Easy Black Beans | Recipes | Cook for Your Life

Easy Black Beans

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Clock Icon for Prep Time 5 min prep
Clock Icon for Prep Time 90 min total
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 6 ingredients

Canned beans may be convenient, but when you cook beans at home instead of using canned, you have more control over their salt content and flavor. Black beans are so easy to make from scratch,...


  • 1 cup dried black beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ onion, halved
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
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Nutrition Facts


182 cals


2 g

Saturated Fat

0 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

1 g

Monounsaturated Fat

1 g


32 g


2 g


8 g


11 g


248 mg


  1. Rinse the beans under the tap. Put them into a bowl large enough to hold them and 4 cups of water. Cover with a plate or towel and leave to soak overnight. They should double in size.
  2. Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and put them into a heavy pot with onion and bay leaf. Add enough water just to cover the beans, then drizzle olive oil.
  3. Bring the beans to a boil. Remove any scum that forms. Boil for 10 minutes, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer until the beans are tender but not falling apart, 1 to 1½ hours depending on the age of the beans.
  4. Remove the onion and bay leaf. Add the salt. Use the beans right away or store them in the fridge or freezer.

Chef Tips

If you forget to soak your beans, here’s a quick method to speed up the soaking: Rinse the beans, and add to a pan with four cups of water. Boil over high heat, immediately cover, turn off heat, and leave to rest for an hour. Start at Step 2 in the above recipe.

Cooked beans also freeze well and can be ready whenever you want them.

If using canned beans, you can buy low sodium and/or rinse them to remove some of the salt, but cooking beans from dried is the best way to limit sodium.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society