Traditional Cuban Black Beans

I believe we all have that one dish that is our favorite not just because it tastes good, but because of the nostalgia and connection that dish gives us to our world. For me, that’s Cuban black beans, or frijoles negros as we call them. I grew up with a Cuban Abuela who made black beans weekly since I can remember. This was one of the first dishes I learned how to make, passed on to me by my beautiful Abuela, rest her soul. Writing this I feel emotional because every time I make black beans I feel a connection to her.  The smell of frijoles simmering brings me back to being a carefree kid running around Abuela’s house with my cousins. I thought sharing this recipe would be a wonderful way to close out my month of black bean recipes before I go on to the next ingredient.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.

2147324332371024635__MG_4492 (2).JPG


  • 3 15.5 oz cans of black beans

  • ½ cup water

  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar

  • 1/3 cup Cooking white wine

  • 1 medium Onion

  • 3 cloves Garlic

  • 4 Cuban Oregano leaves or

  • 1 Bay leaf

  • ½ tbsp Salt

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • ½ tbsp sugar


  1. Sauté onions, garlic, and oregano leaves. Add oregano leaves last to prevent burning them.

  2. Add all 3 cans of black beans including the liquid.  Add water, vinegar, white wine, bay leaf, salt, & pepper.

  3. Keep black beans on a medium heat until they start boiling.  Lower temperature to medium low and let simmer for approx. 40 minutes or until beans are soft.

  4. The measurements here are very loose since they were taught to me as “add a  little of this, and  a little of that” the way most Latin grandmothers  teach  kids   how  to cook. After adding the initial measurements, go ahead and taste test your beans to see if you need to add more of anything.

  5. Enjoy on a bed of rice!