Crockpot Black Beans

This is my hands-down favorite method for cooking beans. I make a large batch of crockpot black beans every few months and use them in all sorts of tasty recipes!
Super Easy Black Beans... in the crockpot!

For those of you that already prep your beans this way, this post is not for you. [but this one is]  This post is for everyone that is new to beans, strictly uses canned, or is just simply curious about a new way to prep these black beauties for quick and easy meals throughout the week.

Are you ready for it?  You’re going to laugh at yourself when you realize just how easy this is.  At least I did, but I’m always laughing at myself.

easy crockpot black beans:

step 1  grab a bag of black beans – rinse with water and pluck out any broken ones
step 2  pour into your slow cooker
step 3  fill with water to about 2 inches above the beans
step 4  turn on to HIGH and set a timer for 3.5 hours

Now walk away!

Your beans will be perfectly cooked in anywhere from 3.5-4 hours.  [Though it will take a little longer if you live at a high altitude.]  I check mine at the 3.5 hour mark and try one to see if they’re tender enough.  If they’re still hard, set your timer for an extra 30 minutes and curl up with a book or catch up on that pile-o-laundry!

So. Freaking.  Easy.

Still looking for a slow cooker? [click here] a few fabulous options!

You can also season them while in the crockpot if you’re making one singular recipe, like a pot of black beans and rice for instance.  I scoop mine out with a slotted spoon, portion into freezer safe containers and freeze them for the plethora of mexican dishes and savory stuffed sweet potatoes I’m always whipping up.  They’ll keep for 4 days in the fridge and for months in the freezer.  Kiss the cans [and that nasty BPA lining] goodbye! <3

Black Beans freeze absolutely effortlessly and reheat tasting as good as new!  To reheat frozen beans, simply plop them in the fridge overnight and attack them the following day, or slowly defrost in the microwave, heating in small intervals so the beans don’t burst.  You can also warm them up on the stove-top or take some steamy hot water to the container you’ve sealed them in.  So basically… any which way!  Take your pick and run with it! =)

So now that you have a big pot of beans to experiment with,  it’s time to put them to work!  Here are a few of my favorites: 

Healthy Black Bean Recipes
L to R

Savory Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Triple-Bean Veggie Burgers

Mexican Chop Chop

Mexican Pizza Lasagna

T-Flatts Tostadas

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Flautas

Savory Stuffed Sweet PotatoesMexican Pizza LasagnaMexican Lasagna PizzaBlack Bean and Sweet Potato FlautasSouthwestern Won-ton Taco CupsGuacamole Tacos with Southwestern SalsaButternut Black Bean Veggie BurgersMexican Veggie Burgers with Homemade Taco SauceCrock-Pot Chicken Tortilla SoupEasy Chipotle Black Bean Dip with Pico de Gallo
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Comments

  • Trisha

    Hi Jenn, have you done this with more than one bag at once? Trying to do a massive amount at once for freezing 🙂 Any adjustment in time? Obviously more water to cover more beans.

    • Hey Trisha! You know what, I haven’t actually! I know with the pressure cooker the cook time stays the same regardless of the amount of food in the pot, so I wonder if all it would need is the extra H2O you suggested? I’d do it on a day you’re staying around the house or just running light errands so you can always add extra time if needed? I may test it out too because my freezer supply of black beans just hit zero and this mama needs ALLTHEBEANS 🙂 Let me know what you end up doing!

  • Kristen

    Do they still work just the same for substituting in baking or does it change the consistency?

    • Hey Kristen! I haven’t found a use they don’t work for! I freeze some and defrost them in the fridge when I need them and then keep the others in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. I’ve made soups, dips, casseroles, and so much more with the beans I make in my crockpot 🙂 It’s essentially like making your own “canned” beans only you store them in the fridge and/or freezer.

  • Liz B

    Does it matter what size crock pot you use?

    • Jenn

      As long as it’s at least 4/5 quarts you’re good to go. I don’t know the exact size of my original one but the second one we bought [I cook a ton of stuff at once to stock the freezer!] is a 6 quart and It’s perfection! A smaller pot will work if you’re not using the entire bag of beans though! So it really depends on how much you need to make =) Regardless you’ll be saving a ton of money over time by not buying cans. Hope that helps!

  • thanks for sharing such an easy and usable recipe! I have never thought of making my own black beans for my various dishes I use them in. Will definitely be doing this soon!

