Slow Cooker Black Beans – I Heart Vegetables

Black bean recipes slow cooker


slow-cooked black beans are an easy way to transform dried beans into a delicious and simple side dish. With just a few herbs and spices, these tender beans become a craving-worthy addition to your meal!

Let me be honest. For a long time, I didn’t think dried beans were worth it. Most recipes called for soaking the beans overnight and I rarely plan so far ahead. I like to do whatever I want and if I crave black bean tacos, I want to make them today. But these slow cooker black beans taught me that dried beans are worth the effort and I don’t have to plan a day in advance.

These beans

take about 4 hours, but that means you can start them in the morning and eat tacos at lunch, or start them in the afternoon and still have your beans ready for dinner. I was amazed at the incredibly creamy texture of these beans and could think twice before opening a can of black beans.

How to Season Black Beans

The key to delicious black beans is to add plenty of seasonings so that these tender beans are full of flavor. Here are my favorite seasonings with substitution suggestions


  • Onion: I recommend using a finely diced yellow or white onion. You could use a shallot for a milder flavor.
  • Garlic– I love garlic, so this was a must for me. You can replace it with garlic powder, if necessary.
  • Vegetable broth: I used a chicken-style vegetarian broth, but you can use any type of vegetable broth you like. I recommend using a low-sodium broth so you can control salinity.
  • Bay leaves: Bay leaves add a unique layer of flavor, enhancing all other herbs and improving the overall dish! If you don’t have any, you can leave them out.
  • Oregano– Slightly sweet with a mild spice, adds a good layer of flavor to the beans.
  • Cumin: Ground cumin adds a warm, earthy spice to the dish.
  • Lemon juice: The acid lights up the dish and I love the citrus touch this adds to the beans.
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Ways to Use

Slow Cook

Black Beans These black beans

are a delicious side dish to your favorite tacos, but you can also use them in recipes that call for black beans. If a recipe calls for a 15-ounce can of black beans, you can usually substitute 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans. These would be a great addition to this vegetarian taco soup, black bean soup, vegetarian enchiladas or black bean sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I really have to rinse my beans? Yes! Dried beans have not been washed, so for safety reasons, it is important to rinse them. You should also check for small stones that could be in the beans.
  • Do I need to soak the beans first? Don’t! For this recipe you can rinse them and add them directly to the slow cooker.
  • What type of slow cooker should I use? I used this big 8-quart Crockpot style oval style slow pot. But almost any size or shape should work. If it’s smaller than 6 quarts, you may want to halve the recipe to make sure you can fit all the beans.
  • Do I have to use dried beans? For this recipe, yes. If you want to make seasoned beans without a slow cooker, try my Mexican black bean recipe that uses canned beans.
  • Can I use other seasonings? Absolutely! If you want to make these spicy, add some chili powder and hot sauce. If you don’t have bay leaves, you can skip them.
  • How long do leftovers last? They should last about 5 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container.
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What to serve

with black beans

I love pairing these black beans with my cilantro and lime rice or my Mexican-style rice. Both recipes can be made in the rice cooker, so it’s another great hands-off recipe! These beans can also be served with your favorite salad or paired with tortilla chips.


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