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Black beans with topping

Vegan Cuban Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)

Cuban black beans are delicious, inexpensive and the epitome of Latin American food. This is a totally vegan friendly dish and pork free. A recipe that's great to batch cook on the weekend for your loved ones.
Course Main Entree
Cuisine Cuban
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 209kcal
Author Charla


  • cup of black beans (260g)
  • 6 cups of water (1.42 litres)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil (44ml) can use olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (5g)
  • 2 teaspoon cumin (10g)
  • 2 teaspoon oregano (10g)
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt (5g)
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (15g)
  • 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar (15g) optional, can use coconut sugar
  • additional pink salt and black pepper to taste, if needed


  • Start by rinsing the beans several times before leaving them to soak overnight in a large pot or bowl of water (not the 6 cups of water).
  • The next day drain off the dark coloured water and replenish with the 6 cups of water (add the beans to a large pot if you used a bowl during the soaking process).
  • Add the bay leaves and a tablespoon of coconut oil to the pot.
  • Bring the water to the boil then reduce the heat to medium and simmer with the lid on until they soften (this may take up to 1-1 ½ hours).
  • Once the beans have cooked, they should be soft to the touch (use the back of a spoon, to determine tenderness) if ready, it will mash with ease.
  • Prepare the sofrito by sautéing the garlic, onions and bell peppers in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil on medium heat until soft and translucent.
  • Season the sofrito mix with the black pepper, oregano, cumin and pink salt then stir.
  • Once the onions have turned translucent, transfer the contents into the large saucepan with the black beans and stir.
  • Use a ladle to extract some of the beans (about ¾ cups worth) and mash them before returning them to the pot. This will help to create a thick bean sauce.
  • Stir in the cidar vinegar (and sugar if you are using) before reducing to low-medium heat.
  • Put the lid on the pot and allow to simmer until the beans start to thicken up (anything from 45 minutes- 1hour). Feel free to mash some more beans during the time of simmering for further thickening or add a splash of water if required.
  • Do a taste test and adjust for additional seasoning if required
  • Discard the bay leaves and serve accordingly


  • If you suffer from bloating from the sugar from the legumes then be sure to squeeze some lime juice (about 2 tablespoons) into the water when you are soaking the black beans.
  • Cooking time will vary depending on how long the beans take to cook.
  • This recipe serves up to 6 people (The quantity has been updated).
  • Soak the beans overnight, this really important to get the correct consistency and accurate cooking time.  Try to cheat by using unsoaked black beans as this will alter/delay the overall cooking results.
  • The black beans should take about a hour to 1 hr 30 minutes to soften, be sure to test them to determine their readiness.
  • This recipe is for dried beans only, using canned beans will quite adjusting the liquid ratio which I haven't tested out yet.
  • Remember to do a taste test and adjust the level of seasoning to your preference at the end of the cooking process.
  • If you don't have a ladle, that's okay just use a large spoon to scoop out the beans instead.
  • This is a freezer friendly recipe, simply freeze down any leftovers for up to 3 months.
  • The beans should be soft before adding the sofrito, use a spoon or fork to mash a few, if they mash with ease that means their are ready.
  • You don't want the beans to be water logged or like soup, towards the end there should be a thickish sauce (you can evaporate any additional liquid by increasing the heat) but only towards the end of cooking and do this while watching the stove so the beans do not burn.


Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 605mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg