Arroz a la Cubana (Cuban Style Rice)

This Filipino-style Arroz a la Cubana is a delicious and easy dish that comes together very quickly and is always a great option for BREAKFAST, LUNCH, OR DINNER! Such a popular recipe that’s become a staple in many households!

Arroz a la Cubana is a dish that you’re always sure to find in any mall in the Philippines with a cafeteria.

It’s a classic comfort food that came by way of Spain (who colonized the Philippines for almost 400 years!).

The Philippine version typically consists of rice, ground beef sauteed with onions, garlic, tomatoes, diced potatoes, and diced carrots, a fried egg, and plantains cut lengthwise and fried.

Sometimes I replace the potatoes with bell peppers (to add more color) and used a combo of ground pork and beef (for more flavor). It’s so versatile you can adjust it to your taste preference.

Since even my British husband loves this dish, and he doesn’t mind eating this with rice for breakfast either (that’s how much he likes this!) it has become a household staple.  A simple but flavorful recipe that’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Make it soon!

 

FOR FULL RECIPE & INSTRUCTIONS and to PRINT, SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW.

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS FOR Arroz a la Cubana (Cuban Style Rice)

  • Oil
  • Garlic cloves, chopped
  • Onion, chopped
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Ground beef
  • Ground pork
  • Soy sauce
  • Ground black pepper, to taste 
  • Potatoes – red potatoes are best because they retain their shape better
  • Red bell pepper – a substitute for potatoes if you like
  • Carrot – diced
  • Raisins – this is absolutely needed for a yummy sweet-salty flavor contrast and what makes this dish so good so do not substitute
  • Peas – optional and may be replaced with corn if preferred

 

HOW TO MAKE Arroz a la Cubana (Cuban Style Rice)

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet. Sauté the garlic and onion for about a minute. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until the onions and tomatoes have softened about 5 minutes.

Stir in the ground beef and pork. Crumble with a fork to prevent clumping. Season with soy sauce and black pepper and cook until the meat has turned brown.

Add the potatoes or red bell pepper and carrots and then simmer covered for about 5-8 minutes or until the veggies have softened.

Uncover then stir in the raisins, raise the heat, and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the peas and cook for another couple of minutes.

If desired, season with a little Worcestershire sauce or to be truly pinoy —– fish sauce for more flavor. Yum! Only add extra seasoning if you think it’s needed.

Serve hot accompanied with fried rice, fried eggs, and if available – fried plantains!

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Arroz a la Cubana (Cuban Style Rice)

Manila Spoon
This Filipino-style Arroz a la Cubana is a delicious and easy meal that comes together very quickly and always a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Very versatile dish indeed and everyone loves this!
4.89 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Asian Cuisine, Cuban, Filipino, Southeast Asian
Servings 6
Calories 359 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tbsp oil, optional if the meat you're using has a good amount of fat content
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 2 red potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 a piece of a large red bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup peas

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet. Sauté the garlic and onion for about a minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and cook until the onions and tomatoes have softened about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the ground beef and pork. Crumble with a fork to prevent clumping. Season with soy sauce and black pepper and cook until the meat has turned brown.
  • Add the potatoes or red bell pepper and carrots and then simmer covered for about 5-8 minutes or until the veggies have softened.
  • Uncover then stir in the raisins, raise the heat and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add the peas and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • If desired, season with a little Worcestershire sauce or to be truly pinoy —– fish sauce for more flavor. Yum! Only add extra seasoning if you think it's needed.
  • Serve hot accompanied with fried rice, fried eggs and if available – fried plantains!

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 17gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 743mgPotassium: 823mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2282IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Filipino arroz a la cubana recipe, Filipino style arroz a la cubana
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Last updated on June 21st, 2024 at 09:11 pm

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28 Comments

  1. October 17, 2012 / 1:24 pm

    That looks wonferful! I am hungry just looking at the pictures. Thank you for sharing. Giangi

    • October 17, 2012 / 10:11 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Giangi! It's like a fall back dish when we have ground beef or pork and don't know what else to do but it's truly delicious and have been shared many times with friends.

    • February 13, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      I'm from Miami originally. Right now I'm in Las Vegas working as Travel nurse. I am in an extended stay with burners so I can make this dish. This reminds me of Picadillo.

  2. November 10, 2012 / 10:27 pm

    I used to live in Miami and grew to love cuban food. I am sharing this on my facebook page and pinning it also. Can't wait to try it!
    Cynthia

    • November 11, 2012 / 1:00 am

      Thanks, Cynthia! This is truly a wonderful dish so I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

  3. February 26, 2013 / 11:10 pm

    I make this about once a month and we all love it! Thanks 🙂

    • February 28, 2013 / 2:54 am

      Thanks, Ben and Andrea! So glad you like this, we love this dish too and make it often. Glad you stopped by!

