How to Cook Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)

Three Parts:Washing the BeansCooking the BeansWhat to Do with Your Beans

Black beans take a long time to cook, but those little bombshells of flavor are completely worth the effort. All you'll need to make these delicious beans is a sturdy dish, simmering water, and, of course, black beans.

Part 1
Washing the Beans

  1. Image titled Cook Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) Step 1 preview
    Sort the beans. Go through your bag and remove stones, damaged beans and other unwanted foreign material. Most bags of beans don’t have any stones, but its always good to be safe.
    • You may use canned beans or dried beans. Wash the beans in a colander,then place them in a pot on the stove over medium high heat and stir. Canned beans need only be warmed, not cooked through.
  2. Image titled Cook Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) Step 2 preview
    Soak dried beans in cold water. Soaking the beans reduces cooking time, and helps the beans retain nutrients. It also helps to break down complex sugars on the outside of the bean that cause people to get gas). Pour the dried beans into a large bowl. Fill with water until the beans are fully covered. Soak beans at least four hours.[1]
    • If possible, soak the beans overnight. This will greatly reduce cooking time.
  3. Image titled Cook Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) Step 3 preview
    Rinse the beans. Add the beans to a large saucepan or Dutch oven about 4 US quarts (4,000 ml) in size. If you are using a saucepan, use one that is heavy and durable.

Part 2
Cooking the Beans

  1. Image titled Cook Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) Step 4 preview
    Add water to the pot. There should be an inch of water above the beans. Cook over medium-high heat.[2]
    • A tablespoon of any seaweed like kombu reduces beans' flatulence effect.
      Image titled Cook Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) Step 5 preview
  2. Image titled Cook Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) Step 6 preview
    Boil beans for 2 minutes
  3. Image titled Cook Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) Step 7 preview
    Reduce the heat to low and let the beans simmer with or without a lid:
    • If you are keeping your beans harder, like for use in salads or pasta dishes, leave the top off.
    • If you are using them in soups, casseroles or burritos you want them to be softer, so cook them with the lid on but keep the lid slightly ajar.
  4. Image titled Cook Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) Step 8 preview
    Check the beans. After cooking for an hour, begin checking the softness of the beans. Depending on the age of the beans, it may take one or two hours to cook. Remove beans from the heat, pour into a colander, and serve.[3]

Part 3
What to Do with Your Beans

  1. Image titled 310784 8
    Make delicious vegan burgers. Black beans can be transformed into a tasty vegan burger.
  2. Image titled 310784 9
    Try something Cuban. This recipe for Cuban black bean soup will warm you on the coldest of days.
  3. Image titled 310784 10
    Add black beans to your salsa. Nothing adds a bit of excitement to plain salsa like the addition of delicious black beans.


  • Add salt or spices boost flavor of beans.
  • You can freeze cooked beans in small packages, to thaw and use as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Black beans, dried or canned
  • Water
  • Dutch oven or large saucepan
  • Colander to rinse the beans

Article Info

Categories: Central and South American Cuisine | Rice and Beans