Cuban Black Beans Recipe

Cuban Black Beans Recipe

  • Makes: 20 Servings
  • Ready In: 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hrs 0 min

Serve these fragrant black beans over hot rice or wrap them up in a burrito. To make black-bean soup, remove all the bay leaves, then whirl some beans and broth in a blender or food processor until smooth. In the summer, top a bowl of Cuban Black Beans with chopped ripe tomatoes.

Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 2 to 5 hours, plus optional 6 to 10 hours soaking time. Makes 20 servings, generous 1/2 cup each.

    Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 146
  • Fat: 1g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Sodium: 704mg
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 1g


  1. 2 pounds dried black beans
    1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt
    7 bay leaves
    12 cups water
    7 cloves garlic, diced
    2 1/2 large onions, chopped
    2 1/2 large green peppers, chopped
    1 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle or cayenne powder, or to taste
    1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon crushed, dried oregano


    1. Pick through the beans, removing any non-bean objects like stones and twigs, and rinse well in a colander. If you want to save cooking time and energy, soak beans for 6 to 10 hours.
    2. In a crockpot or a big pot on the stove, cook beans, salt, and bay leaves in 12 cups of water. Your times will vary based on the age of the beans and whether you soaked them first, but this should give you an idea about the relative speed of each way. If you have time, use the 5-hour way.
      • 5-hour way — Put beans in cold water in the crockpot. Turn the crockpot on low and cover.
      • 3-hour way — Put beans in hot water in the crockpot. Turn the crockpot on low and cover.
      • 2-hour way — Put beans in cold water in a pot on the stove. Cover pot, bring to a boil, then turn down heat to low.
    3. About an hour before the beans should be done, bite a few beans to check for tenderness. When the beans give but are still crispy, add the remaining ingredients, stir, and cover pot again.
    4. Simmer for another hour or so until the beans and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves.
    5. Serve over hot rice. Optionally, garnish with a spoonful of plain yogurt, chopped tomatoes, or salsa.

Linda Watson

Linda Watson started the Cook for Good project after becoming obsessed with the national Food Stamp Challenge: living on a dollar a meal per person for a week. Her three-week experiment became a lifestyle, the website, the book Wildly Affordable Organic, and now the Wildly Good Cook videos and teachers' training program. She teaches cooking classes and gives talks on thrift, sustainability, and food justice across the country. You can get more from Linda on Facebook..

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