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Home-cooked black beans that are delicious. This simple side dish is flavored with onion, chopped garlic, and orange juice for a mouthful of flavor every time.

You can’t go wrong with black beans if you’re searching for a basic ingredient that’s quick to prepare and always yields great results.

This healthy and unassuming snack couldn’t be simpler to make, and it may be used as a main dish, a simple supplement, or anything in between.

What Are Mexican Black Beans?

Black beans are a tiny, lustrous black legume that is widely used in Latin American cuisine. They have a smooth, meaty texture that complements a wide range of meals.

Mexican black beans are a kind of cooking beans that is also known as frijoles negros in Spanish. To make a thick, stew-like meal, the beans are cooked with spices such as cumin. Mexican black beans have a pleasant scent that is characterized by spicy spices like cumin.

Mexican black beans are seldom offered alone. Instead, they are a popular filler for tacos, burritos, and other similar foods.

Black Beans vs. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a variety of bean that is popular in Mexican cuisine, although they are not the same as black beans.

One of the most noticeable changes is their look. Pinto beans are bigger and deeper in color, while black beans are smaller and lighter.

Their flavor and texture are also distinct. Pinto beans have a gentler, earthier taste than black beans and are smoother, breaking down into a creamy texture when cooked.

Because of these distinctions, the two varieties of beans are utilized in various ways. Pinto beans are softer and break down more when cooked, making them a popular refried bean foundation.

Black Beans vs. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are another sort of common bean. Despite their popularity in Mexican cuisine, they cannot be used as a replacement for black beans due to their distinct differences.

Kidney beans are bigger and redder than black beans in appearance. They are also kidney-shaped rather than round, thus the name.

Kidney beans have a lighter taste than black beans, but they are still robust, and they are softer when cooked down.

Kidney beans are less flavorful than black beans, but they absorb the taste of the food surrounding them, making them popular in soups, stews, and chilis.

Soaking Black Beans

One of the primary reasons why people avoid cooking black beans is the necessity to prepare ahead and soak the beans in water for at least 12 hours before cooking them.

According to popular opinion, this is a must, and failure to do so will result in hours of waiting for the beans to properly cook.

But there is some good news! If this technicality has kept you from cooking your own black beans in favor of canned, worry not.

After carefully testing with both soaked and unsoaked black beans, we discovered that unsoaked black beans do not take any longer to completely cook to optimum tenderness. In reality, you’re looking at an extra 10-25% simmering time at most, which suggests that pre-soaking beans isn’t as important as many people believe.

Take our word for it, but try it for yourself and you’ll soon see that soaking beans is an unnecessary step in the contemporary kitchen.

That’s not everything. If you’re afraid that the flavor of the beans won’t be as good until you soak them, you’ll be astonished to learn that unsoaked beans have a superior taste and texture than a pre-soaked batch of the identical beans. This is true, provided that the beans are constantly thoroughly submerged in boiling water and that you pay great attention to the cooking times, not turning off the burner too soon or too late.

Cooking Times

If you’ve never cooked black beans before, you may be seeking for a precise amount of cooking minutes that would always provide great results. The truth is that such an estimate is difficult to provide since the precise cooking time varies greatly depending on the kind of black beans used. Even when cooking batches of the same black beans, it may take more or less time based on a variety of variables such as the power of your burner, the age of the beans, soaking period, and so on.

With practice, you’ll soon be able to determine how long your black beans will take to cook by just looking at them while they’re boiling in water. Meanwhile, you propose that you boil your black beans for five minutes before simmering them for an hour. After that, sample them every 5-10 minutes until your black beans are the proper consistency.

Do not overcook your black beans to the point where they peel and become mushy, but do cook until there is no crunchiness left when you bite into a single bean. The ideal temperature for fully cooked black beans is when they are uniformly tender on the inside and seem whole on the exterior.

When Are Black Beans Done?

The most popular way to prepare black beans is to cook them in liquid until they are tender. However, if you are unfamiliar with the dish, it might be difficult to discern when it is done.

The flavor and texture of a black bean indicate if it has been cooked. Instead of being firm, the bean should be smooth and creamy on the inside. Even after cooking, the skin will normally stay intact.

Cooking time: 2 to 2 hours, although canned beans cook significantly quicker.1-1 cup dried black beans

Leftovers & Storage

Black beans may be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Drain the beans and place them in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag. They may be kept in the fridge for three to five days or frozen for many weeks or months.

