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CUBAN BLACK BEAN + MANGO BOWL

Cuban Black Beans + Mango Bowl – A nutritious and delicious mix of black beans, quinoa and mango salsa. Cook the cuban black beans in your Instant Pot, slow cooker or on the stovetop. Vegan, gluten free and oil free recipe!

top down view of bowl with serving of cuban black bean mango bowl with quinoa with items surrounding.

This Cuban Black Bean + Mango Bowl is inspired by a frozen meal from Sweet Earth called, Bean & Mango Cubano. I don’t typically eat frozen meals, but this one popped out at me and I couldn’t resist.

The combination of cuban black beans, mango salsa and quinoa was too good to pass up. And it did not disappoint in the least!

I was inspired enough to add a variation to the recipe collection. So here it is and it’s just as delicious, but much better because it’s made at home! ♡

What’s even better is that you can cook the cuban black beans in your Instant Pot (<affiliate link). No need to soak the beans either. Let the instant pot do all the work. Dried beans made quick & easy.

  • It’s incredible.
  • It’s amazing.
  • It’s practically instant!

And if you don’t have an Instant Pot, no worries, you’ll find the directions for both slow-cooker and stovetop methods in the recipe card below. That way there is no excuse to not gather your ingredients and get cooking!

top down view of ingredients used to make cuban black beans with quinoa and mango salsa.

Ingredients You’ll Need

After looking over the Sweet Earth “Bean & Mango Cubano” package ingredients and doing a quick google search, I found a recipe from the New York Times to use as a guide for the beans.

Here is a look at what you’ll need, plus ingredient variations:

  • The beans: It all starts with dried black beans. Try to use the freshest dried beans available by making sure to purchase from a source that replenishes often. Old beans will not soften well and you may end with an unpleasant texture. If you don’t want to use dried beans, canned beans will work too as noted in the recipe card below.
  • The veggies: We’ll be using green bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and garlic.
  • Olives: I’m an olive lover so I really, REALLY loved the addition of the green olives. They lend a bit of extra flavor and texture. I used plain pitted olives, but you can use olives stuffed with pimentos (for a smoky flavor), garlic or jalapeno. And if you don’t care for olives, there are plenty of other flavors and textures to satisfy your palate.
  • The spices: Spices include cumin (not shown above), oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and are fairly minimal in this recipe. Cuban food isn’t overly spiced, their presence should give just a hint, but if you love cumin feel free to add a little extra.
  • Liquids: For the liquids, I used vegetable broth which was good, but water is ok too, or use a combo for the best of both worlds. Adding a little vinegar once cooked adds a lovely overall brightness.
  • Mango: – We’ll be adding this Fresh Mango Salsa to the bowl. It’s super easy requiring 7 ingredients and 10 minutes to make.
  • Grain: I used quinoa, but rice, farro or barley would be great too!

top down view of onion and bell pepper sauteed in instant pot with items surrounding.

How To Make Cuban Black Beans

The following shows you the Instant Pot method. You can find the full printable recipe, along with stovetop and slow-cooker instructions, in the recipe card.

  • Prep the produce: Prep the produce is the hardest part. If you really want to keep it simple, omit the olives and/or jalapeno.
  • Saute: I sauteed the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and jalapenos for a few minutes. I love that this feature is available with a push of a button on the Instant Pot. But you don’t really need to do this step, unless you just want to. Everything will cook just fine all at once, saving you an extra step.

top down view of all ingredients added to instant pot to make cuban black beans recipe.

  • Add remaining ingredients: Add all the remaining ingredients for the cuban black beans, except the vinegar, to the bowl of the Instant Pot and give a good stir. Position lid to lock, and turn the vent valve at the top to its SEALED position.
  • Pressure Cook: Press the BEANS/CHILI button, and adjust the mode to NORMAL for soft, tender beans, or MORE for very soft, almost mushy beans. Alternately, press MANUAL, then HIGH PRESSURE and set timer for 30 minutes for soft beans, or 35 minutes for very soft beans. When timer goes off, let pressure release naturally for at least 25 minutes. Carefully turn vent valve to open, let remaining pressure release and remove lid.
  • Add vinegar: Add the 2 tablespoons of vinegar (this step will brighten the overall flavor and I highly recommend not skipping this step). Season with salt & pepper to taste. Beans will thicken upon standing. Remove bay leaves before serving.

top down view of freshly made cuban black beans in an instant pot.

