Learning how to make black beans from a can is a thrifty cook’s dream. For under two dollars a family of four can eat like kings, and most importantly, in under thirty minutes.
A can of black beans (or any canned beans for that matter) can be served as a soup, or with steamed rice, hard boiled egg and maybe even a couple slices of avocado or some chopped cilantro—if you’re feeling fancy.
How to make a can of beans taste better
This method can be used to cook any type of bean although the flavorings are best suited to pinto or black. The biggest secret when doctoring up a can of beans is to use the bean broth in the can.
Draining and rinsing a can of beans has its place, like if you are making a salad, for example, which by the way: you can eat beans straight out of the can if you want to.
But when cooking the beans the broth is your best friend. That juice the beans are packed in makes a rich, thick stew for creamy beans. Plus, when you add aromatics like sautéed onions and toasted spices it is this liquid that picks up all those flavors.
What Can I add To Beans For Flavor?
My favorite way to season a can of beans is the same way I make a pot of beans from dry—the sofrito. A sofrito is a mixture of onions, jalapeños, and garlic that gets fried in oil until they are sweet and tender and caramelized.
To this I add generous amounts of ground cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, and dried oregano. You can add a bay leaf too if you’d like. Most importantly, don’t forget the salt. Season the sofrito as it is cooking then season the beans again right before you eat them. As always, taste as you go and keep adding a little salt when it seems to be lacking that special something.
Foods To Stock Up On
Stocking up on canned and frozen foods is always a good idea. They are ready to go for fast meals and are easy on the budget. Plus—if you know how to cook with them— are just as satisfying. After you learn how to make black beans, check out my favorite method for turning any frozen vegetable into a luxurious soup!
Make It A Meal
Bake a loaf of this super simple Jalapeno Beer Bread for a complete meal.
Looking For More Bean Recipes?
- These Borracho Beans have bacon and beer and are made for the slow cooker.
- Or use the black beans in a cheesy, vegetarian, Enchilada Casserole!
Best Ever Canned Black Beans
Learn how to make a can of black beans taste like gold. Some onions, garlic, a few spice, really not much turns a ho-hum can of beans into something special.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 jalapeños, chopped (seeds removed if you’d like it less spicy)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- Heat oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and jalapeños and season with salt and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown.
- Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, coriander, and dried oregano. Cook, stirring to toast the spices 1 minute more.
- Add black beans, juice and all, and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 5 minutes. Mash a bit with a potato masher to make them nice and creamy. You don’t want to make a puree, just break some up to thicken the beans.
- Serve as a side or as a main meal with rice or with eggs and tortillas for breakfast.
Clean up Tips
Need help with the clean up? Check out these 6 Kitchen Cleaning Hacks that really work, and take less than 5 minutes.
One More Thing
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