Cafe Rio Style Black Beans

A few weeks a go, my friend Mel, aka the Dancin' Queen, had to make beans for 250 guests.  Yes, two hundred and fifty.  We talked about how this was going to happen. She gathered ingredients. I showed up with my apron and big bowls. We went to work. About an hour and a half later, we had made four batches of beans (she made a test batch the night before).  Each batch contained enough to serve fifty. Seriously, it was really simple. The hardest, or I should say the most tedious part was opening all of the cans. Why use canned beans- when between the two of us I bet we have 400 lbs of dried beans in our food storage? Don't ask me these questions. I have no idea. Remember, I'm the woman who recently figured out I needed a wheat grinder to grind the wheat in my storage into flour. Ahhhem.
The finished product? Yum.  I'm posting the recipe for 8 and for 50. Depending on how many you are serving, or how much you love beans, or how much you love your hubs after he eats beans- choose the quantity.

Cafe Rio Style Black Beans
adapted from delish.com
print recipe

2-15 oz cans black beans, (drain one can, don't drain the other)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-11.5 oz can tomato juice
salt ( kosher or sea salt) and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a non stick pan, cook garlic, cumin and olive oil over medium heat until fragrance is released, about one minute. Be careful not to burn garlic.
Add beans, cook down for about 5 minutes until some of the liquid from the beans is absorbed and evaporated. Add can of tomato juice and seasoning to taste.
Stir in chopped cilantro when ready to serve.
Yield 8 servings

Cafe Rio Style Beans for 50
Si and Mel, A Bountiful Kitchen

1/2 cup olive oil
12 cloves garlic, about 1/3 cup chopped garlic
1/4 cup ground cumin
12-15 oz cans of black beans ( drain 6 cans, do not drain 6 cans)
60-70 oz tomato juice (about 1 1/2  46 oz. cans)
2 bunches fresh cilantro, stems removed and chopped
Salt to taste about 1-2 tablespoons

Place oil in large pot. Add garlic and cumin and continue to cook over medium heat until fragrance is released, about  one to two minutes. Add black beans, tomato juice and fresh cilantro. Cook until mixture
is heated through on medium heat, about 20 minutes. When mixture has cooked about 30 minutes, turn off heat and add chopped cilantro. Cool and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. When ready to serve, heat slowly on medium heat, stirring gently to avoid burning beans at bottom of pan.  Add more tomato juice if needed.
This may be made and stored up to five days before serving.

Tips-If you are interested in cooking black beans from the dry bean stage, I Dare You to Eat It has an excellent tutorial.


  1. Just today had balckbeans..I love thsoe.No other bean can be compared:) Great recepie this one;)

  2. Proudest day of my life! I helped author a recipe on ABK. We did use 1/2 c. of cumin though in our big batches, plus added a bit more at the end.

  3. I LOVE your blog, I found it through pinterest.

    I'm wanting to make these ahead of our upcoming family reunion. What are your thoughts on how they freeze and how they would reheat in a crock pot? Have you ever tried it?

  4. Gotta get a little pin symbol so its easier to pin on pinterest

  5. Bless you! I am making sweet pork salads at girls camp and have been hunting high and low for a recipe that looks like it could even remotely serve as many people as I need it to. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't wait to try these!


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