I'm a sucker for restaurant-style black beans. On The Border's Spicy Mexican Black Beans are my guilty pleasure, and I've been wanting to make my own version for a while. These Mexican black beans are the perfect balance of soupy and thick, and they're a little spicy, but not overwhelming. They taste a little bit like Chipotle black beans, but with tomatoes for color and flavor.
Are these authentic Mexican black beans?
Typically authentic Mexican black beans are cooked in oil or some other fat, but I wanted to make my version a little healthier. I make these beans on the stove top with chicken broth, spices, fresh tomatoes, and that's it! The chicken broth adds moisture and flavor, and the tomatoes provide the perfect amount of acid to balance it all out.
Are they authentic? Probably not, and I don't claim that they are. But these beans are so fast that we regularly make them for breakfast before work (black beans and eggs are a match made in heaven), and they're a healthy add-on to any Southwest dinner. Sometimes improvising is best.
Here's what you need.
- Canned black beans. We use canned beans (we usually buy bulk Goya black beans from Costco) because they're easy, but if you want to use soaked dry beans, that's fine too.
- Chicken broth. If you're vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute vegetable broth.
- Grape tomatoes. I like to use cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe because they tend to have a better flavor than normal tomatoes, but any tomatoes will work.
- Spices: garlic powder, ground cayenne, cumin, and salt
Here's how you make restaurant-style black beans.
These Mexican black beans come together in 20 minutes on the stove top and require virtually no prep.
- Prep the beans, then combine them with the spices and chicken broth.
I rinse and drain my canned beans--it removes the extra salt and, in my opinion, gives the beans a better flavor. After they're rinsed I add them to a pan over medium-high heat with chicken broth, garlic powder, ground cayenne, salt, and cumin and stir to combine.
- Let them simmer, then add the tomatoes.
I cook the beans for about 10 minutes, allowing them to come to a boil. Then I turn the heat to medium, add a cup of diced tomatoes, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the beans have thickened to my desired consistency.
- Blend or mash half the beans (optional).
I like my beans thick and kind of smooth, so after they're done cooking I use an immersion blender or potato masher to mash half of my beans. You could also just use the backside of a fork. If you like soupier beans, feel free to leave them whole or add a bit more liquid (reducing the cooking time will also make them soupier).
- Garnish and serve!
We like to garnish the beans with a bit of feta cheese and cilantro, but that's totally optional. Serve them with meat or tacos (try our mahi-mahi tacos!) to make it a meal. We also like heating them up for breakfast with some runny eggs and salsa!
Try these beans with some of our other Latin American-inspired recipes:
- Blackened Mahi-Mahi Tacos with Peach Pico de Gallo and Cilantro Lime Sauce
- No Fuss Corn, Veggie, and Bean Salsa
- Skinny Orange Grapefruit Margarita (with Mocktail Option)
- The Easiest Party-Sized Guacamole
Mexican Black Beans: FAQs
Yes! They're not cooked in fat, so they're a lot healthier than typical authentic or restaurant-style black beans. They're also loaded with tomatoes, which provide a ton of important nutrients.
Sure. We love them both ways. To make them a little soupier, just add a little bit of additional broth, and skip the mashing step.
Yes, and we often do. These beans are also great with chopped up bell peppers, onions, or jalapeños.
Yep! Just use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.