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Smoky Balsamic Black Beans

Smoky Balsamic Black Beans recipe from

Smoky Balsamic Black Beans recipe from

I catered a small office lunch a while back. The menu was Ropa Vieja with rice, black beans, raw onions, lime wedges, and cilantro. I also served Corn Poblano Salad and a vegetarian “Ropa Vieja” alternative. In every catering job, there is usually a dish or two that cuts corners and is made the easier way. In this case, I doctored up canned black beans instead of starting with dried. An initial taste of the beans revealed a tinny taste that I was not comfortable serving. I didn’t have the time or the beans to start over so I had to improvise. I added a few extra ingredients into the beans and finished with a splash of balsamic vinegar, which is quickly becoming my favorite secret ingredient.

The beans were passable, but I delivered the food with some hesitation. I crossed my fingers that the rest of the food would shine through and nobody would care about the beans.

To my pleasant surprise, I learned later that the black beans were one of the favorite dishes. They stood out as a unique dish and were completely devoured!

I have since made these Smoky Balsamic Black Beans on purpose and using both canned and dried beans with great results. It’s so great when a recipe cover up becomes a new favorite.

What kitchen flukes have you turned into fan favorites?

Smoky Balsamic Black Beans
Yield: 3

Smoky Balsamic Black Beans

Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, or 3 cups cooked from dried
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 8 ounces low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar


  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan over low-medium heat.
  2. Simmer the beans to incorporate the flavors, about 20 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender or a stand up blender, puree about 1/2 the beans.
  4. Return to the stove to keep warm until ready to serve.


1 thought on “Smoky Balsamic Black Beans”

  1. I love this black bean soup recipe. Whenever I don’t know what to cook I always go to this. It’s so easy and quick. I have even shared this with my grandsons girlfriend. I gave her the recipe and all the things to make it.


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