The smokiness of these black beans comes from dry roasting cumin and coriander seeds with oregano.
The smell of the spices as its gentle smoke reaches your nose is absolutely divine, like the smell of freshly tanned leather. There are high spice notes from the sweet coriander, earthiness from the cumin, and a complex herbaceous scent from the oregano.
Oregano is a wonderful undertone for black beans. It serves to pull out, and enhance, some of the subtle, naturally-sweet flavors of the beans and the tomatoes. In this recipe, we also add garlic, onion, bay leaf, black pepper, and lime juice, for a delightfully fresh, balanced taste.
I hope you find this recipe distinctive, yet familiar, and that you give it a try. It is so easy to make too. Just remember to prepare a day in advance by soaking your dry black beans. After that, you are set. While the beans simmer away on the stove, you can be doing something else.
This recipe is a perfect opportunity to learn to cook beans from scratch if you haven’t already.
The process of cooking from scratch is very rewarding. It is also super inexpensive and tasty compared to the canned option. For a reference on cooking beans from scratch, please see my guide.
However, if you are short on time, and you prefer to use canned beans for this recipe, I give instructions for this in the notes below and you can complete this recipe in 30 minutes.
Black beans are a special bean, because they have a warming effect on the body. This makes them perfect to have during the cold season. They will help keep your insides warm.
One cup of beans is also a nutritional powerhouse, containing 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber, and significant amounts of folate, copper, manganese, Vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
Black beans, given their black color, are actually the highest source of antioxidants in the bean kingdom. Eating these beans will help to combat free radicals, reduce inflammation, and protect against chronic disease.
Black beans with ...
These black beans are yummy with basmati or jasmine rice, or with tortilla, tacos, or burritos. You could also add extra water, and enjoy it as a black bean soup with a dollop of sour cream on top.
If you want to embellish it, it would be very good with cheddar cheese, or with avocado garnish.
Along with it, something like roasted butternut squash, or any roasted vegetable on the side, would be perfect.
This recipe makes a lot. Like any bean or lentil dish, Smoky Oregano Black Beans freeze up really well. Make portions for future dinners and keep them for a rainy day.
This is one of the keys to ensuring that you have home-cooked food to eat on a regular basis.
Recipe for Smoky Oregano Black Beans
Helpful Kitchen Tools:
to start the beans
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
to add in
- 4 15.5-ounce cans black beans, (see notes)
- 1 ½ cups cold water
for the spice mixture
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds, (sub with 1 teaspoon cumin powder)
- 1 ½ teaspoons coriander seed, (sub with 1 teaspoon coriander powder)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
to add in
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 15.5-ounce can diced tomatoes or puree
- ½ lime, freshly juiced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaf, finely chopped
STEP 1: Start the black beans
- Add a tablespoon of oil to a large saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic, onion, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt, and saute until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, open the cans of black beans. Drain and rinse beans once, then add to the saucepan with 1 ½ cups cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 10 minutes, partially covered.
STEP 2: Prepare the spices
- Place a small skillet on medium-low heat. Add cumin and coriander seeds, and stir continuously until evenly browned and aromatic. Add dried oregano and stir well until aromatic. Turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes to allow the spices to cool, then grind them in an electric spice grinder reserved for spices. (*If you don't have a spice grinder, toast only the dried oregano, and use powdered cumin and coriander.)
- Add spices to beans, along with salt, black pepper, and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep the beans covered and adjusted to your desired consistency.
STEP 3: Finish the flavors
- Finish with fresh lime, cilantro, and more salt and pepper to taste.
Fabulous recipe! In order to reduce the carbs for my diabetic husband, I used Eden Foods organic non-GMO black soybeans. (Hope it’s all right to name them.)They have just 10gr of net carbs per cup and that lets hubby enjoy this delicious dish. Not usually a fan of soy but once in a while...okay. New subscriber and you have already made a big difference Andrea! Many thanks.
Hi Penny, Wonderful to learn that you found this recipe helpful, and also that you were able to substitute with black soybeans. This is not something I have tried. Thanks for subscribing, and I am so happy that you found another winner for your recipe box to make life easier and tastier. —Andrea
This random internet find (searching black beans and coriander!) was a big hit with grown ups and kids - even the daughter who won’t normally eat beans! Really delicious. Used canned beans and passata. Will definitely make again and try some of your other recipes! Thank you!
That is amazing. Thanks for sharing that!
These are DELICIOUS. I follow the instructions for using canned beans and divide the recipe in half. I would even recommend reducing the salt or making sure you buy beans and tomatoes that do not have added salt. But even my 1-year-old loves these! Thanks for the recipe!
That's beautiful Becca. Thank you for sharing this with me 🙂