Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pull Out the Slow Cooker for a Low Maintenance Way to Cook Dried Beans

When I was little, my mom used to make pinto beans from dried on the stove top. They had to be cooked for HOURS and you had to watch it. A couple months ago, I discovered this method of cooking the beans in the slow cooker from reading Cooking Light and now I've taken to the next level.

Beans are very nutritious and have a buttery, earthy flavor. They are high in fiber and are a good source of protein so they are an affordable meat substitute. I like to cook brown rice and keep it on-hand in the refrigerator with the beans, stored in separate containers. If you're working late or busy with the kid's activities, it's very convenient to have a versatile food like cooked beans ready to go.

This method has two, low-maintenance steps:

  1. Rinse and soak overnight in water (pictured above)

  2. Slow cook on Low for 10 hours, which takes only a few minutes of prep.

    Try using cooked black beans for quick tacos with avocado and sour cream, tostadas, on top of brown rice with a bit of cheese, black bean and rice burritos, or as a side dish to grilled meat. Store the beans in a large container (pictured above).

Slow Cooker Black Beans


  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 bay leaves


  • Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain.

  • Combine beans, broth, and remaining ingredients (through chile) in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 10 hours. Discard bay leaves. Serve.

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