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How to Cook Black Beans

How to Cook Black Beans – Black beans are a great source of plant-based protein and nutrients, and are easy to make from home! In this article, you’ll learn how to cook black beans using three different methods, and how to do a gas free soak!

how to cook black beans

Benefits of Black Beans

Before we dive into the different methods of to cook black beans, let’s discuss why they’re beneficial to add into your diet! Black beans are…

Great for Bones: Black beans are full of minerals like phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, and calcium, all incredibly helpful in the maintenance of healthy bones.

Plant-Based Source of Carbs: There are roughly 44g of carbs in one cup of black beans. While carbs are often thought of negatively, the right kind are actually incredibly beneficial for our bodies (given you do not have a health condition that prohibits carb intake). Carbs provide glucose, which then, our body converts to energy. This energy is important for our bodies to function properly, and when combined with nutrients and fiber like in black beans, help to decrease energy crashes after a meal.

Great Source of Soluble Fiber: Black Beans are a great source of soluble fiber, which has numerous health benefits! Some of these benefits include being great for your gut microbiome and bowel movement regularity, as well as helping to maintain healthy cholesterol! Due to the high fiber content, black beans have also been studied to be helpful in regulating blood sugar levels, instead of the quick spike that many low fiber, high carb, processed foods may result in.

Plant-Based Source of Protein: Black beans are an incredible source of protein, containing around 16g in only one cup! If you are working towards adding in more plant protein, black beans are your answer!

Nutrient-Dense: Black beans are also full of nutrients, as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin A, C, and more!

To sum it all up, black beans are a great idea for increase the nutrients and plant foods in your diet, in a delicious way!

how to cook black beans

Gas Free Soak

In all of today’s cooking methods for black beans, you’ll have options for “soaked” and an “un-soaked” beans. Soaking black beans, also know as a “gas free soak” is often used with two benefits in mind:

#1: Quicker Cooking Time: Soaking black beans before cooking helps to significantly decrease cooking time! If you’re looking for quicker bean prep the next day, soak the night before!

#2: Digestion: We all know that beans have a reputation of making us gassy. What most people don’t realize is that you could actually eliminate the majority of this unwanted gas! A gas free soak is great for breaking down the oligosaccharides in beans, which is what causes so much of a gassy aftereffect. This way, they are much easier on the digestive tract!

How to Do a Gas Free Soak

A gas free soak is super easy! Here’s a step-by-step DIY…

  • Step #1: Place dried black beans in a large bowl, and cover with filtered water (about 4 cups of water for every cup of dried beans).
  • Step #2: Cover, and leave on the counter for 8-12 hours (I usually do this overnight).
  • Step #3: Rinse, and cook using desired method.

That’s it! Three easy steps for gas free, quicker black beans.

QUICK TIP: Always rinse well with cold water after soaking your black beans!

how to cook black beans

Herbs, Spices, and Flavor

If you’re anything like me, oftentimes, bland, plain food, is preferable (especially if my stomach isn’t feeling great). Most often, however, I enjoy adding flavor and spice to my food! Here are just a few ways you can add flavor to your black beans…

  • Herbs: Adding bay leaves to your method of cooking adds an herbal, bold flavor to your beans. Cilantro, parsley, mint, or an Italian blend are also good methods for adding herbal flavor!
  • Mild Savory Spices: Garlic and onion (plus salt) are great fail-proof, staple choices for a mild, savory flavor! Garlic can be minced, and satuéed alongside beans, or you can add it in powder form after cooking. You can also try throwing in some cloves to your pot while cooking for a milder flavor. Onion have a couple of options as well, as they can be sliced into chunks and added while cooking, or used in powder form after cooking instead.
  • Spicy: Like spicier dishes? Try chili powder, paprika, cayenne, and cumin for a delicious, spicy combo on your black beans!
  • Indian Flavor: Garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander will give your black beans a flavor resembling many Indian dishes!
  • Mexican Flavor: If you love taco night as much as we do, you have to try this one! For a mild version, experiment with cumin, garlic, onion, and salt. If you prefer your food a little spicier, try our Taco Seasoning Recipe!
how to cook black beans

How to Cook Black Beans

Now since you know all about black beans, how to do a gas free soak from home, and ways to add flavor, let’s start breaking down our cooking methods! Today, we will go over three cooking methods, which include how to cook black beans in the instant pot, in a slow cooker, or on the stovetop. Further, the instructions below will detail instructions for how long to cook black beans that have been soaked, and for those that are unsoaked. This way, you’ll know how to cook your black beans no matter the method you choose!

