Cuban-Inspired Pork Rice Bowls

Cuban-Inspired Pork Rice Bowls - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Stone Soup
Photo by Julie Andrews

These Cuban-inspired 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!

If you’re looking for homemade comfort in a bowl, this slow cooker Cuban-inspired pork recipe is definitely for you! Cuban-Inspired Pork Rice Bowls - This mini-Cuban feast is packed full of delicious flavors. From the rich smoky spices in the pork and beans to the subtle sweetness of the plantains, these wonderful flavors pair together seamlessly.

Cuban-Inspired Pork Rice Bowls



  • 3 to 4 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


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


In a small bowl, mix together the pork seasonings. Place the pork roast in a slow cooker and coat with seasonings. Add the onion, garlic and orange juice in the bottom of the slow cooker. Allow to cook for 4 to 5 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low.

For the black beans, heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper to the hot pan and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and sauté 30 to 60 seconds. Add the black beans and spices and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash about half of the beans in the pan, then mix it all together. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

For the rice, heat the oil in a large saucepan at medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 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.

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.

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 drier. 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.
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Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD is a food and nutrition consultant, registered dietitian, chef, food photographer, culinary media expert and food writer. She is the creator and owner of The Healthy Epicurean where she create recipes, food photos and food videos for clients and brands. She also leads workshops for culinary skills, food styling and photography and leads cooking classes. Julie is regularly featured on television and in the media, where she showcases simple, wholesome and delicious recipes from her blog.