Slow Cooker Vegetarian Frijoles Negros

Sunday April 30, 2017

Black beans, also known as turtle beans, are the cornerstone of Central and South American soul food, just like the pinto bean is to Mexican cooking.  Once a specialty item, we notice them easily available in every supermarket.  They have an appealing, rather addictive, natural flavor and are easy to digest.  If you like a smoky edge to your black beans, add 2 canned chipotle chiles; it is the vegetarian version of the recipe that uses a ham hock.  We like to float a few tablespoons of olive oil on top after cooking the beans before serving with fresh salsa and sour cream.  You can use these beans refried or pureéd as a dip as we make these nice and thick.

Cooker: Large Round

Machine Setting and Cook Time: High Heat: 4 to 6  hours

Serves 4, makes about 6 cups


1 pound (about 2 cups) black turtle beans

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 green or red bell pepper, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped

1 or 2 fresh jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup canned tomato sauce or salsa

8 cups water

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt, to taste


Place beans in a colander and rinse under running water; check and pick over for small stones.  Place in a 5-or 6-quart cooker (there must be plenty of room for them to bubble without spilling over) and cover with cold water; soak 6 to 12 hours.  Drain.

Place the beans, onion, pepper, chile, cumin, bay leaf, tomato sauce or salsa, and fresh water in the crock with the beans.  Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 6 hours, depending on the age of the bean.  Check at 3 hours to gauge doneness.  The beans will be tender, hold their shape, and not be falling apart.  At the end of cooking you will have plenty of liquid with the cooked beans.  Add the vinegar and salt to taste.  Sprinkle with goat cheese, salsa fresca, and sour cream to serve; ever so good.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. (c) 2005/2017, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2017

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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