Slightly sweet and adaptably spicy, these Black Beans with Bacon are savory perfection! The recipe is downright bulletproof, too: fast, flexible, and so easy to make!
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Our daughter Em makes the best black beans ever! She’s been making them about once a week for the past few months, and we have been devouring them – for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
When I asked Em if she’d mind sharing her recipe, she carefully walked me through her process, meticulously noting the ingredient amounts as we went along. She did such a great job, that, when I made two subsequent test batches, I was easily able to replicate her flavors perfectly! (Which means you can too!)
Make this Black Beans Recipe Your Own!
One of the many things you will love about Em’s black beans recipe is its flexible ingredient list. You can use your favorite peppers, onions, and chili powder to make it your own!
Like your beans on the mild side? No problem! Follow the recipe as is. Like your black beans hot and spicy? You can do that – just throw in a hotter pepper or a little more of your favorite chili powder.
Flexible and Fast!
You will be surprised at how fast and easy Em’s black beans recipe comes together. Start to finish, they take just 30 minutes to make, but the flavors blend so well that they taste like they’ve been simmering all day!
Post Updated July 7, 2020 (Originally published May 18, 2016)
Em’s Sweet & Spicy Black Beans with Bacon
- 2 cups cooked black beans 2 cans, drained & rinsed
- 1 large chopped sweet pepper yellow, orange, red, green (pick your favorite)
- ½ large chopped onions red, yellow, sweet (pick your favorite)
- 2 strips thick cut bacon cut into ¼ batons
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon chili powder use your favorite
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- ⅔ cup chicken stock
- ⅔ cup water
- ¼ cup grated cotija or more
- Gather and prep ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine cumin, oregano, chili powder, chili flakes (optional), brown sugar, and salt. Set aside.
- Put bacon batons into cold skillet and turn heat on to medium.
- Bring up to heat and cook bacon until crispy.
- Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
- Put chopped onion into hot pan. Cook onion in bacon grease until translucent.
- Add peppers and cook 5 additional minutes.
- Add garlic and spices. Cook another minute.
- Add drained and rinsed beans to mixture.
- Add chicken stock and water. Liquid should just cover beans.Use a wooden spatula or spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
- Smash beans with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon.
- Reduce bring beans to a simmer, and reduce heat.Cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until spoon leaves a space when dragged through the beans.
- Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and reserve bacon.
- Season to taste.
- Serve topped with grated cotija and additional chopped cilantro.
Sweet & Spicy Black Beans go especially well with our Caribbean Chicken Stew!
Just a few different ways to enjoy Sweet & Spicy Black Beans:
- Breakfast: We like to heat leftover beans and serve spread on a tortilla, topped a little fresh tomato and fried egg.
- Soup: These beans make a surprisingly good black bean soup. Just thin leftovers down with a little stock or water, heat them up and top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.
- Dip: These beans thicken up very nicely, and can easily be served with chips or crudité. Makes a great, protein-rich afternoon snack!
- Potlucks: Someday, when Potlucks are a thing again, this will be a favorite takealong: these beans travel well, have a long “open-air” life, and taste great hot or cool.
Do you use a kitchen scale?
I never in a million years thought I would ever use a kitchen scale for anything beyond measuring the flour and water to feed my sourdough starter. By nature, I cook by feel, and even take some pride in being able to throw a bunch of random things in a pot, stir it, and create something wonderful that makes people happy.
However, my “measuring is mostly for bakers” attitude started to change when I began developing and testing recipes. In order for you to be able to replicate one of my recipes, you first need to know exactly what goes in it (and when, and how); and your pinches and handfuls are almost certainly different than mine. So I gave in and started using a kitchen scale. At first, I was just doing it when I was working up something new; but now I use my scale all the time.
Things I love about using a kitchen scale instead of measuring cups:
- Improved workflow
- Fewer dishes!!!!!
Do I still throw things in a pot and wave my magic spoon over it? Well, of course I do! But when I’m trying to replicate a new-to-me recipe, or developing something for you here in GHW, my kitchen scale is a necessary tool; and one I highly recommend for any kitchen.
NOTE: We are in the process of adding metric and/or weight measurements to all recipes on this website to make them accessible to all. July 2020
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