Vegan Cuban Black Beans



  • 453g dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1.8L water
  • 1 green bell pepper, divided 
  • 8 cloves crushed garlic, divided 
  • 1 yellow onion, divided 
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp + 1 ½ teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño, finely minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)


  1. Add black beans to a large stock pot with water, half of the diced green pepper, half of the onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon salt and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 60-90 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium and add the olive oil. Add the remaining finely diced green pepper, onion and jalapeño. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Add remaining 1 ½ teaspoon salt, oregano, cumin, pepper and brown sugar. Cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with vinegar, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan for extra flavor. 
  4. When the beans are finished cooking, remove the bay leaves and stir in the sofrito mixture, soy sauce and liquid smoke. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.