Think legumes are boring? These boozy black beans, rich with port wine and balsamic vinegar, will change your mind forever. This vegan black bean recipe, based on one in the Gourmet Today cookbook, is healthy and full of flavor!

You can make these beans from a can or from scratch, which is what we’ll focus on here.

This easy recipe requires almost no prep time, but you do have to plan ahead—to soak the dry beans overnight. And you have to be home for a few hours while the beans slow-cook on the stove.

Every few weeks, I make a large batch on a weekend afternoon and then store it for later when I’m super busy after work but want something homemade for dinner, using it as filling for tacos or in a bean bowl with tortillas, veggies, peppers, avocado and my home-grown tomatoes.

I love that it’s so cheap to make too, since a bag of dried black beans costs less than $2. And beans are also a great source of vegan protein.

This recipe doubles well.


completed black bean recipe made with balsamic vinegar and port wine.

Black Bean Recipe

These black beans are anything but basic. They are made with port wine and balsamic vinegar that give them a rich flavor for paring with your favorite toppings. Add rice or toasted tortillas for a meal in a bowl!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican, vegan
Servings 6
Calories 250 kcal


  • 1 pound bag of dry black beans or 2 cups, picked over for pebbles and soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 9 cups water or more
  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to flavor
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano or Mexican oregano
  • ¼ cup red port wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar


  • Soak the beans overnight or all day in the fridge under three inches of water.
  • Drain and rinse the soaked beans, and set them aside.
  • Cook the onions over medium-high heat in oil until they are lightly browned. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  • Add water and beans, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat so the beans are still boiling quickly.
  • Add the salt, pepper and oregano.
  • Cook the beans until they are soft all the way through, adding water if they start to dry out.
  • Start testing them for doneness every half hour after they’ve cooked for two hours. Be sure you’ve cooked down enough water to achieve the texture you want. I usually cook mine about three hours and by the time they are done they are dense.
  • Add the port, vinegar and soy sauce in the last five minutes.
  • Then for a creamy texture, pull the beans off the stove and use the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to break down some of the beans while they are all still in the pot. Spend about five minutes so that most of the beans are still whole but a small portion become a sauce. Then stir to combine.
  • The beans are ready to enjoy!
Keyword black beans, easy