slow cooker black beans recipe – These tender vegan Cuban style black beans are cooked slowly for several hours to unleash their true latin flavours.
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If you are looking for a recipe that’s flavoursome, healthy, inexpensive and can be batch cooked then these slow cooker black beans might be worth a try. There’s nothing but true aromatic island flavours steeping through your crockpot over the span of several hours. Believe me waiting several hours for this vegan and gluten free recipe is truly worth it.
Whenever I’m seeking a vegan protein pick-me-up, legumes are my first point of call. There’s soooo many to choose from pigeon peas, cow peas, pinto beans, lentils, kidney beans etc.. the list is endless. My favourite beans are black beans and with my slow cooker obsession still in full effect, I had to chime in with some crockpot black beans.
Reasons for cooking black beans in a slow cooker
- Crockpot meals yield more flavour and depth over several hours.
- Less mess and clean up.
- You can prepare the crock with ingredients overnight and simply switch on the next day, ready to cook.
- Can leave to cook while you’re at work, running errands or doing the housework.
- The ability to use dried beans which are cheaper than canned beans.
- Cook big quantities or batch cook and freeze any leftovers.
- Crockpots save money and are a more energy efficient method of cooking for several hours
How to cook beans in the slow cooker
Here are a few tips that I have learnt in respect to making some delicious slow cooker Cuban black beans from scratch.
Beans quality – To yield creamy, tender and not mushy beans I do recommend cooking the legumes for atleast 4 hours. A gentle low heat is best. I found that 6 hours is a great sweet spot for the best tasting beans I’ve eaten to date.
Batch control – I used a total of 2 1/2 cups of dried beans with 6 cups of water. I find that making the right amount of beans makes a difference to the flavour and quality of the recipe.
Too much beans makes for an overcrowded recipe especially if not enough water is added and the beans under seasoned. On the other hand, too little beans and too much water, depletes the flavour.
Soaking the beans – I highly recommend doing this and will discuss this further (see below)
Saute the aromatics – In order to get the best flavour experience out of your slow cooker I do recommend sauteing your base ingredients – onion, garlic, bay leaves and bell peppers at the beginning. The flavours will impart on the beans and liquid over the 6 hour cooking duration.
I have a sear and stew slow cooker which gives me the ability to remove the inside unit and sear or saute any ingredients in the same pan. This is a great because I don’t have to add the ingredients to a frying pan first and foremost.
Preheat the slow cooker – Heating up slow cooker in advance helps with the culinary continuity so the food will carry on cooking undisturbed.
Don’t over stir – Stir the beans before starting the 6 hour process but try not to peek and constantly stir the beans throughout as this will most likely breakdown the beans.
Does soaking beans reduce gas?
Yes, it does. Although legumes are an excellent source of protein and fibre. Beans do contain indigestible sugars/carbohydrates that inhibit full digestion.
These carbohydrates pass through the large intestines intact along with bacteria. This results in side effects such as gas, bloating and stomach pain,
If you are afflicted with bowel/stomach issues such as IBS or simply sensitive to high fibre foods. I would strongly suggest soaking the beans in water overnight, rinse and discard the water the next day.
Slow cooker canned black beans
You can use a total of 2 cans of black beans for this recipe but do make sure that they low in sodium. Also, use only use 4 cups of water instead since you will be using the water that’s already with the beans.
Slow cooker black beans and rice
This recipe pairs quite nicely with some nutritional dense brown rice or if rice is not your thing then try….
Other recipes you may like
Tips and notes for making slow cooker black beans
- To save some time feel free to chop the onion, garlic and peppers ahead of time and saute ready for the beans
- Dried beans are cheaper to use and will cook within the same time frame as canned beans
- Do not peek and/or keep stirring the beans to lessen the chance of them becoming mushy
- This is a kid friendly recipe (no heat included)
- Can serve this recipe as a slow cooker black bean dip with salsa or chips – just puree some of the beans for a thicker texture.
- Vegan, low fat and gluten free
- Feel free to freeze any leftover beans in a freezer friendly container
How to make slow cooker black beans
Soak the black beans in water, covered overnight then discard the water and rinse the beans in a colander.
Saute the onions, garlic, bell peppers and bay leaves then add the black beans.
Add the water and the seasoning – oregano, black pepper, pink salt and cumin.
Set the slow cooker to low and cook covered for 6 hours.
Slow Cooker Cuban Black Beans
- 2 1/2 cups of dried beans see post if using canned beans
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 6 cups of water
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp of cumin
- 2 tsp of oregano
- 1 tsp of black pepper
- 1 tsp of himilayan pink salt
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- Juice of a lime
- Preheat your slow cooker and set aside.
- Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
- Saute the onion, garlic, bell peppers and bay leaves until soft and fragrant.
- Transfer the sauteed ingredients into the crockpot then add the black beans, water and stir
- Sprinkle in the black pepper, cumin, oregano, and pink salt and stir again.
- Set the slow cooker to low for 6 hours and cover with lid.
- Remove the lid, squeeze the lime juice, stir then serve accordingly.
- Cook for at least 4 hours. To yield creamy, tender and not mushy beans I do recommend cooking the legumes for atleast 4 hours. A gentle low heat is best. I found that 6 hours is a great sweet spot for the best tasting beans.
- I used a total of 2 1/2 cups of dried beans with 6 cups of water. I find that using the correct ratio of beans to water makes a difference to the flavour and quality of the recipe.
- Bean to water ratio. Too much beans makes for an overcrowded recipe especially if not enough water is added and the beans under seasoned. On the other hand, too little beans and too much water, depletes the flavour.
- Soak the beans if required to do so. I recommend this!!
- Sautee your base ingredients. In order to get the best flavour experience out of your slow cooker I do recommend this. The flavours will impart on the beans and liquid over the 6 hour cooking duration.
- Preheat your slow cooker. Heating up slow cooker in advance helps with the culinary continuity so the food will carry on cooking undisturbed.
- Don't overstir the beans. Stir the beans before starting the 6 hour process but try not to peek and constantly stir the beans throughout as this will most likely breakdown the beans.