As a Colombian-American, I feel confident in saying that I can make some pretty solid rice and beans. I eat them at least twice a week. If I had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of my life, it would be this!

When I've got the time, I soak the beans overnight and cook them for hours. When I've got a little less time, I skip the soaking and put them straight in my Instant Pot. Nowadays though, as a single mom juggling a business and a toddler, I just grab a can of beans from the pantry and snazz them up. This recipe is the latter of those! It's fast, easy, and packs a lot of flavor!

Honestly, I really surprised myself with these beans. I spruce up canned beans all the time, but these are some of the best I've ever made. In theory I thought it made sense. You know, like how all that flavor in beans is usually from pork belly or pork fat? But even that didn't prepare me for the explosion of flavor that hit my taste buds the moment it touched my tongue. The best part? I got all of that flavor in only 15 minutes—and I made it from canned beans of all things!

I hope you like this as much as we did! Please let me know if you cook it and what you think. I'd love to hear some feedback!

Makes 2-3 portions


1-2 T olive oil (or other oil)

1 scallion, thinly chopped

2 T cilantro, chopped

4 small to medium cloves garlic (or 2 large cloves), thinly sliced

1 Small sized bag Hickory Smoked Snack Jack (or 1/4 Medium sized bag), chopped

1 pinch ground annatto seeds

1 pinch ground cumin seeds

1 15 oz can vegetarian black beans, drained

1/2 lime

1/4 cup water sea salt, to taste


  1. Heat a small pot to medium heat. Add olive oil.

  2. Add scallion and cilantro. Cook 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add garlic, Hickory Smoked Snack Jack, annatto, and cumin. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until garlic is very fragrant. Be careful not to brown the garlic. Turn heat down if garlic begins to golden.

  4. Immediately add the black beans, juice from half of a lime, and water.

  5. Add salt to your liking. (My mom and I tend to like a lot of salt, so it's really up to you and your personal preference.)

  6. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.

  7. Serve.

My son and I ate this with some fluffy steamed basmati rice and an avocado-tomato salad tossed with lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, and sea salt.

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