Can you eat black beans out of the can?

The black bean is a small, shiny variety of the common bean popular in Latin American cuisine, though it’s also found in the Cajun and Creole cuisines of south Louisiana. Like all varieties of beans, this bean variety is available in cans and jars. And many people wonder if canned beans are safe to eat. So, can you eat black beans out of the can?

Yes, you can eat black beans straight out of the can because they’re slightly pre-cooked. You don’t necessarily have to cook canned black beans to prevent food poisoning. But keep in mind that black beans aren’t fully cooked, so you may want to cook them properly for a scrumptious meal.

This short guide explains how to safely eat canned black beans. Let’s get started.

Is it Safe to Eat Black Beans Out of the Can?

Black beans are a shiny, nutrient-dense packet of flavor. They have an earthy, hearty flavor even when canned. Once you pop the top, canned black beans are safe to eat after a quick rinse. Rinsing will make canned black beans taste better, plus you’ll eliminate some of the oligosaccharides in the canning liquid.

Canned black beans are edible and can be simmered in stews without losing their firm bite. You can also use canned beans in salads, dips, and sandwiches—no wonder canned black beans are a staple worldwide.

 Note: As with all foods, we recommend choosing certified organic canned beans for optimal nourishment.

Can You Eat Black Beans Raw?

You might be wondering if black beans need to be cooked before eating.  

Here’s a simple answer:

According to FDA, eating raw black beans isn’t safe because they contain lectins, which can be toxic in high amounts. Eating as few as 4 or 5 raw black beans can cause severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  

At the same time, canned black beans are completely safe to eat raw because they’re technically already cooked. You can eat raw, canned black beans straight out of the can.

Learn more about raw black beans and how to cook them here.

Why Proper Canning of Black Beans Matters

Harvard researchers find that when black beans “are soaked for hours and then boiled for more hours to soften the bean, it disables the action of lectins. Canned black beans are cooked and packaged in liquid, so they are low in lectins. However, raw beans cooked at low heat, such as in a slow-cooker or undercooking the black beans, will not remove all the lectins.

So, canned black beans are the best alternative that ensures that harmful substances stay at bay!

Canned Black Beans Are Safe to Eat Without Cooking

According to food safety specialists at Clemson University, the canning process involves placing beans in cans and heating them to a temperature that destroys most microorganisms leading to a health hazard or food spoilage. Plus, beans are considered a low acidic food. This makes them perfect for long-term preservation.

Additionally, unlike other canned products on the market, canned beans are high in sodium. Some brands use 500 mg per serving! While this may sound horrible, researchers at the National Center for Biotechnology Information discovered that “sodium still plays an important role in reducing the growth of pathogens and organisms that spoil canned products and reduce their shelf life.”

You may be wondering, what does all of this mean/ You can safely eat canned black beans without cooking them first.


How to Tell if Canned Black Beans Are Bad

The best way to tell if canned black beans have gone bad is to smell and look at them. Canned black beans with a foul odor or flavor should be immediately discarded.

Usually, cooked black beans stay fresh for five days in the fridge. Storing beans in the fridge will help prevent bacterial growth and keep black beans from spoiling.

Tips when Shopping for Canned Black Beans

  • Don’t confuse canned black bean soup for canned black beans — they’re sometimes kept next to each other on supermarket shelves.
  • You can find canned black beans in regular or reduced-sodium varieties. The latter is the better choice for a healthier lifestyle.
  • Stock up when black bean cans are on sale! They can easily last a year in your pantry. You can also make a satisfying lunch or dinner with a can of black beans. Try making a well-stocked salad, a quick soup, or even a vegetarian casserole.
  • Black beans have a firm texture; they can hold their shape better than other canned beans. You will rarely find split black beans as you often do in white or navy beans cans.
  • Black beans are also called “turtle beans” or “Venezuela beans.”
  • You can find dried black beans at your local supermarket. These beans require more work, but they are cheaper than canned. Look for canned packages with whole, firm black beans, little dust, and no wrinkled, dried-out skins.

Best Ways to Prepare Canned Black Beans

Although canned black beans are ready to eat out of the can, you should rinse and drain them first. 

