How to Make Black Beans — Two Ways!!

Yum

I am crazy for black beans!  And so are many friends of mine who ask me all the time how to make black beans. To take care of this topic once and for all, I decided to present here not just one but two ways of making black beans: Quick and from scratch. 🙂

How to Make Black Beans -- Two Ways!!

The quick recipe (made from canned black beans) can be seen on A Couple In The Kitchen, the blog that I have been assigned to this month by the Secret Recipe Club.  If you don’t want your black beans spicy, simply omit the cayenne pepper from the recipe. As a bonus, you will get a Quick Cuban Pork recipe featured in the same post. Well, to make these canned black beans tastier, first sweat the onion and garlic in a bit of oil and stir in the canned black beans and cumin (and seasonings, if necessary). Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or follow the directions stated in the quick recipe. 

Dried Black Beans (watermark)

 A Couple In The Kitchen is co-authored by Chris and Amy,  “a married couple who are both teachers by day and would-be chefs by night.”  Their blog features mostly American recipes with a spin as well as Italian, although Cuban, Portuguese, and others ethnic recipes can be found.

I have to say that it was quite fun to browse their blog. Chris’ cooking creativity is exciting! His potato pave is impressive and worth a try — of course, if I didn’t hate a mandolin so much.  At the same time Amy cracks me up… This is a compliment,  especially coming from a Brazilian who has a different perception of humor than Americans do.  Her sense of humor really transcends cultural barriers as you can see: ” The first thing Amy learned to cook by herself was Kraft Macaroni ‘n Cheese. Even way back then, she considered the directions on the box to be merely suggestions, and to this day, prefers her secret shame Kraft dinner to be ‘firm, yet watery.’ ”  Ai, ai, ai… I am about to wet my pants laughing!

Black beans from scratch

But if you would like to make black beans from scratch though, you can certainly learn from me.  It is not that different from feijoada, minus all the pork meats. You can make a large batch, divide into containers, and freeze so you’ll have beans made from scratch anytime that you need. This is what I do often… and it’s a time saver!  These beans can also be used for making black bean soup and, of course, in tacos, burritos, and dips.

Well, check out Chris and Amy’s quick recipe and enjoy our black beans from scratch — a staple in Brazil!



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How to Make Black Beans -- Two Ways!
 
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Cook time
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Recipe and method for how to make the best black beans from scratch! For the quick recipe, click here.
Author:
Recipe type: Beans
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce or 454 gr.) package dry black beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, or more if desired
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)
Instructions
  1. Sort the black beans, discarding any stones or damaged beans.
  2. Wash the black beans in a colander and then, soak them in three times their volume of cold water for at least 4 hours or best, overnight (12 hours or more) so they will become more tender and cook faster. Rinse and drain them. Reserve.
  3. Cook the black beans: In a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, bring the black 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. Let simmer over low heat for 60 to 90 minutes or until almost tender. Remove from heat and reserve, covered.
  4. 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 20 minutes while unsoaked beans generally take 25 to 30 minutes and so to cook depending on how old the beans are. The truth is the older the beans, the more cooking time required.
  5. In a separate pan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the diced onion until translucent, stirring occasionally. Next, add the garlic and cook for about 30 to 60 seconds, stirring occasionally.
  6. Mix the cooked onion and garlic into the cooked black beans. Add the bay leaves, and stir in all the seasonings, spices, and the vinegar (While vinegar improves taste and reduces gassy elements, it should be added near the end of the cooking time because it may toughen the skins). Add ½ to 1 cup of water more, only if necessary. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for additional 15 minutes or until tender (If black beans were cooked in a pressure cooker, add those ingredients and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered). 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 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.
  7. Black beans can be served with white rice (a staple in Brazil) and your favorite meat, or used as a base for black bean soup and dips.
  8. STORAGE: Let cooked black beans cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze them for up to 3 months.
Notes
If desired, 6 strips of diced bacon can be cooked and incorporated to the recipe once adding the sauteed onions and garlic as well as the bay leaves, seasonings and spices, and vinegar. This will make the black beans tastier!!

