$0.15 Overnight Crock Pot Black Beans + Refried Beans
Meal prepping is all about finding quick ways to make large quantities of delicious food. Which makes this overnight crock pot black beans recipe the epitome of a great meal prep recipe! Just 5 minutes of touch time, some planning ahead (you are meal prepping after all…), $0.15 worth of ingredients per serving and you’ll have created a healthy, versatile dish that pairs with just about any protein or vegetable you can think of!
Overnight Crock Pot Black Beans Recipe
$0.15 Overnight Crock Pot Black Beans
- Crock Pot
- Colander (bowl with a lot of holes in it)
- Large plastic spoon
- 10" non-stick saute pan (only for refrying beans)
- Immersion blender (only for refrying beans)
- 2 lbs dry black beans
- 1 white onion, sliced into rings
- 3 bay leaves
- 4-6 garlic cloves, whole peeled (optional)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- Put the dry black beans in the colander. Rinse and drain.
- Put the black beans in the crock pot. Fill the crock pot near the top with water (~5 cups of water per 1 lb of dry black beans).
- Remove the outer skin, then slice the onion into large rings. and put them into the crock pot along with the whole, peeled garlic cloves, bay leaves, and black pepper. Do not add the salt yet!
- Cook on low for around 10 hours or on high for 6 hours (aka overnight).
- Taste beans to ensure they are cooked to your liking, then turn off the crock pot and use the plastic spoon to scoop out the onion, garlic, and bay leaves.
- Stir in the salt to taste and cover the crock pot for 30 minutes prior to eating.
- Freeze half for next week’s meals and then enjoy use the rest for meal prepped lunches, or save for breakfast OR make refried beans (15-minute recipe in the Tips Section below)!
Step 1 – Some recipes recommend soaking the beans overnight and then draining the water to remove the gas-producing part of the beans. I’ve tried this and found soaking the beans overnight to be an extra unnecessary step. If you don’t eat beans often, regardless of how you cook them, initially they may make you gassier than normal. Your body will adjust to your change in diet quickly though, and within a week or two you won’t even be thinking about it!
Step 3 – This is an example of how the crock pot looks before I turn it on. For the onion, stand it up on its side and make 4 cuts – 2 for the ends, 2 in the middle. Watch your fingers!
Step 4 – Check the water level of the beans before you go to bed or right when you wake up. Dry beans will absorb water while cooking and if they peek out above the water, they will get crunchy. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the consistency I’m going for. If the water level close to the level of the beans, you can always add more water.
That being said, using a 1 lb of dry beans to 5 cups of water ratio, I have not had to add any water while cooking.
Step 5- This is an example of how the crock pot looks when the beans are done prior to discarding the onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Why throw these out you ask? For this recipe, these are aromatics, meaning ingredients only used to provide flavor, not to be eaten – like a candle, except for food. Plus, one look at a soggy, ring of slow-cooked onion and you’ll be happy to toss it:
Step 6 – The jury is still out on this one too! Some recipes say only at the end, some recipes say anytime. Who knew there was so much controversy over beans! In my experience, I’ve gotten less-mushy, more flavorful beans by salting them at the end!
Refried Beans (BONUS RECIPE)
You just made a lot of beans. Even after freezing half, it’s been 4-5 days and you’re worried you won’t be able to eat the rest before they go bad. And that would be a tragedy – they taste so darn good! Never fear, you’re 15 minutes away from refried beans!
- Use the immersion blender to blend the beans and water/bean juice into one consistent mixture:
- Pour the blended mixture into a sauté pan and then set the burner to medium heat (5 out of 10 on the burner).
- Adjust heat so that the beans are simmering and stir every couple minutes until most of the water is cooked out of the beans.
- About 15 minutes later, they’ll look something like this:
- 2 lbs of dry black beans ~ $3
- 1 large white onion, sliced into rings ~ $0.75
- 4-6 whole garlic cloves ~ $0.25
- Spices (salt, black pepper, bay leaves) ~ $0.25
Total cost per 2lb of slow cooker black beans ~ $4.25
Cost per serving (~28 1/2-cup servings) ~ $0.15
No more canned beans for you! It’s incredible how much more flavorful home-cooked crock pot black beans are than canned black beans. And there’s also the fact that it’s cheaper to make them yourself. Better taste for less cost, that sounds like a no-brainer to me! Plus, these amazing beans you’ve just created don’t have to be exclusively for meal prepping either, I often mix them in with my breakfast to create incredible dishes like the one below! To make this breakfast yourself, check out these recipes!
Plus there’s even more (how versatile are these crock pot black beans, huh?!). You can use them to make incredible soup! Check out my $1.50 and 40 Minute Black Bean Soup recipe to learn more!
As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!