With just a can of beans and potatoes, plus a few pantry staples like spices, onions, garlic and corn tortillas, you can have a one-pan easy vegan meal. This black bean skillet is one of the best black bean recipes, and it's super hearty and budget-friendly.
When I first ventured into vegetarianism in college, this was one of my go-to easy and fast meals. I believe this black bean skillet recipe is an iteration of a Rachael Ray dinner that I made quite a few changes to in an effort to spice it up. The recipe itself is pretty solid: a potato hash of sorts with extra veggies and a can of beans for protein.
The idea of microwaving a potato before sautéing it in the skillet with everything else is 100% Rachael's idea. We all love toasty bits of roasted potato, and microwaving it first cuts the cooking time in half!
After we do a quick saute on all of the veggies (onions, garlic, and any color red bell pepper), add a few canned goods from the pantry (tomatoes and green chiles), everything combines in the skillet with the can of black beans for a hearty one-pot black bean skillet meal!
How to Make Black Bean Skillet Dinner
This recipe serves 4 people, and the true beauty of it is the corn tortilla strips. All of the flavorful juices made when sautéing the vegetables and simmering the liquids from the tomatoes is absorbed by strips of corn tortilla. You can use any type of tortilla you have in your pantry.
Let's go over the simple ingredient list: a can of black beans, potatoes, onion, garlic, bell pepper, a small can of green chiles, a can of diced tomatoes, ground cumin, lime juice, and tortillas! Keep reading below for ingredient substitutions and specifications.
- Potatoes. I prefer russet potatoes for this, but you can use any potatoes you have on hand. Four small russet potatoes or two large ones serves four people nicely.
- Oil. Any neutral oil works for sauteing--olive oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, or grasped oil.
- Onion. One medium white onion, small diced. If you're out of fresh onions, you can use a tablespoon of onion powder in it place.
- Garlic. Four fresh cloves of garlic, finely minced, or 1 tablespoon of dried garlic powder.
- Bell Pepper. You can use any color bell pepper, but red bell pepper is my first choice. If you like green bell peppers, you can use one here, too.
- Green Chiles. One small 4-ounce can of fire-roasted green chiles, either mild or spicy. Alternatively, you can use one can of Ro-Tel tomatoes that comes with the green chiles already in it.
- Canned Tomatoes. One 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, or you can use a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chiles and omit the can of green chiles above.
- Black Beans. One 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Lately, I've been buying the no-salt variety and adding salt to taste when I'm cooking.
- Cumin. Two teaspoons of ground cumin. If your pantry only has cumin seeds, use the same amount of seeds, but sauté them in the oil with the onion.
- Lime Juice. The juice of one lime really livens up this dish. It doesn't have to be fresh lime juice here--two teaspoons from a bottle is fine.
- Tortillas. I use six small corn tortillas sliced into one-inch strips to soak up the flavorful juices in the skillet and add even more bulk to this meal. You can use flour tortillas, but they tend to dissolve too quickly, so just add them to your bowl and scoop the mixture on top just before serving.
First, wash and scrub the potatoes, and then wrap them in paper towels individually. Microwave on high until done but still slightly firm, about 8-10 minutes. Let the potatoes cool until you can handle them, and then chop them into ½-inch cubes.
Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil followed by the diced onion. Cook while stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and starting to turn golden brown around the edges, about 5-7 minutes.
Next, stir in the garlic, sliced bell pepper, green chiles, canned tomatoes (with their juices), and cumin. Lower the heat to medium and cook until gently simmering, about 5 minutes.
Finally, add the diced potatoes and tortilla strips and sauté until warm throughout. Just before serving the black bean skillet, stir in the lime juice. Taste and add salt and pepper, if you like.
- Beans - While I typically use black beans for this black bean skillet recipe, pinto beans would be great, too!
- Tortillas - The best tortillas to use in this black bean skillet dinner are corn tortillas, because they hold their shape the best. You can use flour, but instead of stirring them into the skillet where they might dissolve, place them in the serving bowls and ladle the bean mixture on top.
- Veggies - If you're out of fresh onions and garlic, use 1 tablespoon of onion powder and 1 tablespoon of garlic granules. You can use any color of bell pepper. For tomatoes, you can use either one can of diced or one 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes. Furthermore, you can also use a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chiles sand omit the separate can of green chiles.
Storage: Black Bean Skillet
This recipe is best eaten immediately, because the tortilla strips can become soggy overtime, but it will reheat just fine for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this black bean skillet, because the tortillas and potatoes release liquid as they thaw.
Other Easy Black Bean Dishes:
- Black Bean Salad
- Black Bean Quesadillas
- Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Black Bean Burrito Bowl
- Black Beans and Rice
- 4 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil*
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 4-ounce can of diced green chiles
- 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- juice of 1 lime
- 6 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
- First, wrap the potatoes in paper towels individually, and then cook them in the microwave until done but still firm. This takes 8-10 minutes. Let them cool until you can handle them, and then chop the potatoes into ½-inch dice, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a 10" skillet heating over medium-high heat, add the oil and heat until shimmering hot. Add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes.
- Next, stir in the garlic, bell pepper, chiles, tomatoes, black beans, and cumin. Lower the heat to medium, and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Finally, stir in the tortilla strips and diced potatoes. Cook until warm throughout, and stir in the lim jucie just before serving.
Oil: Any neutral oil works for sauteing--olive oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil.
Onion: If you're out of fresh onions, you can use a tablespoon of onion powder in it place.
Garlic. If you're out of freh garlic, use 1 tablespoon of dried garlic powder.
Bell Pepper: You can use any color of bell pepper (red, yellow, orange or green).
Green Chiles: One small 4-ounce can of fire-roasted green chiles, either mild or spicy. Alternatively, you can use one can of Ro-Tel tomatoes that comes with green chiles already in it.
Canned Tomatoes: One 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, or you can use a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chiles and omit the can of green chiles above.
Cumin: If you only have cumin seeds, use the same amount of seeds, but sauté them in the oil with the onion.
Tortillas: You can use flour tortillas, but they tend to dissolve a bit easier, so just add them to your bowl and scoop the mixture on top just before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 169mgCarbohydrates: 91gFiber: 19gSugar: 9gProtein: 18g