One of the easiest ways we have found to stretch our food budget but still eat healthy is by swapping meat protein for beans. We often will use black beans to cut our meat consumption. We add black beans to tacos, salads, burritos, enchiladas, and more. Canned black beans are not at all expensive, but I have found that making black beans in my crock pot is even less expensive and we prefer the flavor. Not only is making black beans in the slow cooker less expensive and tastier, it is also better for the environment (no cans to fill up a landfill or even take the energy to produce and recycle).
I purchase black beans in a bulk bin, typically for $1 a pound or less (watch for sales and stock up!). Even when I purchase organic black beans at regular price (about $1.50 – $2 a pound) it is still less expensive than canned beans! Dry beans will last for quite some time in the pantry so I buy enough to fill my black bean air tight container when it is on sale.
The process to make black beans in your slow cooker is so simple!
Step one – Rinse Black Beans completely and then put into the slow cooker. Completely cover the beans with water and let them soak – do NOT turn on the slow cooker yet. Soak beans overnight.
Step two – Pour out water, rinse beans again, and add back into the slow cooker. Add in diced onion. Cover beans completely with water (and or stock of your choice – I use homemade vegetable stock) Water should be about 1 inch above the beans.
Step three – Set your slow cooker (I have a crock pot) for 10 hours on LOW. Please note all slow cookers are different so you can adjust as needed. Go do something fun!
Step four – Check your beans and adjust time if needed, if they are ‘just right’ you can serve and enjoy! Add more time if necessary, but if not you are all done – how easy was that?!
You may enjoy adding other spices and salt – I feel like there is too much salt in our diet anyway so I personally skip it. If you are going to add salt to your beans I would suggest doing so at the end when you can taste test.
Quick video showing how I make Black Beans in our Crock Pot Below……
I certainly did not invent making dry black beans in a slow cooker, but I have found it to be so easy and I am surprised over the years by how many people don’t know how to do it! Grab some dry black beans, pull out that crock pot and try it for yourself!