Moro de Habichuelas (Rice and Beans)

Moro de habichuelas (Rice and beans)

Moro is a mixture of rice, beans and vegetables. This is one of the most common dishes on the Dominican table. We are presenting here a generic recipe in which you can use either black beans, white beans, faba beans, butter beans or green pigeon peas in place of the red kidney beans.

Dominicans are not the only ones to serve rice and beans, or to make moro, in fact this dish seems to exist in different incarnations in several Caribbean and Latin American nations.

Of course each country has its own flavor and combination of ingredients, just like each household in the Dominican Republic probably has its own version of this dish, but the general concept remains the same.

Moro de habichuelas (Rice and beans)

Take for example Cuba. The Cuban counterpart of this popular Dominican dish bears the name, “moros y cristianos” or Christians and Moors (a reminder of colonial times sensibilities) as it is still known in Cuba. It was shortened to moro in the Dominican Republic.

In Haiti it is known as “ris et pois”, and prepared with fewer ingredients than the Dominican one. In Jamaica it is known as “rice and peas”.

Moro de habichuelas (Rice and beans)

The addition of thyme to this version is owed to the fact that this is a very common ingredient in beans recipes in the Northwest DR, where I hail from.

Buen provecho!

Aunt Clara

Moro de Habichuelas Recipe (Dominican Rice and beans)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Moro Recipe is a mixture of rice and beans. This is one of the most common dishes on the Dominican table. We are presenting here a generic version that you can modify by adding other types of beans or legumes.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 4 cups of rice
  • 2 cups of soft-boiled or canned kidney beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • ¼ cup of diced cubanelle peppers
  • 1 pinch of oregano
  • ½ teaspoon mashed garlic
  • ⅛ cup of capers (optional)
  • ⅛ cup of sliced pitted olives (optional)
  • ¼ cup of chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon of dry thyme leaves, or a 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  1. Heat half the oil (2.5 Tbsp) in an iron pot over high fire and add coriander, garlic, thyme, celery, olives, oregano, peppers, capers.
  2. Stir while adding the tomato paste until the tomato dissolves.
  3. Add beans, also while stirring, add 1.5 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Once well heated, add water and bring to the boil (try the mixture and add salt to taste before proceeding, bear in mind that the rice will absorb some of the salt, so don't low-ball it).
  5. Add the rice and stir regularly to avoid excessive sticking. Make sure to remove the rice that sticks to the bottom.
  6. When the water has evaporated cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes.
  7. Wait 15 minutes, uncover, add the remaining oil and stir.
  8. Cover again another 5 minutes. After this the rice should be firm but tender inside. If necessary, cover and leave another 5 minutes over very low heat (if at this point it looks too dry add ¼ cup of boiling water before stirring and covering.
  9. Serve with meat, (or seafood), a side dish and salad.
If you boil the beans yourself use the water in which they boiled in place of (or partially) the 6 cups of water called for in the recipe. If you use canned beans throw away the liquid in which they came in the can and use fresh water. The liquid in the can is loaded with sodium and doesn't taste very well.


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{ 27 comments… add one }

  • linda March 3, 2015, 1:25 PM

    Hi. Thanks for the great advice but I have a confusing question. I just spent 9 days in the DR and every day the beans had an orange/yellow vegetable mixed in, chopped in squares. I don’t find anything about it in any Dominican bean recipes. Can you tell me what it is?

  • valeriemarchena January 26, 2015, 4:06 PM

    I need the recipe serving size for 9 people please and thank you

    • Aunt Clara January 30, 2015, 11:55 AM

      Valerie, I have only tested this recipe. I’d rather not give you information that I haven’t tested, sorry.

  • Josefina April 12, 2014, 3:36 PM

    Too much*.

  • Josefina April 12, 2014, 3:36 PM

    What if i put a bit too mich oil and it is still wet and oily? What can i do to fix it up?

    • Aunt Clara April 16, 2014, 2:24 AM

      Not much you can do about that, if is already finished. Unless it’s soaked in oil it will still be edible.

