How To Cook Canned Black Beans: 10 Recipes And Ideas To Try

Do you love black beans? Tried them? The average Joe is missing out on this amazing source of protein, fibers, multiple vitamins, and minerals.

The possible reason for this fact is because people don’t know how to cook canned black beans or use them in the wrong way. Even though it might seem tricky, you can prepare them quite easily and combine them into fabulous meals.

In our house, black beans were considered a “tabu” item on the kitchen menu because the boys didn’t want to try them the first time I served them. To surpass this obstacle, I’ve gotten a bit cunning.

How To Cook Canned Black Beans

I mastered the cooking process and disguised black canned beans into fabulous Zucchini and Black Bean Vegan Veggie Burgers (Thanks, Alissa from Girl Makes Food!), which boys ate joyfully. I even asked for more!

When I told them they ate burgers made from canned black beans, they were like: “No way, mom! You’re messing with us!”

Mission accomplished! 🙂

So, if you’re thinking about adding black beans into your (and your loved ones’) diet but are afraid guys over at home won’t like it, now you have a little trick at your disposal.

The amazing health benefits they provide to the body are simply too great to leave them out. Still, to successfully implement canned black beans into your meals, you need to know how to cook them.

Let’s break this down:

You can use black beans as a side dish or a meal on its own. There are hundreds of combinations and possibilities with this tasty legume.

  1. The first thing you have to know is that any canned black bean portion consists of beans, water, and salt.
  2. The second – canned black beans come already cooked. This means you don’t have to cook them.
  3. You just warm them up, season them to taste (watch for the previous lines – they contain salt), and start “disguising” them into fancy and delicious meals.

That’s the most important point you need to know.

People often make mistakes preparing canned black beans by cooking them as they are fresh. This brings them to the overcooked state, ruining the outcome.

To prepare the black canned beans the best way, you will need the following things:

  • A pan or a deep pot
  • A little bit of oil
  • One sliced onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • and a can of black beans.


  1. The first step is to peel off the onion and slice it into small cubes using a ceramic knife. You can use a chopper as well – it will lessen the burden and won’t burn your eyes.
  2. Next, open the can of black beans and wash them in the colander over the sink. (I’ve had a tough time opening cans of beans before I found the electric can opener. Now it’s so much easier!)
  3. Meanwhile, turn on your cooker and place the pan/deep pot on the heated burner. Pour some oil into the pan/deep pot and add sliced onion.
  4. Season it with little salt and pepper, but be careful not to put a lot of seasonings because the canned black beans are already salted.
  5. Fry the onion till it gets golden yellow color. That is the time to add canned black beans.

As the black beans from a can are cooked already, you don’t have to cook them for a long time – a few minutes will be enough to warm them up.

You can add a bit of water if you want to cook the black beans longer and make them juicier. You can serve beans on a deep plate with some parsley on it.

That’s it! You’ve got yourself a quick, tasty and healthy meal.

Update from Barbara: You can buy organic, GMO-free, and Kosher canned black beans to ensure that you and your family are eating all-natural and healthy meals.

Mistakes to Avoid

Even though this basic preparation is the best and pretty easy to do, there are many mistakes you can make in the process.

Here’s the list of things you should never do if you want a perfectly-made canned black bean:

1. Never cook beans in the can

  • Even though the can seems like a solid material, it is not recommended to cook the beans in it. Especially if you use a gas stove.

Know everything about gas stoves and how to pick the best one: Find the Best Cookware To Buy For Gas Stove!

2. Don’t over season the beans

  • As already mentioned, canned black beans are full of salt, so don’t add extra, if not necessary. You can always try one kidney bean for the taste to determine whether it needs some spices or not. There is no harm because beans are already cooked and good to eat out of the can.

3. Not rinsing the beans before cooking

  • The liquid inside the can is there to make beans resistant and long-lasting. It’s starchy, very salty, and has that can taste, so rinsing before use is a must.

4.Storing leftovers back in the can

  • This is a big no-no. Once opened, the can can’t hold the freshness of the contents inside. Therefore, it’s unusable for further storing after the opening. It does seem quite easy to do, but it will spoil the beans, and you’ll end up throwing them in the trash can.

Further Reading: How To Freeze Baked Beans?

5. Substituting canned beans with dried ones

  • There is a big difference between these two types of beans in taste, texture, and usability. Dried black beans have to be soaked and cooked for many hours to be usable in meals. So if you get an idea that you can use dried beans to supplement the canned, forget about it.

Recipes and Ideas to try

Here comes the fun part.

Now that you’ve mastered the best preparation method for the black canned beans, you can start implementing them in your kitchen endeavors.

During the last several years, I’ve tried and tested many recipes, and here I’ll share some of the finest meals you can have with canned black beans:

Chilled Black Bean, Feta & Cucumber Salad – By The Kitchn

Chilled Black Bean, Feta & Cucumber Salad – By The Kitchn

Beef Chili with Bacon & Black Beans – By Bev,

Beef Chili with Bacon & Black Beans – By Bev,

Become a chili master with these actionable tactics and guides:

5-Minute Black Beans: No Cooking – By World’sHealthiestFoods

5-Minute Black Beans: No Cooking – By World’sHealthiestFoods

Best Black Beans – By Cameron, AllRecipes

Best Black Beans – By Cameron, AllRecipes





Easy Black Beans and Rice – By Elise Bauer, Simply Recipes

Easy Black Beans and Rice – By Elise Bauer, Simply Recipes

Best Black Beans – By Sandra Lee, FoodNetwork

Best Black Beans – By Sandra Lee, FoodNetwork

The Lazy Cook’s Way to Great Black Beans – By Max Falkowitz, SeriousEats

The Lazy Cook’s Way to Great Black Beans – By Max Falkowitz, SeriousEats

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m all into making the kitchen better, making better food, and mastering the processes.

Therefore, I’ve gathered some more ideas for you to try:

Let’s make some delicious black beans!

They are easy to prepare, ultra-healthy, and tasty.

They are fantastic for many types of cuisine and have a long shelf life.

And now, you have a small trick to use to make your children like them.

Let me know what you prepared, and how did it go with your folks! Bon Appétit! 🙂

Further Reading: 3 Quick & Easy Secrets To Prepare Canned Corn Revealed!

Related article: Top 21 Manual Can Openers

Donna Woods

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