Full of savory flavor, these Cuban Black Beans are made with dry black beans (or canned beans) and simple seasonings. A healthy side dish that will complement many dishes. The recipe card includes both Stove Top and Instant Pot instructions. Vegan.

Full of savory flavor, these Cuban Style Black Beans are made with dry black beans and simple seasonings. A healthy side dish that will complement many dishes. The recipe card includes instructions for Stove Top, Instant Pot, and canned beans. Vegan!

These Cuban-style black beans are crave-able! Naturally creamy and simply seasoned with pantry ingredients, they make the perfect accompaniment to many dishes. Even on their own, they are a satisfying, healthy snack or easy lunch. Add them to bowls, wraps, tacos, enjoy with eggs or rice.

While soaking the beans adds a small (very easy😉) step, it makes them easier to digest with a better texture. A deep and rich flavor is developed when cooking the black beans with the salt, spices and seasonings. Make a large quantity and freeze in meal-sized portions. Just another little gift you can give yourself! For more recipes featuring black beans, you’ll also want to try these Mole Black Beans, so good!

Full of savory flavor, these Cuban Style Black Beans are made with dry black beans and simple seasonings. A healthy side dish that will complement many dishes. The recipe card includes instructions for Stove Top, Instant Pot, and canned beans. Vegan!

Ingredients in Cuban Black Beans

Ingredients in cuban blanc beans

Ingredient Notes

Black beans- the fresher the better- be sure to check the expiration date. We soak ours for at least 6 hours with a splash of apple cider vinegar to help break down the sugars in the beans which make them easier to digest. You can also use canned black beans- see recipe notes!

Green bell pepper- small mild green cachucha peppers are traditional in Cuban cuisine. Green bell peppers have a similar profile. But if you can find fresh cachucha peppers (also known as aji dulce and ajicito) use them!

Red wine vinegar- this brightens the beans at the very end of cooking. Taste first and add to your preference.

Cuban food is generally not spicy. This recipe stays true to the mild flavored cuisine. Feel free to add a fresh jalapeño in with the green pepper if you like an extra kick!

See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.   

How To Make Cuban Black Beans

STEP ONE- Soak the black beans in water, covering the beans a couple of inches, leave this overnight or at least 6 hours. (See notes in the recipe card below for using canned beans). Drain off any excess water. Chop and prep ingredients.

STEP TWO- Sauté onion with olive oil for 15 minutes on low medium heat, stirring every so often. The onions will be soft and melty. I The olive oil really adds to the flavor and creamy texture of the beans.

Add oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt and tomato paste along with green bell pepper and garlic stirring for 2 minutes.

STEP THREE- Add the drained beans, water and bay leaves.

Stove top method: bring black beans to a boil, then simmer with lid vented for an hour. Give a stir once or twice. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes, stirring more often to prevent sticking as the beans cook and the liquid is absorbed. Keep the lid vented and simmer until beans are soft but mostly whole. Add vinegar.

Pressure cooker or Instant Pot: Set to 30 minutes on high pressure. Manually release. Use sauté function to reduce liquid further if desired. 

TIP -Adjust the texture making it thicker by mashing some of the beans right in the pot with a fork or the back of a spoon.

WHat to Serve with Cuban Black Beans

Cuban Black Bean FAQS

Are black beans Cuban or Mexican?

Black beans are native to South and Central America. Black beans are commonly used in Caribbean, Spanish, Mexican, and South American dishes.

Why use dry beans?

The flavor is so much better! They are deeper and richer when cooked and infused with salt, spices and seasoning. Dried beans are far less expensive. You can make a large quantity and freeze in meal-sized portions.

Can I make this with canned beans?

Yes! For a quick shortcut, add the drained canned beans after sautéing onions, spices, garlic and bell pepper. Simmer a few minutes, mash a few and they are ready to serve!

Do cooked beans freeze well?

Yes, they freeze beautifully. We like to make a big batch and freeze in meal-sized portions.

Is Cuban food spicy?

Cuban cuisine is very mild. The flavors are simple and fresh, relying on seasonings such as citrus, garlic, bay, cumin and oregano.

Cuban Black beans in a serving dish with onion and cilantro.

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Full of savory flavor, these Cuban Style Black Beans are made with dry black beans and simple seasonings. A healthy side dish that will complement many dishes. The recipe card includes instructions for Stove Top, Instant Pot, and canned beans. Vegan!

