Cuban Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) are a favorite side dish in our kitchen! Rich, earthy black beans prepared Cuban style, with vegetable stock, bell pepper, onion, garlic, red wine vinegar and plenty of herbs.
Cuban Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)
This is the time of year when we all need good side dish recipe ideas. Parties are popping up, gatherings are being scheduled, cookouts planned.
The question that immediately comes to mind, usually accompanied by some form of mild panic, is - "What the heck should I bring?" Let this recipe be the answer to that age old question!
I've had some great frijoles negros in Cuban restaurants and this recipe is just as good. At least I think so! It isn't spicy, as my typical recipes, but it isn't meant to be.
The focus here is on flavor and I think you're going to love them. Though, of course, you are free to spice them up as much as you'd like. I know you want to, my crazy chilihead friends!
Cuban Black Beans Ingredients
- Black beans - I'm using dried black beans for this recipe.
- Water or stock - I am using a homemade vegetable stock for mine, but any stock will do, or water.
- Olive oil - For cooking and for finishing. Use a good quality olive oil.
- Vegetables - Use bell pepper, onion and garlic.
- Seasonings - Oregano, cumin, bay leaves, sugar for a touch of sweet.
- Vinegar - I use red wine vinegar, though other vinegars will work.
- Fresh herbs
How to Make Frijoles Negros - The Recipe Method
Soak the black beans. The first thing you'll need to do is soak the beans. Cover them in water and soak them overnight until the beans are tender. This will soften them up. Drain the water and add the beans to a large pot.
Simmer the black beans. Add 8 cups water or stock and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until the beans are nice and tender. I prefer using STOCK for this recipe, particularly vegetable stock. I like to save old vegetable shavings, herb stems, even Parmesan cheese rinds in the freezer for stock making.
Foods come out so much more flavorful this way, though if you're unable to obtain stock, water will be fine.
Cook the veggies. Next, cook down the onion, bell pepper and garlic, then scoop them into the bean pot. Stir in the seasonings, red wine and sugar, then cook another half hour to allow the flavors to develop.
Finish the black beans. When the beans are ready, garnish with a bit of fresh herbs, drizzled olive oil and serve. It travels really well, so bring it along to the party! I usually serve this as a side dish, you can easily serve this over rice as your main dish.
Boom! Done! Your Cuban black beans, aka Frijoles Negros, are ready to serve. I hope you enjoy them. They are great served over white rice.
Recipe Notes & Tips
- You can use canned black beans. If you'd like to make this recipe with canned black beans, skip the soaking process and simply add the canned beans after you have cooked down the onions, peppers and garlic along with the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes. Skip the water or stock and boiling, as the beans are already softened.
- Serve them deliciously! Serve your frijoles negros as a side dish along with other Cuban recipes. Top with chopped onion for a bit of crunch factor. You can serve it as more of a meal by adding in cooked proteins, like chicken or pork, and serve it over white rice.
Once the beans have cooled to room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container and keep them stored in the fridge. Properly stored, they'll stay fresh for about 2-3 days.
To reheat, feel free to microwave the beans in 30 second intervals until warmed all the way through.
If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you'll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don't forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I'll be sure to share! Thanks! -- Mike H.
Frijoles Negros - Cuban Black Beans Recipe
- 1 pound black beans
- 8 cups water or stock I used a homemade veggie stock
- 3 tablespoons olive oil + more for finishing
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 large white onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Fresh herbs for serving
- Prepare the dry beans first by completely covering them in water and soaking them overnight. Drain the water and add the beans to a large pot.
- Add 8 cups wateror stock and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until the beans are nice and tender.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook them down about 6-7 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic and stir. Cook another minute or so.
- Scoop the veggie mixture into the pot of beans.
- Stir in the oregano, cumin, bay leaves, red wine vinegar and sugar. Cook another 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
- Scoop out the bay leaves before serving.
- Drizzle with olive oil, if desired.
- Garnish with a bit of fresh herbs and serve as a side or over rice as your main dish.