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)
1small Onion – small dice (white or Spanish onion)
4Scallions - thinly sliced (green and light green parts)
1large Jalapeno - seeded, ribbed & small diced (optional - SEE NOTES)
½CupGreen Bell Pepper – seeded & small diced (about ½ a large pepper)
4-5clovesGarlic – minced
½tspEACH: Oregano & Ground Coriander
2(15 ounce) cans Black Beans – do NOT drain
2small Bay leaves
2-3TBSFresh Cilantro – chopped
Salt & Pepperto 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
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.
Add in the garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander and smoked paprika. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
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.
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.
Stir fresh cilantro into beans. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper, plus vinegar and sugar if using.
Serve with lime wedges over rice. Enjoy!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.