slow cooker black beans-5 squareWhen I was growing up and it came to Latin food, I thought the only kind of beans that existed were refried beans. I can’t remember when I realized there were other beans out there–sometime after more Mexican restaurants than Taco Time and El Sol (if you have Logan, Utah connections, you most likely know El Sol) came to town, so late-ish high school. And while I can 100% get behind really amazing refried beans, you’re more likely to encounter flavorless mush from a can. So when I discovered black beans, it was a big day.

It’s not a huge secret that Sara and I love black beans–I just did a Google search for “Our Best Bites black beans” and had over a page of results. And while canned beans are great in a pinch, I love cooking up a batch of dried black beans because I can control the flavor, sodium, and cooking them from scratch is so unbelievably cheap that it kind of makes those two pairs of shoes I just ordered a little more okay.

To make black beans from scratch, you’ll need a pound of black beans, 6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth, 2 chopped onions, 8 cloves of smashed garlic, and 1 tablespoon of green Tabasco sauce.

slow cooker black beans ingredients

Place beans in a colander and rinse, picking out any stones or shriveled beans that you can see.

rinsed black beans

If you live at a high altitude or if you just want to, place that beans in a slow cooker and cover with cool water and soak overnight. Now…I don’t soak my beans because I live at a low altitude and remembering to start my beans in the morning is a big enough feat, so I usually just cook mine on high for about 6 hours, no soaking involved.

If you’re soaking the beans, drain the liquid off the beans in the morning and rinse again. Add the chicken broth, chopped onions,

chopped onions

garlic, and Tabasco sauce

Green Tabasco Sauce

and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours (times will vary depending on individual slow cookers and altitude…kind of keep an eye on things). If desired, add the juice of a lime. Season with salt and additional Tabasco sauce to taste. Makes about 6 cups of beans or twelve 1/2-cup servings. If you want to make these for future use, they can be portioned out into individual 1/2 cup servings or portioned into 1 1/2 cup servings, which is about equivalent to a can of beans. You can store them in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for about 6 months.

Slow Cooker Black Beans from Our Best Bites



  1. I was wondering if you have a recipe for cooking dried black beans and chicken in the slow cooker? I have 4 sons every other weekend and we have to spend the majority of days at wrestling, football, baseball, soccer….you get the idea…and it is always nice to throw something together to get cooking Saturday mornings so its ready when we get home.

    1. Nah, at least not the tablespoon you’re using in the cooking liquid. Beans are so bland that they just need a little boost (and the green tabasco isn’t nearly as spicy as the original Tabasco.) If you add more afterwards, it could get a little spicy, though.

  2. I am totally taken with the idea of using chicken broth to cook the beans. I bet that is why the beans in some restaurants taste so much better. It’s subtle, but noticeable. To me the lime juice would not be optional. Albeit with the cost of limes right now, it might be best to hoard them for the margaritas to go with the beans!

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