Cuban Pork Rice Bowls

These Cuban pork rice bowls are filled with slow cooker spiced shredded pork, seasoned black beans, caramelized plantains, and homemade cilantro lime rice. They’re a healthy and filling meal perfect for your whole family.

Just throw each component into a bowl and you’ll have a quick and easy dinner on the table in no-time!

A large white bowl filled with cuban pork, rice, black beans and fried plantains.

About the Recipe

If you’re looking for homemade comfort in a bowl, this slow cooker Cuban pork recipe is definitely for you! This mini Cuban feast is packed full of delicious flavors.

From the rich smokey spices in the pork and beans to the subtle sweetness of the plantains, these wonderful flavors pair together seamlessly in these Cuban pork rice bowls.

The pork shoulder becomes so moist and tender with the help of a slow cooker or crockpot where it is cooked low and slow for a few hours (bonus: I’ve included directions for making it in the Instant Pot as well!).

Not to mention, the delicious citrusy garlic mojo marinade poured over the top of the pork shoulder helps bring out all the flavor and juiciness.

The rice, beans, and plantains are truly just the cherry on top! I’m talkin’ deliciously seasoned, juicy Cuban pork on top of fluffy cilantro lime Jasmine rice with a side of spicy black beans and sweet plantains — a true harmony of flavors!

Small white bowls filled with cuban pork, rice, black beans, fried plantains and cialntro.

Ingredients

  • For the pork: A pork shoulder, a yellow or white onion, several garlic cloves, a few oranges and chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika.
  • For the rice: Jasmine rice (you could also use brown rice if you’d like), a few limes, a bunch of cilantro, another onion and stock.
  • For the beans: Black beans, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, cumin and smoked paprika.
  • For the plantains: Ripe plantains, oil and salt.

A note about each component of this dish

  1. The Cuban pork. I have made it a million times and have used it in various applications.  It can go on almost anything – tacos, a sandwich roll, in scrambled eggs, on nachos and, of course, rice bowls.  
  2. The rice. This rice is incredibly versatile too! Pair it with nearly any protein and you’ll have a delicious meal no matter what. It’s kind of a play on Qdoba’s cilantro lime rice because it’s… cilantro lime rice. And it’s to-die-for. I used Jasmine rice because it’s fluffy and has just the right texture.
  3. The seasoned black beans. These are excellent when made with all of those other amazing flavors – red pepper, garlic, onion, smoked paprika, cumin… I like to smush up some of the beans to make the mixture nice and thick – almost like a bean dip. It’s just so hearty!
  4. The plantains. A little bitter when raw, but when cooked they’re absolutely delicious! A little oil and a hot cast iron pan will turn you into a plantain lover. And because you need something sweet to go with all that salty, smokey, spicy goodness, they’re the perfect pairing!
An pot filled with pork shoulder, onions, garlic and oranges.

Instructions

  1. For the pork, mix together the spices. Place the pork roast in a crock pot and coat with seasonings. Add the onion, garlic and orange juice in the bottom of the crock pot. Allow to cook for 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
  2. For the black beans, heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper to the hot pan and saute for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and saute 30-60 seconds. Add the black beans and spices and cook for 5-10 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash about ½ of the beans in the pan, then mix it all together. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  3. For the rice, heat the oil in a large saucepan at medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Add the chicken broth and increase the heat to high, allowing it to come to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the lid on the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow rice to sit with the lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Add the lime, cilantro and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. For the plaintains, add the oil to a cast iron skillet. Place the plantains in the hot oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook for about 30 seconds on each side, until they start to caramelize. Remove from the heat and serve on top of the rice, black beans and pork.

Substitutions and Alternatives

  • Instead of pork shoulder, you can use chicken thighs or beef roast if you’re in a pinch. You can also use a leaner cut of pork like tenderloin, but it will come out a bit dryer. So, I definitely like pork shoulder the best!
  • You can also swap out the black beans for pinto beans.
  • As for rice substitutes, you can always use brown rice or quinoa instead of jasmine.
  • If you can’t find plantains, a mango or pineapple salsa to put on top would be a great option!
  • Rather than making these into a bowl, you could make a Cuban sandwich on French or Italian bread with ham, pickles, swiss cheese, and yellow mustard.
  • Gluten free version: This recipe is naturally gluten free, so no substitutions are necessary.
  • Dairy free version: This recipe is also naturally dairy free, no substitutions are needed.
A large white bowl filled with cuban pork, rice, black beans and fried plantains.

