The Ultimate Vegan Cuban Black Beans Recipe

Have you ever craved a hearty, delicious, and simple vegan meal? Look no further than this vegan Cuban black beans recipe! These beans are not your average canned variety – they are the ultimate comfort food made with dried black beans, fresh spices, and vegetables like onions, garlic, and green bell peppers. This recipe is perfect for anyone looking to try something new or those craving a dish reminiscent of a tropical island getaway.

Cuban black beans are also known as frijoles negros in Spanish, and this easy Cuban-style black bean recipe will make your taste buds dance with joy. The best part is that it only takes about an hour (with soaking time) to make a batch of these hearty and delicious vegan Cuban-style black beans from scratch.

I’m excited to share not only the recipe with you but also tips on how to cook them perfectly in an instant pot, slow cooker or on the stove. Once you try this recipe out, I guarantee you’ll want to make it again and again. So let’s get started making the ultimate vegan Cuban-style black beans!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegan Cuban Black Beans
Vegan Cuban Black Beans

If you are a fan of hearty and delicious meals that are simple to make, you will definitely fall in love with this vegan Cuban black beans recipe. This is one of the easiest and tastiest bean recipes out there! Not only is it hearty and flavorful, but it is also loaded with nutrients.

One of the great things about this recipe is its versatility. You can serve it up hot as a main course accompanied by rice or quinoa or use it as a side dish with your favorite plantains or collard greens. The black beans’ soft texture, combined with the crunchy bell peppers and onions, makes for an extremely delicious and satisfying dish.

What’s more, this recipe showcases rich Cuban cuisine at its best yet still stays true to its vegan roots. It’s jam-packed with tantalizing flavors thanks to cilantro, cumin, garlic cloves, bay leaf, and oregano spices. And you won’t believe how easy it truly is to make!

Whether you’re a vegan, a health enthusiast or simply looking for an easy meal to impress your dinner guests, this vegan Cuban black beans recipe will not disappoint. Enjoy one of Cuba’s most beloved dishes while keeping things nutritious and wholesome. You’ll be left wanting more with every bite!

Ingredient List

 A warm bowl of vegan Cuban black beans, garnished with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
A warm bowl of vegan Cuban black beans, garnished with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Before we start, let’s make sure that we have all the necessary ingredients. For this vegan Cuban black beans recipe, you will need:

  • 1 lb of dried black beans or 3 cans (15 oz. each) of canned black beans
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Water, as needed
  • Salt, to taste

Note that I mention both canned and dried black beans, so feel free to choose which ones suit you best based on preference or time constraints.

The Recipe How-To

 These black beans are rich and satisfying, infused with classic Cuban flavors.
These black beans are rich and satisfying, infused with classic Cuban flavors.

Now, let’s get cooking! This Vegan Cuban Black Beans Recipe is both easy and delicious. In this section, I will walk you through the step-by-step instructions on how to make this hearty dish.


  • Dried black beans 1 pound (2 and ½ cups)
  • Water 6 cups
  • Olive oil 1 tablespoon
  • Yellow onion 1 medium finely chopped
  • Green bell pepper 1 finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves 3 minced
  • Bay leaf 1
  • Cumin powder 2 teaspoons
  • Oregano powder or crushed leaves ½ teaspoons
  • Apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. Rinse the dried black beans in a colander and remove any impurities or stone.

  2. In the instant pot, put the water, rinsed black beans, bay leaf, and a dash of salt. On manual high pressure mode, cook for 28 minutes, then release the pressure naturally.

  3. While the beans are cooking, in a large skillet heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When hot add the chopped onion and green bell pepper and cook it for about five minutes. Stir occasionally until onions become translucent.

  4. Then add minced garlic, cumin, oregano to the skillet and stir well to combine them with the veggies. Cook them for another minute or until fragrant.

  5. Pour two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the skillet and use a spatula to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of your skillet.

  6. Finally, add your cooked black beans with some bean liquid to the veggie mixture in your skillet – just enough liquid to thin out the mixture so that it is not too thick – aim for a black bean soup consistency.

  7. Bring everything to a simmer over low-medium heat and let it cook uncovered for about ten minutes or until you see most of the liquid has been absorbed by the veggies.

  8. Taste test and add more salt if needed.

  9. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

These cuban-style black beans would pair well with rice, plantains, fried plantains, quinoa or bean salad. They are flavorful enough to be eaten alone or as a side dish for your favorite vegan meal.

I hope this recipe becomes one of your favorites!

Substitutions and Variations

 There's no need for meat with these vegan Cuban black beans, loaded with protein and fiber.
There’s no need for meat with these vegan Cuban black beans, loaded with protein and fiber.