Tips For Cuban Black Bean + Mango Bowl

  • While the beans are cooking, make the quinoa, cilantro lime rice, or brown rice and mango salsa.
  • The mango is super delicious in this recipe, but feel free to change it up with Pico de Gallo or Fresh Corn Salsa.
  • Leftovers hold up well and the flavor will enhance overnight. I’ve read that cooking beans without soaking them first makes for more flavorful beans. I’m beginning to think that is very true.
  • The only possible thing that could make this bowl better is a little AVOCADO. If you have one, by all means use it!

How To Store Leftovers

Leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 days. To keep longer, store in the freezer in freezer safe containers or baggies for up to 2 – 3 months.

More Pressure Cooker Recipes You’ll Love

top down view of bowl with serving of healthy cuban black bean mango bowl with quinoa.

If you try this black bean recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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CUBAN BLACK BEAN + MANGO BOWL

Cuban Black Bean + Mango Bowl is a nutritious and delicious mix of protein rich cuban black beans, heart healthy quinoa and fresh mango salsa! Instant pot, slow cooker, and stovetop methods.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot, slow cooker, stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cuban
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale

Cuban Black Beans

  • 1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed and pick over to remove odd beans
  • 1 spanish onion, diced
  • 56 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, drained and sliced (I used a 6oz jar)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth (or combo)
  • 12 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (distilled or white wine vinegar is great too)
  • mineral salt & cracked pepper, to taste

Quinoa

  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of salt

Toppings

Instructions

COOK THE CUBAN BLACK BEANS

Instant Pot Method:

*No need to soak the beans.

  1. Add all the ingredients for the cuban black beans, except the vinegar, to the bowl of the Instant Pot and give a good stir. Position lid to lock, and turn the vent valve at the top to its SEALED position.
  2. Press the BEANS/CHILI button, and adjust the mode to NORMAL for soft, tender beans, or MORE for very soft, almost mushy beans. Alternately, press MANUAL, then HIGH PRESSURE and set timer for 30 minutes for soft beans, or 35 minutes for very soft beans. When timer goes off, let pressure release naturally for at least 25 minutes. Carefully turn vent valve to open, let remaining pressure release and remove lid.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of vinegar (this step will brighten the overall flavor and I highly recommend not skipping this step). Season with salt & pepper to taste. Beans will soak up the remaining liquids as they cool. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Slow Cooker Method:

*No need to soak the beans.

  1. Add all the ingredients for the cuban black beans, except the vinegar, to the bowl of the Instant Pot and give a good stir. Place lid on top, cook on high for 6 to 8 hours. Will be ready when beans are soft and tender throughout.
  2. Add the 2 tablespoons of vinegar (this step will brighten the overall flavor and I highly recommend not skipping this step). Season with salt & pepper to taste. Beans will soak up the remaining liquids as they cool. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Stovetop Method:

*Soak the beans FIRST. In a large pot, use enough cool water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Cover with a lid and let soak overnight, or at least 8 hours.

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil or 1/4 cup water (for water saute) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell peppers, saute for about 5 minutes. Next, add in garlic, jalapeno, cumin, oregano and olives, cook for 1 minute stirring, stirring frequently. (If you want to skip this step as it’s skipped in the other methods, by all means all the ingredients for the cuban black beans, except for the vinegar and cook as in the next step below.)
  2. Add in the beans, water/broth, bay leaves, cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 50 – 60 minutes. Beans are ready when they are soft and tender throughout.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of vinegar (this step will brighten the overall flavor and I highly recommend not skipping this step). Season with salt & pepper to taste. Beans will soak up the remaining liquids as they cool. Remove bay leaves before serving.

COOK THE QUINOA

  1. In a medium pot, place quinoa, garlic powder, salt and water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, uncover and let rest for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork, set aside.

Alternatively, you can cook the quinoa first using this Instant Pot Quinoa recipe.

SERVE

Serve the beans alongside the quinoa, and top with mango salsa. Add a squeeze of lime over top and add some sliced/diced avocado if you have one hand.

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

The spices are fairly minimal. Their presence should give just a hint, but if you love cumin feel free to add a little extra. Go ahead, it’s ok!

For the liquids, I used water instead of broth which was good, but using broth would add even more depth and flavor.

Feel free to omit the green olives and/or jalapeno in the beans. If using the linked recipe for the mango salsa, there is already jalapeno in it.

