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!

Slow Cooker Black Beans are easy to make, inexpensive, filling, and delicious. Inspired by Chipotle's black beans, but with BACON.

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.

Slow Cooker Black Beans are easy to make, inexpensive, filling, and delicious. Inspired by Chipotle's black beans, but with BACON.

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!

Slow Cooker Black Beans are easy to make, inexpensive, filling, and delicious. Inspired by Chipotle's black beans, but with BACON.

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.

Save this Slow Cooker Black Beans recipe to your
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Slow Cooker Black Beans

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time:10 min

Cook Time:4 hours 20 min

Total Time:4 hours 30 min

Slow Cooker Black Beans are easy to make, inexpensive, filling, and delicious. Inspired by Chipotle's black beans, but with BACON.

Ingredients:

  • 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 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 ½ cups reserved soaking liquid and/or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Juice from 1 lime

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Add onions, bell pepper, cumin, and ½ tsp. salt. Continue to cook about 5 minutes longer, until vegetables are softened.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour into a large crock pot and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW 7 to 8 hours (see notes).
  5. Remove and discard bay leaves. Add cilantro and lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Notes:
  1. 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.
  2. 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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11 comments

  1. YUM! I can eat beans all by themselves! You’re right, they DO fill you up!

  2. I’ve been looking for a simple and delicious recipe for beans! This is perfect. Thank you!

    • Thank you Rebecca! I agree with you, it’s nice to have a fairly simple, yet still delicious, way to eat more beans. :) Have a great week! Thanks again!

  3. Made them today with some enchiladas. Soaked over night, Cooked on high for 2 hours and then dropped down to low for 3 hours. They were just about perfect. It was my first time using dry beans and it was too easy to not do again. The only problem? I made an entire crock pot full for 4 people! I think I’ll be eating them for the next few days.

    • That is always the problem with beans! You start with one pound and suddenly you have more beans than you can shake a stick at. I’m so glad you tried them and that it went well. They are super easy and the flavor is great. Thank you so much for your comment! #EdlhubersForever

  4. This is a great recipe. Thanks! I don’t always plan ahead enough to leave time for soaking over night.  I often make a ton of beans and then freeze them in manageable batches so that they can be thawed and served a little more quickly. 

    • I really want to do more of this in my life! I picked up some 16-ounce containers recently so I can start batch-cooking and stocking my freezer, everything from brown rice and quinoa to beans like these. Great idea! Thanks Abby!

  5. Okay don’t laugh at me but I’ve never had black beans! I’m planning a “Chipotle” night for my family and was going to make this. I always get pintos at the restaurant, as does my husband, but my oldest always gets black beans (she doesn’t like pintos). Do these taste anything like pintos? LOL But my main question is have you ever tried it with chicken broth instead of water? I was just curious if that may give the flavor a bump. My soaking water for pintos is always very dirty looking the next morning, so I’m a little hesitant on using that.

    • Hey April, no laughs over the beans! No big deal. Obviously at some point in our lives, everyone is trying black beans for the first time. :) I don’t think black beans taste like pintos. However, I do think in general all beans have a similar taste and texture. So, they taste as much like pintos as kidney beans do. If that makes sense. You could definitely make these with chicken broth instead of water, but you really don’t need to give them a flavor bump. I’d say the bacon in cumin in particular make the beans quite flavorful, but there’s a lot of other stuff going on such as garlic, a bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. And when you stir in the cilantro and lime juice at the end, that’s quite bright and fresh as well. But use chicken broth! It’s no problem at all. And it’s okay if you want to dump your soaking water. Use fresh. No biggie. If you have anymore question just let me know! Thank you April! I hope your Chipotle night is a success. :) I have some of the other recipes from there too, the chicken, pork, rice, vegetables, guac, corn salsa, and tomato salsa. Good luck and take care!

    • Just wanted to come back and say everything was a hit! We really enjoyed it all and our daughter loved the black beans. We also made the corn salsa, the rice, pintos, and the chicken (which was amazing). Took some time for everything to come together but it was totally worth it! Thank you so much for these fabulous recipes! Will make again!

    • Thank you so much, April! I’m glad you loved the food, it sounds like quite the feast! I really appreciate the feedback. I need to post a pinto beans recipe. Take care. :)

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