Arroz y Habichuelas Con Coco – Coconut Rice and Beans

Latinos and rice…

If there’s one thing that I can’t live without … It’s RICE!!! The first solid food that practically every Hispanic toddler has, will almost always be a bowl of Arroz y habichuelas. The bowls vary from country to country, but it’s a rite of passage that every mom is eager to share with the rest of the family. Having your first bowl of rice and beans is like a Quinceanera, it’s your official introduction to Hispanic society.

I don’t remember my first bowl of rice and beans. However, you never forget the smell of perfectly cooked rice.  When rice is cooked, it releases aromas and if you’re like me, the smell transports you back to blissful memories of family and loved ones.  So with this in mind, I knew my arroz y habichuelas recipe needed to be fragrant.


Arroz habichuelas con coco ingredients

Ingredients for a vegan rice and beans dish with Latin Caribbean flavors and zero addtitives.  

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Why vegan!?

Growing up in a Hispanic household, we ate rice almost every day and practically with every meal. However, as amazing as it was, I now know that it wasn’t exactly the healthiest. While living in the UK, I found it hard to find many of the Hispanic products that we cooked with back home. After living in London for a few months, my mom shipped me a box full of every typical Hispanic seasoning you can think of. I was so happy! I couldn’t wait to dive into the kitchen, and boy did I dive in!

The problem was that after we ate, we got that “I don’t feel so good feeling”. I hadn’t cooked with these ingredients in months. However, I’m grateful that I did, because putting them back into our diet helped me realize how much they actually affect us. This was the moment when I removed these ingredients from our diet entirely, and now use natural spices and whole foods instead.  You can find my homemade adobo blend HERE. Give it a try and Let me know what you think. 

I came up with this vegan Arroz y habichuelas con coco dish that is packed with flavor and aromatics, which leave you fully satisfied. The coconut is extremely fragrant transports you back to the Caribbean just with one bite.   

More delicious vegan recipes to try

This arroz y habichuelas con coco recipe is borrowed from our plant-based Latin food concept  El Colmadito.  At El Colmadito we make Dominican classics but with a vegan twist. Check out some more of El colmadito’s dishes like Ensalada de papa, or my go sauce for EVERYTHING mighty mojo garlic sauce!

Want to know more about me? Check out my introduction! And follow us on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK 

Here’s my vegan Arroz y habichuelas con coco recipe made with only whole foods. Try it with myvegan Chicharrón de Pollo  (that’s fried chicken in Spanish FYI) for a hearty vegan comfort meal!  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Arroz habichuelas con coco

Arroz y habichuelas con coco (Coconut rice and beans)

Denise Santa Maria
This vegan, Arroz y habichuelas con coco (Coconut rice and beans) dish is packed with flavor and aromatics, which leave you fully satisfied instantly. The coconut and garlic transport you back to the Caribbean just with one bite. Indulge, as this recipe is plant-based with zero additives.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Latin
Servings 4 people


  • Medium pot with lid


  • 2 Medium onions
  • 5 Fresh garlic cloves (peeled & chopped)
  • 2 Tsp Granulated garlic
  • 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika (Regular paprika works well too)
  • ½ Tsp Ground black pepper
  • ½ Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Onion powder
  • 1 Tsp celery salt
  • 1 TBSP Salt
  • 1 Vegetable stock cube
  • ¼ cup Coconut oil (Substitute with any cooking oil)
  • 1 Cup Frozen shredded coconut (Fresh coconut will work if the excess water is removed)
  • 1 400g can Drained Red kidney beans
  • 1 small bunch Cilantro (Tied with a rubber band or twine)
  • 3 ½ cups long grain Rice
  • 2 cups Hot water
  • 1 400g Coconut milk


  • On medium heat, add oil to the pot. 
  • Once the oil is warm, add onion and fresh garlic to sauté until translucent (about 5 mins). 
  • Add granulated garlic, paprika, black pepper, cumin, onion powder, celery salt, and salt, to the pot. Mix until the spices are warmed through. 
  • Add the shredded coconut and mix. Let the coconut mixture simmer for about 5 minutes until the garlic and coconut start to turn brown.  
  • Add red kidney beans, & mix well.
  • Add rice. Mix until fully combined and let the mixture warm through for about 3 minutes.  
  • In a small bowl, add the vegetable stock cube to the hot water. Then add the hot water to the pot. 
  • Add the cilantro bunch, then mix. Leave the heat on medium-high, uncovered, and let the rice simmer until the water evaporates completely. ***Do not mix while evaporating.  
  • Add the coconut milk and mix well. Let the rice simmer again until the coconut milk evaporates completely. ***Do not mix while evaporating. 
  • Mix the rice thoroughly one last time, cover pot, and reduce heat to low. Rice should cook on low for about 25 mins. ***Do not open the pot before this as the steam will rush out. 
  • After 25 mins uncover the pot. The rice should be fluffy with a beautiful color. Give it a good mix. Pull out the cilantro bunch and toss...And that’s it! ENJOY! 
    coconut rice and beans


Serve with a simple green salad. Or Serve with my vegan pernil aka jackfruit pulled "porc", and some ensalada de papa for an extra special treat!!!  Check soon for these new recipes!
Want to make it even healthier? Use 2 cups of brown rice and 1 ½ cups of white rice instead. Also increase the hot water to 3 ½ cups .
Tips I've picked up along the way 
  • Running onions through some warm water before chopping keeps the tears away. 
  • Always warm up spices to bring out the aromatics and flavors more. 
  • Adding rice before any liquids allows for the rice to soak up the spices better. 
  • Over mixing rice leads to sticky rice, we DON’T want that.  
  • Tying herbs together or using a cheesecloth pouch helps you pick them out easier later.  
Keyword arroz, beans, caribbean, coco, coconut, habichuelas, latin, plant-based, rice, vegan


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