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Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Black Beans with Cilantro

Slow Cooker Black Beans with Cilantro are great for a side dish, and beans are so easy to make in the slow cooker! Use Dried Beans for more recipes like this one.

Click here to PIN Slow Cooker Black Beans with Cilantro!

Slow Cooker Black Beans with Cilantro

I can’t remember where I first saw this recipe for Slow Cooker Black Beans with Cilantro, but I jotted it down in a little notebook I carry around to write down ideas for the blog.  Then when I decided to use cilantro in every recipe for a month I remembered this recipe and tried it.

I loved these flavorful black beans that were so easy to cook in the slow cooker without heating up the house. The dried cilantro that seasons the beans while they cook isn’t in any way a substitute for fresh cilantro, but in something like this that’s cooked for a long time, it adds a lot of flavor. If you don’t have dried cilantro, I’d suggest oregano as a substitute.

Dried beans are allowed in small servings even for phase one on the South Beach Diet, and black beans are one of my favorites. For recipes like this that start with dried beans, I often like to soak them, and it’s also important to use reasonably fresh beans or you may have a hard time getting them softened.  (If your beans are more than a year old, throw them out and get new ones.)  These beans were a perfect candidate for the slow cooker, but if you don’t have a CrockPot, you can easily cook the beans in a pot on the stove.

Process collage for Slow Cooker Black Beans with Cilantro

(This easy side dish made in the slow cooker was first posted in 2006 and updated July 2012 with step-by-step photos and better instructions.)

Rinse the black beans and throw out any broken ones; then soak overnight in the slow cooker. The next morning rinse the beans and drain them.  (This helps remove some of the excess starch that can make beans hard to digest.)

Put the soaked beans, chicken or vegetable stock, dried cilantro, and garlic in the slow cooker and cook all day on low. I like this best when the beans are kind of soupy and quite soft, which will probably take at least 8 hours on low.  (If you want firmer beans, start to check after about 7 hours.)

When the beans are done to your liking, add a generous amount of fresh chopped cilantro.

Make it a Meal:

I served my beans with Cuban Flank Steak. This would also taste great with Grilled Halibut with Cumin and Lime, Sauteed Scallops with Garlic, or Curried Chicken on the Grill with Cilantro Chutney.

More Tasty Recipes with Black Beans:

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos with Lime from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Slow Cooker Puerto Rican Black Beans with Sofrito from The Perfect Pantry


Slow Cooker Black Beans with Cilantro

Slow Cooker Black Beans with Cilantro makes a great side dish.


  • 4 cups dried black beans (measure before soaking; beans must be soaked overnight)
  • 6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock ( used homemade stock, but canned would be fine)
  • 2 T dried cilantro
  • 1 T garlic powder (or use 2 T chopped fresh garlic)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (measure after chopping)


  1. The night before you plan to cook this, rinse beans and pick out broken pieces.
  2. Place beans in a large pot or in the slow cooker, cover with cold water by several inches, and soak overnight.
  3. The next morning, rinse and drain beans, then place beans, stock, dried cilantro, and garlic powder or fresh chopped garlic in CrockPot slow cooker.
  4. Cook all day on low, 8-10 hours for very soft beans. (If you want firmer beans, start to check after about 7 hours.  If you don’t have a Crockpot, combine ingredients in a large, heavy pan and simmer on low for about 2 hours.)
  5. Wash fresh cilantro and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.)
  6. Chop enough cilantro to measure one cup.
  7. When beans are well softened, turn off Crockpot and stir in fresh cilantro.
  8. Serve immediately, garnished with additional chopped cilantro if desired.
  9. These beans can also be used in burritos, mixed into taco meat, or on a salad.


I would use at least a 4 quart crockpot for this recipe so there’s plenty of room for the beans to expand.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Beans cooked like this make a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet and they’re also good for low-glycemic diet. Dried beans are too high in carbs for a low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click here for more Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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    40 Comments on “Slow Cooker Black Beans with Cilantro”

  1. I know I'm years late with this, but just found this recipe while looking for a different way to cook my black beans.

    If you don't have dried cilantro, try using ground coriander, which is the cilantro seed. I've never used dried cilantro, but I've used ground coriander when I didn't have fresh. That might hold up better to long cooking than fresh cilantro.

  2. I'm going to make this using frozen cilantro chicken from my grocery store (HEB). I'm not a South Beacher so I'll serve it over brown rice. Can't wait!

  3. Carrian and Kelley, this is quickly becoming my favorite method for cooking beans (although I like the pressure cooker when I'm in a hurry.)

  4. I've done a similar version with pinto beans but not black beans. Thanks for helping me think outside the box! (or crockpot………)

  5. Kalyn, I've been craving (strangely enough) rice and beans. Cannot wait to try this out with our steak burritos later this week!!

  6. Glad you are excited about the blog.

    To be honest, I would not make this with canned black beans. What makes the flavor here is cooking the beans for a long time with the spices. Canned beans would not be nearly the same in the crockpot (plus they would disintegrate).

    You could do canned beans and simmer them on the stove with the dried spices and just enough chicken stock to cover the beans by about 1/2 inch if you wanted something similar. Or enter "canned black beans" into the search bar and you will find a lot of recipes using them.

    Good luck!

  7. About how much chicken stock would you put if using canned black beans, and for how long in the crockpot? I just found your blog and am SO excited to find more SB recipes that I like! I'm such a picky eater.

  8. Glad to know you are looking forward to trying some of my recipes. You could make this with all fresh cilantro, but I don't know that it would be quite the same. I definitely would still put the fresh cilantro in close to the end of the cooking time because long cooking completely destroys the flavor of fresh cilanto. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  9. Just found your blog via Crockpot 365. We are South Beachers since 2004 and LOVE eating this way- so healthy and we feel great. We don't sick nearly as often and our girls are growing up eating this way. I'm going to be using your recipes a TON! Thanks in advance.

    Quick question- can I use fresh Cilantro in the crockpot or does it have to be dried? I have fresh- no dried 🙂

  10. The beans are measured before they're soaked. Sorry if that was confusing.

  11. I want to try this today but I ended up confusing myself with a silly question — 2 cups (about 1 pound) of dry beans turns into 4 cups when I soak them overnight — does this recipe use one and a half pounds of beans or only 1 pound of soaked? Thanks!

  12. P.S. for Becky, I think I will add that to the recipe, thanks!

  13. Becky, I'm pretty sure I used my oldest crockpot for this, which is 5 1/2 quarts. It may not need to be quite that big, but I'd use one that's at least 4 1/2 quarts to give room for the beans to expand.

    I think this will freeze very well.

  14. This sounds great! A couple of questions…does it matter what size crockpot you use? Also, do you think the leftovers freeze well? I'm the only black bean fan in my house 🙂

  15. Ana Luisa, fun hearing from someone in Mexico. I like epazote a lot, but it's not that common in the U.S. Thanks for sharing your bean soaking method.

  16. We eat beans as part of our daily meals, and I love black over the other brown kind.
    I prefer to use "epazote", although cilantro is always good, too.
    I soak dry beans the quick method:
    pick over, rinse then put into pot and cover with water, bring to boil, turn off heat and let stand for 1 hr. Drain soaking water, then cook as desired. Never fails!

  17. Tiffany, if you like black beans these are easy and good.

  18. This looks so good! We will be trying that for sure 😀

  19. I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. However, I feel like I should tell you that corn is not recommended for South Beach (not for any phase really, although you could probably eat it occasionally for phase 3.) I highly recommend reading the book if you do try the diet; it helps you understand why some foods are not allowed.