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Superb Black Bean Dip and How to Cook Black Beans in a Slow Cooker

March 28, 2016

By Kath Dedon


Laura and Bryon recently brought a Superb Black Bean Dip and Fritos to a family gathering. It was SO good I had to have the recipe. Laura said she’d try to get it written down for me. She had researched a couple of recipes and then just came up with her own thing. She sent me her list of ingredients while it was still fresh in her mind and I gave it a go.

She estimated that she used 10 ounces of dried beans. So I measured out 10 ounces of dried black beans (1½ cups), rinsed them and put them in my 4-quart slow cooker, covered them with water, and stirred in ¾ teaspoon of sea salt. That’s right, I didn’t soak the beans and I added the salt in the beginning.  I put it on LOW at about 8:30 in the morning and then forgot about them all day. At 5:30 I checked on them and they were done perfectly. Perfectly!!

Apparently, if you soak the beans overnight and pour out the soaking water, you lose a lot of the flavor and color. (J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats Food Lab did all of the testing on soaking or not soaking black beans so we don’t have to.) And adding salt at the beginning does not result in tough black beans.

I drained the beans into a strainer over a bowl to save the cooking liquid. I saved about a cup of it to add to the dip when I made it the next day if it turned out to be too dry. The beans and the cooking liquid went into the refrigerator for the night.

The next day, before starting the dip, I measured the beans. 10 ounces of dried beans (1½ cups) made 4 cups of cooked beans. I put the beans and the seasonings in my food processor and processed away.  It did turn out to be a bit dry, so I added some of the cooking liquid. I added a couple of tablespoons at a time until the texture was just right. All in all, I added about 1/3 cup.

When I tasted it, the seasoning didn’t seem to be quite as intense as Laura’s. I concluded that she may have actually used 7.5 – 8 ounces of dried beans, making about 3 cups of cooked beans. I added a bit more of some of the seasonings and it seemed just right.

You could use canned black beans (2 cans drained and rinsed) to make the dip, but it won’t be nearly as good. There is no comparison between canned beans and the beans that came out of my slow cooker.

I hope you’ll give this Superb Black Bean Dip a try. I served it at our Easter gathering yesterday and it was a big hit. You could be super healthy and serve it with celery sticks, pepper strips, and jicama strips. Or you could use tortilla chips. But I have to say the Fritos were just excellent with it! 😉

Thanks, Laura, for a great recipe! ❤

I’m thinking of all of the other ways you could use this Superb Black Bean Dip. It would be a great base layer for tostadas. You could use it for nachos. You could heat it in a pan with a bit of oil to make refried black beans. What other ways can you think of to use it?


Yes, you could choose healthier dippers, but the Fritos were really good!

Black Bean Dip.JPG


Superb Black Bean Dip and How to Cook Black Beans in a Slow Cooker

(Adapted, barely, from a recipe developed by Laura Dedon Oxford.)


(print the recipe)

I used Goya brand black beans which were top rated by Cook’s Illustrated and are widely available at the stores where I shop.the stores where I shop.


10 oz. black beans.jpg

Makes about 4 cups, or twelve 1/3-cup servings.

To cook the black beans:

10 ounces (1½ cups) dried black beans

¾ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Rinse the beans and check for rocks. (I have never found a rock in dried beans, but recipes always advise you to check them over.)
  2. Put the beans in a slow cooker. Cover with water by about 2 – 3 inches. Stir in the salt.
  3. Turn on LOW and cook for 6 – 9 hours. (I cooked mine for 9 and they were perfect, but they may have been done earlier than that. I used my older 4-quart cooker which does cook cooler than my newer 6-quart one. The timing will depend on how hot your cooker gets and the age of your beans.)
  4. Drain the beans through a strainer into a bowl. Reserve about a cup of the cooking liquid; refrigerate the liquid and the beans separately until you’re ready to make the dip.

Cooked Beans

Cooked black beans.JPG

To make the Superb Black Bean Dip

4 cups cooked black beans

5 slices bottled jalapeno pepper  slices (I used “Tamed” jalapeno for a hint of spice.)

1 tablespoon brine from the bottled jalapenos

3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon sugar (I used coconut sugar.)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon paprika (I used smoked paprika, but you could use regular.)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)

The juice from 1 wedge of lime squeezed in

Reserved cooking liquid, if needed

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a food processor.

ingredients in food processor


2. Process using the pulse button, at least at first, until the ingredients are well-blended. You’ll probably have to stop the food processor a time or two to push the ingredients down from the sides with a spatula.

3. When it’s all blended, if it seems too dry, add some reserved cooking liquid about 2 tablespoons at a time. Process after each addition. Continue to add a bit of liquid and process until it is the texture you like. (All in all, I used about 1/3 cup of the liquid.)

4. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary. If you want it spicier, you can add a bit more of any of the spicy ingredients and process to blend them in.

5. It can be served right away or covered and refrigerated to serve later. (I do think the flavor develops a bit more if it’s made ahead.)


Black Bean Dip - Copy.JPG

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2016 12:08 pm

    Can confirm that this is also quite tasty with potato chips 🙂

    We had the “hot” bottled jalapeños on hand so omitted the cayenne — that seemed to be the right amount of spice!

    • August 14, 2016 3:04 pm

      Good to know about the hot bottled jalapeños. Thanks for your comment, Laura! 🙂


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