Soaking dried beans can make them mushy and bland. Instead, slow-cook them in broth kicked up with smoky bacon and sautéed aromatics, including onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Switch up your weeknight dinner with this protein-packed black bean recipe that can be used to add a punch of filling flavor to countless dishes. Although we love our roasted chicken and pork chops, it’s nice to step outside the box with veggie-heavy meals that don’t sacrifice any taste or heartiness. We use these slow-cooked black beans for three of our favorite new recipes we’re cooking up all season. You can whip up tasty Black Bean Burgers with a tangy Comeback Sauce, or you can go exotic with Black Bean Tostados with a fresh Mango-Avocado Salsa. When in doubt, take the Cajun route with a Shrimp, Sausage, and Black Bean Pasta that far surpasses your usual weeknight pasta dish. No matter if it’s a sandwich, bowl, or salad, any meal you make with these black beans will ooze flavor. Bacon, garlic, jalapenos, brown sugar, cumin, and oregano combine for the most dynamic mixture that the black beans will cook in for a good six hours in the slow cooker. We aren’t going to lie—these are so delicious from the start that we can spoon it right out of the crockpot! No extra recipes required. Note: You can skip the bacon if you desire a fully vegetarian dish.
1 pound dried black beans
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped (optional)
3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
1 jalapeño chile, halved lengthwise
6 cups lower-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
How to Make It
Rinse and sort black beans. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper, and, if desired, bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Transfer onion mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker; add beans, jalapeño chile, chicken broth, salt, brown sugar, cumin, pepper, and chopped oregano. Cover and cook on LOW until beans are tender, about 6 hours.