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What Exactly Are Mexican Black Beans?

What Exactly Are Mexican Black Beans?

Mexican Black beans (also known as frijoles negros in Spanish) are a staple in traditional Mexican cuisine and are used in various dishes such as tlacoyos and Oaxacan tetelas.

  • This type of bean is known as espelón in Mayan regions, derived from the Yucatec Maya language x’pelon. They are known as mun among the Rarámuri people in the northern area.
  • Black beans are traditionally cooked in the southern regions of Mexico in a clay pot known as an olla de Barro, along with local herbs such as epazote, hoja santa, or hoja de aguacate (avocado leaves).
  • As a vegetarian, beans are a significant portion of my diet. They are quite adaptable and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Black beans have always been one of my favorite foods, therefore today I will demonstrate a simple approach to season canned black beans. You will never want to eat plain beans again after trying these Mexican Black Beans.
  • I’m constantly telling myself that I should begin cooking my own beans, but canned beans are so convenient and easy to keep. However, canned beans typically lack flavor, but flavoring can be readily added!

Ingredients for Mexican Black Bean Recipe

The majority of the ingredients for this Mexican Black Bean recipe are likely already in your kitchen pantry.

  • Black Beans This recipe calls for black beans from a can. I prefer to purchase organic beans that are either low in sodium or salt-free. We use bean liquid in this recipe, so I prefer the version with less sodium. You should make sure to taste the dish before adding excessive salt because the liquid will also add salt.
  • Onion & Garlic I do use garlic and onion granules in this recipe, but I also prefer to use fresh stuff! Fresh garlic and onion impart a substantial amount of flavour to these black beans. I’m a big fan of onions, so I used a substantial amount, but you can reduce the amount of onion and garlic if you prefer.
  • The species consists of –  I like to add cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, granulated garlic, and onion, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. If you cannot locate smoked paprika, simply omit it or add a pinch of chipotle powder for a smoky flavour. Feel free to reduce or increase the quantities listed in the recipe.

How To Make Simple Black Beans in a Mexican Style

This recipe has only a few steps and is extremely simple to prepare.

  • Begin by heating a large saucepan or pot over medium heat and sautéing the onions in a small amount of olive oil. You desire for them to be tenderized and even slightly browned. Then, add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Next, incorporate the black beans. Because I don’t like my beans to be too soupy, I usually drain off about a tablespoon of liquid from each can of beans. Add all of the spices and mix thoroughly.
  • Allow the beans to simmer with the onions, spices, and bean liquid until the flavours have fully developed. I prefer to cook everything for five to ten minutes. Using a potato masher or a large wooden spoon, I then mash a portion of the beans. You shouldn’t mash all of them unless you’re making refried beans, but it does give the sauce a creamy texture.
  • Once all the spices have been added, season to taste with salt and pepper!

Mexican Black Beans: How to Serve Them

  • You can eat these beans with tortilla chips or incorporate them into a simple saucepan of white or brown rice because they are so tasty.
  • Make burrito bowls with this bean and sofritas mixture in the style of Chipotle and eat them all week long.
  • Fill corn tortillas with them and serve them with guacamole or cilantro crema for taco night.
  • Add my vegan queso to them and make bean and cheese burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas.
  • Use them as a source of plant-based protein atop a platter of nachos.
  • Add to your breakfast of champions with a side of tofu scramble.
  • Flip them into a dip by pureeing them in a blender or food processor. Use tortilla chips as a side.

FAQ: Mexican Black Beans


Yes. To make these black beans into refried beans, mash them directly in the skillet with a potato masher to a coarse, pureed consistency. If the beans become too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time.


Certainly. All of the spices in this recipe would go well with pinto beans. You can substitute one for the other.

How long can I keep these in the fridge?

Keep in the fridge for 4-5 days in an airtight container.

Will they freeze?

Yes, put them in a container that won’t leak air and can go in the freezer for about 3 months. Before using, thaw in the fridge or on the counter.

Can I make this dish with a different kind of bean?

It calls for black beans, but you could use pinto beans instead if you wanted to. I wouldn’t suggest using any other type of bean.

Do you need all of the spices?

All of them help give these Mexican Black Beans their delicious flavour, but you can leave some out if you don’t like them or don’t have them.

What do people in Mexico call black beans?

In Mexico, black beans are called frijoles negros.

Can dried black beans be used instead of canned?

Yes, but the beans will need to be soaked first. Read the notes on the recipe card below for more information on how to make the dish.

How long can these beans be stored?

Keep them in the fridge for 5 days in a container that won’t let air in. Reheat them in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave until they are hot again. If they have thickened, add a splash of water or vegetable broth as needed.

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