Homemade black beans is a simple fix-it-and-forget-it dish when simmered slowly in your slow cooker or stovetop.
- 16 oz. (1 lb) dried black beans
- 8 cups water – or chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 or 2 limes
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped green onions (optional)
Soak the beans:
It’s a good idea to soak your beans before cooking them, which ensures a super creamy consistency. You can do this one of two ways:
- The night before (or up to 2 days) you want to make beans, rinse the beans in a colander in the sink. Dump them into a bowl and cover with water. Put them in the refrigerator to let them soak until you’re ready to cook them. Drain before proceeding with the recipe.
- Quick soak method: Rinse the beans in a colander in the sink. Put the beans in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and proceed with the recipe.
Make the beans:
- Add the beans to a heavy bottomed sauce pan, dutch oven, or slow cooker and cover with 8 cups of water or broth. Stir in the garlic, all the dried spices, and the baking soda. Cover and bring to a boil, if cooking on the stove top. If cooking in a slow cooker, just put on the lid and set it to low or high heat, depending on how long you want them to cook.
- Allow the beans to cook, covered, at a gentle simmer on the stove top , stirring from time to time, until tender – about 2 hours. If using a slow cooker, cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for 6-8. You want the beans to be tender, but not completely falling apart.
- Once cooked, you can drain the beans and they are ready to use. Or, you can let them simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, over medium heat on the stove top until the liquid becomes a thick sauce – about 25-35 minutes.
- Add a few squeezes of fresh lime juice to taste, and sprinkle with cilantro and green onions if desired.
Black beans will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months. I like to freeze them in 1 cup portions so that they are easy to use in any recipe that calls for a can of black beans.