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Orange-Infused Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe

orange-infused slow cooker black beans

Black beans have been a household staple ever since my family moved to Guatemala when I was seven years old, but this year I discovered a new, delicious way to cook them! After experimenting with several different methods (pressure cooker, stove top, and slow cooker), I settled on the slow cooker (I love this slow cooker* – we have had it since 2008) as the best way to make black beans. The addition of an orange adds delicious citrus accents – and a Vitamin C boost! I make this recipe in bulk, and freeze some of it to add to soups and casseroles, like these kid-friendly enchiladas.

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Orange-Infused Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe

These Orange-infused slow cooker black beans are easy to make but they do take some planning ahead. Here are the steps:

Note: these steps include soaking black beans, which some research shows is actually not necessary. If you cook your beans starting dry, make sure you add a lot of extra water and check the water level during the day.

  1. Start the dry black beans soaking in water at least 28-32 hours before you plan to eat them (28 hours if you want to cook them on high for 4 ours; 32 hours if you plan to cook on low for 8 hours). Some types of black beans absorb more water than others, but I typically need to add at least twice as much water as black beans; sometimes more.
  2. 4 (or 8) hours before serving: pour the soaking water off and rinse your beans well. You want the rinse water to run clear. Place the soaked beans in your slow cooker, and add enough water to cover them with at least 1/4” of water.
  3. Slice an orange and add the whole slices to the top of the slow cooker.
  4. Cook for 4 or 8 hours, depending which setting you picked. At the end of cooking, your slow cooker will look like this:the best slow cooker black beans recipe
  5. Remove the orange slices. You can squeeze the orange juice into the beans or not – if you do, the beans will be slightly sweeter with a stronger orange flavor; if you don’t they will still have citrus accents. Remove any excess water, salt to taste, and serve.

We like to eat ours black beans with steamed brown rice, salsa, corn chips, and grated cheddar cheese. We also add avocados when we have them. Delicious!

If you are looking for a rice cooker, I recommend this stainless steel rice cooker that we have owned for nearly four years now. Be sure to put the steamer basket between the rice compartment and the lid to avoid messes; I also find that my rice does best if I unplug the cooker as soon as it is done cooking rather than letting it switch over to the warm setting.

What is a staple dish that your family enjoys?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

16 thoughts on “Orange-Infused Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe”

  1. I have a bag of black beans in my pantry right now; my family does not love beans but I love Cuban black beans and I’m going to try to mix them into meals that you suggested. I love the orange twist!!

  2. Elisa | blissfulE

    The only way to get black beans in Perth is to buy dry ones, so we cook all of ours in the slow cooker, too! Yours is very pretty with the oranges!

    I soak them like you do and cook with garlic cloves and onion halves, then freeze them in two-cup portions in plastic bags. The last time I made a batch I had less than a two-cup amount at the end, so I just poured the extras in a bowl, added a few sliced jalapenos from a jar and a bit of grated cheese, and ate them for lunch like that! It was delicious, much better than I expected. Usually we eat our black beans in chicken enchilada soup (slow cooker), conversion chicken (chicken+salsa+black beans+corn until chicken just cooked, then add a block of cream cheese to the slow cooker at the end), or a blender soup made from black beans and salsa.

    1. I will have to try your chicken enchilada soup – it sounds delicious! We make blender soup with black beans and salsa, too – delicious!

  3. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    This sounds delicious! One of my New Year resolution this year is to discover 3 meatless dishes everyone in our family would love. I might try this some time later this month.

  4. Wow, I wouldn’t have thought to add orange to black beans, but now that I see your recipe, it sounds so delicious, I just have to try it :)

  5. I wish Jeff didn’t automatically hate any main dish with fruit flavoring. Though I wonder if he’d be slightly more okay with this?

    1. You don’t necessarily taste the orange if you don’t know it’s there. I served this to my brother over the break, and he loved it and asked how I made it, and was surprised to learn the secret.

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