Do you know how to cook canned black beans?
This affordable and versatile food can find a place at nearly every dinner table, no matter the cuisine being served. Whether it’s an integral part of your main dish or playing the supporting role of a side dish, black beans can be delicious and nutritious when properly prepared.
In this article, we’ll show how to cook canned black beans in two easy ways, and also provide some inspiration with delicious recipe ideas.
What Are Black Beans?
Black beans are tasty little morsels that belong to the legumes family. They’re also known as turtle beans because they have a tough and shell-like exterior. Black beans are plant seeds suitable for human consumption, which is great because they’re super rich in nutrients, including protein, fibers and oodles of vitamins.
Generally speaking, you can purchase dried beans or canned beans online from your local grocery store. While some culinary enthusiasts prefer dried beans, you must soak them for an extended period of time before they can be cooked.
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t have the time or patience (not to mention the kitchen skills) to cook dried beans, and that’s why the canned black beans are the perfect alternative.
How to Cook Canned Black Beans: Two Easy Methods
Black beans taste great and can have positive effects on our overall health. But they don’t do any good when they’re stuck in a can! If you don’t know how to cook canned black beans, just follow our preparation and cooking tips. With this simple and easy recipe, your dinner just got a whole lot tastier.
How to Cook Canned Black Beans on the Stove
1. Place a pot on the stove. Add a bit of cooking oil (such as olive oil) and set the stove to low or medium heat.
2. Open the can of beans and rinse them well. The liquid inside of the can typically contains a lot of starch and salt that will translate to your dish if not washed.
3. Pour the beans directly into the pot and allow it to simmer, stirring occasionally.
4. Season the beans with garlic, onion powder, and salt to taste. Other spices that go well with this dish include black pepper and cumin. If you want to go the extra mile, consider adding chopped onion or bell pepper, cilantro, or fresh lime juice to the beans as they simmer.
5. Continue to stir and heat black beans until they reach the desired temperature and consistency.
6. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
How to Cook Canned Black Beans in the Microwave
1. Open the can of beans, rinse them well and pour into a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Stir in onion powder, garlic, cumin, or other desired seasonings (you can also do this after they’re finished cooking if you prefer).
3. Place in microwave and cook for 30 seconds (or however long the instructions on the can state).
4. Stir and repeat until beans reach the desired temperature and consistency.
5. Remove from microwave and serve immediately. Similar to stovetop recipe, feel free to add freshly chopped onion, cilantro, or lime juice to enhance the flavor.
Step Your Game Up with These Black Bean Recipe Ideas
What can you do with a bowl of piping hot black beans? You can serve them as is or build them into your main dish.
If you want to take your meal to the next level, one great recipe to try is Cuban-style black beans. These seasoned black beans take a little more preparation than the simple methods mentioned above, but the superior taste makes it well worth the extra effort.
- Using the stovetop method, add olive oil or another cooking oil to a pot and set the heat to medium.
- Add chopped onion, garlic, scallions, red pepper and fresh cilantro to the pot (before the beans!) and let them sauté.
- After three minutes, mix in the canned beans, along with bay leaf, cumin, oregano, red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
- Lower the heat and allow the beans to simmer for about 15 minutes, occasionally stirring the mixture.
- Serve and enjoy your superbly seasoned dish!
Of course, black beans don’t need to be consumed as a standalone meal. They are often used as a key ingredient in more elaborate dishes.
Try layering them in a Mexican lasagna, wrap them up in a tortilla for a burrito, add them to a salad, or use them as a base for tacos. You can mash them, add some cheese and sour cream, and create a tasty black bean dip.
A can of organic black beans can be used in just about any way you can imagine, so don’t be afraid to try out a new recipe or substitute black beans in a classic family dish. And now that you know how to cook canned black beans, you can enjoy the taste whenever the craving strikes.
What’s the Difference Between Black Beans and Refried Beans?
While shopping for canned beans in the supermarket or online, you might notice another style of bean that looks vastly different: refried beans. While the preparation remains largely the same, canned refried beans are typically mixed with a variety of other flavorful ingredients, such as onion, seasoning and either lard or vegetable oil.
This type of bean contains the word “fried,” which may indicate that it is unhealthy. Nonetheless, the product usually doesn’t contain too much fat and still offers a fair amount of protein and fiber.
Still, black beans remain a superior choice for those who want a healthier and more natural ingredient or side dish. If you want to achieve the same puree-like consistency, you can use a potato masher to smooth out your cooked black beans.
Health Benefits of Eating Black Beans
You’ll want to take an extra spoonful of black beans at dinner once you learn about their amazing health benefits.
Move over, milk! Black beans are rich in minerals necessary for keeping our bones strong and healthy. They have an abundance of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc, all of which play a vital role in bone health.
Lower Blood Pressure
They can help you find a calming balance as they lower blood pressure. Thanks to the food’s low sodium count and abundance of minerals, a can of black beans can lead to a healthy drop in blood pressure.
A large part of diabetes management is about food choices. Thanks to high fiber levels, black beans are one of the best foods for a person with diabetes to include in their diet. Fiber slows the absorption of sugar and keeps blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
No single food can prevent cancer, but plenty of studies suggest a strong link between diet and cancer development. Selenium, a mineral present in black beans, helps prevent inflammation throughout the body and has shown promise as both a cancer preventative and treatment aid.
Heart Disease Prevention
The fiber, potassium, folate and vitamin B6 found in black beans, which also have low cholesterol, support heart health as well. Fiber is known to lower cholesterol in the blood and reduce the risk of heart disease. The vitamin B6 and folate from these legumes also prevent issues caused by excess homocysteine, a compound that can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems when it builds up in the body.
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