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Got beans and not sure what to do with them? Here are all the best black bean recipes for turning this healthy protein into a filling meal!

Black beans and rice
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Looking for meals to make with black beans? We’ve got you! Black beans are a nutritious source of plant-based protein, and they’re seriously versatile. You can use them in anything from salads to bean burgers, from enchiladas to salsa to chili. Stock up your pantry with a few cans of black beans, and you’ll be eating for days!

Here’s a list of our top black bean recipes! These are our best tried and true favorites that have gone over well with family and friends. And if you’re in need of more inspiration, we’ve got 45 Bean Recipes to choose from: starring beans of all kinds.

And now…our best black bean recipes!

How to cook dried black beans

Is it better to use canned beans or dried beans? Can you use both in all of the recipes above. But the advantage to cooking dried beans at home is that they have a little firmer texture and enhanced flavor. We often use canned beans in our recipes since they’re so quick and easy. (Many brands that offer BPA free cans or cardboard cartons.)

The best way we’ve found to cook dried beans is in an Instant Pot! It cooks so fast: it only takes 1 hour. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use our stovetop or Dutch oven methods.

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Black beans and rice

Easy Black Beans & Rice

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x
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Looking for black bean recipes? This easy black beans and rice is a classic Latin-style side dish, perfect with tacos or as a lunch idea.


  • 3 cups cooked (1 cup dry) white long grain rice
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans or 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter (substitute olive oil for vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
  • Fresh cilantro, for a garnish


  1. Start the rice: use How to Cook Basmati Rice or Instant Pot White Rice.
  2. Mince the onionChop the pepper into a small dice. Mince the garlic.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Once melted, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and lightly browned. Add the beans, cumin, oregano, and kosher salt and stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes until warmed and fragrant, then stir in rice for 1 minute until heated through.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Latin

Last updated: September 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Sophie Erstad says:

    Hi there — excited to try this recipe! Could you let me know why you suggest reserving the black bean can liquid? It doesn’t look like it shows up again in the recipe. Thank you.

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Thanks for this question! You are correct: that was a typo. No need to reserve — we’ve updated the recipe accordingly! Thank you!