Abuela's Frijoles Negros - Grandma's Cuban Black Beans

"Authentic Cuban-style black beans take a great deal of time but are well worth the wait. It is said that adding a teaspoon of baking soda in the last hour of cooking lessens the gastric after-effects of eating beans."
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Ready In:




  • Wash beans and let them soak in water and half of the green pepper over night at room temperature.
  • Once beans have swollen, simmer on stove until they become soft (about 45 minutes).
  • Heat olive oil in pan and sauté onion, garlic, and the rest of the green pepper.
  • Add 1 cup of the coked beans to pan and mash well.
  • Return entire mixture to pot with beans.
  • Add salt, pepper, oregano, bay leaf, and sugar.
  • Cover and return to boil.
  • Simmer for 1 hour longer.
  • Add vinegar and dry wine, cover and simmer for one hour longer.
  • If beans are still too wet after this time, cook uncovered until they thicken.
  • Remove bay leaf and top with olive oil prior to serving.

Questions & Replies

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  1. dsilver1
    The implication is that the beans are cooked in the water in which they were soaked, along with the green pepper? Is that right?
  2. LynnAnn K.
    2 questions. Do you remove the pepper after soaking it overnight? And the recipie calls for 2 green peppers and says soap half of the green pepper. Does that mean half of 1 of the green peppers or does it mean half of the total 2 peppers meaning 1 full pepper please clarify. Thank you. Lynn


  1. StarNina
    Absolutely Authentic. I was born in Havana and my Mother made black beans just like this and they are wonderful. <br/><br/>The scent of this cooking on the stove (green pepper, onions, garlic...) makes your home a 'home' and not just a house.
  2. pray2gether
    These are the best black beans you'll every eat. They remind me of the black beans that we ate when we were in Costa Rica and they would fix black beans for every meal of the day including breakfast! Will worth the process of fixing them, trust me you won't regret it!
  3. Cira M
    I am from camaguey ,Cuba. This recipe is authentic. My mother as well as myself make the black beans exactly like this. I highly recommend.


My favorite cookbook is the one from the 1940's that belonged to my Cuban great-aunt. The best recepies are the ones she had written in the margins & on the covers. My favorite childhood memory is sucking on a cinnamon stick I pulled out of hot rice pudding on a rain afternoon.
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