Creamy Black Beans

The Tiny Kitchen Assistant’s bowl of beans.

Creamy Black Beans

I love black beans. Take me out to a Mexican or Cuban restaurant and you’ll notice that they’re the centerpiece of everything I order. And yet somehow the process of cooking black beans from scratch has eluded me for eons. Sure, I can do a quick canned version, but they never have the depth of flavor that you get from starting with dried beans.

But then I found this recipe, which I modified a bit from the original in Food Network Magazine. The flavor is mild; if you want more of a kick, swap the jalapeños for serranos or garnish with your hot sauce of choice. I found that my favorite Tabasco Chipotle sauce gave it a nice, smoky kick.

  • 1 pound (1 bag) dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, halved and seeded
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Kosher salt

(If you’re an overnight bean soaker, skip the first step.)

Bring beans and 6 cups water to a boil for three minutes. Turn off the heat and let them sit, covered, for an hour. Drain and proceed.

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add the oregano and the beans, then add enough water to cover, about 7-8 cups.

This was my version of “partially covered.” It worked.

Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and cook for about 3 hours, until beans are just tender.

Add 2 Tbsp kosher salt and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the beans are creamy, about 45-60 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving; this thickens the beans and makes them creamier.

Serve with queso fresco and cilantro, or with shredded Mexi-blend cheese. The leftover beans reheat well, just add water to thin them out.


The Tiny Kitchen Assistant loves black beans. Loves them. They were one of his first favorite foods as a baby, and he still loves them today. When he tried these, he declared them to be “much, much better than your usual beans.”

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