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 and 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. Black beans not only does good, they’re 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 and discard any foreign objects, like rocks, and any imperfect beans) and rinse beans 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.
How to Cook Black Beans Using Black Turtle Beans
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- Drain (picked over) and soaked beans and rinse again with fresh, cold water. Place beans in a saucepan with water and cook for a little until tender. Drain. Add to a Dutch oven or large oven-safe pot.
- To pot, add remainder of ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Cover, place pot in the oven and cook.
- Halfway through cooking, carefully remove black beans from oven, add 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!
Hungry for more? Subscribe to the Girl Heart Food Newsletter!
Can I Freeze Beans?
After the beans have cooled, portion as desired (I like to portion smaller quantities so I can just take out what’s needed at any given time; plus, it thaws quickly) and place into vacuum sealer bags (follow the instructions for your vacuum sealer to seal). Once sealed, spread the bags out flat. Place onto a sheet pan and into your freezer. Once frozen, you can remove the sheet pan and stack the frozen packages of beans neatly in your freezer.
Alternatively, use your favourite sealable freezer-safe bags or freezer-safe containers (leaving some headspace at the top of the container for the liquid to expand as it freezes).
Freeze the beans for up to six months. Don’t forget to label the bag or container with the recipe name and date it was made, so you’ll know for later.
When ready to enjoy, thaw the black beans overnight in the refrigerator.
To reheat, place beans in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If you want to loosen or thin them out, add a splash of broth or water.
More Recipe Tips
Don’t skip soaking the black turtle beans overnight! This cuts down on the cook time.
This black bean recipe tastes scrumptious as it is. However, if you like, you can add a leftover ham bone into the pot once you start to bake them. 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’ or thin you want these beans add as little or as much water or broth after they’ve cooked.
Yummy garnish ideas (totally optional) are 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 Easy Bean Recipes
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!
If you make this black bean recipe, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed!
Smoky Baked Black Beans (healthy black bean recipe)
- 2 cups dried black turtle beans
- water (you'll need water for rinsing, soaking and cooking the beans)
- 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 low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 yellow onion , peeled and chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Pick over beans and discard any foreign bits, rocks and imperfect beans. Rinse beans with fresh, cold water and drain. Place beans in a large bowl and generously cover with fresh, cold water so they're submerged (and at least two inches or so of water over top). Soak overnight, for about 12 hours.
- The next day, drain beans and rinse again with fresh, cold water.
- Place beans in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 35 to 45 minutes or until beans are tender, but not mushy (they'll finish cooking in the oven). Drain.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, place beans in a Dutch oven (about 4 or 5 quart). 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 the pot from the oven and add 1.5 cups of water. Stir. Place back in oven. Cook for about 2.5 to 3 hours more.Note: time may vary, depending on how fresh your beans are and how you like them done. Continue cooking and adding water until you've reached your desired doneness and consistency.
- Carefully remove from the 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!
- Depending on how ‘loose’ or thin you want these beans add as little or as much water or broth after they’ve cooked.
- Yummy garnish ideas (totally optional) are cilantro, a squeeze of lime, avocado or crumbled feta.
Nutrition (ESTIMATE ONLY)
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 serving.
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.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.