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This easy to make Mexican Black Bean Recipe is a simple dish with unforgettable flavors!
Black beans, sautéed aromatics, and spicy and smoky seasonings are simmered with tomatoes until thick, slightly saucy, and incredibly delicious. Enjoy as the perfect side dish or as a main!
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
These delicious Mexican black beans, also known as frijoles negros, are a great side dish you’d get at your favorite Mexican restaurant and then (almost) jokingly wonder to yourself if the chef will give you the recipe because they are taste amazing.
Lucky for you, I’m sharing my recipe for homemade Mexican black beans that will rival anything you’ve had before!
It’s a simple, budget-friendly way to enjoy a fresh and flavorful side dish made right on your stove top that pairs well with all your Mexican-inspired meals. From chicken quesadillas to cilantro lime rice and enchiladas or fajitas. Add to a homemade chipotle style burrito bowl, or to your tacos.
They’re creamy, spicy, smoky, and loaded with flavor. They’re a bit saucy and the beans themselves are deliciously buttery.
Needless to say, you can also enjoy a bowl entirely on its own as a main dish! If you’re looking for a different style of rice and beans, try my Red Beans and Rice recipe (made in a slow cooker)
Make this recipe for Cinco De Mayo!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- These Mexican-style black beans come in handy when you’re looking at using up canned beans you’ve stocked up on that you don’t know what to do with.
- Super easy to make. This easy recipe comes together in minutes! It’s a simple way to jazz up Tex-Mex night. While the beans cook, complete other parts of your meal.
- Great for meal prep. Make a big batch of beans plus add some brown rice, pico de gallo and cooked chicken for a pretty fabulous lunch!
Frequently Asked Questions
Oh yes! Mexican style black beans are used in various ways including in burritos, soups, tortillas, with protein and rice, etc. That said, I am not Mexican, and I did not grow up in Mexico.
As far as black bean recipes go, the only alternative I would suggest is pinto beans. Of course, they won’t be Mexican black beans anymore, but they’ll still work.
Absolutely! You’ll need to soak them overnight and then boil and simmer them covered for about an hour until tender. Then, they’ll be ready to use as directed.
Sure! Use some finely diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (they come in a can), leave the seeds in your jalapeno, add some red pepper flakes, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Technically yes. Please pay attention to the labels of any spices you use to be sure.
What to serve with Mexican Black Beans
These can be used in so many ways. Serve as a delicious side dish, pile them high on a crispy tostada, on top of a rice bowl, or wrap them in burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and more. Serve alongside my Chicken Fajita Casserole!
I’m also pretty partial to serving with some tortilla chips for scooping.
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
If your like your beans more mushy with a creamy texture like refried beans – mash some or all of the beans with a potato masher while still warm.
If you like your black beans a little less thick, use some chicken broth, or add a little water until you get your desired consistency.
What to do with leftovers
This recipe serves 6-8 people as a side dish. You’ll be lucky to have anything left!
If you do, store leftover beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days
How to reheat Mexican Black Beans
You can use the microwave or a saucepan on the stovetop to reheat. They will thicken once cooled, so you may want to add a splash of water to thin them out.
Freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat as desired.
- Olive oil. Or any neutral-tasting oil is needed to sauté the onion and garlic.
- Aromatics. Yellow or white onion and minced garlic.
- Jalapeno, finely diced. For some extra heat, keep some of the seeds. Otherwise, remove them all. Add extra jalapenos or spices if you can handle the heat.
- Seasonings. I use ground cumin, Mexican Oregano (can substitute for regular Oregano), smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. You can also use some prepared chili powder if you wish.
- Black beans. I use canned beans, but you can soak and cook dried black beans if you wish. If using canned – you will need 3 cans of beans. Keep the liquid, don’t drain it, it’s what helps to thicken up the black beans.
- Diced tomatoes. It brings a refreshing acidic flavor to the dish.
- For garnish. Cilantro, queso fresco, and lime wedges.
- Large Skillet
- Can Opener
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring spoons
How to make Mexican Black Beans
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and finely dice the jalapeno. Measure out the spices/seasonings. Chop the cilantro and set aside.
Make the base
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Sauté the onion until softened.
Add the jalapeno, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute more.
Reduce the heat to medium heat, add tomatoes, and stir until well blended. Cook until there is only a little liquid left.
Add the beans
Add the black beans with their liquid, bring to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally.
To your cooked beans, stir through the cilantro, and sprinkle with queso fresco if using. Squeeze a little fresh lime juice in.
More side dish bean recipes:
- Dr Pepper baked beans – combined with bacon, onions, pepper, a blend of spices, and of course Dr. Pepper, these beans are baked until thick and delicious!
- Instant Pot baked beans – sweet and smoky baked beans are made in a fraction of the time using the pressure cooker!
- Summery White Bean Salad. Served chilled or at room temperature, this Bean Salad is great to make ahead, or to grab and go! A short prep time means you can have it on the table fast!
- Black Bean Salad. This recipe is packed with vibrant colors and bold flavors! It’s a satisfying main dish, or side dish with a healthy twist making it the ultimate plate of yum!
Mexican Black Beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion (diced)
- 1 jalapeno (diced finely)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cans black beans (undrained (see notes))
- 14 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
- ½ cup queso fresco (crumbled)
- Limes (quartered)
- Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and finely dice the jalapeno. Measure out the spices/seasonings. Chop the cilantro and set aside.
Make the base
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
- Sauté the onion until softened.
- Add the jalapeno, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute more.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add tomatoes and stir until well blended. Cook until there is only a little liquid left.
Add the beans
- Add the canned black beans and their juice and simmer for 15 minutes until thick.
- Stir through the cilantro, and sprinkle with queso fresco. Squeeze a little lime juice in.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.