How to turn a can of beans into something extraordinary with a few simple ingredients and one special technique. Use this canned black beans recipe for any canned beans to create a delicious side dish or filling for quesadillas, tostadas, or enchiladas.
Learning how to make canned black beans is a thrifty cook’s dream. For less than 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, as a side dish or with steamed rice for a healthy vegan meal.
Black beans (sometimes labeled black turtle beans) are the perfect protein-packed breakfast with a hard boiled egg and maybe even a couple slices of avocado or some chopped cilantro or sour cream and lime juice.
They are incredibly healthy for you too! They have loads of fiber and antioxidants and can also help lower your blood sugar and bad cholesterol.
how to make canned black beans taste better
This easy recipe can be used to cook any type of bean although the flavorings are best suited to pinto beans or black beans.
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. But for anything else you’re making, do not drain 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, minced garlic, 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 thing I use when I’ve cooked dried beans—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.
In addition to the onions and garlic some people love the sweetness of red pepper too or add tomatoes like Isabel does in her easy beans recipe.
how to cook canned black beans
When making a quick can of black beans, I start with by sautéing the onions in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the onions start to sweat and become translucent, add the garlic and jalapeños.
To this I add generous amounts of ground cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, and dried oregano.
Other spices that would be good are smoked paprika, onion powder, or fresh ground black pepper. You can add a bay leaf too if you’d like. Most importantly, don’t forget the salt.
Let the spices toast in the cooking oil for at least 30 seconds or until they bloom and become fragrant.
Season the sofrito with salt and black pepper as it is cooking.
When the sofrito is soft and fragrant I add the can of beans—with the liquid and everything and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until thick and creamy.
As always, taste as you go and keep adding a little salt when it seems to be lacking that special something.
If you want the beans to be a creamier consistency, you can mash them with a potato masher until they are as thick as you’d like.
To finish the beans I like to squeeze some fresh lime juice over the beans and maybe top with some chopped cilantro right before serving, but that’s totally optional.
can you freeze black beans?
You can always cook a batch of black beans and store them in the freezer for a quick meal later.
This is more common when making a big pot of homemade beans using dried black beans, not canned.
But if you find yourself with lots of canned bean leftovers, you can certainly put them in a freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Never put an actual can of beans in the freezer though. The metal cans are not freezer safe.
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 this canned black beans recipe, 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.
- Burrito Bowls are a great place for these black beans. Add them to this Smoky Chile Relleno Bowl.
- Top tortilla chips with the beans and make these Chicken and Black Bean Nachos.
- Add chicken broth, some sour cream, and a couple more jalapeños and turn the beans into this Spicy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup.
- My family loved these black beans as a sandwich spread for these Mexican Tortas with Turkey.
- In under 30 minutes you can turn that can of beans into this incredible vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup.
- Tuck the black beans inside pupusas for a the best gluten free dinner ever!
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!
did you love this seasoned black bean recipe?
If you cook canned black beans and love them, let me know, OK? Let me know what you end up making by snapping a pic and tagging me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
- Heat oil. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Sauté vegetables. Add onions and jalapeños and season with salt and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown.
- Add garlic and spices. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, coriander, and dried oregano. Cook, stirring to toast the spices 1 minute more.
- Add black beans. 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.
- Enjoy! Serve as a side or as a main meal with rice or with eggs and tortillas for breakfast.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 4Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Clean up Tips
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