Are you looking to switch it up? Here are some substitutions and variations that make great alternatives to the ingredients in this vegan Cuban black beans recipe:

– Try red bell peppers in place of the green bell peppers for a sweeter flavor and vibrant pop of color.

– Swap out the dried black beans for canned black beans for a time-saving option.

– To add some heat, finely chop a jalapeño pepper and sauté with the onions and garlic. You can also stir in some cayenne pepper or hot sauce to taste.

– Add diced tomatoes, corn, or sweet potatoes to the recipe before cooking for an extra flavorful twist.

– Want to make it even heartier? Serve with rice or quinoa for a filling vegan meal. You can also top with fresh chopped cilantro and diced avocado for added texture.

– Collard greens or fried plantains make excellent side dishes that pair perfectly with this hearty, delicious bean soup recipe.

No matter what substitution or variation you decide to make, these simple vegan Cuban-style black beans are always sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Serving and Pairing

 This recipe is perfect for meal prep, batch cooking, or just a cozy night in.
This recipe is perfect for meal prep, batch cooking, or just a cozy night in.


One of the reasons why I love this vegan Cuban black beans recipe is its versatility. You can use it in so many ways! Here are some of my favorite serving and pairing ideas:

– Beans and Rice: This is a classic combination that never fails. Just serve the Cuban black beans over some fluffy white rice, and you have a hearty and delicious meal. If you want to make it even healthier, use brown rice instead of white rice.

– Bean Soup: If you have some leftover black beans, you can easily turn them into a delicious soup. Just add some vegetable broth, chopped vegetables (like onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes), and spices. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender for a creamy texture.

– Bean Salad: This is a great option if you want to have a light and refreshing lunch or dinner. Just mix the Cuban black beans with some fresh veggies (like chopped lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers), cilantro, and a simple vinaigrette (made with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper).

– Plantains: In Cuba, it’s common to serve fried plantains as a side dish with black beans and rice. If you want to try this traditional Cuban pairing, just slice some ripe plantains and fry them in some hot oil until they’re crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

– Quinoa: If you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative to rice, quinoa is an excellent option. Its nutty flavor goes well with the earthy taste of the black beans. You can cook the quinoa separately and serve it alongside the beans or mix them together for a delicious one-pot meal.

– Collard Greens: If you want to add some greenery to your plate, collard greens are an excellent choice. You can sauté them in some olive oil with garlic and onion until they’re tender but still bright green.

In summary, these serving and pairing options offer something for everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for something hearty like beans and rice or something light like a bean salad, this recipe has got you covered.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Use these flavorful black beans as a base for rice bowls, tacos, or a simple side dish.
Use these flavorful black beans as a base for rice bowls, tacos, or a simple side dish.

When it comes to meal prep, the Vegan Cuban Black Beans Recipe is a winner! You can easily make a large batch ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. This recipe’s flavors develop even more with time, making it an excellent option for a flavorful meal any day of the week.

To make-ahead or store your black beans, wait for the mixture to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container. When choosing a container, be sure that it’s freezer-friendly if you’re planning on freezing some of the beans. I prefer using labeled freezer bags because they take up less space in my freezer and are easy to defrost.

To reheat your Vegan Cuban Black Beans Recipe, there are two methods you can use: stovetop and microwave. For stovetop reheating, add your desired amount of beans to a saucepan, heat them over medium-low heat until they’re hot and then stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

To reheat using a microwave, transfer one serving of the black beans into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap (leave one side open), and heat on high for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

You’re in luck as the leftovers taste even better the next day! Try adding them as a filling for burritos or tacos, on top of rice bowls, or in salads.

Remember not to freeze your leftover bean soup as the textures won’t hold up well after reheating.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The secret to this recipe? Cooking the beans low and slow for maximum flavor and tenderness.
The secret to this recipe? Cooking the beans low and slow for maximum flavor and tenderness.

Cooking Cuban black beans may seem like a simple task, but it’s all about getting the perfect blend of flavors. Follow these tips to ensure that your vegan Cuban black beans recipe comes out perfectly every time.

1. Use dried black beans

While canned beans are a convenient option, using dried black beans will give you more control over the texture and flavor of your dish. Soak them overnight so they are tender and easy to cook when you start your recipe.

2. Don’t skip the bay leaf

Bay leaves are an essential ingredient in many Cuban recipes, including this one. They add a subtle but important flavor that sets Cuban black beans apart from other varieties.

3. Add flavor with cilantro and cumin

Fresh cilantro and ground cumin are the secret ingredients that make Cuban black beans burst with flavorful goodness. Add them towards the end of cooking to avoid overpowering the dish.

