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Black Beans and Salsa

Black Beans and Salsa

  • Author: Joan Feldman


Cook a big batch of these delicious, soupy black beans and freeze ahead for easy meals all month long. Serve over rice, pasta or include in your favorite Mexican dishes.



2 c. Dried black beans

2 T. Oregano, divided

2 Bay Leaves

2 T. Dried sage, divided

2 t. Cumin, divided

1 medium onion, diced

12 T. Olive oil

1 Jar Medium Salsa

1 t. Sugar (optional)

Salt (Kosher) and Pepper


  1. Prepare the beans. (Plan ahead to soak the beans overnight.) In a large bowl cover the beans with cold water to cover by at least an inch (they will expand). Allow to soak overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and add more water a few times — some believe this helps reduce the gas-producing nature of beans.
  2. Once the beans have soaked, drain and rinse. Add them to a large pot or dutch oven. Cover with cold water, at least two inches above the bean line. Add 1 tablespoon each of the oregano and sage and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 20-25 minutes. (You don’t want the beans to cook all the way through.)
  3. Prepare the salsa. In a separate non-stick pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5-8 minutes until translucent. Add the remaining oregano and sage and the two teaspoons of cumin. Stir quickly to toast the spices but don’t allow them to burn. Add the salsa, and salt and pepper (1 teaspoon each) to taste. Stir and simmer for another 5-10 minutes over low heat.
  4. Combine! Scoop one cup of the cooked black beans and their liquid into the pan of onions and salsa. Heat over medium heat to combine the flavors. Continue adding beans to the pan until the pan is full. Simmer until the mixture is slightly thick (it should not be watery)!
  5. Now, pour the bean and salsa mixture back into the large pot with the remaining beans. (Note: There should not be much liquid left in the large bean pot; if there is, remove some and reserve it to add later in case the beans get too dry while simmering.)
  6. Taste the beans and add more heat (red pepper flakes or an additional teaspoon of cumin) if necessary. Add the sugar. Simmer over low to medium heat, partially covered, for at least 30 minutes. Keep a close watch and stir occasionally so the bottom of the pan doesn’t burn.


Serving suggestion: Top a bowl of brown rice with the beans and spoon your favorite ingredients on top for “Hoppin’ Jack”: Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese; sour cream, avocado, diced tomatoes. Non-dairy cheese is delicious here as well. Get creative!

Substitution: If you don’t have jarred salsa on hand, substitute with one 14-oz. can of diced tomatoes with juice (I prefer the fire roasted kind) and at least one tablespoon of chile powder. Toss in a small can of chopped green chiles, if you wish.

Storage: Keeps for up to three or four days covered in the refrigerator. Freeze in two-cup and one-cup portions for quick dinners. Also, you can pull out the freezer packs of beans for other recipes, like the “Black Beans and Quinoa” recipe here.