frijoles de olla or black beans from the pot


Black Beans from the Pot

Black Beans from the Pot

Frijoles de Olla

Recipe Yield

5 cups, plus cooking liquid

Cooking time

1 hour 25 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.34 from 6 votes


  • 1 pound dried black beans rinsed
  • 1/2 white onion
  • A few sprigs of cilantro or epazote optional
  • kosher or coarse sea salt to taste

To Prepare

  • Place the beans in a big heavy pot and cover with enough water to cover the beans by at least 3-inches, about 12 cups of water. Incorporate the onion and bring to a rolling boil. You may also add cilantro or epazote. Let the beans simmer over medium heat, partially covered, for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the beans are soft and then add the salt. Don’t add the salt in the beginning, or it will toughen the beans.
  • Let them continue simmering for another couple minutes, or until the beans are so soft, they come apart if you hold one between your fingers, and the broth has thickened to a soupy consistency. If the beans are not yet soft and the broth is drying out, add more hot water. Remove the cooked onion and herbs with a slotted spoon before serving.


49comments inBlack Beans from the Pot

  1. Jim

    Dec 25

    Merry Christmas to you, your family and fantastic crew of food maniacs. We’re cooking black beans today!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 26

      Happy Holidays to you and yours Jim 🙂

  2. Pamela

    Oct 09

    How long should I soak the beans?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 12

      Hola Pamela! You don’t need to soak them the night before cooking. Yes, that helps to reduce the cooking time, but it is not necessary. If you do soak them, don’t soak them more than 12 to 14 hours, because they may begin to ferment. Enjoy!

  3. KJ Ayvazian

    Jun 05

    Is epazote easy to grow in North America?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 08

      Epazote grows everywhere KJ, try in a pot by your window or in your backyard, have fun!

  4. Nikki

    Apr 20

    I truly appreciate you sharing your recipes! I am no cook but following your recipes I am getting better and teaching my daughter

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 27

      Awesome Nikki, practice makes perfect, have fun 😉

  5. Julia

    Jan 22

    Dear Pati,
    I’ve been watching your show for several years and finally got the courage to try a recipe. This is the first time I’ve cooked black beans and they came out perfectly! We had them with a slow roasted pork belly and garnished it with avocado. It was delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipes and your love of food and culture!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 23

      So happy to hear you got the courage, Julia! I know you can do many more recipes.

  6. Deloris Banks

    Aug 19

    Please advise where to purchase Eparote.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 20

      If you can’t find it at your regular market, you can usually find it at your local Latin/International market, Deloris. If you can’t find it, you can skip it or use cilantro.

  7. Sarita Szajowitz,

    Feb 28

    Pati,es usted una exlente chef,,yo siempre le digo a miss Amigas y gente que mevpregunta de resetas de comida Mexicana ybmi respuesta es si ustedes no han visto el programs de Pati Jinich,see an perdidobde comer una comida autentica Mexicana,much as gracias porvdeoeitar nuestro paladar con Susana exelentes platillos,quisiera poder encontrar el platillos del pollo que usted isovcon Los Chile’s secosvque Los llerve yvdespues prepara la salsa ybse cocinena en el horno ojaka sepdevquevreseta hablo.cinceramenre Sarita

    1. Pati

      Mar 01

      Uy mil gracias, Sarita! Aquí está la receta:

  8. Vince

    Dec 21

    I watched this episode and see that a clay pot was used, are there any benefits to cooking in clay pots, and it is placed right on the fire? The clay pots have interested me since seeing them used in Cancun, my local Mexican market have them and I been thinking about giving it a try. I also like the aesthetics and nostalgia of them.

    1. Pati

      Dec 23

      Oh the clay pot imparts an earthy, deep flavor. Give it a try, Vince!

  9. Meg McAlister

    Jul 31

    Pati – I finally found some dried epazote at the Mexican food store in our town so for dinner tonight, I’m making your black beans, Rodrigo style sea bass, arroz verde, and a green salad with mango/habanero/avacado dressing. For a condiment to the fish and rice, I’m going to serve Julio’s salsa recipe (tomatoes, tomatillos, mixed dried chilis, etc.) from your second cookbook which I made yesterday. YUM!!!

    Question: Can I use Julio’s salsa as a marinade for fish or meat? Maybe by adding lime and orange juice to it? Or would it be best to use it as a condiment? I love the rich flavor.

    1. Pati

      Aug 02

      Hm. I have not used his salsa as a marinade. But… there is no reason why it couldn’t work… if you do, let me know how it turned out!!

