Costa Rican Style Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe

Black beans are a high protein, high fiber, vegan and low fat power food- and they are also an essential part of the Costa Rican daily diet. From the casado, to the gallo pinto to a good sopa negra (black bean soup), there is almost always a pot of cooked black beans in Costa Rican kitchens. The beans are typically made in a pressure cooker in Costa Rica, but due both to an unfortunate pressure cooker incident and the fact that I love to use my slow cooker (affiliate), I am going to share with you the black bean recipe we use here at Casa Pura Vida.



  • 1 lb black beans (affiliate) (or kidney beans are a good substitute)
  • 2 tsp salt (we prefer sea salt)(affiliate)
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut into 3 pieces
  • handful cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, peeled and cut into 3 pieces
  • Salsa Lizano (affiliate) (garnish)


Rinse the beans and place them in the slow cooker. (affiliate) Add salt, red pepper, cilantro, garlic and onion, and cover with water. We add enough water to cover the beans, and then another 2 inches. Cooke the beans on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. We add the salt at the beginning of the recipe, but many people prefer to add them in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Black beans are often served with Salsa Lizano, but if you add the Lizano to the entire pot of beans, they can go bitter fast. It is better to put the Lizano on individual portions, or on the beans that you are sure you will serve.  Serve the beans with any favorite recipe- they are perfect with our Costa Rican white rice recipe. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

This post contains affiliate links.

Are black beans an essential part of your diet? How do you prepare them? What do you eat them with? Comment below!

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