Black beans are my favourite bean, and they can be even better when they're roasted! Here's how to roast black beans, using a simple Cajun-style spice mix.
Roasting is probably not the first cooking method that comes to mind when you think about beans. But, just like you can roast chickpeas, you can totally roast black beans too! They become warm and crispy, and any herbs and spices you've added deepen and intensify as they roast, giving the beans a really rich flavour.
Here's how to roast black beans perfectly!
Why roast black beans?
Black beans are undeniably my favourite type of bean. They're small but mighty, offering more flavour than some other types of beans - and when they're roasted, this is even more true!
Of course, they are delicious eaten any way, but roasting them definitely gives them an edge.
These are definitely not just your typical black beans.
How to make roasted black beans
Step 1: Drain the black beans
This method for roasted black beans begins with canned beans. If you try to roast dried beans, all you'll end up with is a few cracked teeth - the beans need to be totally soft first.
Of course, if you prefer to use dried beans, you can cook them first using your usual method, and then continue by following these instructions.
Or, you can do things the lazy way, and just open a tin like I did. If you do this, you need to start by draining your tin of black beans.
Step 2: Rinse the black beans
I like to rinse my black beans next. I don't always bother with this step if I'm just adding them to a casserole or whatever, but if I'm roasting them, it's ideal if the beans are as 'clean' as possible.
Rinsing can also help to make all kinds of pulses easier on your stomach, if you ever find that they don't always agree with you!
I just swoosh my beans with a bit of water in a bowl (or sometimes even straight in the can, if I want to save on washing up), then drain them again.
Step 3: Add flavour
Next comes the fun bit - adding flavour to your beans. Go crazy with whatever herbs and spices you like the sound of.
This time I used a Cajun-style mixture:
- salt and pepper
- smoked paprika
- garlic and onion powder
- dried herbs (thyme and oregano)
- chilli flakes
If you're in a rush, keep it simple with just a couple of different spices, or use a pre-mixed blend. You could even just stir through a dollop of hot sauce instead.
Step 4: Roast until crispy
Finally, pop them in the oven until they're nicely crisped up.
Some of the skins will pop as they roast, which provides even more opportunity for crispiness.
Keep an eye on the beans as they begin to crisp up - you don't want to end up with rock-hard bean bullets!
What can roasted black beans be used for?
I love using my Cajun-style roasted black beans on salads, as they provide heaps of flavour to an otherwise potentially uninspiring pile of raw vegetables. Adding a few crushed tortilla chips is another fun way to add some texture and flavour to your salad - just three or four chips can go a very long way in making a bowlful of lettuce more appealing!
Roasted black beans are also great scattered into quesadillas, tacos, or any other Tex-Mex favourites. Depending on how you use them, your roasted beans may not retain their crunch, but the rich, smoky flavours of the spices will still shine through.
How to store roasted black beans
Roasted black beans are best eaten straight away, while they're still warm and crispy. However, I know not everyone wants to eat an entire can's worth of beans in one go, especially if you're the only one home.
Like most leftovers, any unused roasted beans can be stored in the fridge in an air-tight tub. Food safety recommendations differ from country to country, but I usually keep leftovers for 3-4 days without any issues.
Your roasted black beans will lose a bit of their crunch if they're not eaten fresh, but they're still really tasty thanks to the roasted spices. You can eat them cold, or reheat them briefly in the oven or microwave if you'd prefer them to be warm.
Have I inspired you to give roasted black beans a try? What would you do with yours?
How to Roast Black Beans
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- 2 x 400g tins black beans, drained (480g, or ~ 2 ½ cups, when drained)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
- Rinse the drained tins of black beans, then mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (you can use a different mix of herbs and spices if you prefer). Spread the beans in a single layer on a baking tray, then roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway, until they are fairly crispy (but not rock hard!). Best used immediately.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.