These Mexican Black Beans are a flavorful side dish to pair with your favorite tacos or burritos. Using canned beans, you can have this dish ready in just a few minutes.

black beans in a bowl
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These Mexican Black Beans are a great way to spice up a simple can of beans and they’re a delicious side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican meal. I love pairing these black beans with Mexican rice! Even our 9-year-old foster kiddo (who normally hates beans) enjoys these black beans!

Note: While these black beans remind me of the side dish I get at my favorite local Mexican restaurant, I wouldn’t call these authentic Mexican black beans, as I’m not an expert in Mexican cuisine and I’m sure they’re traditionally made with dried beans. I know there are lots of different ways to make black beans, but this one is my personal favorite because it’s quick, easy, and delicious.

Are black beans healthy?

You may be wondering if black beans are good for you and the short answer is, yes! They’re a great source of plant-based protein and they’re an excellent source of fiber. Keep in mind that some beans can be high in sodium if they’re packed in salt, so I recommend looking for low sodium or no-salt added cans of black beans, since we’re using the liquid in this recipe. Black beans are also inexpensive and canned beans can last a long time in the pantry.

Variations and Substitutions

  • You could make these with dried black beans, but they’d need to be fully cooked before starting this recipe. Be sure to save the liquid from cooking, to be used in this recipe.
  • If you wanted to make these spicy, you could add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the recipe. Have fun with it!
  • I used a yellow onion but you can use a white onion or even a few shallots, instead of the yellow onion.
  • As I mentioned, if you’re watching your sodium intake, looking for no-salt added canned beans.
  • Looking for another black bean side dish? Try my refried black beans!

How to Make Mexican Style Black Beans

Start by sautéing the onion in a bit of olive oil until the onion has softened. Add minced garlic, cumin, and a bay leaf and stir for 1 minute.

onion and garlic in a skillet

Add two cans of black beans, including the liquid.

black beans cooking in a skillet

Simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened, then use a slotted spoon to remove the beans when ready to serve.

black beans in a bowl

What to Serve with Mexican Black Beans

Here are a few of my favorite main dishes to serve with these beans:

You could also use these seasoned black beans in a recipe like these vegetarian taquitos for extra flavor or pair them with something simple like my Spanish quinoa.

How to Store Leftovers

Keep leftover black beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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mexican black beans

Mexican Black Beans

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 14 reviews
  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


These Mexican Black Beans are a flavorful side dish to pair with your favorite tacos or burritos. Using canned beans, you can have this dish ready in just a few minutes.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (15oz) cans black beans (do not drain)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.
  3. Add the minced garlic, cumin, and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the black beans, including the liquid, to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened.
  5. Strain with a slotted spoon before serving.

How to Use Leftover Black Beans

If you have leftover black beans, there are plenty of ways to use them! Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Vegetarian Tostadas

vegetarian tostadas

Chipotle Black Bean Burger

black bean burger

Mexican Lasagna

mexican lasagna on a plate