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black beans in a bowl with a spoon on the side
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How to Make Black Beans (from scratch and fast)

Meet the guide and the best recipe for how to make black beans from scratch, and also learn all about the fast way. This simple Brazilian black beans recipe is rich, creamy, and full of flavor. It’s one of those budget-friendly, easy freezer meals made mainly with pantry ingredients that will become a family favorite!
Course:Side Dish
Cuisine:Brazilian
Keywords:best black beans, easy black beans, how to cook black beans, how to make black beans
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories229 kcal
Cost $ 0.25 per person

Equipment

  • pot
  • cutting board
  • knife

Ingredients

  • 16 oz dried black beans
  • 6 cups water plus 1-2 cups if needed, especially if not pre-soaking beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt plus ½ tsp pepper use pepper flakes if you enjoy spicy food
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped

Instructions

  • Sort the beans and discard any stones or damaged beans.
  • Wash the beans in a colander.
  • (OPTIONAL) Then soak them in 3 times their volume of cold water for at least 4 hours or overnight (12 hours or more) so they will become more tender and cook faster. Rinse and drain. Reserve.
  • Cook beans: In a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, bring the beans, with 6 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of oil, to a boil. Oil reduces foaming during the cooking process!
  • Then, cover the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 60 minutes or until almost tender.
  • In a separate nonstick pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat and cook the diced onion until translucent, stirring every now and then. Next, add the garlic and cook for about 60 seconds, stirring every now and then.
  • Mix the cooked onion and garlic into the almost cooked beans (about 30 minutes before cooking time comes to an end). Add the bay leaves, and stir in all the seasonings, spices, and the vinegar. The vinegar improves taste and reduces gassy elements. If salt is added at the beginning, it’ll toughen the beans.
  • Add 1 to 2 cups of water more, if needed. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for those 30 final minutes or until tender.
  • Stir and remove the bay leaves. If desired, remove about 1 cup of cooked black beans (grains and broth) and blend in a blender until smooth.
  • Add the blended beans back to the cooked beans and stir. This will make the beans thicker and tastier. Right before serving, sprinkle the chopped cilantro or parsley, if desired. Serve over white rice (a staple in Brazil) and with your fave meat, or used as a base for black bean soup and dips.

Recipe Notes

  • If cooking black beans in a pressure cooker (something very common in Brazil), make sure the pot is no more than half full of ingredients, including water. Soaked beans may be cooked in about 15-20 minutes while unsoaked beans usually take 30-40 minutes and so to cook, depending on how old the beans are. The truth is, the older the beans, the more cooking time required. For cooking black beans in a pressure cooker, after cooking for 30 minutes (not soaked beans), do a quick release. Then, add cooked onion and garlic, seasonings, bay leaves, and vinegar. Press the sauté function and let cook for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  • If desired, 6 strips of diced bacon can be cooked and put into the recipe when adding the sauteed onions and garlic as well as the bay leaves, seasonings and spices, and vinegar. This will make the black beans even tastier!
How to cook black beans fast (from a can)
  1. The quickest way is to doctor up canned black beans. To do this, sweat the onion with oil over medium heat, stirring every now and then, for about 4 minutes.
  2. Then cook the garlic for about 1 minute. Add 2 (15-oz) cans black beans and stir in cumin (and other seasonings such as salt and pepper).
  3. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in a shot of red wine vinegar and serve with chopped cilantro.
How to cook black beans in the crockpot
If you are asking yourself how to cook black beans in the slow cooker, no worries! Here is a third way on how to prepare them.
    1. First, sweat onion and garlic to maximize flavor.
    2. After that, just dump the rest of the ingredients (except the salt, vinegar, and cilantro) into the crockpot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
    3. Test at the 3 or 6 hours marks to check for doneness. You may need to add about 1 cup more water because it evaporates since beans cook for many hours.
    4. Half an hour before the cooking time comes to an end, stir in the salt and vinegar. Cover and let it cook.
    5. Stir and remove the bay leaves. If desired, remove about 1 cup of cooked black beans (grains and broth) and blend in a blender until smooth.
    6. Add to the cooked beans, stir, and serve with cilantro.
STORAGE: Let cooked black beans cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze them for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 885mg | Potassium: 852mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 3mg
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