Recipes > Basic Black Beans

Basic Black Beans


Black beans, when even simply cooked, are a delicious base ingredient to have on hand. They lend themselves to a variety of applications throughout the week.
  • Serves: 6 cups
  • Active Time: 2 hrs
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Views: 45,240
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Black Beans

Preparing the Black Beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 dried chile*
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, émince (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste


First, gather and prepare your mise en place.

To prepare the black beans, in a large pot, add the beans and all spices — except for the salt and pepper.

Next, add the water and bring to a boil. Lower to medium heat, cover with a lid, slightly ajar, and allow to simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until fully cooked through.

During the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking season with the salt and pepper. Once done, taste for flavor balance, adjusting the seasoning as needed.

*Note: Use these beans as the base, to make these delicious Refried Black Beans.

Chef's Notes

*Use chiles of your choice for flavor and/or heat. If you want more heat, for example, increase the chile quantity.


  • Sandra D
    Sandra D
    In the video it shows and calls for adding "sliced Garlic", yet in the text recipe it calls for "Minced". Does it matter??
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Nope, it does not really matter.... it will not substantively change anything about the dish.
  • Bella L
    Bella L
    If I’m storing the beans to use next day, do I drain from the liquid I cooked them in or store with cooked liquid?
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi there Bella and thanks for your question. My recommendation would be to drain the liquid and store under refrigeration. Thanks again and keep on cooking! Chef Kirk
  • Angela J
    Angela J
    I've never used dried chilies before. I see about 5 different kinds at the grocery store. Can I use dried ancho or is there another one I should use? thanks
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Angela - great question; thank you! Indeed, you can use dried Ancho Chili for a nice, moderately spicy and smokey flavor profile with your Black Beans. You might also consider dried Pasilla Chili, which is the dried version of the Chilaca Pepper; your Ancho Chili is the dried version of the Poblano Pepper. Enjoy and thank you for cooking with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Luís Q
    Luís Q
    How to do this recipe using a pressure cooker? Do we need to change the amount of any ingredient, namely water? And how about the cooking times? Thank you
  • Brian S
    Brian S
    Hi Luis - There are many great uses for pressure cookers and this is, of course, one of them. I personally use what is known as an instant pot and tend to find that after soaking my beans overnight I am looking at about 30 minutes start to finish. The water tends to cover the beans by 1.5 inches and the initial cooking time may only run you 10-15 minutes. I generally allow for the pressure to come down naturally although some models offer a speed release. I hope this information helps
  • Rose R
    Rose R
    how long can you keep these? How will you store it?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Rose! You can keep these for about 4 or 5 days in the refrigerator or you can freeze them for quite some time. Enjoy! Lauren
  • Teri B
    Teri B
    Thank you for the insta pot version(^_^)
  • Ally S
    Ally S
    Brian... are you soaking your beans over night with the herbs and spices then using all this in the insta pot? Or are you soaking in water overnight, draining, then adding fresh water and the herbs and spices. Thanks ally
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Ally! Pardon me speaking for Brian but you should soak the beans in water overnight, drain and rinse. Next add fresh water and the rest of the ingredients (except salt and pepper) for cooking. There is nothing like freshly cooked beans! Lauren
  • Ally S
    Ally S
    Thanks Lauren :)
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    You are welcome!
  • Vanessa L
    Vanessa L
    Hi, does the recipe mean 3 cups dried and beans and then soaked, or do they mean 3 cups already soaked. I used three cups dried to soak so I'm assuming it yields more cups once they beans double in size.
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Vanessa. Start with 3 cups of dried beans. Beans vary in how much they expand when cooked. In my experience 3 cups of dried black beans yields a little more than 6 cups of cooked beans. Cooked beans freeze well so I tend to make plenty. Lauren
  • Vanessa L
    Vanessa L
    Thank you Lauren!
  • Matthew H
    Matthew H
    In order to cook do I have to use a dried out Chile or can I use a fresh one that has been de seeded?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Matthew--thanks for writing. To answer your question, using a fresh pepper is fine, but it does change the "heating element" of your dish. Fresh chiles bring a burst of heat, whereas their dried counterparts bring a slow burn. So, the answer is yes, and it depends upon how you like your heat. Good luck with the recipe. Cheers- Char
  • Grace R
    Grace R
    Do beans need to be soaked overnight?
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Grace, It is sufficient to soak beans for about 4 hours. Cheers, Sandy
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    Can I keep the cooking liquid to make bean chilli as it smells so flavourful!If so I want to add acidity to the finished liquid what do u suggest x
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello, Riaz: Yes, you can reserve the bean broth. I would add some freshly squeezed lemon juice from one, medium-sized lemon. Cheers, Char

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