spicy black beans & tomatoes

$2.49 recipe / $0.21 serving

I’ve been on a bean kick lately, can you tell? They really are the most fantastic food. Beans are super nutritious, delicious and one of the most inexpensive food items out there. For some reason there are still people out there who do not like them. Well, I’m convinced that those people just haven’t had good beans yet. So, it is my New Years resolution to turn at least one person from a bean hater into a bean lover. No, no, make that a legume lover (because I gotta include lentils in all of this).

Making beans delicious is all about the seasoning. I first started experimenting with some canned black beans last year. This is still a great side dish solution if you’re short on time but lately, I’ve been cooking dried beans in my slow cooker to save even more money. Up until now, I’ve cooked them plain so that I could season them later according to whatever dish I was using them in.

The black beans I cooked this week, although seasoned, will still work with a variety of dishes. They are an excellent side dish (I ate them along side my fajitas), you can stuff them into burritos or you can turn them into a quick soup. This makes a pretty big batch but the beans can be frozen for later use. I usually freeze at least half of the batch right away.

NOTE: You can’t see the tomatoes in the end product but they do give a fantastic depth of flavor.

Spicy Black Beans & Tomatoes

Spicy Black Beans & Tomatoes

spicy black beans & tomatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $2.49
Cost Per Serving: $0.21
Serves: 12
  • 1 lb. (2 cups) dry black beans $1.20
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes $0.88
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.18
  • ½ Tbsp cumin $0.05
  • 1 med jalapeno $0.13
  • to taste salt $0.05
  • 5 cups water $0.00
  1. Sort through your beans to remove any stones or damaged beans. Rinse the beans well to remove any dust. Place the beans in the slow cooker.
  2. Also add to the slow cooker: a can of diced tomatoes (including juices), 4 cloves of garlic (smashed or roughly chopped), one jalapeno (diced and seeds removed), and ½ Tbsp of cumin. Do not add salt at this point. Add 5 cups of water, secure the lid and set the heat to high.
  3. After four hours open the slow cooker and check the beans to make sure they are tender. They should be fully cooked at this point but if they aren’t, simply cook them longer and check again after a couple hours. Season the beans with salt (I used about ½ tsp).
  4. Either serve the beans immediately or divide up and freeze in single or double serving sized portions.
Additional options: diced onion, red pepper flakes, bay leaves (1 or 2) or low sodium chicken stock in place of water.


Step By Step Photos

weight beansMy beans came in a 3 lb. bag so I had to weigh out one pound. I find that bulk beans tend to be dirtier and contain more stones so sort through and rinse well.

stonesI found quite a few stones and damaged beans.

add seasoningsThe flavor of beans is all about what you season it with. I kept it pretty simple.

beans ready to cookPlace the beans in the slow cooker with 5 cups of water, the tomatoes (w/juices) and the rest of your seasonings. Do not add salt, this could make your beans tough. Put the lid on tight and set the cooker to HIGH.

cooked spicy black beansspicy slow cooker black beansNOTE: The spiciness of the jalapeno depends highly on how many of the seeds you remove. I removed almost all of mine prior to adding to the slow cooker. If you like it really really spicy, don’t remove any at all. Just remove the stem, chop everything up and add it to the cooker.

Make sure you wash your hands well after handling the jalapeno. I washed mine with soap but still found my eye burning an hour later after I accidentally touched my eye!


  1. Shanna M says:

    I thought dried beans had to be soaked overnight first?

    • You actually don’t have to with the slow cooker. :)

      • Elizabeth Hale says:

        I’ve been told that if you soak any dried beans, dump the soaking water and use more water (or other liquid) it helps cut down on the gas they can cause. I personally haven’t noticed a difference, but apparently it must work for some p

  2. Praveena says:

    First of all, I would like to thank you for such an awesome blog! The recipes are simple, easy to follow and being budget friendly is a great bonus.
    However I don’t have a slow cooker. Is it possible to make this recipe on the cooktop? how long do you think it would take?

    • I think you can, yes, but I’m unsure of the cooking time. I think it usually takes a couple hours of simmering on the stove to cook beans, but I’ve only tried it once or twice (years and YEARS) ago.

  3. Jennyroo says:

    Has anyone tried pureeing this recipe to make a black bean dip? It sounds YUMMY!

  4. Joey S. says:

    Loving your blog and these beans. First time making them and I can’t imagine ever going back to the can. I didn’t even add salt and they are sooo good! Thank you!

  5. Gloria says:

    Thank you for your site, love the way you break things down price per serving! Making this right now, so excited to taste them. We have an herb garden at my apartment and I finally was brave enough to pluck a pepper off the jalapeno bush! : )

  6. These look fantastic! I’ve been making a lot of Chipotle style burrito bowls at home lately and I’m going through black beans like crazy! I’m definitely going to have to dust off my crock pot & clear some space in my freezer tonight!

  7. This was wonderful! I made it yesterday, and we all enjoyed it. I am having leftovers for lunch right now as I type this.

    I love beans, but I have never liked soaking them overnight and then babysitting a pot on the stove all day. This was so simple, and it came out great. I added half a medium yellow onion, chopped, at the beginning, as well as 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes at the end with the salt to help compensate for my using a mild pepper instead of jalapeno, to which my fiancé is a bit sensitive. It made great black beans and rice with chunky salsa, light sour cream, and a little diced avocado! Next time, I may try it in your black bean quesadillas or black bean burgers, which both also look delicious. I’m also thinking of trying them in a fusion with some quinoa.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

  8. Erica says:

    I’m currently making this right now! I loooove beans and just got a slow cooker and have never cooked with dry beans before! ill def be trying more of your recipes!
    being a broke college student, i like how you break down the price of each meal! and how many servings! now i can plan how many meals and/or freeze them!

  9. Melissa – Yep! Just put everything in a large pot instead of the slow cooker, bring it up to a rapid boil over high heat and then turn the heat down to low (or slightly higher) and let is simmer until the beans are tender. This usually takes a few hours.

  10. Melissa says:

    Is there any way to cook these on the stove? I don’t currently have my slow cooker at my apartment but I would really love to make these with your sweet potato enchiladas.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Making these now! I cannot wait to taste them!!!

  12. Yum! I made these tonight and they are so easy and delicious! Thank you so much, I have a feeling I’ll be making a double batch of these on a daily basis. Love your blog.

  13. Hey Beth,

    I know you link to some of the products you use in some of your recipes such as your food processor and slow cooker, but I was wondering if you’d be willing to make a page of your recommended items. I’m going to move into a new apartment in September and have to buy practically all of my kitchenware since I’ve been out of the country for a year. I’m always looking for cheap deals but I don’t want to waste money on crappy products no matter how cheap they may be. I keep reading blogs that say things like heavy bottomed pans, etc are important but I really don’t know how to look for this stuff! Any tips would be appreciated :)

  14. Hey Beth!

    I’m a long time follower, first time commenter. My boyfriend and I really appreciate the break down of your recipes and the variety that you have. We’ve especially enjoyed all the bean recipes that you have, but (in our humble opinion) you’re missing two of our favourites. Baked beans, and refried beans. By chance if you have time in the future, could you do one, the other, or both? Even if you don’t find the time, I’d just like to let you know (since I’m not a huge commenter) that I love, love LOVE your site and that it’s used all the time.


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  16. A-C, one pound equals about 2 cups of dry beans. I totally should have included that in the recipe, thanks for catching it!

  17. I don’t have a food scale—can you tell me about how many cups 1 lb of black beans are?

  18. Thanks Christo!! Fixing, ASAP!

  19. Hey Beth,

    Just a quick note: While you mention water in the ingredients, and in the pictures below, it’s not in the directions… I was a little confused for a moment :D

    That being said, I’m currently making a double batch of this, and CANNOT WAIT for it to be ready! :)


  20. Leslie – Nope, you don’t even need to soak them!

    Jayne – be sure to check out the black eyed peas (posted just before New Years), those have been my favorite so far!

  21. Oh, I can be your bean-loving conversion project! I WANT to like them. I just can’t. They are the only food I simply don’t eat. It’s the texture or something. I will sometimes be tempted by mashed cannelini beans but only if there is lots of tuna and herbs and tomato involved.

    These I will try. Then I will make your tortilla recipe, then I will make a burrito. If you convert me you will be the first to know :)

  22. This recipe is unqiue! The break down of cost and ingredients is very helpful! Well done.

  23. Do you soak the black beans at all?

  24. I am a bean fan. In fact, I put my two favorites (black and dark kidney) into chili last night. They’re the best part. :)

  25. If you don’t have a pair of cloves, just use a plastic sandwich bag over your hand when you handle the jalapeno peppers.

  26. I’m with you on the beans! I’ve taken to making some sort of bean-based dish for my daily lunches. I work in West Dallas, and we have a lot of students who moved here after Katrina. One of them looked at my beans, looked at me, and let me know (though not in so many words) that unless they were Cajun red beans and rice, I was just polluting my soul. However, I love Mexican-influenced black beans above all:-)

  27. If you can’t the jalapeno off, some lemon juice will help! I’ve done that before, it’s the worst!

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