Try Moro rice, a simple rice and beans recipe combined into an easy, flavorful, nutritious one-pot dish that is part of the gastronomic heritage of most of the Caribbean, including our country. Learn everything about it and all the ways to make one of our favorite main dishes.
By- Last reviewed . Published May 30, 2022
Why we ❤️ it
Here I share with you our best, most awesome moro rice options and tips for a foolproof result, and ideas for what to eat with rice and beans.
Moro rice recipes
Moro de habichuelas
Moro de guandules
Moro-locrio de habichuelas negras y chuleta
Moro de habas
Moro de maíz or arroz con maíz
Moro de habichuelas negras
What's arroz moro?
To make moro, a beans and rice mixture cooked as a one-pot dish in a Dutch oven pot (caldero). The most popular is moro de habichuelas, made with pinto beans, pink beans, or red kidney beans. Other combinations are possible by using another type of bean, pigeon peas, and even corn. Moro de guandules is a staple of our Christmas feast, and my favorite is a version that contains coconut milk.
The advantage of cooking rice and beans – two inexpensive pantry staples – together as one dish is that it shortens the lunch preparation, and – since beans are already a complete protein – you can eliminate the need to cook any other proteins, though we usually do serve some with moro.
It can be made simply with just a handful of ingredients or more complex and rich by adding more. We have everything here. You'll also find below our side dish suggestions that go great with this easy rice recipe that the whole family will love.
Type of rice for moro
Bowl of raw long-grain (Carolina) rice
For moro rice, you need long-grain rice, which is a kind of rice with a medium starch content and produces "arroz graneado", or rice that cooks through but still keeps firm with separate grains. This is the type of rice used in Dominican cuisine.
You can use long grain brown rice too, in that case, soak the rice in enough water to cover it for two hours beforehand. Drain the water, and use in the recipe as you would regular rice.
What beans to use
Beans used to make moro rice
For moro you can use dry black beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans, cranberry beans, pink beans, butter beans, or guandules (gandules or pigeon peas). Each version follows almost the same cooking process, except for the time it takes to boil dried beans, which varies from bean to bean. You can boil beans by soaking them overnight (to shorten the cooking time), then boiling them on a regular pot, or – to save time a lot of time – a traditional pressure cooker or an instant pot.
You can also use canned beans to shorten the preparation time.
Beans are a great plant protein, and this makes a great vegan easy dinner or lunch idea.
What to eat with rice and beans
We serve moro with any of our "guisado" meats or vegetables: Pollo guisado (chicken) is the perfect companion to this rice dish, but so are also Res guisada (beef), Cerdo guisado (pork), Chivo guisado (goat) or Berenjenas guisadas (eggplants) are always great to combine with moro.
How to store and reheat
You can store the leftover rice in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. To reheat in the microwave, add a couple of tablespoons of water and reheat covered. To reheat on the stovetop, place the rice in a large skillet, add 4 - 5 tablespoons of water, and heat covered over medium heat until it starts to release steam. If it's too dry, you may add a little bit more water.
For extra flavor, substitute vegetable broth, beef broth, or chicken broth for the 5 cups of water in the preparation above.
The Cuban version of moro – and many Cuban dishes – contain laurel leaves, which is not that common in Dominican cooking, but do add a nice taste, in case you want to try that as your own spin.
Moro in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, Moros y Cristianos and congrí in Cuba, Rice and peas in Jamaica.
Moro, both the concept and the dish exist all over Latin America, to which it came from Spain with the conquistadors. Moro recipes can be found from Ecuador to the Spanish Caribbean and are made in diverse ways depending on the country and region. Each country has its own flavor and combination of ingredients.
Take Cuba for example. The Cuban counterpart of this popular Dominican dish is called "moros y cristianos" or Moors (Muslims) and Christians (a reminder of pre-colonial attitudes), and it still is known by that name in Cuba. It was shortened to just moro in the Dominican Republic.