What type of spices do you use when cooking (dried) beans?

United States
August 4, 2008 3:39pm CST
I've always hated cooking beans in a crock pot. For some reason they always turn out bland tasting. But the other day I found a secret that made my crock pot beans taste so much better. After cooking for the recommended amount of time, I transferred my black eye peas to a bowl along with some chopped red bell peppers, black pepper, basil, chopped onions (and sufficient water for cooking) and let them cook until tender. They came out perfectly! Then I added my secret ingredient, two tablespoons of Taco Bell Salsa in the finished bean dish. My hubby says they are the best beans he's ever eaten. What are your favorite spices when cooking with dried beans? Do you have any secret ingredients that always make your crock pot dishes taste better?
4 people like this
13 responses
@ersmommy1 (12607)
• United States
4 Aug 08
I add a bit of spice in the beginning. I let my crock cook the dish for a bit. Then about 45 minutes before serving I add more spices. Usually garlic, salt , and pepper. It can really bring out the flavor. Depending on the bean some bacon can be flavorful too.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Aug 08
Cooked bacon? That sounds nice.
@moneyandgc (3439)
• United States
4 Aug 08
I have never used a crock pot before. I have no secrets to cooking beans at all. The only time I cook them is when I add ham to make a bean soup. But even then I usually cheat and use the canned ones! I am going to keep an eye on this discussion and hopefully get some ideas for spices to use too! I have some dried beans but have no idea what to do with them!
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Aug 08
I have to cook low salt for health reasons, or I'd use canned beans too. Just a lot easier to do so.
1 person likes this
@mamacathie (3930)
• United States
4 Aug 08
I just ate some blackeyed peas the other day that had bell peppers and onions in them and they were great! I love adding salt and black pepper and some red hot pepper flakes! That seems to add the perfect taste. God bless you!
• United States
4 Aug 08
Next time I'm going to try red pepper flakes. So ironic you mention that. Just got some red pepper flakes the other day.
1 person likes this
@Wyldrose (1217)
• United States
4 Aug 08
When I make a pot of beans, I cook them on the stove. First, I cook up some bacon bits in the bottom of the pan, saute some onions and green bell pepper, add some ham (chopped) and some polish sausage (or sausage of your choice), a can of chicken broth and some water and cook for a few hours. The blend of those flavors are delicious!!
1 person likes this
@marina321 (4561)
4 Aug 08
I tend to add herbs to mine rosemary, sage and the like and one vegetable OXO cube normally does the trick of adding that nice general taste
• United States
4 Aug 08
my sister tries to persuade me into realizing how nutritious beans are. the problem is i don't like them and they give me stomach pains. so i stopped eating them years ago. since you eat them that is very good for you. and my sister would back you up. but i cannot eat them. and there is a restaurant in joplin missouri that is known for making good chili. when you come in the door there is a pot of chili on one side with beans and a pot of chili on the other side without beans. that one is for people like me. but you keep being healthy and enjoy the benefits of eating nutritious beans. and have a spoonful for me thank you. :D
1 person likes this
@peavey (14933)
• United States
5 Aug 08
I cook mine with bacon or bits of ham and I add just a touch of sugar to bring out the taste. but it seems like the crockpot doesn't get them all the way done. I don't salt them until they're done. Beans or peas should never be crunchy! They're eaten with raw diced onions and/or hot peppers or ketchup or cornbread crumbled into them.
• United States
5 Aug 08
Peavey, are you from the South? Red beans with those little tobasco peppers and sweet cornbread is one of my favorites. I actually cook the onions in with the beans then serve them with green onions. When the beans are almost done, I add a little chili powder and a little cumin.
• United States
5 Aug 08
Yep! That's a Southern tradition. Grab the cornbread and a bowl. It's supper time!
• United States
6 Aug 08
I do not like blackeyed peas so I do not cook them I will make white beans or navy beans. I do love them. I start out with a ham hock or a piece of ham hock and a pound of beans 8 cups of water in the slow cooker. I do not soak my beans over night. I then add celery, onions and garlic. I let them cook all day covered. I then will spice with salt, pepper and sometimes garlic salt and butter. YUM I am a simple cook with simple flavors. I get most of the flavor for the beans from the ham hock.
@1grnthmb (2063)
• United States
6 Aug 08
My family loves beans. I will eat them because they are cheap but since I do the cooking I make them a couple of times a month. I always add onion, green pepper, salt and pepper no matter what I make. Then I go from there. One of the favorite recipes is to add other chopped vegetables and a can of tomatoes and then add garlic, basil and oregano. I also like to make it by adding cumin, coriander, garlic and chili seasoning, sometimes including chipotle. Then there is the baked beans were you add tomato sauce or ketchup, brown sugar, worchestershire sauce and dry mustard
• United States
5 Aug 08
My hubby is a bean freak, any kind of beans will do! I put onion, garlic, oregano, chilli powder, fresh ground coriander and black pepper, and just a touch of cayenne. We are both on salt & fat restriction so if necessary we use a little "no salt" salt. The coriander is the secret ingredient, adds a LOT of flavor to beans.
• United States
5 Aug 08
If you are a meat eater, you could always add turkey necks or neck bones to add flavor to your beans. Also seasoning salt,black pepper, garlic powder, cajun seasoning, onion powder and sugar could bring great flavor to your beans.
@GardenGerty (77656)
• Marion, Kansas
5 Aug 08
I always put in onion, and garlic. I like to get ham hocks as well. I will put canned tomatoes, or salsa in them, the acid in the tomatoes helps them digest better. I would love the ones you made, they sound great.
@brimia (6588)
• United States
5 Aug 08
I always add lots of garlic, salt, and sometimes red pepper flakes to my beans...add some tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and pasta to that and you have a nice pasta fagioli. I love beans and could eat them every day. I like them with rice, noodles, in bean burritos, chili, soups, in dips...you name it. :-)