The Best Black Beans

Growing up as a Hispanic I was used to always having cooked beans at home. I mean every day we would have some cooking on the stove or leftover in the fridge. Occasionally, they would burn and the whole house would smell like burnt beans (not the greatest), and yeah, sometimes it was my fault. 

Now as an adult, I still love to have beans cooked in my house. While beans come in different colors and sizes, my favorite is black beans. They have tons of flavor, are packed with fiber and protein, and easy to make. I find myself eating these black beans quite often and it’s like my body doesn’t know when to stop because they are so good. Now, cooking beans from scratch can be a bit intimidating considering they vary in cooking times and methods. If you know what to expect, it’s less stressful and a lot more fulfilling.  

Canned beans? 

Sure, you can buy precooked black beans in a can. I don’t blame you if you do. I do it sometimes, too. It’s convenient and easy, however, cooked dry beans are superior to canned beans in every way. The texture is better and you can layer flavors into your beans that you just can’t get with canned beans. 

Soaking ahead of time 

I know people like to soak beans overnight to get a head start on them. This does reduce the cooking time, but in my experiences, not by a lot. They still are going to take at least 1.5 hours to cook. If the beans are older, they can take longer. Soaking the beans will give you about a 30-minute head start, but I would rather just avoid that step all together and just cook them from start to finish the same day.  

Sorting through 

A lot of times, trash and other debris get caught in the mix. For this reason, you want to sort through your beans before you cook them. Place your dry beans in a colander and rinse them under cold water. Make sure you don’t pack them in there since you need space to move them around while you look for stones, broken beans, or other debris that is likely in there. You can be as picky as you want to be! 

Cooking Time 

I hate to say it, but there is no set cooking time for beans. They can vary in cooking times due to age and size. They can take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 4 hours. Generally, it’s best to cook them within a year of harvesting to minimize cooking time. Make sure they are covered with water the entire time. If they need more than add more. I’ve always had to add more water 95% of the time. 

The Best Black Beans

Enjoy these as a side dish for Latin cuisines or by themselves!
Prep Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6


  • stock pot
  • colander


  • 1 Lb dry black beans
  • 1 medium onion quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper


  • Rinse beans under cold water and sort through them removing any debris you can find. 
  • Place beans in a stock pot and cover with 4” of water. Add bay leaves, onion, and garlic. Bring to a boil and then drop the heat to a gentle simmer. Let simmer for 2-4 hours stirring occasionally. If the beans are not covered in water at any point, add more water. 
  • Once the beans are tender, bay leaves, garlic and onion. Stir in remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. 
Keyword beans, black beans, Mexican, mexican food, side dish