How to make black beans -- both from scratch and quick

Black Beans (How To Make Black Beans From Scratch)

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67 Responses to How to Make Black Beans — Two Ways!!

  1. Lail | With A Spin 18 May, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    With all the goodness black beans have to offer, I don’t cook them enough. Thank you for sharing not one but two ways, Denise. Hope you had a fabulous weekend.
    Lail | With A Spin recently posted…Pithali – Unique, Delicious Heirloom Beef CurryMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 18 May, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Lail! I know that it is late and you might be tired.

  2. Rekha 19 May, 2014 at 1:22 am #

    I too don’t cook much of the black beans. But thank you for sharing such lovely and healthy recipes.
    Rekha recently posted…Strawberry ice creamMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 19 May, 2014 at 7:25 am #

      It is my pleasure, Rekha! I did grow up eating them… They are a great source of protein and iron!

  3. Veronica 19 May, 2014 at 4:06 am #

    Your photos are so lovely – the styling just perfect! Thank you for sharing how to make black beans two ways – they sound delicious. Chris and Amy’s blog is so fun, I agree!
    Veronica recently posted…Nutter Butter Banana Cream PieMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 19 May, 2014 at 7:26 am #

      Veronica: Thank you so much. Yes, Chris and Amy are quite funny and fun.

  4. sallybr 19 May, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    Lovely post! And what a GORGEOUS plate!

    on a side note, I made your salada de palmito no espeto! We loved it… I shall blog about it next month or so, and will send you a note

    didn’t I tell you I would? 😉
    sallybr recently posted…DAN LEPARD’S SAFFRON BLOOMERMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 19 May, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      Sally, my dear Sally! Thank you for putting a wide smile on my tired face. I am so happy that you made those salad skewers and enjoyed them.
      They became a real fave of mine. High summer will arrive soon and I am quite looking forward to make them again.

  5. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan 19 May, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    Thanks for highlighting this couple of teachers/bloggers – I was laughing so hard at “Even way back then, she considered the directions on the box to be merely suggestions, and to this day, prefers her secret shame Kraft dinner to be ‘firm, yet watery.” Too funny!
    Thanks for sharing these black beans – I haven’t tried adding red wine vinegar in mine ever – thanks for sharing that tip!
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan recently posted…Not-Your-Average Chocolate Chip Muffins!My Profile

    • Denise Browning 19 May, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      They are really quite funny. I do enjoy reading their blog.

  6. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate 19 May, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    Black beans are probably my favourite pulse out there! I even like using them in dessert. Candied black beans? Hello!
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate recently posted…Chocolate Banana BreadMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 19 May, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

      Hi, Mallory! I have eaten black beans in sweet mini muffins but never candied. I would love to try it.

  7. Erin @ Making Memories 19 May, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    I love black beans! I forget about them and then when I see them I’m reminded how delicious they are! Yours look amazing!
    Erin @ Making Memories recently posted…Old Fashioned Devil’s Food CakeMy Profile

  8. A Couple in the Kitchen 19 May, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Denise, thanks for all your kind words and for your “from scratch” recipe. We will try those next time! Happy May SRC!
    A Couple in the Kitchen recently posted…A Taste of Summer for Secret Recipe ClubMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 19 May, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Amy and Chris: Thank you for stopping by. You guys are awesome. I did really enjoy browsing your blog. Wishing you both a great week!

  9. Francesca 19 May, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    you said my favorite word -ever- feijoada. Maybe I’d sneak some pork in there…
    maybe 🙂

    These look awesome!
    Francesca recently posted…Coffee CakeMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 19 May, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      LOL. Please, do… When I make my plain black beans, I still like to add at least bacon. 😉

  10. Margaret 19 May, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Definitely giving this recipe to my DIL. She LOVES black beans.

