Black beans, with their rich, earthy flavor and velvety texture, have long been a staple in various cuisines around the world. Their nutritional profile, combined with their culinary versatility, makes them a favorite among both health enthusiasts and gourmet cooks.
The possibilities are vast and varied, whether you’re starting with a can or a bag of dried beans. This article delves into the myriad of dishes you can create with black beans, from traditional favorites to innovative modern delights.
What Can You Make With Black Beans?
Black beans are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes across different cuisines. Here are some ideas for what you can make with black beans:
1. Black Bean Soup
This comforting soup starts by sautéing onions, garlic, and bell peppers until they’re soft. Add soaked and drained black beans, vegetable or chicken broth, and seasonings like cumin, coriander, and bay leaves.
Let it simmer until the beans are tender. You can blend a portion of the soup for a creamier texture and then mix it back in. Garnish with sour cream, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
2. Black Bean Salad
A no-cook salad that’s perfect for summer. Combine drained black beans, fresh corn kernels, diced tomatoes, chopped red onion, and avocado cubes in a large bowl.
Dress the mixture with a blend of lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro. Chill before serving. This salad is both refreshing and filling.
3. Black Bean Tacos or Burritos
Warm up tortillas and fill them with black beans that have been seasoned with garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Add cooked rice, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese, and a dollop of salsa or guacamole. Roll up for burritos or fold for tacos.
4. Black Bean and Rice
A staple in many cultures, this dish combines the earthiness of black beans with the neutrality of rice. Sauté onions and bell peppers, add drained black beans, seasonings, and cooked rice. Mix well and serve with a side of fried plantains or a fresh salad.
5. Black Bean Burgers
Mash drained black beans in a bowl, leaving some chunks for texture. Add breadcrumbs, a beaten egg, chopped onions, garlic, and seasonings like smoked paprika and cumin.
Form the mixture into burger patties and fry or grill them. Serve on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, and a spicy mayo sauce.
6. Black Bean Dip
In a food processor, blend black beans until smooth. Add minced garlic, lime juice, a touch of olive oil, and spices like cumin and chili powder. Process until creamy. Serve with tortilla chips, carrot sticks, or celery for dipping.
7. Black Bean Enchiladas
Soften tortillas in a bit of hot oil, then fill each with a mixture of black beans, cheese, and sautéed onions. Roll & place seam-side down in a baking dish. Pour over your favorite enchilada sauce, sprinkle with more cheese, and bake until bubbly. Garnish with fresh cilantro and then serve with sour cream.
8. Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
This protein-packed salad combines cooked quinoa, black beans, diced bell peppers, chopped red onion, & a dressing made from olive oil, lime juice, and seasonings. Toss everything together and chill for an hour before serving.
8. Black Bean Chili
In a pot, brown ground beef or turkey (optional), then add onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Stir in black beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and a bit of cocoa powder for depth. Let it simmer until flavors meld. Serve with cornbread & top with shredded cheese.
9. Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
Halve and deseed bell peppers. Prepare a filling of cooked rice, black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and seasonings. Stuff each pepper half with the mixture, place in a baking dish with a bit of tomato sauce or broth, and bake until peppers are tender. Top with cheese in the last few minutes of baking.
10. Black Bean and Corn Salsa
A versatile salsa that can be a side dish, topping, or dip. Mix black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, red onion, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and seasonings together. Let it sit for a bit to allow flavors to combine.
11. Black Bean Pasta
Cook your favorite pasta and set aside. In a skillet, sauté garlic and onions, add black beans diced tomatoes, and season with chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Toss the pasta in this sauce and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Black beans are not only nutritious but also offer a rich, earthy flavor that can enhance a variety of dishes. Whether you’re looking for a main course, side dish, or snack, black beans can be the star ingredient or a complementary addition.
What Can You Use Black Beans For?
Black beans are incredibly versatile in culinary applications. They can be used in soups like black bean soup or blended into dips and spreads. They’re a staple in Latin American dishes, featuring burritos, tacos, and enchiladas.
Black beans can be added to salads, paired with rice, or used in casseroles. They’re also an unconventional but tasty ingredient in desserts like black bean brownies. Additionally, they can be mashed for burgers or mixed into pasta dishes, offering a protein-rich component to meals.
What Are Black Beans Good To Eat With?
Black beans are versatile and pair well with various foods. They complement rice in classic dishes like “black beans and rice.” They’re great in salads, soups, and stews or as fillings for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.
Black beans blend seamlessly with corn, tomatoes, avocados, and peppers. They can be spiced with cumin, garlic, and chili for added flavor. Additionally, they’re a protein-packed addition to pasta dishes and grain bowls. Their earthy taste enhances many culinary creations.
The humble black bean is a testament to the idea that simple ingredients can be the foundation for a plethora of delicious dishes. From hearty soups and spicy chilis to refreshing salads and even brownies, black beans prove their adaptability time and again.
By exploring the recipes and suggestions in this article, you’ll be equipped to harness the full potential of black beans in your culinary endeavors.
Whether you’re aiming for a protein-packed meal or a comforting classic, black beans offer a world of flavors waiting to be explored.
Also read: What Can You Make With Chicken Tenders?