Basic Black Beans

Photo by: Sarah Shatz

by Whole Foods Market

over 2 years ago

Sometimes called turtle beans, these small beans are a staple of Latin American and Caribbean cuisines. Their good earthy flavor pairs well with assertive seasoning, especially cumin and garlic. For more flavor, add a handful of coarsely chopped aromatics (such as onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and/or ham) to the pot at the start. You may also simmer the beans in broth in place of water.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup dried black beans (about 8 ounces)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Pick over beans and rinse in cool water. Put in a large bowl, cover with water by 2 inches, and soak 4 hours to overnight. 
Drain and rinse well. (To quick soak: Put beans in a saucepan, cover by 3 inches with cold water, and bring to a boil. Boil, covered, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 1 hour. Drain and rinse.)
  2. Transfer beans to soup pot or large saucepan, add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered or loosely covered, until tender but still intact, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add salt only toward the end of cooking, and add more water during simmering if beans start to dry up before they are tender. Strain; If you like, reserve the cooking liquid for making soup.

Nutrition Info:


  • 773 calories
  • 3g total fat
  • 1g saturated fat
  • 0mg cholesterol
  • 420mg sodium
  • 141g carbohydrate (35g dietary fiber, 5g sugar)
  • 49g protein
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