  11. Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine 19 May, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Denise, you’ve made black beans look so beautiful!! That is an art. I love black beans but I never thought they were especially pretty – till now! Love that bowl, it’s gorgeous!
    Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine recently posted…A Trio of Pasta Salads; Perfect for Picnics and PartiesMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 19 May, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      Thanks, Chris! I bought the plate at World Market. I love its stuff.

  12. Deb 19 May, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    My family prefers black beans to pintos and would love your recipe! A perfect recipe for the summer grilling season.
    Deb recently posted…Low Fat Granola Clusters with Almonds, Coconut and StrawberriesMy Profile

  13. Stephanie 19 May, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    Lovely looking recipe for black beans Denise! I love black beans and need to make them more often
    Stephanie recently posted…Secret Recipe Club: Sparkling Lemon-LimeadeMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 19 May, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

      Thank you, Stephanie! I hope you make them and enjoy…

  14. Lady Lilith 19 May, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    Thanks for sharing two recipes. My mom is a huge black bean fan. I now have some ideas for her.

  15. Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} 19 May, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    I typically will purchase these, so it is great to now have a “go to” recipe. Looks tasty. Glad to be part of SRC group C wtih you!

  16. Sugar et al 20 May, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    This dish looks absolutely mouth-watering. It’s dinnertime here and I really want to eat this. Gorgeous pictures!
    Sugar et al recently posted…Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie+Brownie SemifreddoMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 20 May, 2014 at 7:43 am #

      Thank you, my dear! Black beans are a fave at my household.

  17. Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil) 20 May, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Never have black beans looked so lovely!!! I love love that you are sharing both ways. Canned beans are a staple in my house but I want to start making them from scratch and now I have the perfect recipe from a Brazilian no less 🙂

    • Denise Browning 20 May, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

      You are so sweet, Deanna! I hope you can make beans from scratch. The taste is much better than the canned ones. Since it takes a while to have them cooked, I usually make large batches and freeze into containers so my family and I have them anytime that we want. They can also be used in dips, tacos, soups, etc. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  18. Mi Vida en un Dulce 20 May, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    I have to admit that when I was little I didn’t like beans, my mother had a very hard time with me because of that. But now that I’m not so young, I discovered that beans are really good, and thank’s God, my kids like too.
    Mi Vida en un Dulce recently posted…Galletas de Jengibre y QuinuaMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 20 May, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

      My children are crazy for beans since they were very little. I introduced beans to them when they started eating solid foods. Years have passed and they still enjoy beans a lot.

  19. Liz 20 May, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Gorgeous black beans! Can you believe I’ve never made black beans as a dish itself? I need to change this ASAP, I miss my old SRC group!!!
    Liz recently posted…Tropical Napoleons #TuesdayswithDorieMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 20 May, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

      I will miss SRC as well, Liz! Life is getting busier and busier. This was my last month there.

  20. I love black beans and actually took some photos of some a few weeks ago but haven’t gotten around to posting them! They are similar to the dried bean version. Yum! Thanks, Denise!
    [email protected] is How I Cook recently posted…Cauliflower Chutney for the Girl Who Doesn’t Like Mango!My Profile

    • Denise Browning 21 May, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      Thank you, Abbe! I am looking forward to seeing yours. I am crazy for beans…

  21. I luv black beans! I use them in soup, as sides, as ingredients in other dishes — you name it, and I use them. Super post — thanks.
    [email protected] Riffs recently posted…Chipotle Sweet-Potato SaladMy Profile

  22. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl 21 May, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    I could eat black beans for dinner and black beans only, I love them so much! Can’t wait to gobble down yours !

  23. Monet 21 May, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    How did you know? I just bought a pound of dried beans and I was hoping to find a new recipe to try. Thank you!

  24. cquek 22 May, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  25. Natalia 22 May, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Oi Denise, obrigada pela visita!
    Eu adorei conhecer o seu site, coisa boa a gente tem que indicar mesmo (:

    Beijos

    • Denise Browning 22 May, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      Natália: Volte sempre! É muito bom receber a sua visita e de outros brasileiros aqui. Um bom dia pra você!