What You’ll Need: To make black beans from home, you’ll need only a few simple ingredients. Here’s a quick list before you get started…

  • Black Beans: We opt for organic black beans whenever possible!
  • Water: To cook your black beans!
  • Optional – Spices: All, if any, spices + salt you prefer!

That’s it! Two required ingredients and one optional ingredient you may already have on hand. Now let’s get into our methods!

  • HELPFUL CONVERSIONS: Reference this black beans conversion table for easy cooking!
  • 16 ounces dried black beans = One pound black beans
  • One pound dried black beans = Six cups dried black beans
  • One cup dried black beans = Three cups cooked black beans
  • 1 3/4 cup cooked black beans = One standard (15 ounce) can of black beans

How to Cook Black Beans in Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is my favorite way to cook dried black beans! It’s fast, simple, requires only one pot, and ends up perfect each time! Great for when you’re short on time, this method is a must-try! Here’s how to make perfect black beans in the Instant Pot

Dried, Soaked Black Beans

If you soaked your black beans, cooking time will be greatly diminished with this method of cooking!

  • Step #1: Begin by rinsing your black beans, and adding to your instant pot.
  • Step #2: Add 3 cups of filtered water for every pound of black beans. Spice if desired.
  • Step #3: Close lid, and pressure cook on high for around 8 minutes for firm beans, and 10 minute for soft beans.
  • Step #4: Once instant pot is finished, allow to natural release (around 20 minutes).
  • Step #5: Remove lid, and enjoy!

Dried, Unsoaked Black Beans

  • Step #1: Begin by rinsing the black beans, and then adding them to your instant pot.
  • Step #2: Add 3 cups of filtered water for every pound of black beans. Spice if desired.
  • Step #3: Close lid, and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes for firm, 30 minutes for soft.
  • Step #4: Once instant pot is finished, allow to natural release (around 20 minutes).
  • Step #5: Remove lid, and enjoy!
how to cook black beans

How to Cook Black Beans in Slow Cooker

Just like high pressure cooking in the Instant Pot, slow cookers are another great method for preparing black beans, if you prefer hands-off cooking. It is important to keep in mind that slow cooking, however, will add to the cooking time. Another thing to remember is that with a slow cooker, soaking will still reduce the time, but not to the extent that other methods will.

I chose to use the Instant Pot slow cooker setting for my black beans, but you can use a crock pot, or a kitchen appliance that is similar instead. We particularly love the VitaClay, since it’s made with unglazed, pure clay!

SLOW COOKER REMINDER: It’s important to remember that all slow cookers are different, and you should check your owners manual for suggested cook times. Based on your make and model, you may need to decrease, or add a bit of time.

Dried, Soaked Black Beans

  • Step #1: Begin by rinsing your black beans, and add to your slow cooker.
  • Step #2: Add water (roughly 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of black beans). Spice if desired.
  • Step #3: Place on high for as little as 2 hours for soaked (check at 2 hours), up to 3 hours. Place on low for as little as 4 hours (check at 4 hours), up to 5 hours, or until tender.
  • Step #4: Remove from heat, and enjoy!

Dried, Unsoaked Black Beans

  • Step #1: Begin by rinsing your black beans, and adding them to your slow cooker.
  • Step #2: Add water (around 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of black beans). Spice if desired.
  • Step #3: Place slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours (check for desired tenderness at 3 hours), or low for 6-7 hours (check for desired tenderness at 6 hours), or until tender.
  • Step #4: Remove from heat, and enjoy!
how to cook black beans

How to Cook Black Beans on Stovetop

Cooking black beans on the stovetop is another good option, and requires no extra kitchen equipment. We specifically love using our Xtrema Versa Stockpot for this, made with 100% ceramic! Here’s how it’s done…

Dried, Soaked Black Beans

  • Step #1: Begin by rinsing your black beans, and adding to a large pot.
  • Step #2: Add water (a few inches covering your beans. I added 8 cups of water to 1 pound of beans to begin, and then added water as needed throughout the process). Spice if desired.
  • Step #3: Cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove lid, reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook for 1-2 hours (check at 1 hour), or until tender, remembering to add water as needed.
  • Step #4: Remove from heat, and enjoy!

