Seasoned Black Beans

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Seasoned black beans are a great side dish or main component for a vegetarian dinner. Simmered with garlic, onions, and jalapeño, these beans are tender and fragrant.

I have to admit, while I am a food blogger there are often days when our fridge is just plain bare. That’s what happens when you have a hungry teen and pre-teen!

Fortunately, there’s a great option for dinner always on hand in the pantry: beans and rice.

Black beans and rice in a pink bowl.

We love to have bean and rice bowls for dinner because it’s so simple and filling, and everyone at the table can make their bowl however they like.

The basis for these bowls are tender seasoned black beans. They’re so easy to make!

Black beans are my favorite kind of bean, and they don’t take much to get them ready. All you really need is time and a pot. Plus, you can double or triple the recipe to have lots of black beans on hand for future meals — they freeze so well!

Grab your cooking pot and let’s get started on this easy black bean recipe!

Ingredients for seasoned black beans

Full list of ingredients with quantities is located in the recipe card.

You’ll need:

Ingredients for a black bean dish.

Dry black beans – You’ll use 8 ounces of dried beans for this recipe, which is half a standard size bag. If you want to make the whole bag, simply double the ingredients!

Water – For cooking the beans.

Onion – I add onion in both the hot soak and later in the 1-hour cook. A white or yellow onion will work (not sweet).

Bay leaf – Added during the hot soak simmer. Don’t forget to remove it later!

Salt – Beans are salted to taste, so I add just a bit during the initial step. You don’t want to add too much to start with!

Garlic – Use as much chopped garlic as you like! One average clove equals about 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic.

Jalapeño or serrano – To add more flavor and a little heat, add chopped pepper during the second cooking stage. You can use as much as you’d like. Remember, removing the seeds will make it less hot.

Cumin – Just a little cumin is added to give a bit of zest to the black beans.

How to make this recipe

First, rinse your beans and discard any stones or bits that got mixed in with the bag.

Add the beans to a large pot and pour in 3 cups of tap-hot water. Add half of the onion, salt, and bay leaf.

Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce to low and cover. Let simmer for about 2 hours.

Check the beans periodically to make sure the water has not completely cooked off. Add more hot water as needed to keep the beans covered.

After 2 hours, remove the bay leaf and half onion. Stir in the diced onion and garlic, diced jalapeño, and cumin. Continue to simmer for another hour, until the beans are deliciously tender.

It’s that simple!

Serve the beans with your favorite dishes or as the star of a meatless rice bowl. 

Store leftover beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Mexican black beans in a white bowl.

Recipe suggestions

You can use this same recipe to make other dried beans like pinto beans.

Add more spice by increasing the number of hot peppers, or mix in a bit of chili powder.

Serve with a squeeze of lime to brighten the flavors, or mix in chopped fresh cilantro.


Absolutely! If you would like to save some time and use canned black beans instead, skip the hot soak and proceed with the recipe at the point you add the additional ingredients.

You’ll need about 2 15-ounce cans of beans. These beans are salted to taste, so if you buy the “no salt added” beans, you’ll need to add a little more.

Make sure to drain and rinse them before using.

Cooked beans freeze very well! This is a great way to prep a lot of beans at one time to use for later — in fact, I often cook the whole bag of dried beans just to have extra for freezing.

Let the beans cool and portion into desired amounts. You can use freezable plastic or glass containers, making sure to leave some space at the top of the container to allow for expansion.

Freezer bags are also a good option. After filling the bags, remove extra air before closing. Seal them tightly, then lay flat.

I place the bags on a baking sheet so they freeze flat, and once frozen the bags can be stacked or stored upright, saving freezer space.

Thaw the beans overnight in the refrigerator. 

Black beans in a bowl with rice and avocado.

What to serve with seasoned black beans

Honestly, these beans go with just about any main dish (this chipotle barbacoa recipe is a fave!), but they are the star in homemade burrito bowls, served with rice, salsa roja, sliced avocado, and pickled red onions

You can also use this recipe for the beans in my butternut squash tacos, or use for enchilada filling.

Add a few other ingredients to the beans to make creamy black bean soup.

Mash the beans with their cooking liquid and use them for bean tostadas.

Black beans in a bowl with rice and avocado.

These seasoned black beans are a delicious side dish or main. Make a batch today!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below!
It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.

Mexican black beans in a white bowl.

Seasoned Black Beans

These stovetop black beans are the perfect addition to any meal as a side, or a partner to rice for a meatless main.
Author : Megan Myers
5 from 49 votes
Print Pin Recipe Review
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 138 kcal


  • 8 ounces dried black beans
  • 3 cups hot tap water
  • 1 onion, divided use
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


  • Rinse beans and discard any debris. Add to a large pot along with the hot water from the tap. Cut the onion in half and add one half to the pot, setting aside the other half for later. Add the bay leaf and salt.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Simmer for about 2 hours, checking periodically to make sure the water has not completely evaporated. Add more hot water as needed.
  • After 2 hours, remove the onion half and bay leaf and discard. Chop the remaining onion half and add to the pot along with the diced jalapeño and cumin. Continue to cook for about 1 hour, until beans are tender.


Calories: 138 kcalCarbohydrates: 26 gProtein: 8 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 0.2 gSodium: 197 mgPotassium: 596 mgFiber: 6 gSugar: 2 gIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

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About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

5 from 49 votes (49 ratings without comment)

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