I grew up eating black beans and rice mixed together a lot, which in Nicaragua is called Gallo Pinto, but it’s a popular dish in Cuba and in a lot of Central American countries as well, although it’s called differently in each of them. This Black Bean and Rice Frittata is modeled after that super simple dish I grew up eating and it is such a great weeknight brunch or even lazy weeknight dinner recipe. It’s topped with a delicious little chunky avocado salsa to add a bit of freshness and some crumbled queso fresco because as we all know, everything is better with cheese. Give this one a try because I just know you’ll love it.
Place a 10-inch, heat-proof, skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove onto a plate lined with paper towels.
**Note: The bacon is completely optional. If you want to keep this dish vegetarian, you can totally omit it. You can also swap it out for sausage if you’d like. I like the salty bite you get from the bacon though.**
Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease (depending on how fatty your bacon is) and then add in half the onion (saving the other half for later), the bell pepper, and jalapeño.
**Note: The addition of jalapeño is just part of the overall flavor of this dish. It really doesn’t make it very spicy at all, but rather it gives it a nice flavor. I highly recommend adding it, but if you’re completely against any kind of spice, you can just leave it.**
Cook until starting the vegetables have started to soften. Stir in the garlic, a large pinch of salt and pepper, cumin, cayenne and oregano. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes to develop the flavor.
Stir in the black beans (just a can that has been drained and rinsed) and the cooked white rice. Cook until just starting to warm through.
**Tip: This is the perfect dish for when you have any leftover cooked rice from the night before. But if you don’t have any leftover rice, you can cook up a small batch of rice on the stovetop. Or you can also use one of those cooked rice packets that you heat up in the microwave. Those will work in a pinch! This would also be great with cooked quinoa, barely or even farro.**
In a large bowl, whisk together the large eggs, whole milk, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a couple of dashes of hot sauce until evenly combined.
Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and give it all a gentle stir to evenly distribute. Top with the crispy bacon and then transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the center is no longer jiggly, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
In the meantime, in a large bowl, stir together the remaining half of onions, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, lime and salt and pepper. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, wrapped well, until ready to use.
Place the little avocado salad on top of the center of the frittata and sprinkle liberally with crumbled queso fresco.
**Tip: You can also use crumbled cotija or even feta if you’d like. Of course, leaving out the cheese altogether is an option too if you don’t have any one hand.**
Cut and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a couple dashes of hot sauce. You can eat it either hot or at room temperature, which makes it the perfect thing to make ahead of time.
I like to serve this for breakfast/brunch or even a light weeknight meal when I don’t really feel like cooking. It’s great with a simple salad on the side.
Real talk, it doesn’t look the most appetizing or appealing, but I promise it tastes so good! All of the flavors are supposed to mimic Cuban style rice and beans mixed together and it’s so good!
I hope you’ll give this recipe a shot very soon and be sure to let me know what you think when you try it! As always, let me know if you have any questions about this recipe or about substitutions. This recipe is very versatile and can switched up with whatever you have on hand. Stay safe my friends.
Black Bean and Rice Frittata
- 6 slices bacon sliced
- 1 small red onion diced (divided)
- 1 small green bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeño seeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup leftover cooked white rice
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Couple dashes hot sauce
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 large avocado diced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- Crumbled queso fresco for topping
- Sour cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place a 10-inch, heat-proof, skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove onto a plate lined with paper towels. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and then add in half the onion, the bell pepper, and jalapeño. Cook until starting to soften. Stir in the garlic, a large pinch of salt and pepper, cumin, cayenne and oregano. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes to develop the flavor. Stir in the black beans, rice and the bacon.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a couple of dashes of hot sauce. Pour into the skillet and give it all a gentle stir to evenly distribute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the center is no longer jiggly, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- In the meantime, in a large bowl, stir together the remaining half of onions, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, lime and salt and pepper. Place this mixture on top of the frittata, and sprinkle with queso fresco. Cut and serve with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!
This sounds amazing. Going to try with a little more vegetarian/pescatarian twist