Fun Facts

What is mojo pulled pork?

A mojo marinade is simply a combination of citrus, garlic, herbs, and spices. It is commonly used on pork as it helps impart flavor into the meat, as well as tenderize it. Mojo flavoring, as well as pulled pork, is very popular in Cuban cooking.

Is pork butt the same as pork shoulder?

Pork butt and pork shoulder are from the same area of the pig. Funny enough, pork butt is not from the pig’s rear end as you might expect it.
Instead, pork butt resides just above the pork shoulder near it’s front legs. Both can be used and cooked in similar ways.

How long does this last in the refrigerator?

Cover any leftover pork, rice, beans, and plantains in separate air tight containers. Place them in the refrigerator and heat them up as leftovers or repurpose them with the substitution and alternative suggestions above!
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How do you cook pork in the instant pot?

1. Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add a little oil to the bottom of the pot. Season the pork according to directions and sear on all sides until golden brown.

2. Add the onion, garlic and orange zest and juice to the pot.

3. Secure the lid and set the toggle to seal. Set on manual high pressure for 1 hour.

4. Once the timer goes off, use a wooden spoon to move the toggle to release and let the steam fully release.
Carefully remove the lid and shred the pork with 2 forks.

5. Prepare the rice, beans and plantains according to the direction and serve in bowls.

Chef’s Tips

To make this pork extra delicious, you can rub the pork shoulder with the spices, then sear it in oil on all sides until golden brown before slow cooking it. Or, once it’s done cooking, you can shred it with forks, spread the pork out on a sheet pan, and broil it for 3 to 4 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

When serving, pour the pork juices over the top of the bowl. Also serve with fresh lime wedges!

A large white bowl filled with cuban pork, rice, black beans and fried plantains.

More Delicious Recipes

Be sure to follow along with my cooking videos on YouTube!

Print

Cuban Pork Rice Bowls

A bowl of cuban pork with the fixins

Cuban bowls filled with pork, black beans, plantains & cilantro-lime rice are delicious and full of flavor making a perfect option for dinner when you’re craving something satisfying. 

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 hrs
  • Total Time: 5 hrs 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 10 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker, Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: Cuban

Ingredients

Scale

Pork:

  • 34 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Zest and juice of 2 medium oranges

Black Beans:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Cilantro-Lime Rice:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ cups Jasmine rice
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium lime
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Plantains:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 large plantains, peeled and sliced
  • Pinch coarse salt

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the pork seasonings. Place the pork roast in a crock pot and coat with seasonings. Add the onion, garlic and orange juice in the bottom of the crock pot. Allow to cook for 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
  2. For the black beans, heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper to the hot pan and saute for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and saute 30-60 seconds. Add the black beans and spices and cook for 5-10 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash about ½ of the beans in the pan, then mix it all together. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  3. For the rice, heat the oil in a large saucepan at medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Add the chicken stock and increase the heat to high, allowing it to come to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the lid on the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow rice to sit with the lid on for an additional 5 minutes. Add the lime, cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the plantains just before serving: Add the oil to a cast iron skillet. Place the plantains in the hot oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook for about 30 seconds on each side, until they start to caramelize. Remove from the heat and serve on top of the rice, black beans and pork.

Notes

Cooking Tip: The pork, black beans and rice can be prepared ahead up to 2 days in advance.

To make pork in the Instant Pot: Set the Instant Pot to saute and add a little oil to the bottom of the pot. Season the pork according to directions and sear on all sides until golden brown. Add the onion, garlic and orange zest and juice to the pot. Secure the lid and set the toggle to seal. Set on manual high pressure for 1 hour. Once the timer goes off, use a wooden spoon to move the toggle to release and let the steam fully release. Carefully remove the lid and shred the pork with 2 forks. Prepare the rice, beans and plantains according to the direction and serve in bowls.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/10 of recipe
  • Calories: 484
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 544mg
  • Fat: 17g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 44g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Cholesterol: 82mg

Keywords: best, slow cooker, crock pot, tasty, easy, delicious, homemade, from scratch

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