These kid-friendly slow cooker black beans are perfectly tender, full of flavor, and so easy to make. With a few simple ingredients and a slow cooker, you’ll have the perfect vegan protein to use in meals all week long.
When my daughter was 9 months old I began feeding her black beans right out of the can, no heating required. She loved them and ate them so frequently, my husband and I joked she was grown by beans. When she was two years old she stopped eating them.
One day I made dried beans from scratch and instead of mushy and bland canned beans, they were full of flavor and perfectly tender. And best of all, my daughter loved them. Now I cook a batch in the slow cooker every Sunday and use them in recipes throughout the week.
The best part is she can make this recipe herself (almost). Because she is only 3-years-old, I measure and set the ingredients out for her. She gets to dump everything into the slow cooker. The rest of the day she asks about them, wants to test them to see if they are ready, and tells everyone that she made the beans. It makes my heart happy to see how proud she is of herself. For more benefits of cooking with kids, click here.
These Slow Cooker Black Beans are Perfect For Picky Eaters
Kids and picky eaters love these beans because they are:
- Flavorful but not spicy
- Free of onion pieces: this recipe uses an onion for flavor, but takes it out before serving
- Tender but not mushy, bye canned beans
COOKING WITH KIDS
Kids are more willing to try new foods or previously disliked ones if they help prepare them, so bring your child into the kitchen and make this together. Here are some cooking tasks kids can do:
- Rinse the black beans
- Pick out any pebbles
- Measure the ingredients
- Pour everything into the slow cooker
- Be the official taste tester. Kids love giving their opinion! Check the beans together and ask them if they are ready or need more seasoning.
SLOW COOKER BLACK BEANS SERVING SUGGESTIONS
Serve black beans on their own or use them in:
- Tacos or burritos
- Bean quesadillas
- Burrito or grain bowls
- Mashed avocado and black bean toast
DO I HAVE TO SOAK THE BEANS AHEAD OF TIME?
No, it’s not necessary.
However, soaking them the night before may help you digest them and absorb more of certain nutrients, like iron. Certain compounds in beans, including phytic acid and tannins, may interfere with our body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. On the flip side, these compounds have been found to do good things for our body too, like act as antioxidants and fight cancer. So, if you have the time and the inclination, go ahead and soak them.
If not, no worries. The beans will take about an hour longer to cook if they haven’t been presoaked.
How To Soak Black Beans
- Pick through them and discard any pebbles. Rinse the beans and pour them into a bowl, cover them with 3 inches of water, and let them sit on your counter overnight (at least 8 hours).
- Discard the water and rinse the beans.
SLOW COOKER BLACK BEAN INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1: Prepare ingredients
Pick through the beans and discard any pebbles (or skip this step and take your chances). Soak the beans overnight and rinse them before use (or not, up to you). Gather and measure the ingredients.
Step 2: Pour everything into the slow cooker
For the slow cooker we use, click here.
Step 3: Set your slow cooker and cook until tender
- For presoaked beans: Cook on high for 3-4 hours, checking the beans at 3 hours for tenderness. Or cook on low for 6-7 hours, checking the beans at 6 hours for tenderness.
- For unsoaked beans: Cook on high for 4-5 hours, checking the beans at 4 hours for tenderness. Or cook on low for 7-8 hours, checking the beans at 7 hours for tenderness.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Remove the onion and bay leaves before serving. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one week. These are also great frozen for up to three months.
- I like this slow cooker but you can also get a 9-in-1 slow cooker that works as an Electric Pressure Cooker, Sterilizer, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer if you need those extras and want to save counter space.
The Perfect Slow Cooker Black Beans
- 1 lb bag or 2 cups dried black beans
- 1½ cups mild salsa
- 1 medium onion peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups water
- 2 tsp salt
- Pick over the beans and discard any pebbles. Place beans in a bowl and cover with 3 inches of water. Soak overnight for at least 8 hours.
- Drain water and rinse beans. Pour beans and the remaining ingredients into a slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours, checking the beans at 3 hours for tenderness. Or cook on low for 6-7 hours, checking the beans at 6 hours for tenderness. Remove the onion and bay leaves before serving.
- Serve immediately or save for later. These can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to three months.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours, checking the beans at 4 hours for tenderness.
- Or cook on low for 7-8 hours, checking the beans at 7 hours for tenderness.
More Cooking With Kids Recipe
- 5-minute Vegan Chickpea Curry Pantry Meal
- Black Bean Taco Cups: Mini Size
- Maple Roasted Rainbow Carrots
Did you make this recipe? Please rate this recipe and leave a comment. I’d love to know how it turned out for you!