  • Rivet November 6, 2013, 2:40 PM

    Pero que receta mas rica! Tengo que hacerla, y mas de las que a puesto en su blog; muchas gracias por compartir. Ayer hice Moros Y Cristianos al estilo de La Republica, y me salieron per exquisitos- alguin me dio una receta para el sofrito Dominicano, que use. Pero, ahora quiero probar la suya con frijoles rojos. Trabajo con una senorita Dominicana, y me dijo que se hace en La Republica Moros y Cristianos con frijoles negros tambien. No se, nunca he viajado a ese pais. En fin, si desea ver mi elaboracion del plato, lo puede ver en mi canal de YT, Rivet Gardener, con el enlace asi:
    Muchas gracias por su Blog, me encanto!

    -Juan (Rivet)

  • Lexi April 10, 2013, 5:02 PM

    I would like to use this recipe for a school project, but if I can’t find cubanelle peppers what should I substitute it for? And is the rice instant, or actual rice? If actual can I use wheat rice? Thanks for sharing your recipes I can’t wait to try them.

    • Aunt Clara April 11, 2013, 9:50 AM

      You can use bell peppers. And you need regular long-grain rice.

  • Kim January 17, 2013, 1:36 PM

    When I was in the Dominican Republic my host family made me La Bandera Dominicana with a shredded chicken side dish that I mixed with the rice. The chicken was fabulous and tasted like it was cooked in salsa and some herbs. Do you know of any chicken recipe like this?

  • Omayra October 24, 2012, 11:21 AM

    Is there a receipe for less servings?

    • Aunt Clara October 24, 2012, 4:22 PM

      No, you would have to adapt it yourself.

    • Apple October 24, 2012, 4:30 PM

      I’ve made it dividing each ingredient by 2 and it worked just as well:
      2 cups rice
      1 cup beans (~1/2 can)
      3 cups water
      2.5 T oil
      1 T tomato paste
      2 T cubanelle peppers
      1 pinch oregano
      1/4 minced garlic
      1 T capers
      1 T sliced olives
      2 T chopped celery
      1/2 t cilantro
      1/4 t dry thyme
      1/2 cube of bouillon (I put in one whole bouillon cube and omitted the salt)
      1/2 t salt

  • Apple August 23, 2012, 4:37 PM

    I usually don’t comment on recipes, but I just made this and it was delicious. I’ve made/had rice and beans dishes before which have come out tasty but goopy and soupy. This came out as beautiful tasty individual tender grains of rice. Great recipe!

  • Brooklyn July 8, 2012, 9:08 PM

    Rice and beans or (red beans & rice as Creoles call it) can be find throughout the Americas from African descendants everywhere. I love this recipe you have posted. I think every country has a tasteful spin on this classic dish.

    • Aunt Clara July 8, 2012, 11:03 PM

      Yes, each country has its own version, and I have to say I haven’t met one I didn’t like yet.

  • victor April 20, 2012, 4:40 AM

    in this recipe, you say to have 5 tblspns of oil but to only add 2.5 tblspns of oil at the beginning to make el sofrito. When do you pour the other 2.5 bec i didnt see where that goes?

    • victor April 20, 2012, 4:41 AM

      opps just saw that lol nvm

  • wendy March 28, 2012, 8:48 PM

    ok so wut do u eat that with? im mexican, my hubbie is dominican and we use our rice as a side dish. but i want 2 please him and wut better department then his belly :) please help

    • Aunt Clara March 29, 2012, 2:42 AM

      There's almost always a serving suggestion at the end of each recipe. Just check the corresponding category or recipe and choose something you like.

      Good luck!

  • rita June 1, 2011, 5:07 PM

    do you know of a recipe consisting of beans rice and meat.I believe it is prepared seperate but added together

  • Lily May 1, 2011, 8:27 AM

    Is there any kind of dominican sauce or dressing to put on this?

  • Lily April 30, 2011, 4:41 PM

    I had to make several Dominican Republic dishes for a Spanish project and I made them using your recipies. I just wanted to say the meal turned out fabulous and it was delicious! Thanks soo much! :)