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Go Ask Mom

Recipe: Slow cooker black beans

Posted May 28, 2015

My kids are on a swim team, which means that most nights, for the next six weeks, I will be at the pool, not my kitchen, around dinner time.

We'll be eating a lot of sandwiches. But I also will be relying on my slow cooker more often so, from time to time, we can come home to a little variety.

I'll definitely be making this recipe for slow cooker black beans a couple of times during this period. This inexpensive, easy and filling dish is incredibly versatile. You can eat them on their own, over rice or in a taco or burrito. You can dress it up with some peppers or sour cream, guacamole or salsa ... and, for my family, always some cheese.

I've made these several different ways, but a couple of months ago, I landed on a recipe on that really turns out beans with some great flavor. I sometimes soak beans overnight, other times I don't. These cook so long in the slow cooker that you're fine if you skip that step.

Slow Cooker Black Beans
Adapted from

1 pound black beans
1 onion, halved, diced or chopped. (I quartered the onion).
2 to 3 whole garlic cloves (I added five ... we like garlic).
6 cups water
1 Tablespoon salt

Clean and drain the beans in a colander. Put all of the ingredients, except the salt, in the slow cooker. Cook on high for three to four hours or on low for six to eight hours. Test the beans at about the three-hour mark if you're making them on high or the six-hour mark if they're on low. I usually cook the beans for about seven hours on low.

Once they're done, add the salt and let sit ... or continue to cook ... for another 20 minutes or so. Then remove the bay leaf and garlic cloves. You can also take out the onions. I usually keep them in. We like the beans to be pretty thick for eating in tacos or burritos. So I usually take about a cup of the beans out and mash them up with a potato masher. Then I stir the mashed beans back into the pot.

This recipe makes enough beans for about two dinners and a few lunches for my family of four light eaters. We serve them over rice or with tacos or burritos.

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