Delicious Dominican Cuisine

A Buen Tiempo... Buen Provecho! ;)

Dominican style Rice with Red Beans/Moro de Habichuelas Rojas

A “moro” (which is rice dish cooked with some type of bean in it) is usually a quick fix to accompany any meal, especially if you don’t feel like making a pot of white rice and a separate pot of stewed red beans.

I opt to use fresh vegetables when I make my moros, since it gives it a delicious natural flavor.  If you love beans and want more grains with your rice, you can always double the amount of beans the recipe calls for and it will have a more intense bean flavor.


To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

1 (approx 15.5 oz) can of Red Kidney beans (may substitute with 2 cups of dried red beans that have been soaked and boiled until soft)
4 Cups Long Grain Rice
6 Cups Water
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Small onion
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Green Bell Pepper
1/2 – 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro
1 Habanero Chile (aji gustozo)
2 Celery Stalks
1 tsp Ground Oregano
1 tbsp Vinegar
2 tbsp Spanish Olives
2 tbsp Olive Oil (may use vegetable oil)
1 tbsp Achiote Oil (may be substituted with 2 tbsp tomato paste)
1 tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper (optional)

I usually use canned beans to make moro because it’s quicker and they give it good taste.  But if you prefer using dried beans, just soak them the night before and then boil them until they get soft before using them for this recipe.

Since I am opting to use canned beans, first, take the beans from the can and give them a good rinse.   Doing this enhances the flavor of the beans and gets rid of the liquid the beans come packaged in which usually has a high level of sodium in it.

(I usually use the Goya Red Kidney beans)

After rinsing the beans, set them aside.  Take a medium sized pot (or caldero, which is what I’m using), add the olive (or vegetable) oil and the chopped garlic, put the heat on medium high and let saute until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the salt, you can always adjust the salt level to your liking, but 1 tbsp works well for the amount of rice this recipe calls for.

Be careful not to let the garlic burn (if it burns and turns black it turns bitter), once it’s fragrant and starting to turn into a golden color, add the beans,

Add a splash of water (a couple of tablespoons),

While the beans start heating up, chop the onion,

Then add it to the pot and let it cook for a couple of minutes,

While the beans are simmering away, let’s cut the habanero chile (aji gustozo).  This chile can be hard to find, sometimes depending on the season it is available in the bigger supermarket chains, but if you have a Spanish grocery store (bodega) near you, you can probably find them there year round.

Don’t be fooled, these little chiles pack alot of flavor and spice, therefore, a little goes a long way.  I usually use the green ones because they are flavorful but not hot like the red ones.  You can always omit this from the recipe if you cannot find it.

I prefer to cut my bell peppers into large pieces to pull out after the rice is cooked.  You can cut them into smaller pieces if you prefer, they usually just get really soft and stick to the rice if you decide to go that route.  Once the peppers and the chile is chopped, add to the pot,

Cut the celery into larger pieces (I pull those out as well after the rice is cooked) unless you prefer smaller pieces,

Adding each of these vegetables builds a new layer of flavor.  Now we add the oregano,

Then the vinegar,

Then the achiote oil, you may substitute this with 2 tbsp of tomato paste if you prefer,

Then add the Spanish olives, I add them whole, but you may chop them if you like,

Give everything a good stir and let it cook for about 5 minutes, then add the water,

Then last but not least (for the vegetables), add the cilantro.  I add it whole, but you may add it chopped if you prefer,

Give it a good stir, then cover the pot and let it come to a boil.  Once the items come to a boil, let them cook for a few minutes to develop more flavor.  Before adding the rice, you can give it a taste and add more salt if you want it to be more savory.

While the water is boiling, start to prepare the rice.  Give it a good rinse to wash away that “chalky” taste,

Swirl the rice with your hands and then drain away the cloudy water to rinse again,

Repeat the process about 3 – 4 times until the water is not as cloudy, but more translucent (you can see the rice under the water),

Give it one last drain, then add the rice to the pot and give it a good stir,

One way to check (well that’s one Dominican method 🙂 ) if the rice and water level are in good proportion is to stick a tablespoon in the middle and if it stays standing up, you’re good to go. It doesn’t always work that way though, I got lucky this time around. 🙂

Don’t panic if this trick doesn’t work for you though, I’ve made this recipe countless times and using these measurements you should get fluffy rice. 🙂

The water will come up to a boil after adding the rice, when this happens, stir every few minutes and you will see the rice start to absorb all of that deliciousness,

Once the rice has absorbed the water and is moist and sticky, pile it in to the middle of the pot,

My mom always told me that covering the rice with a plastic bag ensured it cooked better when using a “caldero” (which is the kind of pot I’m using to make this rice).  But I prefer to use aluminum foil instead of a bag.  You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, but it’s the way my mom taught me, so I’m going to follow in her teachings. 🙂

Then cover the pot and lower the heat to medium  to medium – low (depending on how potent your burner is).  If you have a strong burner, lower it to medium low, but if you have a weak burner (as I do) leave it on medium.

Let the rice cook for 30 minutes (without uncovering or stirring).

Then uncover and it should look like this,

Now is the time I usually remove the larger vegetables that are really overcooked and mushy, so I prefer to toss them,

With a big spoon, stir the rice, bringing the rice from the bottom up, fluffing it up in the process,

Cover and let it hang out for 5 minutes before serving.

I recommend to serve with a nice side of stewed chicken or roasted pork leg, yum!

Buen Provecho! 😉

18 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Johanna

     /  December 31, 2011

    I did it and it came out great!!! I am a non-cook, so I appreciate your detailed, step by step instructions! Thank you for your recipes!

  2. M.

     /  July 30, 2012

    Love your recipes. Cooking it for the first time. Keeping fingers crossed. 🙂

  3. grace

     /  October 1, 2012


    thanks for posting such detailed instructions, the pictures are sooo helpful. This is my first time making this dish. However my rice has come out terribly spicy and I am wondering if maybe I used the wrong chile? My habanero chile was orange, unlike the one you used. Is this still the right kind? Well, as spicy as it is I will still eat my rice (albeit drinking a lot of water), but please let me know whether I have made a mistake or this rice should always have such a potent kick.



    • Janet O.

       /  October 13, 2012

      There are 2 kinds of habaneros, the spicy ones and the sweet ones. Usually the spicy ones are red or orange, but sometimes they come sweet. It’s tricky to use them and here int he supermarkets sometimes they don’t label them properly (i’ve had my share of spicy chiles myself). Usually we dominicans get the “ajicitos dulces/aji gustoso” but in the supermarkets around here they are always called “habanero chiles” whether they are sweet or spicy. I usually notice if they are spicy when I slice them and start to feel the heat on my fingers (a numbing sensation and a mild itch), if I feel that I usually don’t use them. I will edit my post and make a note that an alternative pepper that can be used to the habanero is the cubanela peppers.

  4. Shawn

     /  October 24, 2012

    Thanks for posting, my hubby is from DR so I’m always tring to make stuff for him. I didn’t have the ingredients on hand but I will try this next time

  5. Nathali

     /  February 11, 2013

    Instead of using the fresh vegetables, my mom just adds the sazon she makes. Would you recommend doing this?

    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      If you have a bottle of pre-made sazon, yes you can certainly use that. I make that sometimes, but for the sake of the people who don’t cook this type of food everyday I write my recipes with fresh ingredients in case they don’t pre-made sazon available.
      – Janet

  6. F.O

     /  April 10, 2013

    Im a non cook and im dominican I come on to your website for everything , I love the site and I thank you for your tranditional style and receipts !!!!7 thanks a million

    P.s my bf thinks im an amazing cook lol

    • Janet O.

       /  April 11, 2013

      Thank you so much, I am glad that you like the recipes (and your bf as well)! 🙂
      – Janet

  7. Beth

     /  April 15, 2013

    Looks great! I’m going to make it for our follow-up meeting from our recent mission trip to the DR. There will be around 20 of us so how many does this recipe serve? Can I double it if I need to?

    • Janet O.

       /  April 16, 2013

      Beth for 20 people, I deff would recommend you double that because depending on how much each person eats, this recipe probably feeds about 6 – 8 people (depending on how big the servings are).
      – Janet

  8. I would like to thank you so much for the excellent recipe. I made the best Moro ever. I am Dominican but I do not cook that often. Your recipe was the easiest I was able to follow due to the step by step instructions (the pictures were worth a million words) and this was the reason I was able to master it. It was amazing!

    • Janet O.

       /  April 28, 2013

      You are welcome, I am glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
      – Janet

  9. Tera

     /  May 6, 2013

    Hello, thanks for posting such detailed and delicious recipes. I cannot wait to try them.
    This looks good! I was wondering do you have a recipe for arroz con gandules but without coco? Ive been trying to find a good recipe for that for so long.
    Thanks again

    • Janet O.

       /  May 13, 2013

      Yes that recipe should be coming very soon. That is the next rice dish on my list which I will be uploading within the next few weeks.
      – Janet

  10. Shanna

     /  May 19, 2013

    I’m Dominican, born here. I cook Dominican food daily but I have learned new tricks at your website. It is AWESOME!!! I love your carefull instructions and pictures! I Wish you great success!

    • Janet O.

       /  May 20, 2013

      Thank you so much, I am glad you are getting good use out of the site! 🙂


Leave a Reply