  • Hey Jacqueline! Thanks! I have a bulk set of all different sizes of glass pyrex containers with lids that double as cookware and storage. I’m obsessed with them and use them for all my recipes for the fridge and freezer. I freeze some of the beans in 1 cup containers for an easy addition to salads, tacos, any any other dishes and then freeze a few in larger containers too. There are a number of plastic freezer safe containers on the market that work great too as well as a good old freezer-friendly ziploc bag! I highly suggest the glass though, they’re so versatile and don’t get icky like plastic can over time =) Hope that helps! xoxo

  • Hey Kim! I usually discard the cooking water from the pot b/c I heard once it holds a lot of the “gassy” compounds from the beans — but I’m not 100% sure it’s true or just a wives tale, Chicken stock typically does amp up flavor! I cook my rice and quinoa in stock all the time! =)

  • Jacqueline Roark

    Just found this recipe….thanks for making this so easy! I have been afraid to move away from the convenience factor of cans, but now I know I need to go for it. Any tips on freezing? What type of containers do you use? Thanks so much!

    • Brooklyn

      For freezing individual or smaller servings, I use Ball Wide mouth canning jars. I was standing at the store in the container isle, trying to figure out how I was going to afford switching from plastic to glass when I glanced 3 feet over and saw a box of 12 jars for around $10! They are freezable, and obviously heat-safe. The wide-mouth is essential for easier eating and cleaning. I have converted everybody that sees me using them. We all say the same thing- “how did we not think of this sooner!?!”

      • Jenn

        So funny, because I was just thinking I need more glass jars for freezing soups and beans — I’m on it! Thanks Brooklyn! Great idea!

  • SissieG

    Hi Jenn-

    What do you think about adding chicken stock instead of water?

    Thank you,

    Kim

  • Thanks for posting this. I’ve wanted to try dry beans for a while but it just seemed like they had there were a number of issues in cooking them. Can’t wait to try this.

  • Do you think this will work fine with Kidney Beans also?? I have been doing my black beans like this since I found your blog!! I am ready to try some other beans now!! 🙂
    Thanks for the great tip!!

    • Here is a complete guide to kidney bean cooking time and variations – they are a little different than black beans:

      http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=87

      There’s a toxin naturally found in dried kidney beans that you want to be careful of. Cooking fully and draining all liquid from them will help eliminate it — there are lots of tips in the above link and also on wikipedia on how to avoid the toxin. I haven’t cooked them in a crockpot yet since I’ve been a bit timid but hope to attempt dried kidney beans soon! Hope this helps! Thanks for your comment Amber! xoxo

  • It works great for pinto beans, too 🙂

  • yay!!!!!! It’s sooooo easy – you’ll love it! You can even soak them ahead of time if you want to amp up the nutrient factor + digestibility — but they work great even if you just beeline for the crockpot! =)

  • Um, so we bought a bag of black beans and haven’t made them yet.  I’m ditching the cans and doing this!  Genius!

  • 4 days in the fridge and several months in the feezer! =)

  • ooh I shall update the post! good question!!!

    if you cook them in a skillet before freezing them they reheat like CHAMPS! [if you freeze them raw they get a little too moist and fall apart]

    pop them out of the freezer and into the toaster oven or oven at 350-400F for like.. 20 minutes and you’re good to go!

  • Yay!!!!! I’m making a batch of garbanzos tomorrow! You’ll have to share your delish hummus recipe!!!!

  • Pat

    Did garbanzos last night in crock pot- took 3.5hrs. They are all portioned into 2 cups and in freezer in vacuum zipper bags ready for my hummus recipe! I used to to lg quantities in pressure cooker but this is cooler and easier!

  • Kelly

    I am going to try this with the soaking first method today!  I can’t wait!

  • FraijoManda

    I luuuurve black beans!

  • I’m one of those people that just uses the canned kind.  So thanks for this.  It’s a lot easier than I thought it would be!

  • Austin

    You’re welcome!

  • Yum! I just made some black bean hummus with canned beans, but really want to give the dried a go! What usually deters me is lack of planning on my part, but I know they probably taste better, are better digested, and cheaper in the long run. I’ve heard you can throw in some seaweed to help with, um, side effects… 🙂

  • Same here! I like having the blank canvas of unseasoned beans anyways so it works out! I think I’m going to start soaking the next few batches first — have you tried that to lessen the cook-time?

  • babykayramon

    The only other thing I can think of is we never add salt or tomatoes until the beans are completely cooked through or for some reason they will stay hard and basically inedible.  This may be true anywhere I don’t know the science of it.  🙂

  • Eva @ Committed2Nutrition

    LOVE THIS!! I knew there had to be a way to make black beans from the bag. the bag is like $1 and you get SO MANY servings out of it, and not to mention, a lot LESS sodium. Totally getting a crock pot for my new place September 1st now..thanks lady for showing how easy this is!

  • One of my favorite after Christmas meals is ham and beans in the crockpot. Just thinking about it puts me in the holiday mood! Beans, beans good for your heart… 

  • It’s one of those mindless things you can make while a timer is set — those are my favorite! No slaving in front of the stove or running to the store to buy zillion bulky cans! =)

  • Thanks Austin!!!! I’m totally checking both of these out! =) Much appreciated!

