How to Cook Black Beans from the Bag

How do you cook black beans? I’m always trying to eat healthy on a budget. Black beans are a nutritious food, found on my list of the best healthy foods to eat on a budget.

organic black beans can

So when I realized I could buy a pound of beans in a bag for $1.00 I thought I’d hit the budget jackpot!

I always thought beans came from a can (thanks Mom), but Mr. Wonderful made his own delicious black beans using dried beans from a bag.

It sounded easy. All I had to do to cook black beans was to soak the beans overnight, and then boil them in water the next morning for a large pot of nutritious beans that would last for several meals.

A one pound bag of dried beans makes 13 servings of ½ cup each.
Each serving has:
• 9g of fiber
• 7 g of protein
• 15% RDA of iron
• 6% RDA of calcium.

All for about 10 cents a serving.

How could I ruin this? Unfortunately, no one told me there were rocks in the beans.

I could hear the Colonel from American Idol singing, “Rocks in the beans, rocks in the beans, looking like a fool with rocks in your beans”.

I really did try to follow the directions on the dried bean bag. The directions said to “sort and wash the beans in a colander under cold running water. “

It’s only when you read the fine print on the other side of the bean bag that you see “As with any natural product, there is the possibility of some foreign material being present. Customers need to thoroughly sort any foreign material that may be present."

Foreign material? Why don’t they just say “rocks”.

My first pot of beans had some crunchy texture to it. So much for saving money on healthy food.

Once my husband explained to me that I had to look for the foreign material, I decided to approach it more like a treasure hunt. On my first outing, look what I found! A veritable quarry of obstacles to cheap healthy eating. I put couple of uncooked beans next to the rocks for comparison.

black bean rocks

Now that I know about those rocks, here’s

How to Cook Black Beans


1. Place beans into a colander. Remove all the rocks and non-bean debris from the beans. Rinse the beans in the colander.
2. Put beans into heavy sauce pan, and cover with water until water is 1 inch over the top of the beans.
3. Soak beans overnight.
4. Remove beans from pot and rinse in colander. Important: Pour out old bean water.
5. Put beans back in pot and cover with fresh water, until water is 2 inches over the top of the beans.
6. Cover and simmer water and beans for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until beans are tender. Stir occasionally and add water as needed.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste, about 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.
8. Serve and enjoy.

We use our beans in black bean salad, in shrimp, corn, and black bean salad or as part of a fast burrito with chicken, beans, and salsa wrapped in a corn tortilla.

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