How To Cook Canned Black Beans The Simple & Easy Way


Cooking a side dish with a meal should not be complicated, and neither should it outshine the main dish. It should, however, be quick and straightforward to make so that you can focus your efforts on the preparation of the main dish. Needless to say, it should taste great and should complement the entire menu. One of the easiest side dishes can made through learning how to cook canned black beans which work well with almost any kind of food.

How To Serve Canned Black Beans

There are plenty of ways you can make use of canned black beans, without much effort. It turns out to be a great dish, especially for southwest inspired meals. It tastes wonderful, along with hot rice, burrito bowls, fajitas, or enchiladas.

How To Make Canned Black Beans Side Dish

You can never go wrong when you make this delicious and easy black bean side dish, which requires just a few simple steps.


  • Black Beans Can, 15 Ounce: It is better to get the can without any added salt. This way, you can have a better idea of how much salt you want to add to the recipe while keeping a check on the sodium levels.
  • Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon: This is the preferred cooking oil that is used, but you can use any other oil that you have at home, such as coconut oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, etc.
  • Tomato 1, ½ Large Onion and Garlic, 2 cloves: These are the basic three vegetables that are required. They are sautéed until they are fragrant and soft.
  • Jalapeño, 1 (Optional): This is entirely optional for those who like this spice. If you do not want it spicy, you can completely omit it altogether. However, if you wish to have a bit of flavor and keep it mild spicy, then you can use the jalapeños and remove the seeds and the veins before adding. On the other hand, if you like it spicy, you can keep the veins and the seeds on.
  • Seasoning: For additional flavors, you can also add in some dried oregano, about 1/4th teaspoon, ground cumin, about ½ teaspoon, salt to taste, and 1/4th teaspoon smoked paprika. Again, all of these seasonings are optional, depending on the type of flavor, which you prefer.
  • Lime Juice: Adding a dash of lime juice gives it a nice touch of acidity, which complements the flavors of the seasonings and the beans. It is recommended to add this for a better taste.
  • Cilantro: This is again, an optional ingredient but really gives a twist to the taste as a garnish, bringing in color and flavor. It complements the taste of lime juice and works well with the majority of Latin dishes.

How To Cook Canned Black Beans

4 from 10 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





The short a snappy way on how cook canned black beans without any complicated methods and getting straight to the point. Only 8 minutes prep and 145 calories of pure goodness.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 large onion, sliced and diced

  • 1 plum tomato, diced

  • 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice 

  • salt, to taste

  • Cilantro


  • Heat up the oil on a sauce pan at medium temperature.
  • At this point include the onions, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano and smoked paprika.
  • You should mix the ingredients for 4-5 minutes, until you see the onions becoming softer and clear.
  • Add the canned black beans into the mix, stir it and bring to a simmer.
  • Turn down the temperature, pour in the juice from lime and add salt.


  • Cilantro and jalapenos are optional extras that can be added to improve the flavour to your liking.

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Cooking canned black beans is a straightforward method once you have the ingredients in hand. You simply have to sauté the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and the jalapeños (if you intend to use them) along with the seasoning of your choice in olive oil. This is done over medium to high heat for at least five minutes. This helps to make the onions and the tomatoes soft and tender and helps to infuse all the seasoning.

Once you have sautéed the above, you then add in the canned black beans and bring it to simmer. It is best to use the entire can in one go, along with the liquid in the can the beans were in. The liquid has a lot of flavors, which should be added for a better taste.

As the beans start to simmer, remove it from the heat and add in some lime juice. Next, season with salt as needed. Finally, garnish with cilantro, and your canned black beans side dish is ready to eat! If you like to have your black beans more soupy, then you can add in some broth or water until it has the consistency you desire.

The entire process of cooking this dish requires only about eight to ten minutes, and the results are fantastic. It tastes excellent when you serve them with steak fajitas, Mexican rice, and chicken tacos. You can also eat these black beans simply on its own or with tortilla chips and cheese.

Cooking Canned Black Beans In The Microwave

When you are short on time or need a quick fix for a meal, you can always cook the canned black beans in the microwave. Using the same recipe mentioned above. Instead of using the onions, however, you can substitute it for onion powder. All you need to do is simply place all of the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave high for about two minutes. Then stop, stir the bowl and microwave again for another minute, while checking at intervals to see the consistency which you require.


Do You Need To Rinse The Black Beans?

There is a general disagreement regarding whether the black beans from the can should be drained or not. It is entirely up to you. While many people prefer to strain them first, many others like to use the liquid in the can as well.

Do You Need To Soak The Black Beans Before Cooking?

The canned black beans do not require any soaking before cooking them, but the dried black beans, on the other hand, have to be soaked prior to cooking.

Do You Need To Soak The Black Beans Before Cooking?

The canned black beans do not require any soaking before cooking them, but the dried black beans, on the other hand, have to be soaked prior to cooking.

Bottom Line

Cooking canned black beans is one of the easiest quick fixes for a meal or a side dish. It is an easy way of making your entire meal more delicious and flavorful. There are many other wonderful ways of cooking canned black beans apart from the basic method mentioned above, and once you have become a pro at cooking this simple dish, you can try many other varieties as well!


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