Learn how to make black beans with this incredible Mexican dried black beans recipe! It’s simple, loaded with flavor and a family favorite!!!
I have so many recipes that use black beans, they are an amazing little bean. While using canned beans is quick and easy, this vegan black bean recipe focuses on making them from scratch, using dried beans and pumping them full of amazing flavor!
How To Make Black Beans
Like other beans, black beans come in 2 ways, dried or canned. While using canned black beans is pretty self-explanatory, it’s good to know how to cook black beans using the dried version as well.
This recipe can definitely use black beans in a pinch with a few modifications, but I encourage you to try it with dried. The texture and flavor is out of this world!
Do black beans have to be soaked before cooking?
There are multiple reasons why soaking beans is recommended.
- Cooking time. Soaked beans cook in less time.
- Digestion. Soaked beans are usually easier to digest.
In my post all about cooking chickpeas, you read about how soaking the chickpeas is highly recommended. They are pretty hard to digest if not soaked and take a lot longer to cook.
On the other hand my post on cooking lentils showed how lentils do not need to be soaked. They cooked pretty quickly as is and are easier to digest over all.
Black beans fall a little in the middle. While soaking them will decrease your cooking time, it doesn’t decrease it by all that much. However, if you do have a hard time with digestion, you may want to give them a soak.
One thing I did learn though, is unsoaked beans have more flavor since they cook longer and absorb all the spices and seasonings more.
How to cook black beans fast
If you want to make black beans as quick as possible, you’ll need to soak them. Ideally overnight or for at least 8 hours is best, but if you forget, you can use the “quick soak” method:
- Put the black beans into a large pot and cover them with water.
- Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow them to sit for at least 1 hour.
You can then continue with the recipe you are using.
If you really want to know how to make black beans fast, learn to use a pressure cooker. It cuts down the cooking time by about half!
The great thing about dried beans is if you put them into an airtight container in your pantry, they will last up to a year!
Once cooked you should store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator, they will last about 3-4 days. After that the start to break down and you lose flavor and texture, plus they start to go bad. And no one needs to eat bad food!
I love batch cooking dried black beans and freezing them for future meals or to use in recipes. Here are my best tips:
- Allow the beans to cool completely.
- Once cool, put them in an airtight container. You can put them into a ziplock bag.
- If in a container, I like to lay a piece of plastic wrap all nuzzled up right on the top of the beans. This helps prevent freezer burn.
In the freezer, cooked black beans will last about 6 months before the quality starts to go downhill.
How to Make Black Beans From Scratch
This Mexican black bean recipe is one of our top family favorites. Even since I created it, we eat it at least once a week. It’s so simple, yet so dang flavorful. We simply saute some greens or toss a salad, then serve these beans with them over rice.
- Saute the veggies.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until thickened.
- Serve over rice or however you prefer!
How to make black beans in the Instant Pot
You can definitely cook these in a pressure cooker. It’s actually our current choice! Follow the same directions, I use the saute setting on my Instant Pot. Then add everything else in and cook on manual setting with the valve in the sealed position for about 30 minutes.
You will need to reduce the amount of liquid however since it doesn’t cook off as much as it does on the stove top.
How to cook black beans in the Crock Pot
If you want a really flavor infused option, cook them all day in the slow cooker. I still suggest sautéing the veggies first because the flavor really increases when you do this.
But after that you just dump the rest of the ingredients into the crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. You need to test at the 3 or 6 hours mark to check for doneness. Also you will need to add about 1 cup more water here because more evaporates since it cooks all day.
We eat these Mexican black beans in so many ways! Here are some of our favorites that we keep going back to:
- Over rice with salad or sautéed greens
- In a quesadilla
- In tacos or burritos
- In a Mexican inspired grilled cheese
- In a bowl with ingredients like rice, potatoes, sour cream, salsa, guacamole.
- In a taco salad.
Other recipes that use black beans
If you are a black bean lover like we are, here are some of my other recipes that use black beans. You can most certainly use this recipe in them instead of canned beans! You will however need to adjust the spices and seasonings a bit.
- Vegan Burritos with Black Beans
- Black Bean Enchiladas
- Gluten-free Black Bean Burgers
- Black Bean and Pumpkin Enchiladas
- BBQ Black Bean Burger
- Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Burgers
- Healthy Vegan Bean Dip (sub black beans)
- Vegan Taquitos (sub black beans)
How to Make Black Beans
- pressure cooker (optional)
- slow cooker (optional)
- 1 pound dried black beans , about 2 cups (soak overnight, see note)
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup chopped red pepper
- 4 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- Drizzle of oil or broth to sauté
- 4-5 cups broth (see note)
- ½ cup red wine , sub more broth if you don’t have or want
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For cooking in the Instant Pot:
- Only use 3 cups broth
For cooking in the crock pot:
- Up broth to 5-6 cups
- Sauté onion, pepper and garlic with drizzle of oil or broth until softened.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a rapid boil. About 10 minutes.
- Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour. Check for desired done texture preference along the way.
- Serve however you want! These thicken as they sit, and get thicker in the fridge. They are even more flavorful the next day!
To cook in the Instant Pot:
- Use the sauté setting to sauté the onions, peppers and garlic, or sauté on the stove.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on manual with the valve on the seal setting for 30 minutes.
- Allow pressure to naturally release for 15-20 minutes.
- Turn the valve to vent to finish releasing pressure.
To cook in the crock pot:
- Sauté the onions, peppers and garlic on the stove.
- Add them to the crock pot along with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8. Check at 3 or 6 hours for doneness and add more broth if needed. You want the liquid to cover the beans so they don’t burn.
- You can sub water for the broth but the flavor won’t be as good.
- If you don’t soak the beans, they will need to cook an extra 20-30 minutes on the stove, about 5-10 in the Instant Pot and towards the end of the range for the crock pot. See the post for the quick soak method.
- I also tried the spice mix: 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons oregano and 2 teaspoons smoked paprika. It was also delicious, but we preferred the mix in the original recipe but I wanted to give the option for those wanting a more taco like flavor.
- Makes about 6 cups beans, serving size is 1 cup.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.