Slower Cooker Black Beans

The easiest way to cook black beans is in a slow cooker. It’s easy and budget-friendly.  You can use immediately, or allow to cool before transferring beans and some of the cooking liquid to a zipper-lock freezer bag or airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze up to 3 months. If freezing, flatten bag in freezer–it makes for easier defrosting. Defrost in warm water.


White beans (Great Northern, Cannelini, navy, black eyed peas)
-add to the slow cooker: chopped vegetables (carrots, fennel, celery), rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, onion.
-use in salads, soups, purees, braised (side dish)

-add to the slow cooker: a few sprigs fresh cilantro, dried oregano, a diced chile, ground cumin, onion, garlic, bay leaf.
-use in chili and soups, salads, refried, etc.

-cook the same way for pinto or black beans
-for use in Italian soups–proceed as for the white beans

Slow Cooker Black Beans

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 8 Hours on Low or 6 Hours on High
Yields: 5 Cups


  • 1 lb. black beans, picked over to remove broken or wrinkled beans or small stones
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 whole garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the beans in a big bowl, cover with water, agitate the beans a few times to remove any dirt, drain in a colander and rinse again. Place black beans, onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaf in a slow cooker. Add water.
  2. Cook on high for about 6 hours or low for 8. To test doneness, spoon out a few beans and blow on them. If the skins peel back, they beans are ready. Taste just to make sure. If all of the water has been absorbed, add more. Beans must stay completely covered to prevent them from burning.
  3. Discard the bay leaf.

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