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Add Southwestern Black Beans to an Epic Summer BBQ
Food,  Recipes

Easy Slow Cooker Southwest Black Beans for Epic Summer Cookouts

These Slow Cooker Southwest Black Beans start with dried black beans which means they might require a bit more effort than just heating up a can, but it is 100% worth the effort. Slow cooking the beans with some aromatics and spices means these beans are ultra-flavorful, creamy, and taste so much better than canned. 

Plus, the slow cooker reduces heat in the kitchen! It also frees up your time to take care of other things like enjoying a beverage on the porch with your guests!

How do you cook dried beans?

You can soak them overnight or do a quick soak (see below) and then cook them. Or you can just throw them in a pot or crockpot after rinsing and cook for several hours until they are tender and creamy. It really is that easy.

I do recommend you cook the beans with some sort of aromatics and spices so they are not bland. It is amazing what a little onion, garlic, and bay leaf can do for these beans. And don’t be afraid of salt. They can use a good portion of that as well for good flavor.

A slow cooker small appliance is very useful when cooking dried black beans

Can you really cook dried beans in a crock pot?

Absolutely! Just put everything in the cooker on your way out the door in the morning and by dinner time you’ve got a full-flavored side dish loaded with soft, tender beans and all the spicy elements you expect from black beans made Southwest style.

How do you cook dried black beans in a slow cooker?

You really can start this side dish with next to no advanced prep work — meaning you get to skip the time-consuming task of soaking dried beans. An all-day simmer of eight to 10 hours in the slow cooker is more than enough time to soften the beans so that by the time you’re ready for dinner, they’ve achieved the perfect level of tenderness.

Looking for a slow cooker recommendation to update your small appliance? Good Housekeeping has a round-up of the Top 10 Best Slow Cookers this year. Check out their appliance expert recommendations to update your kitchen helper.

How long do you soak dried beans?

Actually, you don’t have to soak the beans at all. It takes longer for the bean to cook if you don’t soak them, but they will still cook.  You might want to give the timer closer to 10 hours than 8 to make sure the beans are fully cooked and tender.

However, if you decide to soak the beans there are basically three soaking methods for dried beans.

First, there is the overnight soak.  This is best for not adding heat to the kitchen, but it does take the most time. Rinse beans and check for stones and debris. Add beans to a large bowl and add water to cover by at least 4 inches. Cover and let soak for at least 6 hours and up to overnight. Drain and discard soaking liquid. Rinse beans with cool running water. Use in your recipe.

Second, we have the quick-soaking method for beans.  Rinse beans and check for stones and debris. To a large saucepan, add beans and enough liquid to cover them by 2 inches. Bring beans to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let beans sit for 1 hour. Drain and discard soaking liquid. Rinse beans with cool running water. Use in your recipe.

Third, consider the Hot Soak method. This method is a little bit longer but recommended because it reduces cooking time even more and supposedly removes some of the gas-producing compounds in the beans. Place beans in a large pot and add 10 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans. Bring water to a boil and boil the beans for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove beans from heat, cover, and let stand for 4 hours. Drain and discard soaking liquid. Rinse beans with cool running water. Use in your recipe.

The Basic Dried Black Bean - Humble Beginnings
The Basic Dried Black Bean – Humble Beginnings

Slow cooker Southwest black beans are easy!

With this recipe, you cook the aromatics and spices to bloom before adding them to the slow cooker.  It adds depth of flavor to the dish. If you don’t have time you could dump everything into the slow cooker in the morning, set the heat to low, and the dish will still be done and tasty by dinnertime!

What are the ingredients for Southwest Black Beans?

Generally, I use the following ingredients allowing for modifications as my mood leads me. Sometimes I feel extra spicy and add a little extra chile powder!

  • Dried black beans
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • yellow onions or red onions for zingy flavor
  • poblano peppers or jalapeno for more heat
  • several cloves of garlic
  • chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • spices like cumin, oregano, cilantro, and chile powder
  • bay leaves
  • fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
The finished dish - Slow Cooker Southwest Bacak Beans

How do you make this recipe?

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a Dutch oven and cook the onion, Poblano pepper, garlic, and chipotle chiles until fragrant. Add the spices and let them bloom.  Add the beans, bay leaves, and water and bring to a boil. Then transfer to a slow cooker and let it do the rest of the work.

When the beans are soft and you are ready to serve, add the lime juice, cilantro if you like and season to taste.

What do I serve with this fabulous side dish?

All in all, these Slow Cooker Southwest Black Beans are a great addition to your epic barbeques and summertime cookouts.  This is a versatile and easy-to-make side dish you can enjoy all summer long.

Cheers Y’all!

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What to cook Father's Day

Slow Cooker Southwest Black Beans

RANI
Use as a side for fajitas, enchiladas, or grilled chicken. Use the leftovers for bean burritos or in a taco salad or quinoa salad.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 10
Calories 130 kcal

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper or red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 chipotle chilies plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from can
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano Mexican if you have it
  • 1 pound dried black beans rinsed and sorted
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water enough to cover beans
  • fresh lime juice to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh Cilantro chopped + more for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Soak the beans.
  • Heat oil in dutch oven or deep skillet until shimmering. Add onions and poblano or red bell pepper, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until softened. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add chipotle chiles and adobo and smash into onion and pepper mixture just to break up the chiles. Add cumin and oregano and cook 1 minute.
  • Add beans, bay leaves, and enough water to cover.
  • Bring to a rolling boil. Transfer to a slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours until beans are tender.
  • Remove bay leaves. Add lime juice, 2 tsp cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Overnight-Soaking Method for beans:
  • Pick through and rinse 1 pound beans.
  • Place in a bowl large enough to cover with water 4 inches above the beans and soak overnight.
  • Drain and discard soaking liquid.
Quick-Soaking Method for beans:
  • Pick through and rinse 1 pound beans.
  • To a large saucepan, add beans and enough liquid to cover them by 2 inches.
  • Bring beans to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let beans sit for 1 hour.
  • Drain and discard soaking liquid.
Keyword black beans

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