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Perfect 4-Ingredient Spicy Black Beans

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 11 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Salty, spicy, rich black beans in 4 ingredients and a minute of prep time. You may want to keep this effortless side dish recipe a secret.


  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cans black beans, with liquid
  • Hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
  • Kosher or sea salt (optional; if using unsalted beans)


  1. Melt butter over medium, then add onion. Increase heat to medium and cook onions, stirring, until well browned. They’re best when nearly burnt–very dark brown and crispy.
  2. Add black beans and adjust heat as needed to maintain a simmer. Stir occasionally 5 to 15 minutes to reduce slightly, concentrating the flavors. Smash some of the beans with the back of a wooden spoon as they cook, if you like. The smashed beans will make for thicker liquid. Add as much hot sauce as you like, tasting as you go. Simmer another minute, then season with salt to taste if using unsalted canned beans.


This is one of the few times I recommend using salted canned beans–it will keep the recipe to exactly 4 ingredients, eliminating the need for extra seasoning.

Recipe is gluten free and vegetarian. To make it vegan, use vegan spread or vegetable oil instead of butter, and make sure all packaged ingredients are vegan.

  • Prep Time: 1 min
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex