Black beans are one of my all-time favorites. This recipe for creamy black beans and rice is great because it’s pretty simple and easy to throw together on a weekend afternoon to use throughout the week. It’s also fast enough that if you don’t have time to meal prep on the weekend, this recipe can be ready in less than an hour.
This recipe freezes and reheats very well and you can use the leftovers in other dishes throughout the week.
Black Bean Nutrition
This dish is vegetarian, low-fat and full of lots of nutrients. Like most beans, black beans are a great source of protein and fiber. According to the National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of black beans is 240 calories and provides 15.1 g of protein and 15.4 grams of fiber.
Black beans are also full of vitamins and minerals the body needs to function, and are an excellent source* of magnesium, zinc, folate, iron and phosphorous and a good source** of potassium and provide smaller amounts of calcium, vitamin K and other nutrients. They are also considered to have antioxidant benefits primarily in the form of anthocyanins which are present in the skin and give the bean its color.
**Good source – containing 10-19% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of a nutrient
Cooking Black Beans
Black beans are available canned and dried. If time is short, using canned beans is good option. However, cooking dried beans are less expensive, less processed and you have more control over the amount of sodium added. I like to cook up a big batch and use them throughout the week in different ways.
Tips for cooking dried black beans
If you are cooking black beans or any dried bean, it’s important to soak them in advance of cooking. The purpose of soaking beans is to shorten then cooking time but also the process of soaking the beans, removes some of the oligosaccharides which cause gastrointestinal distress such as gas and cramping when eating beans. Also, beans contain phytates which may prevent the body from absorbing some minerals.
To soak overnight or during the day, rinse the beans and then add enough water to cover at least a couple inches over the beans. Cover with a lid and soak for at least 8 hours. When you are ready to cook, drain the water from the beans and add fresh water prior to cooking.
If you forget to soak your beans ahead of time, there is an option for to quick soak. To quick soak beans, simply rinse them and add enough water to cover the beans by at least a couple inches. Then bring to a boil and allow to cook for five minutes. Then turn the temperature off and allow the beans to soak for at least an hour. Following this time, change the water and continue to cook the beans as desired.
Creamy Black Beans & Brown Rice
- ½ yellow onion
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 jalapeno pepper bell pepper
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- 2 each roma tomatoes
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 cans or 3 1/2 cups cooked black beans drained
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 cup brown rice dry
- diced tomatoes
- diced red onion
- chopped cilantro
- sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Dice yellow onion, pepper, jalapeño, tomato and garlic.
- Heat 1 T olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onion, pepper and jalapeno to the pan. Sauté until onion is translucent. Add tomato and garlic, cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Add black beans and 1/2 cup of water.
- Turn heat down to medium and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn down to medium-low and cover. Allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes for the flavors to meld.
- While the beans are simmering, bring brown rice and 1½ cups of water to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook the rice for about 30 minutes. Check about halfway through cooking and add more water if needed. I suggest adding it about 1 T at a time until rice is tender. When the rice is ready, turn off the heat and allow it to sit while you finish the beans.
- When the rice is ready, remove 1 cup of beans and liquid from the pot and place in blender. Blend until smooth. Add blended beans back into the pot. Add cumin and oregano, mix to combine. Check seasoning, add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Serve over cooked brown rice and add your favorite toppings.
Uses for black beans
If you cooked up extra black beans here are some different ways to use them to make hearty vegetarian entrees, sides and snacks.
- Black beans make the perfect snack like in this Spicy Black Bean Hummus. Serve it with homemade plaintain chips, baked tortilla chips or veggie sticks.
- Throw together a quick taco salad with black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, corn, cheese and baked tortilla strips.
- Combine your black beans with quinoa and other veggie toppings for a take to work protein grain bowl. Top with Guasacaca Sauce or a Creamy Chipotle Yogurt Sauce for a flavor boost.
- Toss black beans, tomatoes and other veggies into a veggie stock for a hearty soup.
Did you try out this recipe? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the recipe. Tell me too — what’s your favorite topping for this dish?
Please leave me a comment here on the blog or send me a quick message using the chat button in the bottom right corner of your screen. If you have photos, tag @cookeatlivelove so I can see your creations.