Dried, Unsoaked Black Beans

  • Step #1: Begin by rinsing your black beans, and adding to a large pot.
  • Step #2: Add water (a few inches covering your beans. I added 8 cups of water to 1 pound of beans to begin, and then added water as needed throughout the process). Spice if desired.
  • Step #3: Cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove lid, reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook for 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours, or until tender, remembering to add water as needed (mine took almost exactly 2 hours).
  • Step #4: Remove from heat, and enjoy!
how to cook black beans

Ways to Use Black Beans

We have so many recipes using black beans here at Clean Cuisine (some listed below), however, you can easily throw black beans into numerous dishes for some added protein, carbs, and flavor. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use black beans…

  • Add them onto Tacos: Black beans are a great addition to tacos, adding both protein, and healthy carbs! If you’re vegan or vegetarian, they also make a great meat replacement for this type of meal. Flavor them with Taco Seasoning for added flavor.
  • Add into Burger Meat: Want some extra plant protein in your burgers? Mix some black beans into your burger meat!
  • Bulk Up Soup or Stew: Looking to bulk up your soup or stew? Many soups and stews are tastier, and more filling with black beans! Measure with your heart.
  • Add into a Chocolate Smoothie: While I can’t personally vouch for smoothies without chocolate, black beans are a great, nutritious addition to chocolate smoothies! Our Chocolate Oatmeal Smoothie is super tasty, even after adding black beans.
  • Mix in with Salad: Black beans are great for adding texture, protein, carbs, and flavor to your salad. Chill them, and throw them in for a cold salad, or keep warm for a warm salad! *Ever made a salad jar? Black beans are perfect for this as well!
Mexican-Inspired Chili Stovetop Recipe
Mexican-Inspired Chili Stovetop Recipe

How to Store Black Beans

How you store black beans really depends on where you are in the preparation process. For example, dried, uncooked black beans need to be stored totally differently than cooked black beans. Here, I will explain multiple ways to store black beans, based upon where you are at in your prep process…

Uncooked, Dry Black Beans

Storing your uncooked dry black beans sealed container, and keeping them in a dry, cool place is best. While they will be the freshest if consumed within a year, they can actually be kept much longer than this (with some referring to their shelf life as indefinite).

Soaked, Uncooked Black Beans

If you’re anything like me, it’s not too uncommon to soak beans overnight, and then not be ready to use them. So, how long will black beans last in the refrigerator after soaking? Drain the water, rinse the beans, and pat dry with a paper towel. Use another paper towel to line an airtight container, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days!

Cooked Black Beans (soaked or un-soaked)

Leftover black beans? Let them cool, and then simply store them an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days!

Canned Black Beans

Canned blackbeans are great for those busy days when you don’t have a ton of time in the kitchen. For storing, simply rinse black beans, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days!

Freezing Cooked Black Beans

Want to freeze your black beans for an even longer expiration date? Allow the beans to cool, and then store them in a freezer bag for up to around 6 months! (This method also works for leftover canned black beans).

QUICK TIP: Want to keep your cooked black beans extra moist when being stored? Drizzle with some avocado or olive oil before sealing!

Recipes with Black Beans

We love black beans, and use them in many of our dishes, both savory, and sweet! Here are some of our personal favorites:

Black Bean and Corn Salad: I can’t say enough about how deliciously perfect this Black Bean and Corn Salad recipe came together.

Black Refried Beans Recipe: With just a few fresh ingredients paired with organic black beans, your food processor is going to make the best black refried beans recipe you’ve ever tasted.

Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa: Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa is a delicious Mexican-flavored recipe with black beans, corn, cilantro and loaded with vegetables.

Recipe for Black Bean Brownies: Looking to pack in more plant foods in a sneaky way? These Black Bean Brownies taste just like the real deal, with tons of nutrition! Nobody will ever know.

Recipe for Lump Crab Cakes: Recipe for Lump Crab Cakes was a last minute recipe! Made with black beans, cilantro, garlic and special spicy sauce for crab cakes recipe.

Recipe for Black Bean Dip with Peaches: Recipe for Black Bean Dip with Peaches is the perfect summer dip. Loaded with fresh ingredients: cilantro, peppers, lime and red onion.

recipe for black bean brownies
Recipe for Black Bean Brownies

Q&A

Here are some of our top asked questions regarding black beans! Have additional questions? Leave them in the comments below!

