Two wonderful, savory side dishes perfect for adding to burritos, salads, tacos, tostadas and more! These Cafe Rio Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice recipes are quick and easy to prepare!

Any kind of rice and beans dish is always so satisfying for me! Be sure to check out our Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice next! Or try our delicious Charro Beans (Frijoles Charros) with smoky bacon flavor!

an aerial view of a skillet containing black beans

I've already posted about my love of Cafe Rio's Sweet Pork Barbacoa but if you really want the full Cafe Rio experience, your salads or burritos are also going to need Cafe Rio's Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice!

Since I pretty much always make both these sides together, I decided to put both recipes in one post! Neither one is complicated or labor intensive, so today you get a two-fer!

a skillet with black beans

Cafe Rio black beans are filling and if you don't eat meat, you could absolutely have a balanced, super filling salad or burritos with just these black beans and rice and omit the sweet shredded pork barbacoa altogether!

They have great flavor thanks to the onion and spices and tomato juice, and I actually like eating the leftovers with eggs for breakfast the next morning. It's something I picked up in Costa Rica years ago where black beans and rice are their national breakfast dish.

And the cilantro lime rice couldn't be any easier. You just put all the ingredients except the rice into a blender to chop it all up, then pour it into a pot with your rice and some additional water and simmer it until all the liquid has been absorbed!

It takes all of 3 minutes of actual working time and you will have perfect, tender and super flavorful rice to go in your burritos or salads. Or you can always just serve it as a side dish.

a bowl of cilantro lime rice

Just make sure you are using a white long grain rice and not something like a Thai Jasmine or Basmati rice for this. The flavors and textures differ and you will get a different result depending on which rich you are using.

an aerial view of a blue plate with Cilantro Lime Rice

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Cafe Rio Black Beans & Cilantro Lime Rice

4.94 from 16 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Two wonderful, savory side dishes perfect for adding to burritos, salads, tacos, tostadas and more!  These Cafe Rio Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice recipes are quick and easy to prepare!


Black Beans

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 30 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups tomato juice OR 1 small can of tomato sauce and ¼ cup of water
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • ¼ cup onion roughly chopped
  • ¼ bunch cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • ½ small can diced green chilies
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter melted
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice divided
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup white long grain rice
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro


Black Beans

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and cumin and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn, just until the onions barely start to soften and everything is fragrant.
  • Add the black beans and tomato juice. Decrease heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until everything is heated through. Add chopped cilantro and serve.

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • In a blender, combine all ingredients except rice and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice. Blend for 5 seconds, just to chop everything up so you don't have any large chunks of onion or garlic, then pour into a medium size pot with the rice and give it a stir.
  • Place your pot over medium-high heat and bring to boiling, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Add remaining tablespoon of lime juice and additional chopped cilantro and fluff with a fork before serving.



Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 1271mg | Potassium: 721mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Black beans and rice are a staple in my home so you are definitely talking my language here. Yoru beans look so hearty and flavorful. And yoru pics are beautiful!

  2. I'm a big fan of black beans and rice. I love the sound of the cilantro lime rice. I need to try this soon 🙂

  3. I love black beans. This sounds like a nice hearty, delicious and meatless option. Since I am one of those people that don't like cilantro....I would just sub it for something else.

  4. I simply love cilantro link rice and if black beans are added to it its a bonus for me. Your recipe looks healthy and pretty. I am noting down this recipe as on my my meal preps for the week.

  5. I absolutely love cilantro lime rice, but I am not a huge fan of black beans!! This combination does sound good together!!

  6. 5 stars
    Both of these look absolutely delicious and would be perfect for homemade burritos. In fact, I'm putting all of this on my menu plan for this week because now I can't get a burrito with black beans and rice out of my head! Thanks for sharing this copycat recipe!

  7. I love rice with beans, I am going to give it try as I have some black beans in my hand. Cilanto lime rice will be an easy change for my usual rice . These are great comfort food I agree with you.

  8. 5 stars
    I HAVE to try this recipe! Black beans and rice are one of my favorite meals. Love the cilantro lime addition!

  9. You can never go wrong with rice and beans! They are a classic combo indeed and I have found myself making this often especially during winter time! Love that you paired the black beans with cilantro lime rice as the latter is a family favorite! YUM!!!

  10. Mmm! The cilantro in the rice sounds absolutely divine! I'll definitely make it for our next fajita night!

  11. Oh My, the black beans with cilantro lime would make such a cozy comfortmeal. I love the flavor combination and would make some extra for lunch next day 😉

  12. Wow that black beans looks really really good. Super flavorful and delicious. I'm a huge fan of black beans, they are so nutritious and healthy for our gut. Love addition of cumin. Its match made in heaven. Pinning this!

  13. "if you really want the full Cafe Rio experience" - of COURSE I do!! Adding this to my list of recipes I must try. I love the flavors achieved in such a short time. YUM

  14. Those black beans sound delicious - I love flavorful black beans. No burrito necessary, I'll just take mine with a spoon!

  15. Both sound amazing in a burrito, I haven't had one in ages, I must make some soon. Plain rice can be pretty boring, the addition of cilantro and lime must bring such a lovely flavour. I would certainly use them in so many recipes.

  16. Black beans and rice is my favorite and I can have them any night for dinner. I always use my leftover beans and rice in burritos and the kids love to take it to school for their lunches.

  17. 5 stars
    This was amazing. So flavorful. I accidentally put the tomato sauce in the rice instead of the beans while it was cooking...this was an excellent mistake because it had so much flavor I didn't know what to do. Will definitely make this again. Thank you for the recipes.