With a ridiculously easy method and a short ingredient list, you can transform dried black beans into a few meals worth of tender, flavorful vegetarian protein with this Slow Cooker Black Beans recipe. Plus: They freeze beautifully!


Slow Cooker Black beans

This is hands down one of my favorite easy ways to prep for multiple dinners at once. You literally just put the beans and spices into the slow cooker, cover the beans with water, and let the slow cooker work it’s magic. You can serve some of the beans for dinner on the day you make them, then portion the rest out into meal-size containers and freeze for future weeks. We use these Slow Cooker Black Beans for our weekly Taco Tuesday and they never disappoint!

dry-black-beans in bowlHow to Make Slow Cooker Black Beans Step-by-Step

Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making this recipe so you know what to expect.

  1. Add all ingredients into a bowl of a slow cooker.
  2. Cover with a water.
  3. Place the cover on securely and cook on LOW until tender.
  4. Drain using a slotted spoon or pour into a colander. Serve warm, adjusting the salt if needed.

TIP: Scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of the post for the full information!

Vegetarian Black Beans

There’s no meat or pork in these bean so they are a great option for vegetarians or anyone looking for a budget-friendly protein option to add to family meals. At our local store, a can of black beans costs $.79 cents and has 3-4 servings. A 1 pound bag of black beans costs less than $2 and has 10-12 servings. Such a giant savings! (And honestly, I like that I don’t have to remember to buy them as often.)

black-beans-in-slow-cookerDo I need to soak the dried beans first?

Since these Slow Cooker Black Beans are cooked low and slow for 7-8 hours, you don’t need to presoak them. All you need to do is to remember to add them to the slow cooker and then drain them once they’re done.

How long can I store these beans?

This recipe makes enough for 3-4 meals depending on the size and appetites of your family. I make one batch about every 4-6 weeks and freeze the beans in meal-size portions until we’re ready to enjoy them. The beans will last about 5 days in the fridge or 4-6 months in the freezer. It’s such a budget-friendly way to make a large amount of vegetarian protein that you can use in all sorts of dishes come meal times.

Can I make this in an Instant Pot?

Sure! The instructions are below and are super easy. They deliver perfectly tender beans every time.

Crockpot Black Beans for the Freezer

I most often do this method with 2 pounds of dried beans because the beans freeze so well and then I get to make them less frequently. It’s also a nice amount for most conventional slow cooker sizes. I do realize that your family may not love beans as much as mine (they’re one of my oldest daughter’s favorite foods, go figure!), so you can cut the whole thing in half if needed.


What can I use these black beans in?

We love to use black beans in the following recipes:

Tips for Making the Best Black Beans

  • Let them cook until tender, but turn off the LOW heat at 8 hours. It’s okay if they sit on WARM for a while though.
  • Add and adjust the seasoning as needed to suit the taste preferences of your family.
  • Let them cool pretty full before you pack the leftover up into storage containers to put into the fridge or freezer.
  • Serve them with favorite dishes like rice and beans, in Sheet Pan QuesadillasSlow Cooker Black Bean Soup, or alongside Coconut Rice.

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe if you try it, so please comment below. Comments help more people find my recipes, so I really appreciate them!


Slow Cooker Black Beans (with Instant Pot Option)

This recipe makes enough for 4-5 meals depending on the size and appetites of your family. I make one batch about every 4-6 weeks and freeze the beans in meal-size portions until we’re ready to enjoy them. You can also use just 1 pound of beans if desired and cook them as directed—just cut the seasoning in half as well.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 5 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Sides
Calories 175kcal
Servings 18 -20 servings


  • 2 pounds dried black beans
  • 2-6 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon dried cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Add all ingredients into a bowl of a 4-5 quart slow cooker. Cover with about 4 inches of water. Place the cover on securely and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. It’s okay if the beans sit on WARM for an hour or two.
  • Drain using a slotted spoon or pour into a colander. Serve warm, adjusting the salt if needed.



  • Instant Pot: Add beans and 10 cups of water to an Instant Pot. Stir in seasonings. Cook on high for 45 minutes and let the pressure naturally release.
  • To store: Let the beans cool and portion into airtight containers, freezer containers, or freezer storage bags. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw from frozen overnight in the fridge or at room temperature. I recommend freezing in portions that work for one meal for your family. I usually freeze 2 cup portions.
  • To make 1 pound of beans: Cook as directed, cutting the seasonings in half.


Calories: 175kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 140mg, Potassium: 763mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 145IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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  1. For the instant pot option, if I’m going to cut the recipe in half and just use 1 pound of beans, then do I use half the amount of water as well? So 5 cups?

  2. 5 stars
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this content. I will definitely return.