  26. Kumar's Kitchen 22 May, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    we finally got two delicious new ways of cooking black beans…we usually enjoy it as a curry,thanks for these superb recipes and stunning food clicks as always 🙂
    Kumar’s Kitchen recently posted…Bhuna Baingan Aloo Da Bhurta, Spicy Mashed Eggplant & PotatoesMy Profile

  27. Amira 22 May, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    I was not a fan of black beans in fact the first time it was introduced to me was almost 12 years ago in Egypt eating in Chilli’s and I was like what the heck is that?!!!! and I did not touch it then 🙂 . But when I came here I tried it in several occasions but did not really cook them myself. Thanks for sharing these two fabulous ways to cook them.
    Amira recently posted…Roasted rice with nutsMy Profile

  28. Chantal 23 May, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    Hi denise,
    I’am Chantal from Travelling Papilles a global food blog. I just discover your so beautiful blog via the net and this nice recipe. I usually cook it too as my mother is from Haïti. There are a lot of similar recipes and products between Brazil, Haïti and some part of Africa.
    I will come back here from time to time to enjoy your recipes.
    Thank you for sharing
    Chantal

    • Denise Browning 23 May, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      Hi, Chantal! Welcome to FBTY!!
      Yes, there are various ingredients and a few dishes that my country and others have in common. I hope you visit us often.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  29. Coffee and Crumpets 25 May, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

    Black beans are cooked quite often at my house and I love using the pressure cooker to do it! Thanks for the pointers!
    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted…Tres Leches CakeMy Profile

  30. Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) 26 May, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    I’ll never forget the first time I had black beans. It was about 20 years ago in a Brazilian restaurant in SE Denver. Which by the way is still in business. My pantry has been stocked with black beans ever since. Thanks for the recipes.
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) recently posted…Ancho Chile Beef and Black Bean Tacos, Just Like Mom Never MadeMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 26 May, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      I am glad that you enjoyed their beans. Black beans are a staple in Brazilian cuisine. Enjoy this recipe, Lea Ann!

  31. Cassis 31 May, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    I LOVE black beans, much more than brown. This recipe is great, congratulations.

    • Denise Browning 31 May, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

      Thank you, Cassis! My whole family is crazy for these black beans!Enjoy your weekend!

  32. Karen (Back Road Journal) 3 June, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    It sounds like we could be sisters…this is just the way I cook my black beans as well although I sometimes like to add chopped fresh oregano from my garden.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted…Three Years On The Back RoadsMy Profile

  33. marcela 19 September, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    to be honest… i’ve never tried black bean… looks delicious… both ways 🙂
    marcela recently posted…Sernik z M & M z bananamiMy Profile

    • Denise Browning 20 September, 2014 at 8:10 am #

      I hope you try to make black beans, Marcela! It is a great source of protein and quite delicious. You can also use them to prepare soups, salads, dips, bean and cheese tacos, etc.

  34. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com 21 October, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    If you know me well, you’d know my love and adoration for making beans from scratch. LOVE this 🙂
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com recently posted…Apple Barfi {Fudge}My Profile

    • Denise Browning 22 October, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

      Thanks, Kiran! I grew up eating beans and love many types.

  35. ChannonD 14 July, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    Love love love these recipes. Brazilain Black beans with Rice and Collards is one of my favorite meals. Especially when topped with a little farofa and some homemade chili/garlic oil. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Also, as a warning to them and others, when I clicked on the “Secret Recipe Club” link above, a malware pop-up appeared disguised as Google asking me to update to the latest version of Google Chrome. GC will NEVER do that. If I hadn’t looked at the url, I would not have caught on. Would you please let the folks at the Secret Recipe Club know?

    Thanks again! I LOVE this blog!!

    • Denise Browning 15 July, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      Thank you, Channon! I had no idea about the SRC malware pop-up. I do apologize for it.
      I left the SRC about one year ago. Time has been quite tight.

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