  10. Gilberto

    Jun 18

    My wife left me and my son to fend for ourselves so I have to be like Mr Mom (the movie). Your recipes have helped me to prepare Mexican food like his mom makes it. Thank you and God bless you.
    By the way, you have a beautiful family.

    1. Pati

      Jun 18

      Oh have fun being Mr. Mom, Gilberto!

  11. Mary King

    Jan 06

    I love Pati! I love her recipes. However, the thing about not salting beans at the beginning of cooking is a myth.

    1. Pati

      Jan 14

      Hi Mary! Thank you. I have found that it is better to salt them once they soften and that they soften more if I salt near the end…. but of course we should all do what we find best in our own kitchens. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      1. Buffy Miller, McMinnville, Oregon

        Mar 12

        I’m inclined to follow your directions Pati. First of all, you have cooked many more beans than I have. Secondly, I’ve read many recipes that say to salt toward the end. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful recipes. Thank you for helping us gringos to cook wonderful Mexican dishes.

        1. Pati

          Mar 13

          Thank YOU Buffy!

  12. Robyn Robinson

    Jan 06

    Pati..can you use dried cilantro or epazote..or do you use fresh?

  13. Robyn Robinson

    Jan 06

    Pati..can you use dried cilantro or epazote..or do you use fresh?

    1. Pati

      Jan 14

      If I have a choice, I use fresh. If I cant find fresh, I use dried (in about a third of the amount), it is much better than none…

  14. Marleni Fueller

    Feb 06

    Dear PattiI would like to cook a nice,tasty Valentine’s dinner for my boyfriend, Reinaldo I was thinking some shrimp and steak what do recommend and for desert which flan do you recommend? He doesn’t know so he’s a big eater I need your help with a shrimp recipe that would go well with pasta I’m big on pasta please help me plan something nice. Thank you soon much.

    1. Pati

      Feb 08

      Thus is what I recommend you make for your boyfriend 🙂

  15. Kris

    Feb 01

    I finally found some epazote, can’t wait to use it 🙂

    1. Pati

      Feb 01


  16. QueenSS

    Jan 16

    Patti, do you ever soak the beans for a few hours or overnight?

    1. Pati

      Jan 30

      I used to, but not anymore. I realized there were not clear benefits except for the beans taking a bit less in cooking time…

  17. Mike

    Jan 02

    I want to make some beans but I do not have black beans, only pintos. Will the recipe work using beans besides black? I love your book!

    1. Pati

      Jan 05

      Sure! Mmmm pinto beans are my FAVORITE!

  18. Becca

    Sep 26

    I just got and used epazote today to cook beans, I love the flavor the it gives the beans, what else can I use it for? I noticed someone asked about using dried, I could do that.

    1. Pati

      Sep 28

      So many things! To flavor soups, rice dishes and stews. You can also add a leaf inside of a quesadilla!

  19. Jamie

    Sep 24

    Would dried epazote work in this recipe?

    1. Pati

      Sep 25


      1. Keith in Nashville.

        Aug 09

        Hola, Pati. I am going to try epazote leaves in my pot of black beans this week, but I am a little reluctant because of descriptions of its “stinky sweat” flavor/aroma description I’ve read online. Should I use just a small amount, then, to start? Would you ever make black beans without it? I am not a fan of cilantro, even, except on authentic tacos with diced onion, etc., so I’m not sure how to go. Thanks!

        1. Pati

          Aug 09

          You can always leave out the epazote no problem, Keith! And start with a small amount and see how you like it.

  20. Amber

    Sep 16

    Patti, thank you so much for sharing your passion with us! I love your show and am very excited to attempt to make one of your meals! Yay thank you again! You are awesome

    1. Pati

      Sep 20

      Thank you, Amber! I hope you like everything you try from my show and site.

  21. Anne

    Aug 02

    So Fresh and Colorful, the way food should look and taste
    Thanks for sharing it. Delicious.

    1. Pati

      Aug 18

      Thank you!!

  22. Marilyn W. Hoyt

    Apr 04

    I love the TV show! Please convey the message to Patti! I’m sure her boys love her cooking.

    1. Pati

      Apr 04

      Marylin, Pati here! Thank you so much for watching the show. I can say that my boys love my cooking… most of the time, not always>>>

      1. Keith in Nashville (Hi!)

        Aug 08

        We love you so much, Pati! You, your husband, and your three wonderful boys!

        1. Pati

          Aug 08


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