food, health & wellness Recipes

Healthy Crock‑Pot Recipe | Cuban Black Beans

Crock‑Pot recipe black beans

by Patty Joy

When I registered for our wedding 10 years ago, I apparently “needed” a crock-pot to make my kitchen complete. It sat for years in the box, until one Thanksgiving my mom expressed a need to keep the mashed potatoes warm for her guests. AH-HA! After almost 8 years I finally found a purpose for this inconveniently large kitchen “essential.”

Once it was out of its cardboard housing, there was no going back and I thought I would try & put this monstrous piece of equipment to good use and work on a few good meals. After a few failed recipe attempts, and just as I was ready to gift it to my mom, I noticed my mother-in-law had been making her delicious “Cuban” black beans in a crock-pot for years. I put Cuban in italics because my adorable Cuban in-laws have this notion that EVERYTHING originated in Cuba. It’s a funny little family joke we have but she IS Cuban, and this is HER recipe… so I suppose they are Cuban Black Beans… just please don’t tell her that! Haha!

I love this recipe for so many reasons; its super easy, very versatile, budget friendly, can be used in so many different ways, and it freezes really well!

A slow cooker, or crock-pot is a healthy and easy way to prepare a meal. I make these beans and freeze half the portion in a glass container. It’s a great side or main dish, and it’s packed with protein and fiber!


  • 1 lb. Organic dried black beans (I use the ones from Whole Foods)
  • 2 white onions
  • ½ a red or green pepper diced
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ½ cup dry white cooking wine (I use Edmundo from “Vallarta” a Latin market in LA)
  • Sazon Goya – a unique blend of seasonings found in most Latin American markets (I also buy this at Vallarta)
  • Salt to taste

Step One…

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The night before you want to serve your beans, place them in your crock-pot and cover them with water. Make sure there is about an inch and a half of water over the beans. Add 1 white onion, cut in half, a teaspoon of salt, and turn crock-pot on low. Now, enjoy the evening, while your beans start to soften.


Step Two…

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The next morning add water to the beans if they soaked up all the liquid. Make sure there is about a ½ an inch of water above the beans.

In a sauté pan, add 1 Tbsp of oil and sauté 1-diced onion, ½ diced pepper, and 5 minced garlic cloves. When all that is cooked, about 5-7 minutes, add to crock-pot.


Step Three…

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After adding the onion, pepper & garlic mixture, add ½ cup dry white cooking wine, 3 packets of sazon, and mix into the beans. Taste your mixture and add salt. The amount of salt you will add is totally personal, so just add a pinch at a time and taste. Cook on high for about 5 hours. If the beans are a bit too soupy, transfer them into a pan and cook over low heat, uncovered, until they reach your desired consistency! I like mine a little on the soupier side, so I just serve them right from the crock-pot.


And Serve…

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I serve my black beans with rice, sliced avocado and tomatoes, some baked plantains (plantain recipe coming soon!) some pico de gallo, and a little cilantro for a delicious vegetarian meal! You can serve them with a yummy garlic roasted chicken, a juicy steak, in tacos and burritos, or even leave them a little soupy and enjoy as the main dish.

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I usually end up freezing half the batch and defrosting them when I need s quick meal. I literally did that tonight and made a healthy taco salad; shredded iceberg lettuce (I just love the crunch of a fresh iceberg) black beans, shredded cheese, tomatoes, guacamole, cilantro, Fage Greek yogurt (I use it as sour cream), some hot sauce as my dressing, and a freshly fried tostones (fried plantain) or some tortilla chips to add some crunch.

I LOVE this healthy, totally inexpensive, fiber & protein rich recipe! Hooray for the crock-pot…now if I could only find some more uses for this thing! I’d love to hear some of your favorite crock-pot recipes!

Happy cooking everyone!


Patty Joy

Food & Lifestyle blogger Patty Joy writes about her approach to a balanced and mindful life while living in the hustle & bustle of LA. She shares healthy recipes, her ideas about staying in good health through food, fitness (which she prefers to call moving your body) & ways to stay connected with ones true soul self, as well as a glimpse into her personal life through family, motherhood & travel.

* Find Patty on Instagram at FoodandSoul

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