Cuban Black Bean Bowls with mango salsa, hearty quinoa, canned black beans, and a delicious honey lime dressing. This easy vegetarian meal is quick to make, filling, and packed with flavor. Jump to Recipe
Bursting with vibrant colors and bright flavors, these Cuban Black Bean Bowls make the perfect easy weeknight meals. With so many rich and satisfying ingredients, this delicious vegetarian dish is guaranteed to become a hit in your home.
Whether you’re a meat lover or someone who follows a plant-based diet, this recipe is the ultimate crowd-pleaser for everyone. Savory ingredients like black beans, quinoa, and garlic are complemented by light ingredients like lime juice, mango, and cilantro for a perfectly balanced meal. With so many flavorful ingredients packed into each bowl, you’ll be reaching for seconds before you’ve even finished your first helping.
Not only is this mouthwatering dish satisfying and wholesome, but it’s also easy to make. This is a huge help on particularly busy days, although if you’re like me—every day is a busy day. The whole dish comes together in just 20 minutes, but can be made even quicker if you prep your quinoa ahead of time.
The bright, tropical flavors in this dish make me feel like I’m on vacation, which is especially nice during a time when vacations aren’t necessarily a feasible option. For a delicious lunch or a show-stopping main course at your next family gathering, look no further than these vibrant Cuban Black Bean Bowls. Now, let’s get to the good stuff!
Key Ingredients for Black Bean Bowls
Some of the key ingredients for this dish include:
- Black beans: These are the stars of our dish and a huge source of protein and fiber. I use canned black beans for the convenience factor, but you can also use dried beans and cook them yourself if you prefer.
- Quinoa: This is used as the base of our bowls and is one of the healthiest grains you can eat. Quinoa is packed with nutrients, protein, and fiber.
- Mango: This stone fruit is sweet, juicy, and brightens up the whole dish. In this dish the mango is served up in a quick Mango Salsa that is the perfect mix of flavor.
- Corn: In addition to the gorgeous pop of color and delicious flavor, corn also adds a ton of fiber to the dish.
- Cilantro: This adds loads of fresh flavor that complement all of the other ingredients in the recipe.
- Lime juice: This adds acid and aromatics that brighten up the dish, while also providing a ton of added nutrients.
Note: For a complete ingredient list and detailed instructions on how to make the dish, scroll down further!
Health Benefits of Black Beans
Black beans are incredibly cost-effective and are a fantastic source of fiber, protein, and nutrients. These are some of the most significant health benefits of black beans:
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Decreased constipation and bloating
- Increased bone strength
- Lowered blood pressure levels
- Increased metabolism
- Reduced risk of cancer and heart disease
Serving and Substitutions
- If you’re a spicy food lover, feel free to add freshly chopped chili peppers to the bowl or a dash of cayenne to the dressing.
- While this bowl is loaded with protein on its own, you can also add another protein source if you’d like. Good options include shredded chicken, pork, barbacoa, and jackfruit.
- To make this dish vegan-friendly, you can substitute the honey for maple syrup.
- We use red bell pepper in this dish because it’s the sweetest and most nutritious, but you can use whichever color you prefer or have on hand.
- Pair this dish with a refreshing Skinny Margarita for a show-stopping meal your guests won’t soon forget.
Make Ahead Tips
These Cuban Black Bean Bowls take about 20 minutes to make from start to finish, but you can cut down on time by prepping some of your ingredients ahead of time. The quinoa takes 15 minutes to cook, so if you prep it the day before or even a few hours before, you can cut your prep time down significantly.
To further reduce prep time, you can chop your bell pepper, onions, cilantro, and mango a few hours ahead of time and store them individually in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your bowls. This comes especially in handy if you’re serving these bowls at a gathering and want to arrange your ingredients separately so your guests can build their own bowls.
How to Store
To store this dish, you will need to keep the remaining honey lime dressing separate from the rest of the ingredients. The dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and the bowl ingredients can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. I would not recommend freezing the dressing, but the bowl ingredients can be frozen in airtight bags or containers for up to 2-3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions About Black Bean Bowls
Are black beans good for you?
Yes! Black beans are jam-packed with nutrients and are a powerful source of fiber, meaning they help keep you feeling satisfied for longer. They’re also commonly used in place of meat in vegan dishes for their high levels of protein.
Can I store the dressing with the other ingredients?
I would not recommend it. Storing the dressing in the same container as the other ingredients is a quick way to end up with a soggy bowl. For best results, you are going to want to store the dressing in its own separate container.
What if I don’t have fresh limes?
If you don’t have fresh limes on hand, don’t worry! You can use lime juice concentrate or lemon juice, if needed. The point is to add citrus for the acidity and brightness it brings, so lemons will work in a similar way.
Do I have to use cilantro?
No. Personally, I love cilantro, but I know that some people can’t stand it! If that’s the case for you, you can leave it out altogether or replace it with another fresh herb like parsley.
More Black Bean Recipes
Cuban Black Bean Bowls
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- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1.5 cups water
- 15 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 1 U red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup mango, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey (or pure maple syrup for vegan)
- 1 U garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 U avocado, sliced
- Salt and pepper
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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