An easy way to cook and season canned black beans to make a delicious and healthy side dish in no time! Serve with Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites like tacos, enchiladas and burritos.
If you’ve got a can of black beans in your pantry and a few basic ingredients like tomatoes, onions and garlic, then you’ve got everything you need to make this easy and delicious seasoned black bean side dish!
While canned black beans are technically already cooked, adding in a few simple ingredients and seasonings can enhance their flavor instead of eating them plain.
Ingredients you’ll need to transform canned black beans
- 15-ounce can black beans: I recommend using the kind with no salt. This way you can better control the amount of salt in the recipe and make sure the sodium isn’t super high like in some canned goods.
- Olive oil: This is the cooking oil I used, but you could also use avocado oil, coconut oil, canola oil or whichever cooking fat you prefer.
- Onions, tomatoes, and garlic: The trifecta of flavor. These are sauteed until softened and fragrant.
- Jalapeño (optional): Adding this pepper is totally optional. If you don’t want any spice, leave it out. If you don’t want it spicy, remove and discard the seeds and veins. If you like it spicy, keep them in.
- Seasonings: To add a lot of flavor, I mixed in some ground cumin, dried oregano, smoked paprika, and salt.
- Lime juice: Add in some lime juice at the end to add a touch of acidity that compliments the rich flavor of the beans and seasonings.
- Cilantro (optional): This is one of my favorite garnishes to use. It complements the lime juice very well and works with many different types of Latin dishes.
How to cook canned black beans
To cook, saute onions, tomatoes, garlic, jalapeños (if using), and seasonings in olive oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. This will soften the onions and tomatoes substantially and really help to infuse all those delicious seasonings.
Then add in the canned black beans and bring to a simmer. I prefer to use all the contents of the can including the liquid the beans are in because it actually has lots of flavor! I recommend getting canned black beans that have no-salt added and are in a can that’s BPA-free. Not only is it better for your health, but the overall flavor straight from the can will be better.
Once the beans are simmering, remove them from the heat and stir in some lime juice. Taste and season with salt if needed. Garnish with cilantro and eat up! If the beans are a little thick and you’d like them to be a little more soupy, add in some water or broth until it’s the consistency you want.
The entire cooking process takes only 8 minutes, and the results are way better than beans straight out of the can! Serve them alongside Mexican rice, steak fajitas, chicken tacos, or eat them by themselves with tortilla chips and cheese.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large onion, minced
- 1 plum tomato, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper minced (optional; seeds and veins removed if you don’t want it spicy)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (no salt preferred)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (about ½ lime)
- salt, to taste
- chopped cilantro for serving (optional)
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, tomatoes, jalapeño (if using), garlic, cumin, oregano and smoked paprika. Stir and saute for 5 minutes, until onions have softened and become translucent.
- Add can of black beans (do not drain), stir and bring to a simmer. If you'd like the beans to be a bit more soupy, add in some water or broth until the consistency is to your liking.
- Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and salt.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.