These spicy black beans work just as well for a lazy weeknight meal as they do for a Saturday night party. It's an easy way to jazz up canned black beans.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I may make a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure policy here.
There's something to be said for a well-stocked pantry. I try to keep a variety of things on hand that will help me throw together a meal in a hurry.
Canned black beans are one of my go-to pantry staples. Endless possibilities: soup, burritos, chili, and these spicy black beans.
Another thing that I keep on hand is a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. And yes, I only call for one chile in this recipe, but don't be annoyed with me.
Once you open the can, you can keep the rest in the fridge for some time, or in the freezer for quite a long time.
In fact, I pulled the one I used for this recipe from the freezer.
This recipe is perfect for those nights when you can hardly bring yourself to cook, but you still want something comforting, not a frozen dinner.
And what's better than a skillet full of spicy black beans with gooey cheddar cheese to make the stress of the day fall away? They are ready in about 15 minutes, that's what.
If you don't like it quite so spicy - or if you have a divided household on that fact - you can eliminate the cayenne, or the chipotle, or both, and those spicy-lovers can zhuzh it up with hot sauce once it comes out of the oven.
Are black beans good for you?
Yes! Black beans provide iron, calcium, phosphorous and zinc to keep your bones strong. They are high in fiber and they're a good source of protein.
Spicy Black Beans with Cheddar, Garlic, and Chipotle
Adapted from NYTCooking.
Heat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Use a good chef's knife to thinly slice the garlic.
Grate the cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater. I'm a big believer in grating your own cheese. It's creamier and it melts better because it doesn't have those anti-caking agents in pre-grated cheese.
I use my KitchenAid box grater several times a week.
But if you have no time for me on this one, pre-grated cheese is fine. We are, after all, trying to keep things easy here.
In an oven-proof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for 1 - 2 minutes, until it's getting fragrant and translucent and just beginning to brown.
I tested this recipe in both a 10-inch and a 12-inch Lodge cast iron skillet. Although the original author recommended a 10-inch skillet, I saw no real difference between the two, so use what you got!
What spices go well with black beans?
Black beans pair well with a variety of herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, cayenne, garlic, oregano, thyme and epazote. Mix something up from your favorites and give it a try.
Clear a spot in the pan and add the cumin and paprika, stir them into some of the oil and let them bloom for 30 seconds.
Add the tomato paste and smoosh it around and let it sizzle for a minute, then stir to combine all the ingredients in the pan and add a pinch of salt.
Add the canned black beans and the hot water and stir all the ingredients together. Season to taste with salt.
Top with the cheese and place in the oven for 5 - 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and cheese has melted.
Serve these spicy black beans with tortillas, corn chips, or rice, and optional toppings like sour cream, jalapeños, avocados, or cilantro.
More recipes with black beans
More spicy recipes
- Charred Broccoli with Calabrian Chile Paste, Feta, and Lemon-Yogurt Sauce
- Chilaquiles Verdes with Fried Eggs and Chorizo
Spicy Black Beans with Cheddar, Garlic, and Chipotle
- 28 ounces canned black beans two 14 oz cans
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- ½ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- pinch cayenne
- 1 chipotle in adobo
- kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Grate the cheddar cheese, slice the garlic cloves thinly.
- Heat the oil in a 10 or 12-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and swirl them around in the oil for 1 - 2 minutes, until they are fragrant and translucent, just beginning to brown.
- Clear a spot in the pan and add the cumin and paprika, stir them into some of the oil and let the spices bloom for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste and smoosh it around and let it sizzle for a minute, then stir to combine all the ingredients in the pan and season with a pinch of salt.
- Add the black beans and the boiling water and stir all the ingredients together. Season the beans to taste with salt.
- Top with the cheese and place in the oven for 5 - 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and cheese has melted. Serve with tortillas or corn chips, and optional toppings like sour cream, jalapeños, avocados, or cilantro.
- I tested this recipe in both a 10-inch and a 12-inch Lodge cast iron skillet. Although the original author recommended a 10-inch skillet, I saw no real difference between the two, so use what you got!
- I prefer to grate my own cheese on most occasions. It tends to melt better and have a creamier texture, because you don't have those anti-caking agents found in pre-grated cheese. I use my KitchenAid box grater and I love it. But if you have no time for me on this one, I get it. Pre-grated cheese works fine.