  • This will help wash off the slippery slime common to black beans and remove excess sodium.
  • Pour the black beans into a colander in the sink and give them a quick shower under cool water, stirring a few times to ensure they get a good rinsing.
  • Because black beans are firm, they don’t easily dissolve in soups and stews. If you want a smooth or puréed texture in dips and soups, you should mash these beans with the back of a wooden spoon or in a blender.
  • Make a chili thickener with some rinsed black beans and roasted garlic clove. Just mix them in a blender or food processor, and then stir them into a pot a few minutes before serve dinner.
  • Consider rinsing a can at the beginning of every week. Keep the beans covered in a bowl in the fridge, and take them out when you’re ready to use them. 
  • Turn green salads into a main course by adding canned black beans and grated cheese. A creamy dressing is also a good choice!
  • Stir canned black beans into scrambled eggs or fold them into omelets. Make sure you have some salsa on the side.
  • You can make salsa even chunkier by adding raw canned black beans into your batch.
  • Black beans are perfect on top of your pizza. Consider using BBQ sauce instead of tomato sauce — and a grated Cheddar or Gouda on top.
  • Make a canned black bean spread. Pour a can of rinsed beans into a food processor, and then add any wet condiments such as mustard, cocktail sauce, ketchup, Ranch dressing, chutney, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, or salsa. Mix the whole thing up until smooth, and scrape off the purée into a small bowl. Store this puree to spread on sandwiches, wraps, or whole-grain crackers.

 How to Cook Canned Black Beans

Health Benefits of Canned Black Beans

Support Weight-loss with Canned Black 


Black beans are rich in fiber and can help aid in weight loss. A one-cup serving of cooked black beans contains 15 grams of fiber. Adults should get 25 to 30 grams daily, meaning black beans can offer 50 percent of your daily recommended total.

The high fiber content can help you lose weight. Fiber is filling, and it helps you feel full for longer. Eating black beans could also curb your appetite, filling you up with fiber between meals. And that can help you either maintain your weight or lose weight.

Additionally, fiber plays another key role in weight loss. Dietary fiber is a bulking agent in your digestive system, meaning it binds and pulls more fat into your waste. It literally “bulks up” your stool and helps you excrete more as your body digests food. This can reduce your overall calorie consumption, which plays a key role in weight loss.

Boost heart health with Canned Black Beans

Not only is fiber a good choice for weight loss, but it also boosts your heart health. Black beans can reduce some of the key factors that increase the risk of heart disease.

Eating fiber-rich black beans can help lower high cholesterol levels. Specifically, these beans can lower your LDL cholesterol and your total cholesterol. This can reduce your risk for plaque buildup in your arteries, ultimately leading to blockages and other issues like heart attacks and strokes.i

Black beans also have quercetin, a plant polyphenol that works as an anti-inflammatory nutrient. So, incorporating black beans nto your diet can lower your chances of artery buildup that can happen due to high cholesterol.

Improve Gut health with Canned Black Beans

Here’s another advantage of black beans’ fiber: better gut health.

Black beans contain the best kind of fiber. They offer resistant starch, a dietary fiber that won’t break down when it moves through the digestive system. Instead, it remains whole. As your gut tries to break down the resistant starch, your gut microbiota create fatty acids and kickstart the fermentation process. Overall, the fermentation process can help you achieve improved gut health with a good balance of “good” gut bacteria. It also helps reduce your body fat, playing a role in weight loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it important to rinse canned black beans?

Beans are soaked and then boiled, blanched or pressure cooked before being canned. When preparing canned black beans, cooking isn’t a necessary step. However, due to the high sodium levels in this canned product’s juices, you should rinse the canned black beans before they eat them.

Can you get sick from eating canned black beans?

As mentioned earlier, canned black beans are edible and won’t make you sick. You can eat black beans directly without additional cooking.

Is it important to store canned black beans?

Proper storage is imperative for keeping beans safe in their present condition. A small dent on the side of the can won’t cause a big issue. However, experts recommend cooking canned products to kill any potential toxins.

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