How To Cook Dried Black Beans: Best Homemade Recipe, Ditch Canned!

Discover the perfect way to cook dried black beans at home with this ultimate guide. Simple to prepare and endlessly adaptable, these black beans are perfect for side dishes, soups, salads, and meal prep.

Cooked black beans in a brown bowl.

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While canned black beans offer convenience, they often lack the depth of flavor and texture achieved through home cooking. This recipe shows you how to make dried black beans deliciously creamy and flavorful, enhancing any dish you create.

Enjoy them as a hearty side dish, add them to soups, turn them into a delicious burrito bowl, or use them to create flavorful dips and spreads. Their adaptability makes them a perfect meal prep option.

Ingredients

Uncooked dried black beans in a white bowl.

While this recipe keeps things simple with dried black beans, salt, and water, you can easily elevate your dish with a few key ingredients:

Aromatics: Chopped onion, garlic, and bay leaf add a layer of warmth and depth of flavor. For a smoky flavor, add chipotle pepper in adobo sauce alongside the bay leaf.

Spices: Cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika are all excellent choices to enhance the savory profile of your beans.

Fresh Herbs: A sprinkle of fresh cilantro or parsley at the end adds a burst of brightness and freshness.

Step-by-step Instructions

Dried black beans and water in the Instant Pot.

Step 1: Add the rinsed black beans, water, and salt to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Give it a quick stir to ensure the lentils do not stick to the pot. Secure the lid.

Pressure cooked black beans on a wooden spoon.

Step 2: Pressure cook for 8 minutes for a firm texture and 10 minutes for a slightly soft texture. Let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.

To cook black beans on the stovetop:

  1. Add the rinsed beans, water, and salt to a large pot. Cover it with several inches of water. Give it a quick stir and place the pot on high heat.
  2. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid with a small gap for the steam to escape.
  3. Cook for one hour or until they are done to your liking. Check once after 30 minutes to ensure there is sufficient water.

To cook brown lentils in a slow cooker:

  1. Add the rinsed beans, water, and salt to the slow cooker.
  2. Pour enough water into the slow cooker to cover the lentils by about two inches.
  3. Set it to low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

Expert Tips

  • Choose fresh, dried beans for the best results. Older beans may take longer to cook and may not achieve the same creamy texture.
  • Allow the cooked black beans to cool completely before storing them. This helps prevent them from becoming mushy.
  • Use filtered water where possible to cook the beans, as hard water will slow down the cooking process.

How To Use Cooked Black Beans

Cooked black beans can come in very handy to make quick meals, salads, and snacks. Add them to a chicken and black bean burrito bowl for a satisfying and flavorful meal. Alternatively, sprinkle them generously on loaded nachos for a deliciously indulgent snack or party appetizer.

Assemble a taco-inspired Buddha bowl with cooked black beans, complemented by an array of fresh vegetables and toppings. The versatility of cooked black beans allows you to get creative in the kitchen and enjoy a variety of delicious meals.

Storage Tips

To store cooked black beans, drain any remaining liquid from them and transfer them to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Cooked beans also freeze well and can be stored in the freezer for up to six months. Drain all the cooking liquid from it and place it in a freezer-safe container. To use frozen black beans, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or microwave them for a quick defrost.

Recipe FAQs

Do I have to soak the beans?

Soaking is purely optional and does not change the cooking time hugely. This recipe includes instructions for both soaking and no-soak methods.

Are these beans good for meal prepping?

Yes! Cooked black beans are stored well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

My beans are still hard after cooking. What do I do?

Cooking times can vary depending on the age and quality of your beans. If they’re still firm after the recommended time, continue cooking for a few more minutes until the desired tenderness is reached.

Cooked black beans topped with cilantro.

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Cooked black beans topped with cilantro.

How To Cook Dried Black Beans

Ditch the canned versions and discover the perfect way to cook dried black beans at home with this ultimate guide.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Other
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2 cups of cooked black beans
Author: Shilpa Kerur

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black beans dried
  • Water depending on the method
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Pick any dirt or stones from the dried black beans. Give it a quick rinse.

Optional Soaking:

  • Take the black bean in a large bowl or pot and add sufficient water. Cover and let it soak for 3-4 hours (you can also soak it overnight). Drain and rinse once soaked. This step is optional; however, remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Instant Pot Method:

  • Add the unsoaked black beans to the Instant Pot, add three cups of water, and pressure cook for 25 minutes. Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quickly release the remaining pressure manually.
  • For soaked black beans, add two cups of water and salt. Secure the lid and pressure cook for 18 minutes. Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quickly release the remaining pressure manually.

Stovetop:

  • Take soaked black chickpeas in a large pot and cover with several inches of water. Add salt and give it a quick stir.
  • Bring it to a boil and cover with a lid, leaving a small gap for the steam to escape. Simmer for 45-50 minutes or until they are done to your liking. Check once after 30 minutes to ensure there is sufficient water. For unsoaked beans, simmer for 1 to 1½ hours.

Slow Cooker:

  • Place the rinsed beans, salt, and water in the slow cooker. Add 4 cups of water and give it a quick stir.
  • Slow cook on high for 8-10 hours or until the beans are fully cooked.

Notes

  • Choose fresh, dried beans for the best results. Older beans may take longer to cook and may not achieve the same creamy texture.
  • Allow the cooked black beans to cool completely before storing them. This helps prevent them from becoming mushy.
  • Use filtered water where possible to cook the beans, as hard water will slow down the cooking process.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 582mg | Potassium: 305mg | Fiber: 7g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg
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