This easy chipotle black bean recipe takes things up a notch with a little bit of smoky pepper. It is paired with tangy and moist cilantro lime rice for a perfect main dish or side dish. Serve alongside fresh avocado, with some chips and salsa, and you have a fiesta at home.
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Cooking Black Beans And Rice
One of the first recipes I learned to make was a Cuban-style authentic black bean recipe. I needed a recipe to bring to my high school Spanish class pot-luck.
My cousin’s wife, a Cuban-American, taught me the recipe when I was 16, which was a long time ago. Since then, I’ve made a version of the recipe (I’m sure I am butchering the original, authentic recipe) dozens and dozens of times.
We just love black beans and are always looking to try new black bean recipes. I’ve taken my basic black bean recipe that I’ve been making for years and modified it to embrace our love for smoky, chipotle pepper.
This post focuses on how to make chipotle beans from scratch in a pretty easy-to-make recipe.
Looking for a recipe for black beans in an electric pressure cooker? Check out our Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans And Rice recipe.
How To Season Black Beans
Black beans are some of my favorite beans to cook with. They are so versatile. It is easy to season black beans by cooking them in a bit of oil with salt and pepper. Then, you can further season them in a variety of ways depending on the ultimate flavor profile of the recipe.
The key to chipotle style black beans, though, is the chipotle pepper seasoning. You can get this flavor a few different ways.
What Is Chipotle Pepper
In the US, the word Chipotle is synonymous with the Mexican-inspired fast-food chain. It’s probably the reason why so many people are interested in learning how to make chipotle beans at home. But more than the restaurant chain, chipotle is a type of pepper.
Chipotle peppers start out as classic jalapeno peppers. The jalapenos are dried and smoked. This is what makes them chipotle peppers. It gives the peppers a more smoky and earthy flavor. They are just about the same spice level as jalapenos.
How To Cook With Chipotle Peppers
The easiest way to add chipotle flavor to your cooking is to purchase a dried chipotle powder, which is what we used in this black bean recipe. The seasoning is easy to use. The powder is also versatile and can be added to a variety of recipes.
There are other ways to add chipotle peppers too. The most commonly found chipotle peppers at a grocery store are chipotle in adobe sauce, sold jarred or canned. You can also find chipotle paste in a tube in more specialty shops.
If you are not big on spicy food but still are willing to try this recipe out start with a small amount of chipotle powder. You can always add more, but it’s hard to un-spice a dish.
Chipotle Black Bean Ingredients
This recipe for chipotle black beans uses some pretty common ingredients. The star, though, is the chipotle seasoning.
We season the black beans in olive oil with salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and a bay leaf. The chicken broth adds flavor and softens the beans a bit. The key, though, is the chipotle powder along with cumin.
I love cumin. I use it in Spanish, Italian, Mexican, and Asian recipes. It’s one of my most-used seasonings other than salt and pepper.
Last, I add the juice of a small lemon, which adds some much-needed acidity to the recipe. It also offsets the smokiness and spiciness of the chipotle peppers.
How To Make Chipotle Black Beans
Start by heating up the olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the onion and garlic, along with salt and pepper for seasoning. After rinsing the black beans in cold water add them to the pot. Then add the chicken broth, bay leaf, cumin, and chipotle pepper.
Just before the recipe is done add the lemon juice. Top with a bit of fresh cilantro for color and aroma.
I like serving the chipotle beans with a fresh cilantro lime rice. Because this is a meat-free dish, when I serve it as a main dish I like to top it with sour cream and avocado. I also like serving it with some chips and salsa or even mango salsa. It’s like having a little Mexican-influenced fiesta at home.
See our recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice.
Tips For This Chipotle Beans Recipe
This is a relatively straightforward recipe that is perfect for a midweek meal. Here are some tips to make the most of this black bean chipotle recipe.
Most of these ingredients are ones that I keep at home at all times. That’s one of the reasons why I like using chipotle pepper powder.
When adding seasonings like chipotle pepper, they can pack a punch. Always start with a little bit of seasoning. Wait a few minutes, taste the dish, and add more if you can handle the spice. It’s always easier to add more spice than to remove spice after the fact.
I like to add lemon juice, or any other acidic ingredient like tomatoes, towards the end of the cooking process. With recipes for beans, if you add the acidity at the beginning it can slow the cooking time and make the beans a little too mushy.
- 2 15 ounce cans of black beans
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or chipotle in adobo or chipotle paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of small lemon
- cilantro for garnish
- Rinse the black beans in cold water in a colander.
- Heat a Dutch Oven or stockpot on medium-high heat.
- Add the olive oil and allow it to warm. Don't allow it to get so hot it starts to smoke.
- Add the onion and garlic, along with salt and pepper for seasoning.
- Once the onion starts to yellow (about 5 minutes), add the drained black beans to the pot and stir.
- Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, cumin, and chipotle pepper and stir. Bring to a slight boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the beans are soft.
- Be sure to taste the beans to see if you want to add a little more chipotle pepper.
- Just before the recipe is done add the lemon juice and stir.
- Serve in a bowl over white rice or cilantro lime rice.
- Top with a bit of fresh cilantro for color and aroma.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 593mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 20gSugar: 10gProtein: 20g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Modifications And Variations
I like using chicken broth for the extra kick of flavor and the addition of a bit of fat. If you are vegetarian, just swap it out for vegetable broth.
If you don’t have a lemon at home, use about a half teaspoon of red wine or white wine vinegar to add the acidity.
To cool things down add a dollop of sour cream to the top.
FAQs – How To Make Chipotle Black Beans
Yes, they are. Thanks to minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium, black beans are great for maintaining healthy bones. Additionally, black beans are low in sodium. This plus high levels of potassium aids in a decrease in blood pressure. Black beans also help with diabetes, weight loss, and digestive health.
Black beans and kidney beans are nearly identical. They share the same nutritional value as well as provide nearly the same health benefits. The only real difference between the two is taste and the recipes they are used in. Kidneys beans are also bigger than black beans.
Black beans are popular in Central and South American cuisines. They are mostly associated with Cuban Black Beans and Rice, enchiladas, and Brasilian feijoada. Their versatility allows them to be used in other cuisines including the Mediterranean.