Belqui’s Dominican Rice and Beans

Belqui rice beans

Yes, Latino food can vary wildly nation by nation, island by island, but one dish you can find on just about all of our tables—no matter where we come from—is rice and beans. We can debate the length of rice (short, medium or long?), type of bean (pinto, black, pink, red or other?), and even what to call them en español (frijol, habichuela or poroto?) but on this we agree: rice and beans are essential to la cocina Latina and homecooking at its most casero.

In the Dominican Republic, according to one of our favorite Dominican homecooks, Belqui Ortizi-Millili, who runs a food blog called Belqui’s Twist, the go-tos are: long-grain white rice, black beans and the term: habichuela. Because she loves this dish so much, it was one of the very first she learned to make when she was about 12 in her family’s kitchen in Washington Heights, New York. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids, and it’s still one of their most-requested, favorites—so Belqui makes sure to whip it up often and in large batches. Another of her family’s most loved Dominican treats: Belqui’s arepitas de yuca.

Belqui prefers to make her beans from scratch, but she gets it: everyone is busy, so she calls for canned beans in this recipe. Fascinating to us at Familia Kitchen is her use of soy sauce, an ingredient we don’t see see in most arroz y habichuelas. Honestly, we can’t wait to try making Belqui’s rice and beans with 1 Tbsp of soy.

”What would our life be like if it wasn’t for rice and beans?,” wonders Belqui. “Most of us serve them todos los dias, every single day on the side of everything that we eat.” Great question. La vida without beans is unimaginable.

We’re heading into the Familia Kitchen now, to make our own batch of Belqui’s arroz y habichuelas—with soy sauce, of course. Doesn’t that sound so savory and delicioso? Join us!

Ready to Make Dominican-Style Rice and Beans?

Belqui’s Dominican Rice and Beans

Recipe by Belqui Ortiz-Millili
4.3 from 43 votes
Cuisine: Dominican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Arroz
  • 4 cups white rice, long grain

  • 5 cups water

  • 2 Tbsp salt

  • 5 Tbsp corn oil

  • For the Habichuelas
  • 29 oz can black beans

  • 2 Tbsp corn oil

  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped

  • 1 tsp garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup red and green peppers (combined), chopped to taste

  • 1 Tbsp lime juice

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

  • 2 Tbsp adobo

  • 1 Tbsp ground oregano

  • 2 Tbsp olives, stuffed with red pimentos

  • 8 oz tomato sauce

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 29 oz water (fill the can the beans came in)


  • To Make the Arroz
  • In a large pot over high heat, bring water to a boil after adding the salt.
  • Once at a boil, add the rice and stir well.
  • Bring to a boil again while stirring frequently.
  • Once water evaporates, lower heat to low and add the corn oil. Stir well and cover.
  • Cook on low for 25 minutes. Do not uncover.
  • After 25 minutes, uncover, stir fluffing up the rice.
  • Cover again and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • To Make the Habichuelas
  • In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the oil. Heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Add onions and stir for about 1 minute. Add peppers and stir again.
  • Add garlic and stir for another minute.
  • Add lime juice, soy sauce, white vinegar, adobo, oregano and salad olives. Stir well.
  • Add the tomato sauce and cilantro. Stir well.
  • Add the beans and again stir well.
  • Add the water and bring to a boil.
  • Once at a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • With a strainer or fork, crush some of the beans over the saucepan and return. This will thicken up the beans a bit. So you can do this as much as you’d like.
  • Cook until beans reach the desired thickness or consistency. Spoon on or next to the white rice and you are all set!


  • Belqui says you can replace the beans with any other type, including: red beans, romano beans, pinto beans, pink beans and so on!
rice and beans Belqui Dominican
Belqui uses long grain white rice for her Dominican arroz y habichuelas.
rice and beans Belqui Dominican
Belqui’s bean of choice is black. We love her use of soy sauce and lime juice in this traditional Dominican dish.

Photos: Belqui Ortiz-Millili

Watch Belqui guide us step by step as she makes her Dominican rice and beans.

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