Slow Cooker Black Beans
Slow Cooker Black Beans are easy to make, inexpensive, filling, and delicious. Inspired by Chipotle’s black beans, but with BACON.
I like to think of Slow Cooker Black Beans as “Magic Beans.”
Our family eats them all the time, sometimes for days on end, weeks at a time.
Why would we subject ourselves to this? Because beans are magical!
They are dirt cheap and really fill you. And more importantly, most important of all, they taste REALLY GOOD.
I rarely share a dump-and-pour crockpot recipe because it’s just not my style. These Slow Cooker Black Beans are no different.
The great flavors come from sautéing the onions and peppers in the rendered bacon fat (Don’t fret! It’s just 2 slices!) and adding the spices, all before bringing the beans to a boil and adding them to the slow cooker.
This extra 20 minutes of hand’s on time means BIG flavors for you in the end: Black beans worth raving about.
Slow Cooker Black Beans are great as a main dish (serve with rice or tortillas and toppings like salsa, sour cream, and guacamole) or on the side of your favorite Mexican entrees. Or, build a classic Chipotle Burrito bowl. Just scroll down for all my Chipotle Copycat recipes!
Remember to soak the beans the night before! Please see the note at the end of the recipe for instructions.
Need a slow cooker? I’ve been using this one since 2009 and I love it.
Slow Cooker Black Beans
- 1 pound dried black beans picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight (see notes)
- 2 slices bacon minced
- 2 onions chopped medium
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 ½ cups reserved soaking liquid and/or water
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro minced
- juice from 1 lime
- Pour off 3 1/2 cups of the soaking liquid and reserve. Drain and discard remaining soaking liquid. In a 3-quart saucepan, sauté bacon until it begins to crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Add onions, bell pepper, cumin, and ½ tsp. salt. Continue to cook about 5 minutes longer, until vegetables are softened.
- Stir in garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water, beans, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.
- Pour into a large crock pot and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW 7 to 8 hours (see notes).
- Remove and discard bay leaves. Add cilantro and lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slow cooker times may vary. The first time you make the beans, please check them after 3 or 4 hours on HIGH and continue cooking longer if necessary. If the beans have any crunch to them at all, please cook them longer.
To soak black beans: Place 4 quarts water in a large bowl and add beans. Soak at least 8 hours or overnight.
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Cookbook.
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