Simply prepared black beans is such a satisfying, nutritious dish. This recipe for Instant Pot Mexican Black Beans with Epazote is based on the rich food cultures of the Americas. With just a few key ingredients–onion, garlic, spices, herbs, tomato sauce, and lemon–you can cook this recipe up, using dried black beans, from start to finish in about 40 minutes in the Instant Pot, no soaking required! Then you can top it with your favorite additions like avocado, radishes, tomatoes, olives, pumpkin seeds, jalapeno–it’s all up to you! Then serve it with fresh corn tortillas or corn chips. Your yummy, healthy, plant-based, gluten-free meal is complete!
How to Cook Black Beans
This recipe for Instant Pot Mexican Black Beans with Epazote showcases a simple way to prepare black beans. You just sauté vegetables, then add seasonings, broth, and dried beans and cook until tender. You can mix in tomato sauce and lemon juice after the cooking process, and then top the beans as you like. If you don’t want to use an Instant Pot, simply follow the recipe, but start with soaked, drained black beans (soak about 8 hours) and cook them until they are tender (about 1 hour).
Black beans (also known as turtle beans, caviar criollo, and frijoles negros) date back over 7,000 years, when they were a staple in the diets of Central and South America. You can easily find dried black beans in most supermarkets, and it’s fun to try the many varieties of heritage black beans, such as Black Magic, Condor, and Raven. My farmers market in Ojai sells Ayocote Negro beans that are so creamy and good (I used them in this recipe), but you can use any type of black bean you like!
What is Epazote?
Epazote is an aromatic herb commonly used in Mexican cuisine, as well as other cuisines of Central America and South America. The epazote plant grows well in California, and I have grown it in my own garden! The herb epazote has dark green leaves, and tiny flowers that produce lots of tiny epazote seeds.
What Does Epazote Taste Like?
It has a sort of oregano-citrus-mint flavor.
Where Can You Buy Epazote?
You can grow it yourself, find it fresh in some Latin markets, or find dried epazote at well stocked stores or online.
While I appreciate Mexican food traditions and have had an opportunity to study them, I am not a true expert in this food cuisine. I invite you to check out the work of my dietitian colleague Alice Figueroa to learn more about this vibrant, healthful, delicious food culture.
This healthy, delicious recipe for Instant Pot Mexican Black Beans with Epazote is based on the rich food cultures of the Americas. Simply prepared and hearty, you can top the black beans with your favorite toppings and serve with corn tortillas.
Mexican Black Beans:
Toppings: (optional, as desired)
- Pour olive oil in the container of the Instant Pot. Heat the Instant Pot on the Sauté setting (according to manufacturer’s directions).
- Add onion and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened, stirring frequently.
- Add cumin, chipotle powder, and epazote, and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add beans and vegetable broth. Stir well, cover and lock the Instant Pot lid in place. Cook on manual setting on high for 35 minutes. Allow the pressure release to vent naturally instead of the quick release setting.
- When the pressure is released, open the lid, and stir in tomato sauce and lemon juice, mixing well.
- Serve with toppings, as desired.
- Makes 6 servings (about 1 cup each).
Slow Cooker: Use a slow cooker to make this recipe by soaking the black beans in water overnight. Discard the water, then follow the directions for steps 1-4, using the slow cooker instead. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low 8-10 hours. Serve with toppings as desired.
Stove Top Method: Soak the black beans in water overnight. Discard the water, then follow the directions for steps 1-4, using a large pot instead. Cook on medium heat for about 1 hour, until tender–add additional water if needed. Serve with toppings as desired.
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: American, Latin
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 143
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 236 mg
- Fat: 3 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 22 mg
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 7 g
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