  • Austin

    I cook dry beans on the stovetop but always soak them first for better nutrition and digestibility. I used to just cook them without soaking. My health and energy have really improved since I began soaking the grains, nuts and legumes I eat.

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/why-you-must-soak-your-beans/

    http://www.rebuild-from-depression.com/soaking-beans

    There are a couple blog posts about why soaking your beans is beneficial. As an added bonus, it takes less than 2 hours to cook black beans after they have been soaked.

  • Why have I not done this yet?  Thank you so much!

  • I love black beans with sweet potatoes. I keep telling myself that I need to be making my own beans rather than eating them from the can. It has always seemed so inconvenient, though. This looks super easy….I’m going to do it!

  • cragsandveggies

    I love fresh beans. SO much better than from a can! I hate mushy beans and making them fresh is the only way I get non-mushy! 🙂

  • This is great! These have been on my “list of things to add into my diet/menu” for a few weeks now… now that I know how easy it can be I can get my butt in gear 🙂

  • This is great!  Save money and stay away from BPA?!  I’m on board!

  • As I’m reading this, I’m wondering, “How long do these freeze for?” Thanks for reading my mind and answering this for me. You’re the best! 😉 

    I have thought of another question. What is the best way to reheat, or cook these after you freeze them?

  • I love the taste of beans you cook at home. I have so many bags right now. Thanks for reminding me to make some! 

  • I buy canned beans right now but want to convert over to buying dried in a bag and ‘cooking’ them myself–I love that I could just throw them in the crockpot!

  • Ashley Palmer

    so once they are cooked how long do they last in the fridge?! Can you freeze them?

  • Ellenbcookery

    I will do anything to avoid any form of canned food.  Thanks for sharing!

  • Chickpeas, but it takes less time! Other beans like kidney beans should be done on the stovetop according to what I’ve read about them.. and lentils are uber delicate and cook in like 15-20 min flat so I just do those on the stovetop! But you can totally crockpot some garbanzos and possibly white/navy beans as well! I’ll do some experimentation and get back to ya! =) xoxo

  • whoo! happy to help!

  • I was mortified when I realized how easy it was. Especially since I eat beans nearly every day… the stacks of cans in my pantry were ridiculous! But no more! hehe =) Dooo it!

  • I love the crockpot, and this is now just another reason why! Thanks for sharing!! 

  • Yes!!!! Get one in time for fall/winter! The cheap ones work great too!

  • so simple! practically effortless =)

  • i knew you could do this but never that it was that simple.  i am sold. i love the freezing idea. i wouldn’t want my husband to tackle  a whole crock pot of beans at once. 

  • just solidifying that i need a crock pot ASAP

  • TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    I do mine like that all the time then freeze them until I need them.  I like to put a poblano pepper in there so the flavor seeps in.  YUM!

  • busybee2

    Like!!  SO easy and I never thought of using the crockpot.  How great for the heat of summer when I don’t want to use the stove.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets.com

    I’ve been thinking about switching to dried beans. Based on how easy it sounds, I’m almost embarrassed I haven’t yet. Thanks for the post. I’m going to get beaning.

  • Thanks!  Chickpeas were the ones I was going to try!!

  • Robyn :)

    Does this work with other beans, too?

  • I do my lentils on the stovetop since they are a little more delicate and take way less time than the black beans do. I heard red kidney beans are a little more temperamental than most and shouldn’t be cooked in the crockpot. So far I’ve only done the black beans in mine. Ooh and chickpeas I’ve heard work too but they take less time – only 2-3 hours I believe.

    How to cook dried kidney beans: http://www.ehow.com/how_5121704_prepare-dried-kidney-beans.html Lentils: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-dried-lentils-116321

    Hope this helps! LMK if you have any other questions love! =) xoxo

  • This is how I always make my beans.   So easy.

  • That IS easy!  I assume this method would work with other bean varieties as well?

  • Ohmygosh really!? I should add this to the post – thank you!!! Any other tips for high-alt beans?

  • doing. right. now.

  • Thanks Sam! It took me a while to jump on the dried beans bandwagon but I don’t know if I can ever go back now! Promise this is JUST as lazy =)

  • babykayramon

    I do so love to make beans in the crock pot.  But one thing.  If you live at high altitude (like us here in Denver) soaking the beans overnight is a must and they still will have to cook for 6+ hours in the crock pot. Darn altitude is great for those olympic athletes and their training but makes for extra work in the kitchen.  Or extra cooking time anyway.  😉

  • One of these days, I’ll stop being lazy and going for the canned black beans. 🙂

    That sweet potato looks amazing!

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