Quick Cuban Black Beans, www.mountainmamacooks.com

Beans, beans the magical fruit. The more you eat the more you…..*ahem*
fill your belly with hearty, wholesome goodness.
(It never gets old.)

cuban black beans and white rice, www.mountainmamacooks.com

Beans get such a bad wrap. Especially canned beans. I get it, I do. Used more in supporting roles i.e soups and the occasional salad, canned beans are never the shining star. I think they can be kind of uninspiring and it’s hard to develop a ton of flavor in such a short amount of time. BUT, these beans have changed my mind. One of my go to meals, I make a big pot of these often and my husband and I will eat them for multiple meals throughout the week. Perfect over a bowl of steaming rice, they’re just as good tucked into a tortilla with some scrambled eggs for a quick, hearty breakfast.

Simple one pot Cuban Black Beans, www.mountainmamacooks.com

The beans taste slow-cooked, even though they only take about 20 minutes, thanks to the recipe’s layers of flavors: onion, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic and chills, simmered in a bit of olive oil before adding the black beans and some dried spices. The ingredients are forgiving, allowing you to use whatever you have on hand. I’ve used all kinds of onions, different colors of peppers, more cilantro, less cilantro, 2 jalapeños, 1 red chili…..you get the idea. It’s hard to screw these up!

15 minute cuban black beans, www.mountainmamacooks.com

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Enjoy the Superbowl, the good eats (what I’m looking forward to!), and if you’re lucky a few groomers in the morning before the big game!

20 Minute Cuban Style Black Beans

A quick Cuban style pot of black beans. Ready in 20 minutes, these are great over rice, cornbread or stuffed into a tortilla with some scrambled eggs.


  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 head fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves small garlic
  • 1 jalapeño or other chili
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 14-oz cans black beans
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  1. Cut the bell pepper and onion into large chunks. Place them into a food processor along with the cilantro, garlic and halved jalapeño. (Seed jalapeño for less spicy beans.) Pulse until vegetables are chopped fairly small but not pulsed into a paste.
  2. Add olive oil to a medium sized stock pot. Over medium heat, add vegetables and sauté until softened about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Drain the liquid from just 2 of the 3 cans of black beans. Add all the cans of beans to the vegetables.
  4. Add the salt, oregano, cumin, bay leaves, and honey. Bring the beans to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (based on taste). Taste beans and adjust spices as necessary.


These beans will keep in the fridge for up to a week. If you want a spicier pot of beans, don't seed the chili or jalapeño. For a thicker bean consistency, drain all three cans of black beans.

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41 Responses to 20 Minute Cuban Style Black Beans

  1. Jenny says:

    I SO enjoy your blog.
    This dishy dish looks delicious by the WAY. Gonna have to try it out. 🙂 Happy Saturday.

  2. I love black beans and used canned beans for this recipe most of the time. My recipe is similar to yours but I have never added honey…I’m sure it adds to the flavor.

  3. I really love Cuban flavors and miss them since I no longer live in So. Florida. Can’t wait to try these!

    • Kelley says:

      I’m not sure how authentic these are but I love them just the same! Let me know how they compare!

      • Yani R says:

        For Cuban Black beans you need to remove the jalapeño (not used in Cuban cuisine) honey, cilantro (in Cuba we have culantro leaves instead) and red wine vinegar add 2-4 more garlic cloves, 1/2 green bell pepper, 2 tsp of white vinegar and 1 tsp of white sugar. Beans are cooked from scratch (1 pkg) not from a can with all the seasonings in (I prefer my pressure cooker) until a creamy/liquid consistency. If you can not locate culantro then cilantro can be used in it’s place but chopped fresh on it after cooked. These would be for a homemade Cuban beans 😉 Enjoy

        • Kelley says:

          This is simply my version of Cuban Black Beans. I by no means make the claim that they are authentic. I appreciate your advice, your version sounds wonderful.

          • Lisandra says:

            I am Cuban and make black beans a lot and what they lady above said is right, we do not cook with jalapeño, instead we used regular bell peppers and they add a fantastic flavor, I have never tried it with the honey but in my house we do add a tea spoon of sugar. It add a little extra something

  4. Annalise says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. Yum! And I can’t wait for some leftovers today for lunch.

    My food processor is currently out of commission so I had to chop everything by hand. It still worked out great, only next time I’ll remember gloves when working with a jalapeno. Ouch, the burn!