In place of quinoa, try pairing it with this super tasty Cilantro Lime Rice!

Canned Beans: If using canned beans instead of dried, use 3 (14 oz.) cans, drained and rinsed.

  • Instant pot: Reduce liquids to 2 1/2 cups and cook on HIGH for 3 minutes. Quick release or let natural release for 5 minutes.
  • Stovetop: Reduce liquids to 1 1/2 – 2 cups and cook for simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.
  • Slow-cooker: Reduce liquids to 2 – 2 1/2 cups and cook on LOW for 6 – 8 hours or HIGH for 4 – 5 hours. You may need to add more liquids depending on how long you slow cook.

Start with the lowest amount, adding more if needed. It’s not supposed to be soupy, but some liquids are fine. It will thicken overnight too.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I use this Instant Pot, and for storing and keeping warm this glass instant pot lid is perfect (affiliate links). For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials.

The nutritional information includes a serving of cuban black beans, quinoa and mango salsa together.

Keywords: instant pot cuban black beans, slow cooker cuban black beans, cuban black beans

Updated: Cuban Black Beans Mango Bowl was originally published in April 2018. It has been retested and updated with new photos in July 2020.

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18 Comments

  1. I’m not sure how you do it. Your recipes make my life easier. My husband grew up with a mother who couldn’t boil an egg, insists that meat and dairy are very necessary for decent meals, yet happily eats the food that you inspire.
    My husband doesn’t care for green olives or vinegar in anything, but he dug right into these beans. Perfect recipe. Happily, there are no changes needed. Thanks for another winning meal.

  2. Raistar.7 says:

    I really want to try this! So I live in Trinidad and it’s mango season! Problem is, there are different varieties of mangoes…and each has a distinct taste. What type of mango did you use? What level of ripeness was it? I’ve never made mango salsa and I want to make sure it comes out right.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I see there are about 70 varieties of mangoes in your part of the world, lucky you! I’m not exactly what type I used (I just picked up whatever was at my local market), but it was a ripe mango with a mix of colors – red, orange, yellow, and green colors. I think if you can pick up something similar, you’ll be fine and make a great mango salsa! I hope that helps. Enjoy this mix of flavors! :)

  3. Christina Auer says:

    I made this with vegetable brotH, no jalapeno in an 8 qt Instant Pot. Flavor is delicious, recipe is easy. Only thing is 4 cups water was too much for 1 lb of beans. I had some Cannellini cooked in fridge. I added a bunch smashed to absorb some of the broth.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing Christina! I’m wondering if you soaked the beans first? This is a no-soak recipe, and if so it would explain why there was too much water. If not, I’ll retest it again asap.

      1. Christina Auer says:

        I did not presoak the beans. Thanks for responding.

        1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

          Thanks Christina! I’ve updated the recipe, but it needs the 4 cups of water so ensure the beans cook correctly and evenly. There is some liquids, but the beans do thicken nicely once left to cool. If you’re up for experimenting, you’re more than welcome to try reducing the water by 1/2 – 3/4 cup and see if your results are good. Thanks so much for the feedback, it’s helpful!

  4. Very good !!!? I’m so glad I found your website, it’s been so helpful in my transition into becoming vegan. I can’t wait to try out all your other recipes. Thank you for the recipe

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you Marco! I hope you love them all. Cheers :)

  5. bridgitte says:

    This was really easy. I left out the olives as we don’t care for them. The addition of the vinegar was a nice touch. Thanks!

    1. Very good !!!? I’m so glad I found your website, it’s been so helpful in my transition into becoming vegan. I can’t wait to try out all your other recipes. Thank you for the recipe

  6. So excited to try this! The mango salsa looks delicious.

  7. Things2Eat says:

    This sounds delicious! Including it the meal plan this week :)

  8. SAHMmelier says:

    I’ve never thought to add green olives. Will try it next time. Thanks!

  9. If I use canned beans, do I skip the step of adding broth/water?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, I should’ve pointed that out!

      For canned beans I would suggest using 1 1/2 – 2 cups of water in the slow-cooker, and 1 – 1 1/2 cups on the stovetop. Start with the lowest amount, adding more if needed. It’s not supposed to be soupy, but some liquids are fine. It will thicken overnight.

      Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I’ve added it to the recipe as well. Cheers :)

  10. Glad you’re not dead!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, thank goodness…I’m still here! LOL :)

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