4. Sautee onions and bell peppers first

Before adding the garlic to the pot, take a few minutes to sauté onions and bell peppers in olive oil. This will help them release their natural sweetness, resulting in a richer and fuller-bodied flavor.

5. Wait to add salt

Add salt towards the end of your cooking process. Doing so will allow you to control the saltiness without overpowering other flavors.

6. Mash some of the beans

Mashing some of the cooked beans is a great way to thicken up your dish and create a creamier consistency without adding any cream or dairy products.

By following these tips, you’ll have perfectly cooked Cuban black beans that soak nicely into rice or shredded collard greens, serve as a hearty dip for plantain chips or as an ingredient for salads or soups.


Before we get to the end of this vegan Cuban black beans recipe article, where I share my conclusion, allow me to cover some frequently asked questions regarding this dish. It’s helpful to know what others may be wondering and what common issues you may encounter so you can have everything sorted out before you even start. So, let’s go over the questions and concerns that many people have when it comes to making these hearty and delicious Cuban-style black beans.

What are Cuban style black beans?

Black beans are a common ingredient in the Cuban cuisine, and the key to its traditional flavor lies in the sofrito – a fragrant blend of vegetables used in several Cuban dishes. While Creole cooking uses the Holy Trinity consisting of onions, bell peppers, and celery, Cuban sofrito uses garlic in place of celery.

Are Cuban black beans good for you?

Black beans are a highly nutritious food, rich in folate, fiber and protein. Consuming only half a cup of these beans provides over 30% of your daily folate needs, while at the same time containing negligible fat and no cholesterol. Additionally, half a cup of black beans supplies between 4 and 8 grams of fiber, helping to support a healthy digestive system.

Why do you add vinegar to black beans?

For this recipe, it’s important to wait until the beans are almost tender before adding a splash of apple cider vinegar and a couple of teaspoons of salt to the pot. The apple cider vinegar not only improves the digestion process by breaking down indigestible sugars but also enhances the flavor of the beans without the need for too much salt.

Are canned black beans vegan?

Canned beans, such as black beans, are versatile enough to be enjoyed in various ways – as a soup, a side dish or combined with steamed rice to make a wholesome vegan meal.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this vegan Cuban black beans recipe is a real winner in terms of taste, health, and convenience. It’s packed with flavor from the mix of spices, herbs, and vegetables, and it’s easy to make at home with simple ingredients. Whether you’re new to vegan meals or a seasoned plant-based eater, this dish is sure to become a go-to favorite that you can whip up anytime you want something hearty and delicious.

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s versatile enough to adapt to your preferences and dietary needs. You can use canned or dried black beans, swap the bell peppers for other veggies, add more garlic or cilantro for extra zing, or adjust the level of heat to your liking. It’s also a great base for other dishes like rice and beans, bean soup, or bean salad.

Aside from being tasty and satisfying, this vegan Cuban black beans recipe is packed with nutrients such as protein, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. It’s a great way to fuel your body with wholesome plant-based goodness that promotes longevity and vitality. Plus, it’s budget-friendly and requires minimal clean-up!

Overall, I highly recommend giving this vegan Cuban black beans recipe a try. It’s a simple yet flavorful dish that offers endless possibilities for customization and enjoyment. So go ahead and cook up a batch today!

Vegan Cuban Black Beans

Vegan Cuban Black Beans Recipe

Frijoles Negros – without all of the oil & wine. Yummy!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cuisine Cuban/Vegan
Servings 1
Calories 87.1 kcal


  • 2 1/2 cups black beans, dried
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups green bell peppers, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup cilantro


  • Cover dry beans with water and let stand covered overnight. Change water and soak additional hours (if possible). Drain and discard water.
  • Add the beans to large pot and add water. If you want add, 2 tbs of olive oil (oil prevents the beans from foaming). Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
  • Finely chop onion, peppers and garlic.
  • Saute onions, green pepper, pepper flakes and garlic in a 1/4 cup of stock until the onions are translucent. Use a little cooking spray if needed.
  • Add the onion mixture to the cooked beans as well as the oregano, cumin, bay leaf, vinegar, and stock. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove bay leaf and take 1 cup of beans the cooked beans and mash them into a thick paste. Add the mashed beans back to the pot to thicken the sauce.
  • Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the agave nectar and drizzle olive oil over beans. Cover and let stand for about 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve over white rice. YUMMY.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 259gCalories: 87.1kcalCarbohydrates: 14.2gProtein: 4.4gFat: 1.7gSaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 9.7mgFiber: 4.6gSugar: 1.6g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, South American, Vegan
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