Do you use a lot of black beans for your meals like we do? Cans of beans are convenient but can get pricey at times. But did you know that you can easily cook your own dried black beans in the slow cooker? One 32-ounce bag of dried beans equals about 6 cans, which can be a huge savings! Don’t be afraid of dried beans; here’s my fool-proof recipe for slow cooker black beans, and a breakdown of the price.
What You Need:
- 2-pound bag of black beans ($2.29 at Aldi for me)
- Slow cooker
- Freezable containers of your choice (I use quart-sized freezer bags)
Carefully search the bag for rocks
Soak the beans overnight
Next, pour all the beans into your slow cooker. Fill your slow cooker with water, about 3 inches above the beans, and place the lid on and leave the slow cooker OFF. Leave the beans to soak overnight and absorb the water.
Rinse, refill, cook on HIGH
What a big change! The beans almost doubled in size. The next step is to pour the beans into a colander to drain and rinse, then back into the slow cooker with fresh water, just enough to cover the beans. At this point, you can add whatever you want for flavor. I use garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper. You could also use taco seasoning or leave them unseasoned. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours. You may want to do this on a weekend if you work during the week, so you’re home to check the beans. Mine were ready after about 4 1/2 hours. Just do a taste test to see if they’re soft enough.
Fill dated freezer bags with beans
After the beans are done, turn off the slow cooker and leave it for an hour or so to cool off a little. Take your container of choice and scoop 2 cups of beans into each container, with a little extra liquid. Mine made 6 bags. Make sure you use a marker or label gun to mark the date you cooked them. After another hour or so, squeeze the air out of the bags and flatten them out on a cookie tray. Place them in the freezer, and after a few hours, they’re ready to be conveniently stacked!
Okay, so here’s the breakdown in cost.
- Can of black beans at Aldi: $.59
- Homemade black beans: $2.29 divided by 6 bags: $.38 a can!
As you can see, it’s not a huge savings, but every little bit counts! And it’s always nice to have a couple bags in the freezer just in case!
Now that you have beans in your freezer, you’ll always have them available for a quick meal! Slow cooker black beans are incredibly easy to make and store, and now you’ll save money by buying dried beans! What kind of flavors would/do you add to yours? Leave a comment and give us recipe ideas!
Friday 20th of March 2020
A word of caution. Beans should always be pre-boiled and drained before putting them in a slow cooker to disable the toxins. Black beans don’t have as much as kidney beans but it’s still an important safety step. Slow cookers don’t get hot enough. For slow cooker black bean recipes I boil mine for ten minutes, drain then proceed.
Saturday 31st of August 2019
Could you give me the amount of which spices you used?
Sunday 1st of September 2019
Hi Shannon! I don't measure exactly when I cook beans, but I would guess anywhere between 1-2 teaspoons of cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Taste them when they're done because the spices tend to cook off a little; you might need to add more in 1/2 teaspoon increments until you get the flavor you want! Hope that helped. =)
Friday 17th of February 2017
Hi there! I have two questions.
1. How long will these be good for in the freezer?
2. What is the best method for thawing?
Saturday 18th of February 2017
Hi Holly! I think I've had them in the freezer for 6+ months and they've been just fine in a Ziploc freezer bag. To thaw, I put a bag on a plate to prevent dripping, and put it in the fridge overnight. Or, if I forget, I just set it on the counter 3-4 hours before dinner. =) Hope that helps!
annabelt - geeks diet
Monday 3rd of August 2015
I sometimes make Indian style black beans and mung lentils in the slow cooker. I've been caught out by those little rocks a couple of times too though!
Lou @ Mommy Sanest
Wednesday 11th of March 2015
I have this dream that I will start cooking with dried beans vs. canned (clearly I need to have better dreams). I never knew you could do this in the slow cooker -- but duh, it makes total sense. I'm going to try it now. I never wanted to leave a post simmering on the stove top for hours.