Mexican-Style Black Beans Recipe With Ancho Chilli

The Mexican-style black beans recipe is a comforting and healthy wintry dish.

Ancho poblano chillies are known for their fruity, smoky flavour and mild heat. Ancho chillies are one of the most popular Mexican varieties – and often form the base flavour of chilli sauces or a basic mole, along with guajillo chillies.

Soak the chillies to rehydrate, roughly chop and cook into Mexican stews or sauces. Or roughly grind the dried chillies and mix with salt, pepper, sugar, and dried herbs to make a Mexican spice rub for cooking.

Ingredients Serves: 4


  1. First, soak the black beans in cold water according to the packet instructions. Drain before moving onto the next step.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 150ºC. In an oven-proof lidded casserole dish, combine black beans, red pepper, onion, tomatoes, cumin seeds, dried oregano, vegetable stock and crushed ancho chilli.
  3. Cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook for 2 ½ hours, until the beans are soft.
  4. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, open the oven and check the dish. If there is a lot of liquid, rest the lid back at an angle when you return it to the oven and leave a 1cm gap to allow extra water to evaporate. Alternatively, if the beans look dry, add a little water and place the lid on tightly.
  5. When cooked, remove from the oven and taste for seasoning, adding salt and some of the ancho chilli seeds for extra heat if needed.
  6. Stir in sugar and the juice of ½ a lime. Serve with grated cheese, lime wedges and sour cream.
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Mexican-Style Black Beans Recipe With Ancho Chilli


  • Oh dear! It will depend on what beans you use – the Chinese Black Beans we sell only require an hour of soaking before cooking, but other black beans I’ve seen do recommend at least 8 hours. We’ve updated the recipe so it now shows that soaking is required!

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and I’m very glad to hear you enjoyed the meal when the beans were eventually cooked!

    Aisha at Sous Chef on

  • Nice flavours in the end but do SOAK and part-cook the beans first. I saw afterwards that the black bean packet warns ‘Never cook beans in a slow cooker unless pre-soaked for a minimum of 8 hours and boiled for 10 minutes.’

    I’d made this according to the recipe (no soaking or pre-boiling) and even when cooked for 12 hours the beans still hadn’t softened. Another four hours or so finally did it!

    My beans were well within use-by date (by a year), so it wasn’t staleness as is sometimes an issue with beans that won’t soften.

    Good with cheese and lime as mentioned (plus yogurt), we didn’t think there was any need of sugar, and loved adding chipotle sauce for that smoky heat. A satisfying vegetarian/vegan version of chilli.

    Happy omnivore on

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