5 from 9 votes
Overhead photo of cooked Cuban Black Beans in a large white dutch oven garnished with fresh cilantro and sliced scallions; with a ramekin of chopped cilantro and salt arranged around the pot.
Quick & Easy Cuban Black Beans
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins

These quick and easy Cuban black beans are fast to prepare, yet packed with bold flavor and taste like you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen!  Made with canned black beans, which means NO soaking is required, and ready in 25 minutes or less, these beans will become a staple in your house!  (Healthy, Vegetarian, Vegan)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: Black Beans, Easy, quick
Servings: 13
Calories: 67 kcal
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion – small dice (white or Spanish onion)
  • 4 Scallions - thinly sliced (green and light green parts)
  • 1 large Jalapeno - seeded, ribbed & small diced (optional - SEE NOTES)
  • ½ Cup Green Bell Pepper – seeded & small diced (about ½ a large pepper)
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp EACH: Oregano & Ground Coriander
  • 1/8 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Black Beans – do NOT drain
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 small Bay leaves
  • 2-3 TBS Fresh Cilantro – chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional to finish: 1 TBS White or Red-Wine Vinegar + 1 tsp Brown Sugar, or more to taste*
For serving: White Rice, Lime Wedges, Tabasco or Cayenne Pepper
  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, scallions, jalapeno and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add in the garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander and smoked paprika. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add in the beans, water and bay leaves. Season again with salt and pepper. Bring beans to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 

  4. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated. *If you would like your black beans to have a more “soup-y” appearance, adjust consistency with a bit more water. If you would like to thicken the black beans, you can use a potato masher or spoon to mash some (about 1/4 to 1/3rd) of the black beans.

  5. Stir fresh cilantro into beans. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper, plus vinegar and sugar if using. 

  6. Serve with lime wedges over rice. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes
  1. Traditional Cuban black beans do not have jalapenos.  If you would like this to be a more authentic recipe, feel free to omit the jalapeno peppers!
  2. To thicken Cuban Black Beans, mash them!  Mashing the beans can be done two different ways:
    • Remove a cup (or a 1/3rd) of the beans, mash them with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon or fork, and stir them back into the pot.
    • Remove a cup (or a 1/3rd) of the beans, transfer them to a food processor, process until a paste forms and then add them back to the pot.
  3. Cuban black beans are traditionally finished with a drizzle of vinegar and a small sprinkling of brown sugar.  This step is completely optional and should be done to taste! 
  4. Cuban black beans will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Allow the beans to cool completely before transferring them to an air-tight container or freezer-safe zip-closure bag.

    Pro-tip:  Freeze the Cuban black beans in cup-sized portions for easy re-heating and serving!

  5. To reheat, you want to make sure you avoid the black bean splitting or turning to mush by reheating them on the lowest temperature possible, while still maintaining a very gentle simmer.

Nutrition Facts
Quick & Easy Cuban Black Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 67 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 171mg5%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 3g13%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 7.3mg9%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.