An easy and versatile recipe for spicy black beans. This is the perfect Mexican side dish, and also makes a delicious filling for tacos or quesadillas. One skillet, canned black beans, and a fantastic blend of spices will help you prep this flavorful dish in a flash.

Bowl filled with spicy black beans ready to serve as a side dish.

I have a confession to make: I’ve been sitting on this post about 90% done for a week. I totally understand that makes no difference to most of you, especially because, well, it’s here now, but fellow food bloggers, maybe you can relate?

In my mind, it’s because I haven’t had a scrap of time to finish up the post, and that is actually true. (Day job + side hustle = that working Mom life x2.) But it probably would be more accurate to say I just haven’t really felt the inspiration flowing. The writing inspiration, that is. The recipe inspiration is pretty much always flowing around these parts. Especially for anything Mexican or Tex-Mex!

For whatever reason, though, I’m finally feeling the need to get this out into the world, so here goes: kicked up skillet black beans, for your reading/viewing/cooking/eating pleasure.

The ingredients for easy spicy black beans: chopped onion, jalapeno, red pepper, canned black beans, chicken or veggie broth, salt and spices.

How to spice up black beans as a side dish

This recipe is adapted from the simple skillet black beans that make up the filling of my favorite veggie tacos and quesadillas. Really, you can’t go wrong with any variation on this theme! This is simply my favorite way to prep when I’m serving them as a side dish or dip.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 a small yellow onion
  • 1 small bell pepper – I love red for the visual appeal; any color is fine!
  • jalapeño pepper – to taste!
  • chicken or vegetable broth
  • olive oil and seasonings – kosher salt, cumin, chipotle chili powder, cayenne pepper, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice
A wooden spoon stirring black beans in a skillet.

Versatile Mexican side dish

These skillet black beans are crazy easy to throw together in one skillet – basically sauté the onion and peppers, add seasonings, then stir in the beans and broth and cook down. And the end result is so flavorful. I nearly always make a double batch, because I find myself repurposing them every which way.

Serve the first round as a side dish with your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex meal. Reheat, or serve cold, with chips or veggies as a delicious black bean dip. Mix a few spoonfuls into scrambled eggs for a breakfast worth waking up to. Pile the last bits into quesadillas or tacos for an easy clean-out-the-fridge kinda night. Repeat.

Bowl filled with spicy black beans ready to serve as a side dish.

As always, if you try this or any other recipe on the blog, please rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!

Kicked-Up Skillet Black Beans

An easy and versatile recipe for spicy black beans. This is the perfect Mexican side dish, and also makes a delicious filling for tacos or quesadillas!


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion  chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • squeeze of lime juice & sprinkle of cilantro to serve


  • Warm olive oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Sauté about 5 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften. Stir in the salt, cumin, and chipotle powder.
  • Stir in the beans and broth. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro leaves. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 42kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Fat: 2g, Sodium: 235mg, Potassium: 117mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1040IU, Vitamin C: 43.1mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.6mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!