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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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an aerial view of a skillet containing black beans

Cafe Rio Black Beans & Cilantro Lime Rice

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!
4.92 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 315kcal
Author: Amy Nash


Black Beans

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 30 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice OR 1 small can of tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • 1/4 cup onion roughly chopped
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small can diced green chilies
  • 1/2 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
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