Guatamalan-style Black Beans

Another delicious recipe from my friend Louie! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

I learned this beloved recipe from my Guatemalan ex-mother-in-law, Doña Ileana, who is a wonderful cook. Over the years, I’ve added my own twists. What is wonderful about this recipe is that the black beans end up being in a thick slurry, unlike most legumes. This liquid slurry is like gold because it adds gorgeous flavor to the beans, so try not to waste any of it in the cooking process. I eat them with eggs on the side for breakfast, in a bowl, in burritos/enchiladas/tacos. I like to use Cotija cheese on top as a garnish. I use a 9 quart slow cooker for this recipe.

Guatemalan-style Black Beans

1 pound dried black beans
1 1/2 white onions
6 cloves garlic
10 small pinches of coarse sea salt
1 TSBP Pica Pica Black Bean Seasoning ( – this is optional, but I just enjoy adding it.)
Cotija cheese, to garnish


  1. Clean through the dried black beans and remove split beans and debris, and rinse thoroughly in a colander. 
  2. Add to slow cooker the black beans, coarse sea salt, one white onion (shucked and cut in half along the middle), and the garlic (peeled and whole) in a sachet. Fill to the top of the slow cooker with water. Cover, and  cook on Low in the slow cooker for 10 hours.
  3. Remove the onion halves and the sachet of garlic and discard.
  4. Shuck and halve a white onion from top to bottom, and thinly slice one half.
  5. Warm 2 TBSP of olive oil over very low heat in a large, deep skillet. Add the sliced white onion, and stir occasionally to caramelize the onion. This may take 20 minutes or so.
  6. Add the black beans and the liquid to the skillet, and raise heat to bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer as the liquid reduces and stir occasionally, which may take 45 minutes or so. As the liquid reduces it will change from a blackish color to a milky brown color. It will also thicken some. Stop simmering when there is about a half of an inch of liquid covering the beans. 
  7. If you want to add the Pica Pica Black Bean Seasoning, do so in the last 10-15 minutes of simmering. 
  8. When ready to eat, warm gently and top with crumbled Cotija cheese as a garnish. 

Eat Well!

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