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Simple Southwestern Black Beans

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

After years of having this dish on my travels, I finally decided to whip up a batch myself. I have no idea why I waited so long, this is such a simple, delicious, nutritious, and wallet-conscious dish that it’s become a staple over the years. I typically serve it over a mixture of brown and black rice; it’s also great in a wrap. This is another one of these dishes that taste better the next day so feel free to make extra and have for lunch the next day

Serves 2


  • 2–3 teaspoons ground cumin

  • ½–¾ teaspoon oregano

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • 1–2 teaspoons finely minced jalapeño pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 540 ml can low-sodium black beans, rinsed

  • approximately 1 cup hot water to be added in batches

  • 1½ cups cooked brown rice or combination of brown and black rice

  • ½ cup salsa

  • 1 medium avocado, diced

  • ½ cup canned corn kernels

  • Fresh cilantro


  1. Combine spices and set aside.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron sauté pan over medium heat.

  3. Add onions and jalapeños, mix for about 2–3 minutes.

  4. Increase heat, add garlic and spice mix to onions.

  5. Continue to stir until onions are well coated, about for 3–4 minutes. Add butter. If onions appear as if they may burn, remove pan from heat or add little hot water.

  6. Lower heat to medium, continue to stir until onions are soft. Add little bit of hot water, about ¼ cup or just enough to deglaze the pan.

  7. Continue to mix for about 2 minutes until water evaporates. Add beans and stir for 2–3 minutes until beans are coated with onions and spices.

  8. Add enough hot water to almost cover the beans.

  9. Stir until most of the water dissolves and you have a thick paste. If it’s too thick, just add little more hot water.

  10. Turn off heat and allow to sit.

  11. Place ½–¾ cup cooked rice in a bowl, add black bean mixture and serve with salsa, avocado, corn and cilantro, plus fresh cracked black pepper and hot sauce.

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