Chipotle Black Beans

by Maris Callahan on May 10, 2011

We all have guilty pleasures. I saw a Friends episode (too) many years ago in which Rachel claimed her favorite movie was Dangerous Liaisons when her actual favorite movie is Weekend at Bernie’s. Though I won’t claim to ever have seen Dangerous Liaisons, I do have an equally embarrassing food confession to make today.

I really like fat-free re-fried beans. They come in a can and smell vaguely like dog food but they’re creamy, filling and in my opinion, better than the too-greasy alternative that so many brands tout. Luckily, there is a happy medium between quasi-dog food and bean cooked cups of animal lard.

Behold – chipotle black beans. I love just about anything with the word chipotle in it, even though it often means that your food is going to be excruciatingly spicy. This recipe calls for two teaspoons, which I found to be just enough to add a little kick but not so much that you wanted to physically remove your mouth from your face. If you enjoy the latter sensation, feel free to up the ante and add an extra teaspoon or two of the hot stuff.

Chipotle Black Beans
Serves 6 generously

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chipotle powder*
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

*You can sub 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon liquid smoke if you don’t have chipotle powder in your pantry

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Add the onion along with a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans begin  to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, cumin, and chipotle powder and cook, stirring continuously, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Pour in the beans along with about ¼ cup water.  Turn heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans have the consistency of a thick soup. If you think they look too thick – think paste – go ahead and add some more water.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

marla May 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best. Chipotle take these black beans to perfection! xo


Rachel (tea and chocolate) May 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Nothing wrong with liking refried beans. I love them too! To spice them up, I usually use chipotles in adobe sauce because of the smokey taste. Yum!


Lei Ann May 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm

should the black beans be drained?


Lei Ann May 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm

duh yeah


Cara @ ChicMeetsHealthy May 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm

black beans are my favorite! i love making black bean burgers with chipotle sauce added in so i bet i would love these!!


Morgan @ moments of mmm May 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I love the fat-free version of refried beans. I usually get the Trader Joe’s brand, it is super yummy!

Chipotle sounds perfect in these


Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Mmm… I love the flavors you used in this! It looks like such a simple, tasty side dish for any Mexican meal. Thanks for sharing!


Daryl May 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Beans are so healthy that it’s great when they are tasty too!


Susan May 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I usually reach for the can of spicy, fat-free re-fried beans too :) These would certainly be easy enough to make though and so flavorful.


Nami @ Just One Cookbook May 10, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I have never cooked Mexican beans. By reading your recipe, it looks easy enough for me to try next time when we eat Mexican dish at home! Thanks for sharing Maris!


Sukaina May 11, 2011 at 4:48 am

Hmmmmmm. I’m not sure I’m with you on this one!!!! I’m really tryign to convince myself with the chipotl in there but I’m still unsure!!!


Maria @ Scandifoodie May 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I could definitely enjoy this! I’m loving the flavours in there!


Dana May 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I like the fat free refried beans, too! LOL These sound way better though. Yum!


Katie May 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm

These look like they’d kick canned refried beans’ fannie! :)


Betty @ scrambled hen fruit May 12, 2011 at 5:06 am

I love spicy black beans. These would be fabulous with homemade tortillas! :)


Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 12, 2011 at 11:24 am

Ooo, this looks really good. I adore black beans – and mexican food in general. This looks like a fabulous side dish! I think I am having a little Mexican Fiesta next weekend with some girlfriends so I will have to try out this recipe!

And thanks for stopping by my blog & commenting!


tommie October 25, 2011 at 9:29 am

So…. at what point do you add the beans?


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