How do you cook dried black beans?

There are multiple methods for cooking dried black beans. Read the article above for the most common methods!

Are black beans healthy?

Black beans are an incredible health food source! A great source of plant-based protein and healthy carbs, black beans are a great addition to a well-rounded diet.

How do you make black beans more easily digestible?

Making black beans a bit easier on the digestive system all comes down to a gas-free soak! Check out the heading “Gas Free Soak” above for all the details on how to do this from home.

Are canned black beans healthy?

If you don’t have time to cook black beans from scratch, they’re still a very healthy option. Make sure you grab canned black beans without added ingredients, and enjoy a much quicker meal!

What is the difference between black turtle beans and black beans?

Black turtle beans are a bit denser, and upon cooking, stay firmer than black beans. Black beans, on the other hand, are softer and are easily mushed after cooking. All-in-all, they are not quite interchangeable.

Print

How to Cook Black Beans

In this article, you’ll learn how to cook black beans using three different methods, and how to do a gas free soak!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes – 7 hours
  • Total Time: Varies
  • Yield: Varies

Ingredients

Instructions

INSTANT POT, SOAKED

  1. Begin by rinsing your black beans, and adding to your instant pot.
  2. Add 3 cups of filtered water for every pound of black beans. Spice if desired.
  3. Close lid, and pressure cook on high for around 8 minutes for firm beans, and 10 minute for soft beans.
  4. Once instant pot is finished, allow to natural release (around 20 minutes).
  5. Remove lid, and enjoy!

INSTANT POT, UNSOAKED

  1. Begin by rinsing the black beans, and then adding them to your instant pot.
  2. Add 3 cups of filtered water for every pound of black beans. Spice if desired.
  3. Close lid, and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes for firm, 30 minutes for soft.
  4. Once instant pot is finished, allow to natural release (around 20 minutes).
  5. Remove lid, and enjoy!

SLOW COOKER, SOAKED

  1. Begin by rinsing your black beans, and add to your slow cooker.
  2. Add water (roughly 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of black beans). Spice if desired.
  3. Place on high for as little as 2 hours for soaked (check at 2 hours), up to 3 hours. Place on low for as little as 4 hours (check at 4 hours), up to 5 hours, or until tender.
  4. Remove from heat, and enjoy!

SLOW COOKER, UNSOAKED

  1. Begin by rinsing your black beans, and adding them to your slow cooker.
  2. Add water (around 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of black beans). Spice if desired.
  3. Place slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours (check for desired tenderness at 3 hours), or low for 6-7 hours (check for desired tenderness at 6 hours), or until tender.
  4. Remove from heat, and enjoy!

STOVETOP, SOAKED

  1. Begin by rinsing your black beans, and adding to a large pot.
  2. Add water (a few inches covering your beans. I added 8 cups of water to 1 pound of beans to begin, and then added water as needed throughout the process). Spice if desired.
  3. Cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove lid, reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook for 1-2 hours (check at 1 hour), or until tender, remembering to add water as needed.
  4. Remove from heat, and enjoy!

INSTANT POT, UNSOAKED

  1. Begin by rinsing your black beans, and adding to a large pot.
  2. Add water (a few inches covering your beans. I added 8 cups of water to 1 pound of beans to begin, and then added water as needed throughout the process). Spice if desired.
  3. Cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove lid, reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook for 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours, or until tender, remembering to add water as needed (mine took almost exactly 2 hours).
  4. Remove from heat, and enjoy!

Last Step! If you loved our recipe, leave us a review below. This helps future recipe makers and ensures continued high-quality recipes for years to come!

Notes

GAS FREE SOAK

  1. Place dried black beans in a large bowl, and cover with filtered water (about 4 cups of water for every cup of dried beans).
  2. Cover, and leave on the counter for 8-12 hours (I usually do this overnight).
  3. Rinse, and cook using desired method.

Keywords: How to Cook Black Beans

© 2024 clean cuisine Recipe by:

Madison Suttles

Madison is passionate about health, fitness, and Jesus. She has lived with autoimmune symptoms nearly her entire life, but was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2016. She shares her experience with Crohn's and living on a modified Specific Carbohydrate Diet as a resource to others on their health journeys.

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