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bowl of black beans with cilantro

Simple Pot of Black Beans

This is a supremely simple method for turning dried black beans into creamy cooked ones. You can add the step of soaking in advance if you prefer, as it will speed up the process. Know that cooking time can vary considerably, so keep an eye on the pot as they approach doneness.

Course Dinner, Side Dish, Appetizer
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 cups (12 half cup servings)
Calories 114 kcal
Author Katie Morford


  • 1 pound dried black beans, about 2 cups
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Pour the beans into a colander. Run your hands through them, looking for any tiny stones or other debris to throw out. Rinse the beans under water and let drain.
  2. Peel the garlic and onion. Put the garlic, onion, beans, and water into a medium saucepan. Put the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water reaches a full boil, reduce the heat just a touch so that it continues to boil, just not super vigorously. Boil the beans, checking them occasionally to make sure there is plenty of water in the pot. If it looks like there isn’t much water in the pot, add another cup or so of very hot tap water, and turn the heat up so it boils again.
  3. After 30 minutes, add the salt, stir, and taste a couple of beans. You want them just tender, but not mushy. The length of cooking time can vary significantly, from 30 minutes to 1 hour or longer. Check the beans from time to time until they are done. Remove the pot from heat. Leave the beans in their cooking liquid, scooping them up with a slotted spoon as needed.
  4. Store the beans in a covered container in the fridge, where they will keep for up to 5 days.