Dinner/ Lunch

Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe

You gotta love a big ol’ pot of black beans. They’re so good for you. Plus, they can rock main or side dish status with ease. This recipe is the perfect make-ahead meal because you cook it hands-off style in the slow cooker, then just microwave it the day you want to eat.

Oh, and it’s vegan and gluten-free, but not by design. Beans are just born that way.

This recipe does require some forethought. The dried beans have to soak 8 hours or overnight the day before your Cooking Day. Then, just drain, add veggies and spices, and cook on high for 6 hours. The end result is creamy and smoky.

I add a piece of kombu (a dried seaweed) to the beans to make them easier to digest, but it’s optional. The overnight soak should be more than enough to get rid of the gassiness associated with beans. No excuses for avoiding these little nutrient powerhouses!

You can buy frozen, already cooked brown rice in the freezer section of the grocery store these days. I’m not above it, and rice makes a great bed for these beans.

Tex-Mex toppings are your choice, but I highly recommend lots of lime wedges to squeeze over the beans. You can pre-cut a container-full of limes and use them all week. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 6 hours slow cooker


  • 1 lb. dried black beans
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped, preferably organic
  • 1 in. piece kombu (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce, plus more to serve
  • ½-1 tsp. salt or more to taste
  • Optional: rice, lime wedges, tortilla chips, cilantro, chopped onion, etc. to serve



COOKING DAY – Soak beans in plenty of water in a covered container overnight in fridge. Drain and rinse.


Put beans, onion, pepper, kombu (if using) and spices in slow cooker. Cover with 2 inches’ water. Poke in the bay leaves and add hot sauce. Stir together.


Cook on high for 6 hours or until beans are very tender. Remove bay leaves and kombu (if you can’t find the kombu, it’s okay. It blends into the other flavors). Season with salt to taste.


Package into containers and store in fridge for 5 days or freezer for 3 months.


SERVING DAY – Heat beans on stovetop or microwave, defrosting if necessary.

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