or even bite-sized ones.
Flan is a rich, creamy custard that can be enjoyed as a dessert or a savory side dish.
The custard is made with eggs, milk, and cream, and is typically flavored with vanilla.
Flan can be served plain, or topped with fruit, chocolate sauce, or caramel.
Flan has a smooth, velvety texture that melts in your mouth.
The sweetness of the custard is balanced by the richness of the eggs and cream.
Flan can be made ahead of time and reheated, making it a great option for entertaining.
To elevate your flan dish, try adding a layer of caramel on top of the custard before baking.
This will add a lovely depth of flavor and an elegant presentation.
You could also top your flan with fresh berries or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
10. Tres Leches Cake
Tres leches cake is a traditional Latin American dessert that has become popular in the United States in recent years.
The cake is made with three types of milk – evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk – which are combined to create a rich and creamy cake.
The texture of tres leches cake is unique – it’s moist but not too dense, and the combination of milks gives it a slightly sweet flavor.
If you’re looking for a way to elevate this dish, try serving it with fresh berries or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
So, what goes with black beans and rice? As we have seen, there are many options to choose from depending on your preference.
I hope this blog post has been helpful in deciding what you would like to serve with your next meal of black beans and rice.
Let us know in the comments below what you decided to go with.
And don’t forget to check out our other blog posts for more great ideas.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!