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Two bowls of Perfectly Seasoned Black Beans
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5 from 1 vote

Perfectly Seasoned Black Beans

Dried beans are cheap, last a long time in the pantry, and are SO simple to make. With just a few other staple ingredients, you can make these Perfectly Seasoned Black Beans in the slow cooker or Instant Pot for a flavor-packed, healthy, and easy side dish (no soaking required).
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time11 hrs
Instant Pot Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 7 cups cooked beans
Calories: 155kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb black beans dried
  • 1 ham hock or substitute 4 slices smoked bacon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 5.5 oz V8 juice spicy or regular

Instructions

  • Rinse dried beans well in a strainer with cold water. Remove any old, shriveled beans or small debris.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • After step 1, combine beans, ham hock, bay leaves, and water in slow cooker. Cook on low for 9-11 hours, or until beans are tender.
  • Once tender, microwave onions, garlic, spices, and oil in a microwave-safe bowl for 3-4 minutes, stirring every minute until onion is tender and translucent.
  • While onion mixture is microwaving, remove ham hock and bay leaves from slow cooker. There should be liquid about halfway up the beans. If there is more, remove excess and discard.
  • Add finished onion mixture and V8 juice to the beans. Stir well and cook on high for 1 more hour to let the flavors meld. Serve warm.

Instant Pot Instructions

  • After step 1, combine beans, ham hock, bay leaves, and water in Instant Pot. Close lid, set vent to sealing, and select "Beans" button. It should cook for 30 minutes.
  • While beans are cooking, microwave onions, garlic, spices, and oil in a microwave-safe bowl for 3-4 minutes, stirring every minute until onion is tender and translucent. Set aside.
  • Once Instant Pot is finished, allow pressure to release naturally for 30 minutes. Then carefully open the steam valve to release the remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and add the onion mixture and V8 juice, stirring well. Turn Instant Pot onto saute. Cook beans for another 20-30 minutes, stirring every few minutes, to allow flavors to meld. Serve warm.

Notes

Tips & Tricks
  • Clean your beans well before cooking. Although there is far less debris and dirt found in dried beans than there used to be, it still sneaks in there from time to time. Rinse them with cold water and remove any small stones or shriveled beans. 
  • Don’t use old beans (they last 2-3 years in the pantry). Beans beyond the 2-3 year point may not get tender, even if you cook them properly. 
  • Don’t discard the broth-y liquid that the beans cook in. The broth is full of flavor! Allow the beans to stay in the broth (including in the fridge or freezer) until you are ready to eat them, at which point you can drain the liquid with a slotted spoon if desired.  
 
Reheating Instructions
Reheat in the microwave or on the stove. Add water if needed to restore original consistency and broth. 
 
Freezing Instructions
Cool beans to room temperature. Store in a freezer-friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost them overnight in the fridge or in the microwave on the defrost setting. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove, adding a bit of water as needed for the right consistency.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg