Stovetop Diplomat

Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)

Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)

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This authentic Cuban recipe for Frijoles Negros just might my favorite black bean dish of all time! Perfectly spiced, slightly briney and oh-so-good!

This is the second official reshoot here on Stovetop Diplomat. This was actually one of the first recipes I ever posted, but the pictures were totally unacceptable and the entire thing needed a makeover. The recipe, however, remains intact and as delicious as it ever was!

Before Joey (other alias: Mr. Diplomat) entered my life I knew next to nothing about Cuban cooking. Fortunately for me, he has a loosely bound 3-ring binder that contains the secrets of all of his family’s best Cuban recipes. It’s about as homestyle as it gets, but a lot of it is extremely general information- a lot of instructions that equate to “just put in the right amount”. That’s the art of cooking! This recipe is the result of a lot of testing and tweaking to find out just what “the right amount” actually is.

Most of the ingredients here are standard pantry staples except one that may look foreign- adobo con pimienta. Adobo con pimienta is a dry spice blend and can be found in many grocery stores, under many brand names. It is not to be confused with the chiles in adobo sauce that you can find in cans! You can find more information about it here.

Like many Cuban dishes (such as my Cuban Picadillo) this recipe begins with a base called a sofrito. You can think of it as a Cuban mirepoix. Sofrito usually includes a bell pepper, although this one does not. If you have a sofrito recipe that you prefer, feel free to use that! Just don’t use the bottled stuff- it is absolutely worth it in flavor to make your own.

Frijoles Negros is a dish that gets better with time. You’ll see the last step says to add the vinegar, stir, and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Don’t skip this step! It really is important to help the flavor come together. And it gets even better the next day- in fact, if you have the time (and the foresight!) to make it the night before you want to eat it, you will be richly rewarded! But even if you don’t, unless you’re feeding a crowd, there will definitely be leftovers!

Speaking of leftovers, this recipe is also totally freezer-friendly! As with any recipe being put in the freezer, be sure to cool it all the way in the refrigerator first. I usually freeze in individual bags in portions of 2 cups each- enough for 2 servings! That is…if they last that long.


Looking for more awesome Cuban recipes? Check out some of these!


Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)

This authentic Cuban recipe for Frijoles Negros just might my favorite black bean dish of all time! Perfectly spiced, slightly briney and oh-so-good!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Cuban
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 people (1 cup each)


For sofrito:

  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large onion (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 8 oz cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp adobo con pimienta
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • a few cranks of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

For beans:

  • 4 cans no-salt-added black beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 6 oz jar pimento stuffed manzanilla olives (about 1 cup) and brine (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 cups uncooked rice


  1. Medium dice the onion and mince the garlic
  2. Add olive oil to a heavy bottomed pot and heat on medium high.

  3. Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes; until just soft

  4. Turn down the heat to medium; add tomato sauce and the rest of sofrito spices. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning, until sauce turns darker red and has reduced somewhat.

  5. Add 2 cans of beans of beans with liquid (no draining) and 2 cans of beans drained but not rinsed. Add bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Add olives and brine and stir. Lower heat to medium-low. Let simmer for another 15-17 minutes

  7. Begin heating 4 cups of water to cook rice. Turn the heat off of the beans and stir in vinegar; let sit, covered to preserve heat, for 20 minutes while the rice cooks. Don't skip this step! 

  8. Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle on a generous pinch more adobo con pimiento. Serve over rice.

Currently Listening: Puscifer – Existential Reckoning


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