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Kalyn's Kitchen

Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro

Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro are great for a side dish, and these beans are so easy to make in the Instant Pot or the slow cooker! If you’re avoiding beans, check out Low-Carb Recipes to see if something else will catch your eye. 

PIN Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro to try them later!

Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro finished beans

I’m updating an old favorite slow cooker recipe today, so now you can make Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro in the Instant Pot or the Slow Cooker. The flavorful black beans were so easy to cook in the Instant Pot without soaking the beans first. However, it’s important to use fresh beans when you’re not soaking them; the ones that have been on the store shelf or in the pantry for a while will take much longer to cook.

The black beans cook in vegetable stock with minced garlic and dried cilantro, and if you have some I’d add the Mexican herb called Epazote. When they’re cooked the beans get spicier with chopped cilantro, diced green chiles, and some lime juice that cooks with the beans for a few minutes. And we loved the tomato, green onion, and cilantro mixture served on top of the beans, but purchased guacamole was also amazing served with these beans!

What is Epazote?

Epazote is a perennial herb that’s used in Mexican cooking, especially to add to beans. It can be used fresh but Dried Epazote (affiliate link) is most common in the U.S. and adding some Epazote to your beans not only adds flavor, but it makes beans easier to digest. Don’t use too much or you might not like the strong flavor, although cooking mellows the flavor, and I think it’s especially good with black beans.

What Size Instant Pot Did I Use?

I use a 6 Quart Instant Pot (affiliate link) for all my Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot Recipes! You can find more Instant Pot Recipes on my other site, Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker.

Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro process shots collage

How to Make Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro:

(These are the Instant Pot instructions. Scroll down to the complete recipe for slow cooker instructions and nutritional information.

  1. Put black beans in the Instant Pot with broth,oil, minced garlic, dried cilantro, and Epazote (if using.)
  2. Lock lid and set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH TEMPERATURE, 45 minutes.
  3. When time ends, let it natural release 20 minutes, then quick release. 
  4. While beans cook, chop cilantro and get diced green chiles and fresh lime juice ready.
  5. When Pressure is released stir in chopped cilantro, diced green chiles and lime juice. Use SAUTE, MEDIUM TEMPERATURE, and cook 5 minutes.
  6. While that cooks, chop up diced tomatoes and slice green onion if you’re making the tomato topping. 
  7. Combine sliced green onion, diced tomatoes and the rest of the chopped cilantro with lime juice and olive oil to make the tomato topping.
  8. We also loved these beans with this favorite purchased guacamole on top if you don’t have fresh tomatoes or don’t want to bother making the tomato mixture!

Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro finished beans

Make it a Meal:

I served my beans with Cuban Flank Steak. This would also be amazing with Salsa Verde Chicken Bake or Southwestern Pot Roast.

More Tasty Recipes with Black Beans:

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Slow Cooker Puerto Rican Black Beans with Sofrito from The Perfect Pantry
Black Bean and Pepper Salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro finished beans

Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro

Yield 8 side dish servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro are great for a side dish, and this recipe has instructions for making the black beans in the Instant Pot or the slow cooker!

Ingredients

For Beans in Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

  • 1 lb. dried black beans (see notes)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock ( see notes)
  • 1 T dried cilantro
  • 1 T minced  garlic (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. dried Epazote (see notes)
  • 1/2 chopped fresh cilantro (measure after chopping)
  • one 4 oz. can diced green chiles
  • 2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice

For Tomato-Cilantro Salsa (if using)

  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (measure after chopping)
  • 2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 T olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put black beans in the Instant Pot with vegetable broth, olive oil, minced garlic, dried cilantro, and Epazote (if using.)
  2. Lock lid and set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH TEMPERATURE, 45 minutes.
  3. When cooking time ends, let it natural release 20 minutes, then release the pressure.
  4. While beans cook chop cilantro and get diced green chiles and fresh lime juice ready.
  5. When Pressure is released stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, can of diced green chiles and 2 T lime juice.
  6. Use SAUTE, MEDIUM TEMPERATURE, and cook 5 minutes.
  7. While that cooks, chop up diced tomatoes and slice green onion if you're making the tomato-cilantro mixture.
  8. Combine sliced green onion, diced tomatoes and the rest of the chopped cilantro with lime juice and olive oil to make the tomato topping.
  9. We also loved these beans with purchased guacamole on top if you don't have fresh tomatoes or don't want to bother making the tomato mixture!


Slow Cooker Instructions:

1. The night before you plan to cook this, rinse beans and pick out broken pieces.

2. Place beans in a large slow cooker (at least 4 quarts), cover with cold water by several inches, and soak overnight.

3. The next morning, rinse and drain beans, then place beans, stock, dried cilantro, minced garlic, and dried Epazote (if using) in 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.

5. When beans are as soft as you prefer, wash fresh cilantro and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.)

6. Chop enough cilantro to measure one cup (or less if not making tomato mixture).

7. Turn slow cooker to low and stir in 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, diced green chiles, and lime juice.

8. Let beans cook 20-30 minutes more.

9. Serve immediately, garnished with tomato/cilantro mixture if desired.

Notes

For the slow cooker beans will cook better if they're soaked overnight. I love Epazote (affiliate link) in dried beans, but it's completely optional. You can use chicken stock if you prefer. Minced garlic from a jar is fine for this.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 341mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 10gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

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

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Use Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker for 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!

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
The Slow Cooker version of these black beans was first posted in 2006 and updated in 2012. The post was updated in September 2020 with slow cooker and Instant Pot instructions.

Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro Pinterest image

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    41 Comments on “Spicy 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.