Big-Batch Black Beans


Home-cooked beans are the sort of food that doesn’t sound exciting until you know how incredibly good they can be. Not only do beans you cook yourself have a greater savory complexity than any store-bought kind, you’ll save a lot of money making them at home, too. How to cook dried black beans is simple. This method calls for a slow cooker, which does the double work of allowing you to skip the soaking step and to cook the beans hands-off while you’re on the go. Try cooking black beans in an Instant Pot if that’s what you have for similar results. What to do with your batch? Stir them into soups, spoon over grain bowls, or fold into tacos—there’s no shortage of delicious ideas!

Big-Batch Slow Cooker Black Beans
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
7 hrs 10 mins
6 cups


  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over

  • 1 white onion, halved

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

  • 1 dried or fresh bay leaf

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided


  1. Place beans, onion, garlic, bay leaf, 6 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until beans are tender but not falling apart, 6 to 7 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high. Discard onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  2. To freeze: Let beans cool to room temperature. Transfer to reusable freezer-safe containers and cover beans completely with their cooking liquid. Cover and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the microwave or overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a pot on the stovetop over low.

  3. Serving suggestion (shown): Top beans with crumbled cotija cheese and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

126 Calories
23g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 126
% Daily Value *
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 7g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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