Cuban Black Beans

  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15 mins (not including soaking time)
  • Cook Time: 90 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: stovetop, instant pot,
  • Cuisine: Cuban, South American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Full of savory flavor, these Cuban Style Black Beans are made with dry black beans ( or canned black beans) and simple seasonings. A healthy side dish that freezes beautifully. Includes instructions for Stove Top, Instant Pot, and for using canned beans. Vegan!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound dry black beans (scant 2 1/2 cups) see notes for making with canned beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 68 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (alternatively you could leave the garlic whole and mash in at the end)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt (see notes if using canned beans)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (this is optional but recommended)

Instructions

  1. Soak the black beans in water, covering the beans at least 3 inches, leave this overnight or at least 6 hours. Drain off any excess water. 
  2. Sauté onion with olive oil for 15 minutes on low medium heat, stirring every so often. The onions will be soft and melty. (Yes this is a generous amount of olive oil, it really adds to the flavor of the beans.) Add oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt and tomato paste along with green bell pepper and garlic stirring to mix. Add the drained beans, water and bay leaves.
  3. Stove top method: bring to a boil then simmer with lid vented for an hour. Give a stir once or twice. Continue cooking for about another 30 minutes, stirring more often to prevent sticking as the beans cook and the liquid is absorbed. Keep the lid vented and simmer until beans are soft but mostly whole. Pressure cooker: Set to 30 minutes high pressure. Manually release. Use sauté function to further reduce liquid if desired. 
  4. Stir in vinegar and serve! (The vinegar will brighten and elevate, taste first and add to your preference.)
  5. Beans get even more flavorful over time, and will keep up to 4 days in the fridge, or freeze for later!

Notes

Canned Beans: Use 4 15-ounce cans of whole black beans. (Adjust the salt in the recipe depending on if the canned beans are salted.) Follow step two in the instructions, after adding the garlic and bell pepper sauté about 5 minutes. Lightly drain the beans don’t rinse, you want some moisture but not all of it. Simmer together 5 minutes.

If you don’t have time to soak your dry beans, you can still follow the recipe. Your beans may take longer to cook, add more water as needed. I find the beans cook more evenly and faster when soaked. 

The amount of cooking time is going to depend on the freshness and quality of your beans.

Hard water, or heavily mineralized water can impede the cooking process. 

Cuban food is generally not spicy. This recipe stays true to the mild flavored cuisine. Feel free to add a fresh jalapeño in with the green pepper if you like an extra kick!

To Freeze: Beans freeze beautifully! Allow them to cool and package up in meal-sized containers.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 152
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 716.2 mg
  • Fat: 7.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.5 g
  • Fiber: 6.4 g
  • Protein: 5.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: cuban black beans, cuban black bean recipe, cuban black beans canned, cuban black beans instant pot, cuban black beans dry beans

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Comments

  1. Superb as always!!
    Used kidney beans because I had no black beans.

    The taste was flavourful and “simple”.

    Thank you again! Leftovers will be frozen for after baby’s birth!

        1. I think you are talking about the crockpot method? We haven’t tested it for sure yet. For now it is just a guess. 🙂

  2. This recipe is amazing! My husband doesn’t like beans and he couldn’t resist giving them a try. The house smelled heavenly as they cooked. It’s a lot for 2 people so, I froze individual portions to enjoy for lunch later. Thanks!

    1. Oh perfect Tara, love those freezer goodies, kind of like money in the bank.:) So happy you both enjoyed!

  3. I used Four cans of organic black beans, and adjusted the tomato paste to 3 tbls. I also increase the other spices. I never use table salt, but instead, Himalayan pink sea salt. It’s full of minerals and good stuff for your well-being. I have cooked many of the recipes on this sight, and I almost never have to do any adjustments. The recipes on this sight are absolutely wonderful and spot on. I feel so blessed to have come across this website. I cook almost exclusively from this wonderful menagerie of flavors and goodness!

    1. Glad you enjoyed this Liz and finding the site useful! I never use table salt either, and after doing some research, found Real Salt, it is really high in minerals as well.

  4. I love this recipe. Simple but divine! The only thing is I don’t add the salt until the beans are about 80% done. I find it can interfere with the tenderness of the beans. Thank you for all your fabulous recipes that I use unite frequently!

  5. Made these beans to accompany the Cuban mojo chicken, brown cilantro/lime rice and pineapple salsa. They were amazing! Even though I forgot the vinegar at the at the end. I mashed some of them against the side of the pot for a thicker consistency. Everyone raved about them. Can’t wait for leftovers!

  6. Wicked good. I used the Instant Pot method and they’re perfection. Pairing them with your pickled onions and avocado chunks, and lime wedges for some vegan tacos tonight. So grateful for your recipes as they’re always something my kids and I agree on.

    Ps – last night my oldest told me
    I should open a restaurant. He thinks your recipes are my* genius – a real testament to your work 💜

  7. These are outstanding! They’ve become my favorite recipe.I love how well they work with so many dishes.

    1. Hi Rena, Our Cuban Mojo Chicken and Cilantro Lime rice would be a good pairing!

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