Guatemalan Black Beans

Black Beans

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Louise LeGrand, our sponsorship manager, recently shared this recipe with all of us—one of her signature dishes for Common Hope events and potlucks. She got the recipe from her friend Kim, who has three children adopted from Guatemala, and her friend Jorge, also from Guatemala, who perfected the recipe. We thought we’d share with all of you who might like to bring some Guatemalan culture and flavor into your home.

Level: Easy-peasy!

Yield: 1 crockpot full of yummy black beans


  • 1 bag dried black beans
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic (diced)
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced) optional
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Fresh Cilantro, handful (chopped)
  • Sour cream optional for serving


Rinse black beans, put in crockpot, cover with water to an inch or two from the top. Throw in the bouillon for extra flavor. If you want to use chicken broth, they are even more flavorful. Set on low overnight (at least 8 hours). To keep beans warm for later serving, just put them on low and let ‘em sit.

Finish up the beans:

If there is a lot of extra water with the beans, drain some of the liquid. But, these beans will keep on soaking up the liquid, so it’s usually fine to leave it in there if you’ll be serving the beans later in the day. Sauté onions, red pepper, and garlic in the olive oil. Add them to the beans and stir. Also, if desired, use an immersion blender and blend up to half the beans. It will thicken them up a bit. Add salt as desired.

Immediately prior to serving:

Add chopped fresh cilantro to the beans, stir. They taste great when served with Guatemalan crema¸ which is similar to sour cream if you want a garnish or a little extra yum!

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