Comforting and simple to make, there is nothing quite like a big pot of tasty homemade beans. So let me show you how to make black beans from scratch with this easy recipe. You just need one-pot and 90 minutes to forever change your black bean cooking game.
Beans are one of those things that are so easy to make it's almost silly that most of us buy them already made in cans. Sure, I agree that canned beans do typically work better in salads or pilafs. I will admit that I normally buy them canned in those cases. But when it comes to a big pot of beans to go with rice, use in a bowl, or top a burrito, black beans made from scratch are so much better!
By making your own beans the seasoning you add have time to be absorbed by the beans and create a delicious broth layered in flavor. Cooking them nice and slow at a simmer allows the beans to reach the perfect tenderness and prevents them from becoming either underdone or mushy. The entire process only takes about 90 minutes!
And making your own beans is so much cheaper too! A pound of beans goes pretty far and makes about the same amount as 4 cans of beans. I can almost guarantee that once you make black beans from scratch you'll never want to return to canned beans.
I often make a big pot of black beans and use them for veggie bowls one night and burritos another. It saves me a lot of time when planning dinners for the week.
Health Benefits of Black Beans
Black beans are high in protein, fiber, and vitamin C. They are also rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the cells in your body and play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. Black beans are also known to lower cholesterol and help with blood sugar regulation (source).
You don't need any fancy ingredients to make black beans from scratch. Just a some beans, liquid, and spices.
- Dried Black Beans- You want to pick through the beans to remove any debris before soaking.
- Vegetable Stock- Infuses the beans with flavor as they slowly cook.
- Bay Leaf
- Onion- I used brown onion.
- Garlic- Compliments the beans with the onion.
- Cumin- Helps to add some earthy depth in flavor to the beans.
- Cayenne Pepper- This ingredient is optional.
- Olive Oil- The oil adds a dash of much needed healthy fat to balance out the beans.
- Lime Juice- Fresh lime juice is the acid component that works together with the oil and salt.
- Salt- In right amount salt brings the beans to life.
How To Make Black Beans
This recipe is really easy to make and takes little to no effort!
First, soak the beans covered in 3 inches of water overnight in the fridge.
The next day, you will add the drained soaked beans, vegetable stock, water, bay leaf, onion, and garlic to a large deep pot. Now, bring the beans to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour until the beans are tender but not fully cooked.
Now, add the cumin, cayenne, and ½ teaspoon salt. Then simmer for another 20-30 minutes to let the beans finish cooking and more liquid evaporate. If after 30 minutes the beans still seem too liquidy then continue cooking for a few more minutes.
Once the beans are done, add the olive oil and fresh lime juice. Then taste for salt and season to your desired taste.
Tips For Success
- Simmer: Cooking beans is a process done by simmering. If you try to speed up that process by boiling the outside of the beans will likely cook faster than the inside of the beans. This will leave you with mushy beans by the time they are fully cooked. Simmering also helps the beans to hold their shape.
- Lid Off: For the most flavorful beans, make sure to leave the lid off and the pot uncovered as they simmer. You want the liquid to reduce as they cook, which will lead to a tasty bean gravy like broth, which is one of the best parts about making black beans from scratch.
- Lime & Oil: To get the most developed flavor, do use the fresh lime juice and olive oil to finish. The lime juice brightens up the beans with a hit of acid and highlights the the rich flavor of the slowly cooked beans. And the olive oil adds a touch of healthy fat that compliments that acid.
- Salt: The final step of the recipe should be to taste for salt and season as needed. Without the proper level of salt the beans will be bland no matter how well you cooked them. Of course, salt is a personal preference and your goal is to season your food without it tasting like salt. So start with a little and go from the there.
How To Store
The black beans will keep in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Always reheat at a medium temperature on the stove top for the best results. When removing the beans from the freezer allow them to completely thaw out at room temperature before reheating to ensure that they don't turn to mush.
You will love this recipe for how to make black beans from scratch because it's...
- Tasty, comforting, and feeds a family
- Healthy being both high in protein and fiber
- Affordable and easy to make
I hope you love this easy recipe! Beans are a fantastic make ahead meal or side that I count on almost every week. Whether we are having burritos or my Cilantro Lime Rice and beans, black beans are a regular on my dinner menus at home.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
- Vegan Ceviche with Hearts of Palm
- Tasty Jackfruit Carnitas Recipe
- The Best How To Make Guacamole Recipe
- Cilantro Lime Rice (Chipotle Inspired)
If you try this recipe please let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment and rating. You can also hashtag #danceswithknives with a photo of your creation on Instagram where you can find me @dances_with_knives.
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How To Make Black Beans From Scratch
- 1 lb dried black beans
- 3 cup vegetable stock
- 4 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large onion, quartered (cut in four pieces)
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon salt (more at the end to season)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 lime)
- Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
- Soak the beans covered by 3 inches of water in the fridge overnight or follow the quick soak directions here.
- In a large deep pot, add the drained soaked beans, vegetable stock, water, bay leaf, quartered onion, and smashed garlic cloves.
- Bring the pot of beans to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check at 45 minutes. You want the beans to be tender but not overly soft. Add more water as needed if it begins to get low.
- Once the beans are tender but not fully cooked, add the cumin, cayenne, and ½ teaspoon salt. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes to let the beans finish cooking and more liquid evaporate. If after 30 minutes the beans still seem too liquidy then continue cooking for a few more minutes.
- When the beans are fully cooked, remove the large chunks of quartered onion and bay leaf from the pot. Now, add the olive oil and lime juice to finish. Then taste for salt and season as needed.
- Serve the black beans with rice, in burritos, or as a side. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.