How to Prepare Black Beans (From Scratch!)

Fulfill my go-to, sure-fire black bean dish! If you have actually ever wished to find out how to prepare black beans from scratch, this guide is for you. These beans are abundant and velvety, yet vibrant and complete of taste. They measure up to the frijoles negros I have actually liked in Costa Rica, Mexico and Belize, and they make a scrumptious side meal or meal element.

Home-cooked black beans use much more taste than canned beans, specifically when you consist of the ideal flavorings. I’m delighted with how these turn out. Dried beans are likewise less costly than canned beans, and they decrease waste (no cans to get rid of).

black bean recipe ingredients

Plus, black beans are great for you. Black beans are abundant in fiber and plant-based protein, and a great source of folate, thiamin (vitamin B1), phosphorus, manganese and magnesium. If you have actually ever checked out that beans are “unhealthy,” it’s due to the fact that beans consist of lectins up until they have actually been adequately prepared. Lectins, which are naturally present in numerous plant foods, are thought about an anti-nutrient. If you’re consuming effectively prepared beans, as advised listed below, there’s no factor for issue.

You may be amazed to hear that black beans are really so blue that they appear black. Black beans have lots of anthocyanins, an effective group of flavanoids that likewise makes blueberries, purple cabbage and red onions so healthy. You can check out everything about black bean nutrition here.

If you’re finding out to prepare dried beans, begin them early. The wild card with dried beans is that you’ll never ever be one hundred percent particular when they’ll complete cooking. Much better to begin cooking well prior to you remain in a rush for supper. Let’s get to it!

Watch How to Prepare Black Beans

black beans before and after cooking

Black Bean Seasonings

Numerous black bean dishes include bacon or lard, however these beans are devoid of meat items (they’re vegetarian and vegan). I experimented with spices and flavorings up until I created a clear winner.

You can streamline the dish by leaving out any of the flavorings noted in the active ingredients, however for the very best taste, I suggest utilizing all of them. Here’s what I contribute to the pot prior to cooking:

  • Red onion and garlic provide a mouthwatering foundation to these beans. We’ll slice up the onion and include it raw (I attempted preparing it initially, as I provide for many dishes, however the taste is sidetracking at that point). We’ll peel the cloves and include them entire. As soon as the beans are done, we’ll simply smash them versus the side of the pot and stir them in. Easy!
  • Bay leaves even more magnify the savoriness of these beans, using a natural taste rather comparable to oregano or thyme. Mexican black beans usually include an herb called epazote that is rather similar to oregano, so you can see how bay leaf would work also.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (simply a splash) makes these beans formulate great and velvety.
  • Ground cumin is frequently contributed to black beans, due to the fact that they’re ideal together!
  • Orange enthusiasm uses a subtle “je ne sais quoi” taste. Simply one little strip (peeled with a veggie peeler) makes a huge distinction. I never ever would have believed to include orange, however Serious Consumes recommended this Cuban twist and I enjoy it.
  • Red pepper flakes provide some heat. If you choose moderate beans, decrease or omit them.

After cooking, I like to stir in some sliced cilantro (avoid it if you do not like it) and a capture of lime juice to cheer up the entire pot.

Black Bean Yield & Conversions

Dried black beans are usually offered in one-pound bags, so I composed this dish to utilize the entire bag. It yields a huge pot of beans (about 6 cups). If you do not believe you’ll have the ability to round off the entire pot within 5 days, you can quickly cut in half the dish, or freeze leftovers for later on.

Here are some measurements and conversions that may be handy:

  • Dried (raw) black beans: 1 pound = 16 ounces = little 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 pound dried black beans = 6 cups prepared black beans = 4 15-ounce cans of prepared black beans
  • Each 1/2 cup of dried beans yields a little over 1 cup prepared beans

how to season black beans

The Excellent Bean Disputes

To Soak, or Not to Soak

Here’s an engaging argument for not soaking beans by Kenji Lopez on Serious Consumes. In summary, un-soaked beans need just partially longer on the range (just 20 minutes longer), have a much deeper color (most likely likewise more nutrients), and much better taste (less thinned down).

Beans that are bigger than black beans, such as chickpeas, might gain from a soak. In my experience, soaking black beans is an unneeded additional action.

To Salt Prior To Cooking, or Later

This is another extremely objected to matter, and as soon as again, I leaned on Serious Consumes for assistance. In their experiments, salted beans prepared more equally. Unsalted beans really taken in excessive water and popped open prior to their skins adequately softened. You can see their side-by-side contrast here.

Another benefit of salting early is that your beans will be more tasty than if you scheduled the exact same quantity of salt up until after cooking.

Stovetop vs. Pressure Cooker (Instantaneous Pot)

Cooking your beans on the stovetop is the method to go. I really wished to use a dependable Instantaneous Pot faster way, however my Instantaneous Pot bean experience has actually been too discouraging to suggest.

Here’s the issue: When you’re cooking beans in a pressure cooker, you can’t watch on them. Prepare times for beans in the Instantaneous Pot differ with every batch, for factors described listed below. Lot of times, you’ll require to re-pressurize the pot and prepare the beans longer. Just how much longer is constantly a thinking video game. Often, the beans prepare unevenly due to the fact that they lack water along the method. Or, if you unintentionally prepare them a couple of minutes too long, the beans end up being mushy and boring.

You’ll likewise enjoy stovetop black beans for their condensed, stewy cooking liquid. It’s scrumptious! You’ll never ever attain the exact same great cooking liquid with Instantaneous Pot beans due to the fact that the water can’t vaporize throughout cooking. Instantaneous Pot beans will be watery, even if you handle to prepare the beans effectively such beans would be great as a replacement for drained pipes canned beans, however they will not make an excellent side meal by themselves.

Timing Problems with Old Beans and Hard Water

Here’s the discouraging truth about cooking beans from scratch: You’ll never ever understand precisely the length of time they’ll require to prepare. Often, older beans will never ever soften adequately.

If you simply purchased your beans from a shop with great turnover, they may be done cooking after simply an hour-long simmer. Probably, they’ll be done by an hour and a half to 2 hours.

Examine your bags for a harvest or expiration date. Preferably, we’ll prepare them within a year of harvest. Shop your beans in a dark, cool location in the kitchen in an air-tight container. If you do not keep in mind the length of time your dried beans have actually been being in your kitchen, I can’t state the length of time they may take or if they’ll ever totally prepare through. This is a threat you take with cooking beans from scratch.

Another aspect, which amazed me, is that the minerals in tough water can slow the cooking procedure! I reside in a location with tough water, and I have actually experienced the distinction water can make. We can thank Melissa Clark for this idea.

My fresh-from-the-store beans formulated in a simple hour when I utilized filtered water. My next batch, the exact same beans acquired at the exact same time, took control of an hour and a half due to the fact that I prepared them in faucet water.

So, usage filtered or pure water if you can. Here’s a map of tough water locations in the United States, and here’s the budget friendly water filter (affiliate link) that appeared to enhance my cooking time. I likewise have a bigger filter system in your home, which is excellent.

black beans cooked from scratch

How to Serve Black Beans

These black beans are an excellent side meal to serve with Mexican, Cuban or other Latin American-inspired meals. Here are a few of my preferred alternatives.

  • Burritos: Sugary Food Potato Burrito Smothered in Avocado Salsa Verde or Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos
  • Casseroles: Roasted Vegetable Enchilada Casserole
  • Chilaquiles: Chilaquiles Rojos or Chilaquiles Verdes
  • Enchiladas: Black Bean Sugary Food Potato Enchiladas, Spinach Artichoke Enchiladas or Vegetable Black Bean Enchiladas
  • Quesadillas: 10-Minute Quesadillas or Crispy Mushroom, Spinach and Avocado Quesadillas
  • Tacos: Favorite Breakfast Tacos, Halloumi Tacos with Pineapple Salsa & Aji Verde or Roasted Butternut Squash Tacos

Or, change the bean element in the following dishes with these home-cooked black beans:

  • Austin-Style Migas with Black Beans
  • Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl
  • Basic Kale and Black Bean Burritos
  • Southwestern Kale Power Salad with Sugary Food Potato, Quinoa & Avocado Sauce
  • Spicy Sugary Food Potato and Green Rice Burrito Bowls

Last but not least, these beans are a great burrito bowl element. Include any of the following:

  • Rice: Cilantro-Lime Wild Rice or Mexican Wild Rice
  • Something saucy: Timeless Pico de Gallo, Creamy Avocado Dip, Cilantro Hemp Pesto, Guacamole, Red Salsa or Salsa Verde
  • Perhaps some additional greens or veggies: Chunky Avocado Salsa, Fresh Corn Salsa, Quick Collard Greens or Marinated Kale
  • Garnishes and accents: Quick-Pickled Onions, toasted pepitas, collapsed Cotija or feta cheese, sliced cherry tomatoes, and so on

View all of my dishes including black beans here.

black beans in burrito bowl

How to Prepare Black Beans

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Prepare Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Overall Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1 x
  • Classification: Side meal
  • Approach: Stovetop
  • Food: Mexican
  • Diet Plan: Vegetarian

4.9 from 105 evaluations

This sure-fire dish yields completely tender and scrumptious black beans. Make a pot and take pleasure in black beans all week! No requirement to soak the beans prior to utilizing. Dish yields 6 cups beans (the equivalent of 4 cans); you can freeze leftovers or cut the dish in half.

Active Ingredients

  • 1 pound (16 ounces or little 2 1/2 cups) dried black beans *
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled however left entire
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon great sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • One strip of orange enthusiasm, about 2 inches long by 1/2 inch large
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (leave out or decrease if conscious spice)
  • 8 cups water **, more if required
  • 2 tablespoons carefully sliced cilantro, optional
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  1. Initially, choice through your black beans for particles (in some cases small rocks can slip in). Location the beans in a great mesh colander or screen and wash effectively. Put the beans into a big Dutch oven or pan (4 quarts or bigger in capability).
  2. Include the onion, garlic, bay leaves, olive oil, salt, cumin, orange enthusiasm and red pepper flakes (if utilizing) to the pot. Gather the water.
  3. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Eliminate the cover and decrease the heat to low to preserve a mild simmer. Provide the beans a stir to make certain none are stayed with the bottom of the pot, and set a timer for 1 hour. Leave the pot exposed and change the heat as required to preserve a mild simmer (you need to see numerous little bubbles popping to the surface area at any given minute).
  4. Once the timer goes off, test a number of beans by utilizing a fork to push them versus the side of the pot. If they’re simple to push through, taste a couple of (thoroughly! they’re hot!) to see if they’re adequately plump, tender and scrumptious.
  5. Otherwise, continue cooking, screening in 15 to thirty minutes periods as required, up until they’re done. If you’re running low on liquid, include water in 1-cup increments so the beans are covered at all time. (As pointed out in the post, if your beans are old, they can take numerous hours to prepare and need a lot more water, and some older beans might never ever prepare through.)
  6. Once the beans are really tender and yummy, you can increase the heat a little to decrease the cooking liquid into a more gravy-like consistency, about 5 to 15 minutes (it will continue to thicken up as the beans cool).
  7. Eliminate the pot from the heat. Thoroughly eliminate the orange enthusiasm and both bay leaves. Utilize a fork to push the garlic versus the side of the bowl to break it up. Include the cilantro, if utilizing, and lime juice. Stir to integrate. Season to taste with extra salt, if required. Usage as preferred.
  8. Permit remaining beans to cool to space temperature level prior to keeping in the fridge, covered, for approximately 4 to 5 days. You can likewise freeze remaining beans for numerous months. ***


Dish developed with assistance from Serious Consumes.

* Bean note: It’s really essential that your beans are fresh. Newly acquired beans from a shop with great turnover can prepare in just one hour. Older beans can need numerous hours on the range (and numerous more cups of water). Older beans might never ever soften all the method through, and will never ever appropriate for intake.

** Water note: If you reside in a location with tough water, the minerals in the water might hinder the cooking procedure (your beans will take longer to prepare). Usage distilled or filtered water if possible.

*** Freeze it: I like to freeze remaining beans with their cooking juices in wide-mouth, pint-sized mason containers. You might likewise utilize little freezer bags as soon as frozen flat, they can be stacked. No matter your container, make certain that your beans have actually cooled to space temperature level prior to freezing. If you’re utilizing a stiff container (rather of a bag), permit some space at the top for growth, and wait up until the beans are totally frozen prior to firmly connecting an air-tight cover. Thaw the containers in the refrigerator for numerous hours prior to utilizing as preferred.

▸ Nutrition Details

The info revealed is a price quote supplied by an online nutrition calculator. It must not be thought about a replacement for an expert nutritional expert’s guidance. See our complete nutrition disclosure here.

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