  5. carrian says:

    These look delicious! I much prefer a 20 minute method to allllll day.

  6. I love the sound of these beans. The flavors are right up my alley!

  7. Mmm. I’m always looking for fast things that are still healthy and real. This looks perfect and I bet I could throw it in a tortilla with some cheese the next day for quick lucnh! Mmm. Thanks!

  8. We love beans and rice, but I really don’t have a great recipe for them. This looks amazing! For sure to be on our menu this week.

  9. Brettalan says:

    Best bean recipe ive had hands down! Great recipes all in all.

  10. Maureen says:

    Do you think any leftovers could be frozen? This looks delicious!

  11. Just had to let you know that I make this recipe all the time! We enjoyed them tonight with some quesadillas, delish!

  12. Andrea says:

    Omg….. Absolutely delicious… Thank you. A keeper

  13. Matt Smith says:

    These beans were so tasty! I’ll definitely be making them again – thanks for sharing!

  14. Maritza says:

    i am Cuban born in Cuba. My parents are Cuban and my mom is a great cook. If you really want to learn how to make real Cuban black beans I will be happy to share it with you.

    • Kelley says:

      Great, teach me how!

      • Lisandra says:

        Hi kelley,

        I am not sure if they ever sent you the recipe. I am Cuban (from Cuba as well) and all Cuban families have their way of making beans and add little details. Everyone thinks theirs is better that everyone else’s. The way we make it at my home is as follows.

        You start with a package of black beans (I like the Goya brand best, but use what you can find)
        You need to cook those on the pressure cooker for about 35 minutes, one you let the pressure out I like to separate the beans from the liquid and squish the beans a little bit so they let out some of the starch, then I mix everything together again. Then I make a sofrito (this is the base of all Cuban cooking)

        Spanish Olive Oil
        Garlic (5 cloves)
        Onions (half of a large onion)
        Make sure the oil is hot and add the garlic and onions to it, cook it until soft and add it to the beans.

        Add some bell peppers, you should be okay with about half of a medium sized pepper.
        2 bay leaves
        about a spoonful of vinegar
        a tea spoon of sugar

        and let it cook in high for about half an hour it should be a thick broth. It is a very simple recipe but delicious when done right. To make it quick during the weekday what i do is a put them on the pressure cooker the night before and just season them the next day.

        Hope they turn out well!

  15. Laz says:

    This sounds nice, but I have to tell you this is Cuban black beans, they sound more Mexican than anything, we don’t add jalapeño or cilantro.

  16. Kellie says:

    These have a very similar flavor to the beans and rice I had in Cuba! I didn’t drain any of the cans and I did decrease the amount of cilantro. The extra liquid forms a nice sauce that keeps rice from getting dry.

  17. Tara says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t commented on this recipe yet! I found this about a year ago and it has become a huge staple in our family. So fast and easy and everyone in my home just loves it. Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Carrue says:

    I’ve made these twice already since finding the recipe last week. By far the easiest and tastiest recipe I’ve found. I love that a batch will last me throughout the week. Tonight they are going over nachos, in the mornings I put some with egg breakfast tacos. At lunch I’ve put them on quinoa with extra veggies added. The options are endless and they are just the best tasting! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  19. George says:

    Just made this recipe and it was excellent. Very fast, easy to make and quite tasty. Definitely moving it into the rotation. Thank you!

  20. Krsiten says:

    I LOVE THESE. Cuban, Mexican…whatever they are…the flavors are to DIE for, its so simple. I’ve made them to go with Cuban food, I’ve made them to go with Mexican food, and I’ve made them for a vegetarian meal over brown rice….MAKE THESE.

  21. BethieofVA says:

    This is our favorite recipe! Excellent.

  22. Ana says:

    I was born and raised in Cuba. I lived in Miami for 11 years, and now in Seattle. I have tried really good authentic Cuban style black beans throughout my life , and I made this recipe yesterday In looking for a quick way to make black beans with canned beans for a pot luck . I LOVED it , and my friends died for it too. We, Cubans, do not use jalapeño and make the dish some how differently , but the result is what counts. This one was very tasty, healthy , and incredibly good . Thank you so much for sharing !

    • Kelley says:

      Thanks for commenting. I often leave the jalapeño out. I know they’re not an authentic recipe but I love them none the less! Glad you enjoyed them, too!

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