These copycat Chipotle Black Beans are easy to make, inexpensive, and healthy! Add to burritos and salads or serve with rice for a tasty vegetarian meal.

A pot of Chipotle copycat black beans.

I love the complex, smoky flavor or Chipotle’s black beans. Unlike my first black beans recipe, this version has no bacon and no bell peppers, but it’s just as hearty and delicious.

Black beans are great on burritos and bowls, but they’re also a great side dish with Mexican rice and corn tortillas or even scrambled eggs. I love beans for breakfast!

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Chipotle Black Beans (Copycat) Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Chipotle Black Beans.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Olive oil: Chipotle uses rice bran oil, but olive oil is more widely available (and probably already in your pantry).
  • Black beans: To soak dried beans overnight, pick through and sort 1 pound of dried black beans. In a large bowl, add beans and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Soak at least 8 hours overnight. Drain and discard soaking liquid.
  • Oregano: Chipotle uses Mexican oregano, but you can use Italian oregano if that’s all that you have. They have different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Cooking onion in a pot for black beans.
  1. Add beans, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
A pot of Chipotle copycat black beans.
  1. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove from heat. Remove chipotle chilies if desired and bay leaf. Stir in lemon and lime juices, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
A pot of Chipotle copycat black beans.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 8 cups Chipotle black beans, enough for 16 (½ cup) servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: The beans can be cooled and packed in freezer-safe containers, labeled, and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Quick soak: If you forgot to soak your beans the night before, use this method to get a jump-start on cooking them.
    1. Pick through and rinse 1 pound beans. To a large saucepan, add beans and enough liquid to cover them by 1 inch.
    2. Bring beans to boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let beans sit for 1 hour. Drain and discard soaking liquid.
  • Slow cooker Chipotle black beans:
    1. Heat oil until shimmering and cook onions until softened. Stir in garlic until fragrant, then add beans, spices, and enough water to cover.
    2. Bring to a boil, then transfer to a slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Remove bay leaves and chipotle chilies if desired. Add lemon juice, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Substituting kidney beans: Kidney beans contain phytohemagglutinin, a type of lectin that is very toxic at high levels. To substitute dried kidney beans in this recipe, you MUST pre-soak dried kidney beans AND hold them at boiling point (212 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least 10 minutes. This means you should never cook kidney beans in a slow cooker. You won’t know for sure if the slow cooker reached 212 degrees and held it for 10 minutes. Better to be safe than sorry!
A bowl of Chipotle copycat Barbacoa beef with black beans, cilantro-lime rice, and pico de gallo salsa.

Recipe FAQs

Can I substitute canned beans?

To substitute canned beans for the dried beans, use 4 cans of black beans. Rinse and drain before adding to the pot in step 2, adding enough water to cover (you may only need 1 to 2 cups), and cook until heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Do I absolutely need to soak the beans before I cook them?

No, you don’t have to pre-soak your beans. Un-soaked beans take about 30 minutes longer to cook than soaked beans, so just keep an eye on your beans and be prepared to add more water and/or cook them longer if they go in un-soaked.

Should I discard the soaking liquid?

Yes, you should. If you keep and use the soaking liquid in your recipe, it might add a sour taste. But, some people think it’s wasteful to discard the soaking water, so ultimately the choice is yours.

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

Tonight, stay in and build your own Chipotle Burrito Bowl with the copycat recipes you know and love. Fluffy rice, black beans, tender chicken, sweet corn salsa, tomato salsa, and lots of guacamole. It’s great…

50 minutes
View Recipe

More Chipotle fan favorites

A pot of Chipotle copycat black beans.

Chipotle Black Beans (Copycat)

These copycat Chipotle Black Beans are easy to make, inexpensive, and healthy! Add to burritos and salads or serve with rice for a tasty vegetarian meal.
5 from 36 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings 16 servings (½ cup each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 123

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or rice bran oil (see note 1)
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound dried black beans rinsed, sorted, and soaked overnight (see note 2)
  • 2 chipotle chilies plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (see note 3)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water (enough to cover beans)
  • fresh lemon juice to taste
  • fresh lime juice to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add beans, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. 
  • Remove from heat. Remove chipotle chilies if desired and bay leaf. Stir in lemon and lime juices, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Olive oil: Chipotle uses rice bran oil, but olive oil is more widely available (and probably already in your pantry).
  2. Black beans: To soak dried beans overnight, pick through and sort 1 pound of dried black beans. In a large bowl, add beans and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Soak at least 8 hours overnight. Drain and discard soaking liquid.
  3. Oregano: Chipotle uses Mexican oregano, but you can use Italian oregano if that’s all that you have. They have different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 8 cups Chipotle black beans, enough for 16 (½ cup) servings.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Freezer: The beans can be cooled and packed in freezer-safe containers, labeled, and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  7. Quick soak: If you forgot to soak your beans the night before, use this method to get a jump-start on cooking them.
    1. Pick through and rinse 1 pound beans. To a large saucepan, add beans and enough liquid to cover them by 1 inch.
    2. Bring beans to boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let beans sit for 1 hour. Drain and discard soaking liquid.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 123kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 6gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 447mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2mg
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Comments

  1. This came out quite sweet.
    I am wondering if I mistakenly used sweet onions instead of yellow.
    Do you know anything I can do to try to tame the sweetness?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Peter, so sorry! It’s possible the onions were sweet, or maybe sugar was used instead of salt? (I’ve made that mistake!) I would drain some of the cooking liquid and add more water, or even add more lemon or lime juice to taste. I’m sorry again! – Meggan

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