Meet my go-to, foolproof black bean recipe! If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook black beans from scratch, this guide is for you. These beans are rich and creamy, yet lively and full of flavor. They rival the frijoles negros I’ve loved in Costa Rica, Mexico and Belize, and they make a delicious side dish or meal component.
Home-cooked black beans offer far more flavor than canned beans, especially when you include the right seasonings. I’m thrilled with how these turn out. Dried beans are also less expensive than canned beans, and they reduce waste (no cans to throw away).
Plus, black beans are very good for you. Black beans are rich in fiber and plant-based protein, and a fantastic source of folate, thiamin (vitamin B1), phosphorus, manganese and magnesium. If you’ve ever read that beans are “unhealthy,” it’s because beans contain lectins until they’ve been sufficiently cooked. Lectins, which are naturally present in many plant foods, are considered an anti-nutrient. If you’re eating properly cooked beans, as instructed below, there’s no reason for concern.
You might be surprised to hear that black beans are actually so blue that they appear black. Black beans are full of anthocyanins, a powerful group of flavanoids that also makes blueberries, purple cabbage and red onions so nutritious. You can read all about black bean nutrition here.
If you’re learning to cook dried beans, start them early. The wild card with dried beans is that you’ll never be 100 percent certain when they’ll finish cooking. Better to start cooking well before you’re in a rush for dinner. Let’s get to it!