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Quick and Easy Black Bean Recipe

This quick and Easy Black Bean Recipe skimps on time but never on flavor. These black beans are rich in flavor but and never mushy. These delicious beans make the perfect side dish.

When you want restaurant-quality beans, this will be your go-to choice. Use this easy black bean recipe as a filling for tacos as your main protein, or serve black beans with any Mexican meal as a wonderful complement and an additional protein. By the way, black beans are an excellent source of protein!

This post was updated from 2017 to improve our readers’ experience.

A white bowl filled with black beans garnished with cotija cheese and cilantro. Small dishes of cheese, onions, cilantro, and lime sit around the beans.

How to Make This Black Bean Recipe

When I was younger, unlike most kids I wasn’t a picky eater. There wasn’t much that I didn’t like. One of the exceptions was black beans. Black beans were not something that we ate a lot of and the only time that I had them they hardly resembled beans and didn’t have a lot of flavor.

As I got older, I would give them a try when we ate out at Mexican restaurants. I learned that no two black bean recipes are alike, or created equal in the flavor department.

To me, what makes a great black bean recipe is a thick sauce with some of the black beans kept whole. I don’t want a soupy mess that just runs into everything else on the plate or that is as thick as wallpaper paste. And, we want flavor. Many times, beans kept on the stove all day long lose their consistency as well as any flavor they once had.

Ingredients for Quick and Easy Black Beans

To make this recipe super fast without compromising on flavor, we used canned beans. Here’s the full list of ingredients you’ll need for our canned black beans recipe. This recipe has no added fat. Many restaurants add lard or other animal fats to their black bean dishes. All of the flavor in my recipe comes from the additional ingredients, herbs, and spices.

  • Black Beans. Straight from a can, liquid and all. No-fuss.
  • Red Onion. The specific flavor of red onion adds so much to this dish. You can sub other onions but it won’t be as good.
  • Garlic. Freshly crushed cloves are my favorite. If you don’t have a garlic press yet, you need one!
  • Green Chilis. Also from a. can the diced variety.
  • Jalapeño. One whole pepper, seeded unless you like super spicy.
  • Cumin. High-quality cumin is worth the cost and adds a certain richness to the dish’s flavor.
  • Chili Powder. If you can, use ancho chili powder. If your supermarkets are more limited regular chili powder will work, it just won’t bring any heat.
  • Cayenne Pepper. Bump it up a notch with a dash of this or red pepper flakes, or hot sauce.
  • Salt and Pepper. To taste.
  • Fresh Cilantro. Chopped and added when you serve the beans.
  • Fresh Limes. Serve each person with a fresh wedge of lime for garnish and added bright flavor.
A bowl of black beans garnished with Cotija Cheese and cilantro. Dishes of cheese, red onion, and cilantro sit around the black beans with wedges of lime.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Put one of the cans of beans in your saucepan and mush it just a bit with a potato masher and then add the second can without mashing it.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (except garnish) to the pan, and cook until the onions and jalapeño soften.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add a garnish of the fresh cilantro and lime wedge before serving.
A bowl of black beans garnished with Cotija Cheese and cilantro. Dishes of cheese, red onion, and cilantro sit behind the black beans with wedges of lime.

Tips for Making Fast and Easy Black Beans

  • Don’t rinse them. The sauce helps thicken the beans. 
  • Make them as spicy as you want. We used Ancho chili powder. If you can’t find it, regular chili powder will work. You can also add more cayenne or a pinch of crushed red chili flakes to bump up the heat. John loves a dash of hot sauce to his.
  • Don’t overcook this black beans recipe. We combined our ingredients and only cooked them for about 10 minutes. Just enough time to heat the ingredients together and slightly soften the onions.

Black Bean Garnishes

We like garnishing most of our dishes because it adds visual appeal and another opportunity to add flavor. Besides the cilantro and lime wedges here are a few other options for garnish.

  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Lime Wedges
  • Freshly diced tomato
  • Cotija cheese
  • Avocado
  • Chopped jalapeno

Storing Leftovers

Store ungarnished black beans covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. We do not recommend freezing leftover beans to serve as regular beans. However, you can turn your leftover beans into a black bean dip using a hand mixer. Mashed beans can be frozen to use as a dip later. They just tend to get extra mushy when frozen and then thawed, perfect for a dip or even a refried bean.

What to serve with this Black Beans Recipe

A bowl of black beans garnished with Cotija Cheese and cilantro. Dishes of cheese, red onion, and cilantro sit behind the black beans with wedges of lime.

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

A close up of a bowl filled with black beans that have been garnished with Cotija cheese and cilantro.

Quick and Easy Black Bean Recipe

Author: Julie Menghini
Quick and Easy Black Bean Recipe skimps on time but never on flavor. They’re restaurant quality at home!
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword: Black Beans, Easy Black Beans
Servings: 8


  • 30 ounces black beans 2 cans, do not rinse
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1 medium jalapeño seeded, ribs removed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Lime wedge

Fresh crumbled Cotija cheese and fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Add one can of the black beans to a sauce pan and give them a very light mash. I use a potato masher.
  • Add the second can of black beans and the green chilies, onion, jalapeño, garlic, cayenne, cumin, and ancho chili powder together. Bring to a simmer and heat through for approximately 10 minutes or until onion and jalapeño begin to soften. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cilantro and spritz with fresh lime. Garnish with fresh Cotija cheese if desired.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 148kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 9gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 403mgFiber: 9gVitamin A: 130IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 2.8mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

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This recipe is quick, easy, and delicious, a homerun in my book. You are definitely going to want to try it, and I think it will become a regular in your kitchen like it has mine!

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Quick and Easy Black Bean Recipe

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5 from 13 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

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Tuesday 19th of March 2024

[…] Serve with refried beans or warmed canned black beans with a splash of lime and a dash of cumin. Or try my friend Julie’s black beans. […]

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[…] time around I had a chance to make a recipe from my friend Julie at Hostess at Heart. I chose her Quick and Easy Black Bean recipe. Of course I had to adapt it slightly, because that’s how I roll. I can’t help […]


Sunday 26th of June 2022

Delicious!!! Enjoying this dish with sweet potato tortilla chips and fat free Greek yogurt !!! Yum!

Julie Menghini

Sunday 26th of June 2022

Thank you, Donna! That sounds amazing!

Jennifer Stewart

Saturday 3rd of July 2021

These black beans are packed with so much flavor. They will be a big hit in my house.

Julie Menghini

Sunday 4th of July 2021

Thanks, Jennifer! Such an easy side dish too.


Tuesday 29th of June 2021

These turned out so good! I have to say, that I have a got to pinto bean recipe and I decided to give yours a go, and everyone liked them better!

Julie Menghini

Thursday 1st of July 2021

oops! We love these too, Josie! They're such an easy sidedish!

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