  4. Anonymous
    April 10, 2013 / 4:36 pm

    I fix my arroz a la cubana with fried "saba" banana in addition to your recipe..that's how I learned it from my mother back home.

    • April 16, 2013 / 3:20 am

      Yup, we do exactly the same as I have mentioned in the post – if fried plantains are available it should be eaten with it. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Melissa
    October 11, 2013 / 3:41 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I recently moved away from my family and had been feeling homesick and craving Filipino food. I made it last night and both me and my husband really liked it (he is non-Filipino as well :). This was very similar to something both my mom and my Nanang would make. I'll be making this several times a year 🙂

  6. Gail Gilmour-Lim
    January 29, 2014 / 2:08 pm

    Another great dish for me a white woman living with a Filippino man can make Yay!!

  7. Anonymous
    April 24, 2014 / 2:19 pm

    any suggestions how to cook this dish if you don't eat meat?

    • April 26, 2014 / 1:51 am

      Just cook it as instructed but leave out the meat – adjust the seasoning as this takes into account the meat so you may have to lessen the soy sauce or just add some potatoes as well to replace the meat or you can use Tofu as meat replacement as well. 🙂

  8. March 17, 2016 / 4:18 am

    Just discovered soyrizo and I think it would be wonderful with this dish in place of the meat. Thank you.

  9. May 28, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    Hope to cook this this week. Mommy brought saging na saba from the province and I still have ground beef sa fridge.

  10. Anastasia
    June 1, 2019 / 10:28 pm

    Thank you for this sooo good coffee.

    • abigail
      Author
      June 7, 2019 / 12:43 pm

      Did you mean you like it with coffee? 🙂

  11. Claudia Lamascolo
    September 23, 2021 / 4:46 pm

    5 stars
    We love cuban food especially the rice and sandwiches I have never tried to make the rice and cant wait thanks for posting!

  12. Claudia Lamascolo
    September 24, 2021 / 7:21 am

    5 stars
    I love this dish when I had it down south. Yours sound authentic for sure and perfectly seasoned!

  13. Gloria
    September 24, 2021 / 8:41 am

    5 stars
    Loving the sound of this rice recipe. What a great side dish. I love trying flavours of the world.

  14. Natalie
    September 24, 2021 / 9:41 am

    5 stars
    Flavors are really amazing here in this dish. Sound so exotic and delicious. I will definitely give this a try. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  15. Amanda Dixon
    September 24, 2021 / 10:41 am

    5 stars
    This dish was fantastic! I loved combining the beef and pork for a mixture of flavors. It was hearty yet simple to make.

  16. Tatiana
    September 26, 2021 / 1:58 am

    5 stars
    Can’t go wrong with this dish, so easy to make! We tried it a couple times, the rice is delicious.

  17. Amalia Koch
    January 24, 2023 / 11:07 am

    5 stars
    I cooked it hmmm! it’s Yummy! and the rest I made a filling for Empanada, Suuuper! Thanks for sharing this menu.

    • abigail
      Author
      January 25, 2023 / 7:33 pm

      So glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for letting us know.

  18. Tom Beski
    November 13, 2023 / 10:48 am

    5 stars
    WOW!!! We just made this last night and it was amazing! A great new twist on having a fun & unique breakfast for dinner! (Also see Huevos Rancheros!) It all came together very easy and the Beef & Pork mixture was perfect and a welcome change. We loved the flavors and my finished product looked exactly like the picture! I did add some diced green olives since that’s my favorite part of having Beef Empanadas! And saved some time by using frozen Goya Maduros Plantains which were quick, easy & delicious. We are very excited to still have half leftover for tonight’s dinner!

    **** But I need some help! **** 2 steps in the directions make reference to “Simmer” and “Liquid” and my mixture was very dry to the point of sticking to the pan. The tomatoes and soy sauce didn’t give that much liquid. What did I do wrong? I ended up using about a HALF CUP of WATER just to loosen up the mixture and get a simmer to help the diced potatoes cook. Did I miss something? Any advice is appreciated!

    Step 1
    Add the potatoes or red bell pepper and carrots and then “simmer” covered for about 5-8 minutes or until the veggies have softened.

    Step 2
    Uncover then stir in the raisins, raise the heat and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until most of the “liquid” has evaporated.

    • abigail
      Author
      November 13, 2023 / 3:27 pm

      Did you use lean meat? If there’s not enough fat, it would dry quicker so that could have been one of the causes. Did you use the lowest setting to simmer? Did you diced the potatoes? All these are factors that could have affected it. At any rate, since appliances are different in temperatures and intensity, the amount of cooking time (based on the above factors) is easy to adjust. The one in the recipe is a guide. Also, this is not meant to be liquidy but dry. If you want more liquid, just add extra water and adjust seasoning – feel free to customize to your preference. Glad you enjoyed this!!! Thank you!

4.89 from 9 votes (1 rating without comment)

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