To reheat leftover black beans, place them in a saucepan and cook on low heat until they reach room temperature. Because the beans collect moisture while they wait in the fridge, you may need to add extra water to the pot.

Quick Tips

While cooking black beans is simple (simply boil them until soft), there are a few factors to consider in order to produce the best results:

Make sure your beans are cooked gently in simmering water. Sure, it takes a lot longer than just boiling them, but you’ll get a much deeper taste and the gorgeous, soft texture we’re looking for.

It’s pointless to cook your black beans with sautéed onion and garlic. While this may seem to be a smart idea in principle, you will merely waste time and energy while producing slightly poorer outcomes. Simply sauté a few garlic cloves and a medium-sized onion with the beans; this will result in better-tasting beans with the correct amount of scent.

This may seem strange, but bear with me. Adding a full orange (yes, orange!) to a pot of cooked beans will offer a subtle subtlety of taste that will elevate cooked beans to a higher level. When you turn off the burner, be sure to remove the orange.

Now that you’ve mastered the fundamentals of cooking black beans from scratch, try this simple-but-delicious recipe to get the most out of your favorite new bean.

Easy Black Beans

Delicious home-cooked black beans. This easy side dish is infused with onion, minced garlic, and orange juice for a delicious mouthful every time.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10mins
Cook Time 2hrs
Total Time 2hrs10mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 4


  • 1lbblack beansrinsed and dried
  • 1largeyellow onionpeeled and halved
  • 8clovesgarlicminced
  • 1juicing orangerinsed and halved


  • Put the beans in a big saucepan and cover with water until they are immersed under 3-4 inches of water.
  • Mix in the garlic and onion. Squeeze the orange halves for juice, then add the juiced orange halves.
  • Cover the pan and heat on high until the water begins to boil. Cover saucepan immediately and decrease heat to a gentle simmer.
  • Cook, stirring periodically, until the beans are totally soft. This usually takes 1 to 2 hours.
  • Cut the orange and onion halves in half. Increase the heat to medium and continue to stir constantly. Stir until the sauce has thickened and become creamy. This should take around 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt to taste. Serve over rice, cilantro, or spicy sauce of your choice.


Do you have to soak black beans before boiling?

NOTE: Although black beans do not have to be presoaked before cooking, I usually do it for three reasons: it shortens the cook time, helps the beans cook more uniformly, and makes them easier to digest.

How long to soak black beans in boiling water?

Short soak: Place the beans in a saucepan on the heat and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil with 2 teaspoons of salt. Turn off the heat and let aside for an hour to soak the beans. Before cooking, drain and rinse.

Is it good to soak beans before boiling?

Soaking your beans allows them to cook more quickly and evenly, and it might also make them simpler to digest. If you add salt to the soaking water (making a brine), your beans will cook quicker because the salt helps break down their shells.

How to cook black beans with quick soak?

Soak quickly.

This is the most expedient technique. Pour 6 cups of water into a big saucepan for each pound (2 cups) of dried beans. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let to soak for at least 1 hour.

What happens if you don’t soak black beans?

If you’re eager and hungry for beans, you can boil them from dry without soaking at all. Here’s the deal: Beans that have not been pre-soaked will always take longer to cook, but they will cook.

Do you boil beans after soaking?

2 hours.Transfer the soaked beans to a large saucepan. Cover with cold water by 2 inches, add onion and bay leaves, and bring to a boil; skim and remove any froth on the top. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until beans are cooked, 1 to 1 12 hours.

Is 4 hours long enough to soak black beans?

Recommendations for Soaking Beans

For example, if you’re preparing black beans, soak them for 4 hours, but great northern beans should soak for 8-12 hours.

What is the minimum time to soak black beans?

Step 1: Rinse the beans and inspect them for stones and trash. Add beans to a large mixing bowl and cover with water by at least 4 inches. Cover and soak for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Step 2Return the beans to the pot.

What is the fastest way to soak beans?

How to Soak Beans Quickly
Clean and organize them. Rinse your beans in a colander under cold running water.
Fill with water.
Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then leave the saucepan uncovered for 5 minutes to cook the beans.
Take the saucepan off the heat and soak the beans.
Cook, rinse, and drain!

Do you add anything to the water when soaking beans?

To make the tastiest, creamiest, most delicious beans, season the bean-soaking water with one tablespoon of kosher salt per quart (approximately 15 grams per liter), rinse the beans with fresh water before cooking, and season the cooking water with a bit of salt as well.

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