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A photo of the cooked black beans in the crock pot, being stirred by a wooden spoon.

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.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 284 kcal

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 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
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  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.

Recipe Notes

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.