Hearty, flavourful and nutritious, this healthy black bean recipe using black turtle beans makes for a delicious dinner or filling side. The black beans are infused with lots of flavour from chipotle powder and smoked paprika. So good!
This black bean recipe was originally posted in October 2015 and has been updated.
Recently, hubby had a work trip to Texas for a couple of days. I always love to ask if he had any memorable meals or dishes. I’m all about the food, lol!! Tell me. Tell me in detail!!
During his trip he said that black beans were a really common dish that was served and he loved ’em. Because both of us are big fans of beans, I knew I had to make some myself!
I’ve made baked beans before (homemade baked beans) and they are completely delicious, but these smoky baked black beans are different altogether.
This recipe is a tad simpler and has a different flavour profile than my other baked bean recipe – it has more of a spicy/smoky flavour from chipotle powder and smoked paprika, it’s not tomato based and uses a different type of bean.
What Goes in this Chipotle Black Bean Recipe?
- Black beans (specifically black turtle beans)
- Aromatics like onion, garlic and bay leaves
- Spices like oregano, chipotle powder, smoked paprika and chili powder
- Veggie broth
- BBQ sauce, tomato paste and molasses
- Salt & pepper
What are Black Turtle Beans?
Black turtle beans are small shiny beans popular in Latin America (and parts of the United States) and are often referred to simply as ‘black beans’. They’re dense and mealy, which is why they work great in hearty vegan and vegetarian dishes, like this vegan black bean recipe.
For this recipe, turtle beans were the bean of choice for me. According to Good Housekeeping, black beans are loaded with fibre and protein.
Find them in your grocery store where you would find dried chickpeas, lentils and the like.
Do I Have to Soak Them?
Yes, soak black beans overnight to use the next day in this black bean recipe. Soak anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. Store the beans in the fridge as they soak overnight.
Pick over beans (i.e. remove any foreign objects, like rocks, and any imperfect beans) and rinse with cold water in a colander.
To soak, simply placed dried black beans in a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. I like to have 2 to 3 inches of water above the beans because they will expand as they soak.
Don’t have that kinda time or forget to soak and you really want to make this recipe? No worries! Try this quick-soak method from The Kitchn.
How to Cook Black Beans Using Black Turtle Beans
Aside from soaking the black turtle beans, this healthy black bean recipe is super simple! You just need a little time and patience for them to cook (but the taste is so worth it)!
To cook black beans:
- Drain soaked beans and rinse again with fresh, cold water. Place soaked beans in a dutch oven or large oven safe pot
- To pot add remainder of ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Cover, place pot in oven and cook.
- Half way through cooking, carefully remove black beans from oven, add more water. Stir and make sure beans aren’t sticking. Cook remainder of time.
- When beans are finished cooking, stir in more water to loosen and add a little more BBQ sauce. Cooking time is about 5.5 to 6 hours.
- Adjust seasoning, if necessary, and remove bay leaves.
- Portion and enjoy! I love a little squeeze of lime over top!
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Can I Freeze Beans?
Yep! Hubby and I love to portion cooled leftovers into vacuum seal bags, seal, and throw in the freezer for when we are looking for a healthy, quick dinner. Don’t have a vacuum sealer? No worries! Use freezer safe bags or containers. Thaw when ready to enjoy!
More Recipe Tips
Don’t skip soaking the black turtle beans overnight! This cuts down on the cook time.
This black bean recipe is plant based and tastes scrumptious as it is. However, if you like, you can add a leftover ham bone into the pot. Once the beans are cooked and the bone is cooled slightly, pick any excess meat from the bone, shred, and add to beans. Don’t have a ham bone? Crispy bacon works as well. Prefer as they are? That’s cool too! You do you!
Depending on how ‘loose’ you want these beans add as little or as much water or stock after they’ve cooked.
Upon reheating, add a little broth or water to loosen.
Garnish with cilantro, a squeeze of lime, avocado or crumbled feta.
How to Enjoy
- Enjoy as is and garnish to taste!
- Serve over nachos
- Enjoy for breakfast with a poached egg on top
- Yummy as a BBQ side with your fave protein
- Delicious over grits or polenta
More Bean Recipes you may Enjoy
Like most bean recipes, this easy black bean recipe is pretty inexpensive to make. You just need some beans and a few other ingredients and it yields quite a large amount.
Though this recipe is quite humble and most definitely not fancy, it is pretty versatile; you can enjoy with just about any meal from breakfast to dinner.
Hope you love this healthy black bean recipe using dried turtle beans! They are a fabulous recipe for meal prep for easy weekday meals.
If you make this black bean recipe, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed! Thank you!
Smoky Baked Black Beans (healthy black bean recipe)
- 2 cups dried black turtle beans , soaked overnight
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tablespoon chipotle powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 7 tablespoons BBQ sauce , divided (⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 yellow onion , peeled and chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1.5 to 2 cups water (or more for a looser consistency)
- Pick over beans and discard any foreign bits or rocks. Rinse with fresh, cold water. Soak beans in a large bowl of fresh, cold water overnight (ensure beans are completely covered and water is at least two inches above the beans). You can store beans in fridge as they are soaking.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a slotted spoon, remove beans from water.
- Drain beans and rinse again with fresh, cold water. In a Dutch oven (about 4 quart), place beans. Add oregano, garlic, bay leaves, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, tomato paste, ⅓ cup of BBQ sauce, vegetable broth, molasses, onion and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and bake for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, carefully remove pot from oven and add 1.5 cups of water. Stir. Place back in oven. Cook for about 2.5 to 3 hours more.
- Carefully remove from oven and add another ½ cup or so of water (depending on desired consistency) and stir to combine.
- Stir in remaining tablespoons of BBQ sauce. Stir in salt and adjust to taste, if necessary. Remove and discard bay leaves. I love serving up and squeezing a fresh lime wedge over top. Enjoy!Note: Add a little more broth or water if you want a looser consistency.
- Don’t skip soaking the black turtle beans overnight! This cuts down on the cook time.
- This black bean recipe is plant based and tastes scrumptious as it is. However, if you like you can add a leftover ham bone into the pot. Once the beans are cooked and the bone is cooled slightly, pick any excess meat from the bone, shred, and add to beans. Don’t have a ham bone? Crispy bacon works as well. Prefer as they are? That’s cool too! You do you!
- Depending on how ‘loose’ you want these beans add as little or as much water or stock after they’ve cooked.
- Upon reheating, add a little stock or water to loosen.
- These baked beans are delicious served with cilantro, a squeeze of lime, avocado or crumbled feta.
- You can freeze these black beans! Portion cooled leftovers into vacuum seal bags, seal, and throw in the freezer for when we are looking for a healthy, quick dinner.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.