Get ready for Cinco de Mayo with a pot of homemade Stovetop Cuban Style Black Beans, a meatless recipe for tacos, burritos, and more.

spoonful of Cuban Style Black Beans

More and more, Paul and I are trying to cook meatless recipes. Cuban style Black Beans have become our go-to recipe. They require very little attention while cooking, and the end result is a warm pot of tender, savory, satiating beans.

Stovetop Cuban Style Black Beans

These black beans can be eaten a la carte with cilantro, tomatoes, white onion, cotija or pepper jack cheese, fresh lime, and tortilla chips, or paired with warm rice, and avocado. We also love them served on this Crunchy Black Bean Mozzarella Tacos recipe! Also, for a spin on “Italian beans,” try our popular Cheesy Italian Baked Cannelini Beans.

black beans

Ingredients to make Cuban Style Black Beans

Let’s get started. All you need are these simple ingredients:

  • Black beans–about 2 heaping cups dry black beans
  • Olive oil
  • White onion
  • Green bell pepper
  • Jalapeños
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper + white pepper
  • Cumin + dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • Sugar
  • Large lime
  • Rice wine vinegar

Cuban Black Beans with lime

How to make Stovetop Cuban Style Black Beans

  1. Add the beans to water and soak overnight.
  2. Drizzle oil in a large saucepan and add the white onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic, black pepper, white pepper, cumin, oregano, and a pinch of salt to season. Sauté until softened, and remove half of the mixture, and set aside in a bowl to add back later.
  3. Pour in the soaked beans and cover with water, sugar, and 2 Tbsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.
  4. After 45 minutes, add the lime and sautéed sofrito mixture. Taste for salt and additional seasonings and continue cooking until the beans are tender.
  5. Before serving, add in the rice vinegar, remove the lime halves, and use the back of a spoon to crush some of the beans against the wall of the pot to thicken the sauce.

Cuban Style Black Beans topped with cilantro

How to serve Cuban Style Black Beans

Serve the beans warm, plain, or garnish with fresh tomato, white onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese.

These homemade black beans can be served in enchiladas, tacos, burritos, taco bowls, or as a side dish. Get creative with a wrap, breakfast tostadas, or a make your own taco bar (board).

Cuban Style Black Beans in gold bowl

Tips and substitutions:

  • Inspired by flavorful Cuban black beans, this recipe does not use all of the traditional ingredients or the traditional preparation of the ingredients.
  • After the beans simmer a bit, there will be some foam that collects at the top. Carefully skim it off with a spoon and discard.
  • This is a vegetarian recipe and doesn’t use animal fat or chicken stock for flavor (ingredients that are often found in traditional recipes). But you can substitute ingredients for a richer, meatier flavor—like substituting in 1 Tbsp of bacon fat or using chicken stock instead of water—obviously the beans will no longer be vegetarian if you do this, but the flavor will be extra savory.
  • The cook time will vary significantly depending on how old your beans are and how long they’ve been soaked. The older they are and the less time they’ve soaked, the longer they will take to cook. It is unlikely, but if by 90 minutes the beans aren’t tender, just continue adding water as needed and cook until they are tender.
  • Near the end of cooking, taste for salt—just be careful to not over-salt in the early stages of cooking, because the beans could get too salty as the liquid absorbs and evaporates.

Cuban Black Beans

Enjoy for Cinco de Mayo or any Mexican feast!

More black bean recipes to try:

Black Bean Tostadas with Roasted Salsa

Make at home Black Bean Hummus

12 Vegetarian Black Bean recipes

Instant Pot Black Beans

Cuban Style Black Beans in gold bowl

Cuban Black Beans with lime
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Stovetop Cuban Style Black Beans

makes 7-8 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 lb black beans, soaked overnight and drained (about 2 heaping cups dry black beans)
  • ¼ c olive oil, or other oil, divided
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ large lime
  • 1 ½ Tbsp rice wine vinegar

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the beans and enough water to cover them by 2 inches or so. Let sit at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  • In a large saucepan or pot, add the oil and bring heat to medium-high. Add the white onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic, black pepper, white pepper, cumin, oregano, and a pinch of salt to season. Sauté until softened, 6 minutes, then remove half of the mixture and set aside in a bowl to add back later.
  • Add the soaked beans and cover with 4-5 cups of water, sugar, and 2 Tbsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 45 minutes, add the lime and sautéed sofrito mixture from earlier.
  • Taste for salt and additional seasonings and continue cooking 30-45 minutes more, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until the beans are tender. Before serving, add in the rice vinegar, remove the lime halves, and use the back of a spoon to crush some of the beans against the wall of the pot to thicken the sauce.
  • Serve warm and plain, or garnish with fresh tomato, white onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese.
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Cuban Style Black Beans garnished with lime

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