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Easy Vegetarian Black Beans

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Simple and easy to make, these vegetarian black beans are ridiculously tasty. Simmered in a veggie stock broth with spices, each bite is tender and flavorful. Serve them as a side dish or on top of salads and tacos!

overhead of a spoon in a bowl of cooked black beans

Welcome to my little island of Chipotle inspired recipes. Today’s focus is on this lovely legume. Hello black bean, you’re just so great. You’re hearty, full of protein, soluble fiber, and you take on the taste of what you’re cooked in.

Thanks for being you!

Really though. A few months ago I was in the middle of a pretty serious relationship with Chipotle’s salads. But the amount of money I was willing to pay for prepared food and how frequently I wanted to eat it was definitely not the same amount. So I’ve come up with a bunch of copy cats to make it at home!

We’ve got Instant Pot chipotle style chicken thighs, super good honey lime dressing, and now these vegetarian black beans get to join the family too! Personally, I’d recommend washing them down with some pineapple tequila, but that’s just me.

side angle of beans in a low bowl with a serving spoon

Here’s what I am loving about these black beans:

  • we’re using canned beans – so no soaking, quicker cooking
  • simple, pantry staple spices
  • vegetarian and vegan
  • they’re still a little saucy – just like the restaurant!

How to make vegetarian black beans

We’re heading to the stove top for this one! Grab a large sauce pan, a colander, and your ingredients.

labeled black beans ingredients

All we’re going to do is combine the ingredients (except the cilantro) in the sauce pan, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer! Easy peasy, right?

Once they’re done cooking pull out the bay leaf and give them a little sprinkle of chopped cilantro.

overhead of black beans in a bowl with colorful napkins and tortillas

Do I need to drain canned beans?

Yes! Canned beans are packed in a water solution to preserve them and it has quite a bit of sodium. Drain the beans in the colander and give them a wash. This also makes it easier to grab the beans stuck at the bottom of the can because you can just use the faucet water to swirl them out.

Is there supposed to be liquid in the pan?

You betcha. After the beans are done cooking, most of the liquid will have been absorbed or cooked off but there will still be some in the pan. As the beans cool, they will keep absorbing that liquid, just getting more and more flavorful.

Are canned black beans vegetarian?

Yes! There is no animal product in regular canned beans.

The only case where this might not be true is if you’re looking at canned refried beans or black bean soup. Be sure to check the label on any product if you’re not 100% sure!

Are beans healthy?

Ya darn tootin’! Haha, get it? (Why am I like this?)

In all seriousness, these little legumes pack some mighty powerful plant protein, fiber, vitamin B, iron, and more. While I’m no certified nutritionist, my personal experience is that when I add beans regularly to my diet I feel better!

side angle of beans in a low bowl with a serving spoon

What to serve with vegetarian black beans

I’m going to start with tacos, because tacos are what literally pays the bills in our house (you know, because of Bonefish Harrys). But also because I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by a taco.

Add these beans on top or serve them alongside rice. The choice is up to you. And if you need something to wash them down while, give one of these tequila-based cocktails a chance.

Be sure to let me know how you dish up your beans! If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to rate and review it below. Thank you for your support!

overhead of a spoon in a bowl of cooked black beans

Easy Vegetarian Black Beans

Tender black beans simmered in stock and spices! Vegetarian black beans are a delicious and easy way to add protein to tacos, side dishes, or to enjoy on their own.
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Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: black bean side dish, black beans, copycat chipotle black beans, vegetarian black beans
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 37kcal
Author: Lauren


  • 1 large can black beans drained and rinsed (29-ounce can)
  • 1 ¾ cup vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro optional


  • Rinse. In a large colander, drain the beans and rinse with cold water.
  • Combine. In a large saucepan, combine the beans, stock, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat (about 5-8 minutes).
  • Simmer. Reduce to low and simmer until reduced 20-25 minutes. There will be some liquid left in the pan but not much, beans will continue to soak up liquid as they sit. The beans will be tender and flavorful. Optional: top with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.


  • Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before storing. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.


Serving: 1scoop | Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 161IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

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