Elly’s World-famous Black Beans

I am an avid recipe collector and set aside an average of 10 new recipes daily that I’d like to make.  It is simply not possible to make all the recipes I’d like to in the course of a week.  Wait—better make that a lifetime!

Sometimes it takes me 30(!) years to try a recipe; other times I will make a recipe the same day that I see it.  The latter was the case for these really delicious black beans.  With “world-famous” in the title and still in a Cinco de Mayo frame of mind, how could I not make them right away?

It was a great decision on my part.  I have a fondness for legumes unlike most people I know—but I can’t imagine anyone not liking these beans.  They are super easy to make with a huge payback in flavors.  All you have to do is sauté a little onion with some garlic, tomato paste and a few seasonings.  Then you add the beans and mash half the beans (or all if you’d prefer) in the pan.  Add some chicken broth and cook it down a bit; then add fresh lime and in 20 minutes you’ve got a side dish worthy of any Cinco de Mayo entrée.

One year ago:  Eggplant Parmigiana

Two years ago:  Southwestern Eggs with Chorizo

Elly’s World-famous Black Beans


  • 2 to 4 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbl. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 to 3 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • Chopped cilantro and/or sliced green onions for garnish, optional


Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add the canola oil.  Once shimmering, sauté the onion until translucent.  Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and bay leaf until the garlic is fragrant and the tomato paste has cooked off a bit, about 30 to 60 seconds.

Add the beans to the pan and using a wooden spatula, smash about half of the beans.  Stir in the chicken broth (start with 1/2 cup and add more if necessary), chili powder, cumin, and oregano.  Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld and most of the broth has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Stir in lime juice a little at a time and taste test to get to your preferred level.  The bean mixture will be mellow to begin with but will undergo a somewhat dramatic change in taste as you add the lime.  I like lime and added a full tablespoon but actually preferred the flavor of the beans with a little less lime.

Fran’s Notes

The recipe made what I would call three small servings which was OK because it was just Roger and me.  I will definitely double the recipe next time.  I had the leftovers the next day with a breakfast burrito and they reheated very well.

Source:  A recipe from Elly Says Opa! via Smells Like Home

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