For a long time, Trader Joe’s was really lacking in the dried legume department. But lucky for me…about a year ago, they introduced dried black beans, and life has never been the same.
If you find cooking beans from scratch intimidating, you are not alone! Before I started making them from scratch, I imagined an all day process that was very labor intensive. But if you have gone through the process before, then you’ll know just how easy it can be. Beans are a very forgiving food to cook, they just need a little bit of (mostly) hands-off time. Having this classic recipe in your back pocket, I guarantee you’ll start stocking up on this staple.
The process really starts the night before. First, empty your 1lb bag of black beans into a large pot and sort through it for any rocks or random beans that might have made their way into the bag (totally common to find stuff like this in raw beans. If you find one, just discard it). Then cover with water, about 2 inches above the bean line, and let sit out overnight. You can cover if you like.
Next, you’ll dump out the water (in a strainer? using your hands to strain it? You pick) and refill the pot with fresh water, about two inches above the bean line. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. You’ll add the rest of the ingredients (diced onion, garlic, bay leaves and salt), and continue to boil and add additional water until fully cooked, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
You will want to occasionally try the beans, and add additional salt as needed, just keep in mind that the flavor intensifies as the water evaporates, so over-salting can be a thing. If that happens, you can always add additional water. Make sure to cook until it is soft.
I love to top my side of beans with the new TEENY TINY AVOCADOS. Great flavor combination! This recipe makes about 6 cups of cooked beans (breaking down to 12, half cup servings).
Classic Black Beans
- 1 lb Bag Black Beans
- Lots of water
- 1/2 Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 tsp Salt (+ more to taste)
- Empty black beans into a large pot, look through beans to make sure there isn’t anything funky in there (sometimes rocks or other beans make their way into your bag) and cover with water (about 2 inches above the bean line). Let sit overnight.
- When ready to cook beans, drain soaking water and refill with fresh water, about 2 inches above bean line. Turn heat to high and add onion, garlic, bay leaves and salt.
- Let boil until beans are soft and cooked through (usually close to an hour), stirring occasionally and adding additional water as it evaporates.
Do you have any secrets to the perfect pot of beans? Concerns? Let us know in the comments!