An overhead shot of two bowl of smoky baked black beans alongside some cilantro, lime, beans, bbq sauce and bay leaves.
5 from 17 votes

Smoky Baked Black Beans {healthy black bean recipe}

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! 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chipotle black beans, how to make black beans, Mexican black beans, turtle bean recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Soak Overnight 12 hours
Total Time 18 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 225kcal
Author Dawn - Girl Heart Food


  • 2 cups dried black turtle beans -soaked overnight
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic -minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup bbq sauce -plus 2 tbsp
  • 4 cups vegetable stock -I used 'unsalted'
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 onion -chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt -or to taste
  • 1.5-2 cups water


  • Pick over beans. 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). Store beans in fridge as they are soaking.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. 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, bbq sauce, stock, 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 2.5-3 hours more.
  • Carefully remove from oven and add another 1/2 cup or so of water (depending on desired consistency) and stir to combine.  Stir in 2 more 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!


  • 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.
Tried this recipe? That's awesome!Mention @dawn.girlheartfood or tag #girlheartfood

Nutrition (estimate only)

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 347mg | Potassium: 946mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1070IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3.4mg
Nutrition Facts
Smoky Baked Black Beans {healthy black bean recipe}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 347mg15%
Potassium 946mg27%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 1070IU21%
Vitamin C 2.7mg3%
Calcium 92mg9%
Iron 3.4mg19%
* Nutrition estimate only. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.