You may have tried roasting chickpeas, but have you tried roasted black beans? They're delicious and packed with plant-based protein, fiber, calcium, and an assortment of phytonutrients. Plus, this oven or air fryer black beans snack recipe is so easy, older kids may be able to make it for themselves. All you need are three simple ingredients and a little time to have this cheesy, crispy snack whenever you wish!
Around a decade ago, I belonged to a bulk buying club in an effort to save money. Unfortunately, I made some bad purchasing decisions, such as buying 1-lb bags of mustard seeds and allspice. Sure, the unit price was great, but I bought enough of certain ingredients to last us a lifetime!
One of the purchases I only semi-regret was a 25-lb bag of dried black beans. Similar-sized bags of dried chickpeas, brown rice, and lentils were used long ago.
The black beans, though? Not so much.
I think part of the problem is that we tend to like dishes with chickpeas, lentils, and rice better. Chick peas are great as roasted snacks, in hummus, in curries, and in my chickpeas a la king recipe. (The latter is a remnant from my vegan days.)
Lentils are perfect in lentil loaves, soups, curries, and chilled salads. Brown rice works well as a side dish with most things.
Unfortunately, we find incorporating black beans in our meals to be a bit more of a challenge. Chickpea dips are preferred here over black bean dips. We don't tend to like black beans as much in soups and curries, and we're tired of black bean burgers.
I still slip black beans into the occasional salad, taco, or casserole. However, I needed to come up with something different. That's where these roasted black beans come in!
Why Make Roasted Black Beans?
- It's a super easy snack. All you have to do is stir everything together, pop it in the oven, and stir once more. If you're feeling too tired or too lazy to cook, this is a great go-to recipe.
- You only need 3 simple ingredients. Not counting the optional salt and pepper, you only need three things to make this recipe. These are regular foods from the grocery store that you likely already have in the house most of the time.
- Feeds your gluten-free and vegetarian friends. Because this recipe is so simple, it works with several special diets, including vegetarian and gluten-free.
- It's a nutrient powerhouse. Forget the baked goods filled with nutrient-poor refined flours and sugars. You're getting a dose of whole foods here packed with protein, fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, and more. Roasted black beans are a nutritional superstar!
- Kids (might!) like them. I can't make any promises about how things will work out in your household. That said, my son liked these, so hopefully your kids will like this healthy snack too.
- Crispy Parmesan cheese is involved! This snack is crunchy on the outside while the beans remain a bit tender inside. It's perfect for when you want a crunchy snack but would prefer something with a better nutritional profile than chips.
Roasted Black Beans Ingredients
I promised this was going to be a short ingredients list, and I meant it. Here's what you need to make these roasted black beans:
- Black beans
- Olive oil
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper (optional)
Make sure to use grated and not shaved Parmesan cheese here. Shaved parm pieces are too large to evenly coat the black beans.
For the best results, I recommend using the Parm that you find sold with other cheeses in the dairy aisle. I usually avoid the green can cheese because I don't like it. (If you do try this recipe with that cheese, drop me a comment below; I'd love to hear how it went!)
You can use cooked from dry black beans or drained canned black beans in this recipe. As you can probably guess from my story above, I used dried black beans.
Canned beans are often heavily salted, so I'd recommend skipping the salt in the recipe if you use black beans in a can. (An exception would be if you use low-sodium canned beans.) Rinsing canned beans well does remove a significant amount of sodium, but you're still getting more than you would with dried beans.
How to Make Oven Roasted Black Beans
I did make a roasted black beans recipe video, but as you're about to see, this one's pretty straightforward. Aside from the ingredients mentioned above, you'll want to have a bowl, baking sheet, and parchment paper to make the recipe.
After preheating the oven to 400F, drain the black beans and stir in the salt and pepper (if using). Next, stir in the olive oil. The small amount of oil is going to help the Parmesan to stick.
Finally, stir in the grated Parmesan and spread the mixture out on a parchment-lined baking tray. Try to get the beans in a single, even layer. It is fine if they are touching.
Put the baking tray with the beans in the top third of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. You will need to flip and stir the black beans halfway through the cooking time.
When you stir the beans, try to push the crispy ones on the edges to the middle. The softer beans in the middle of the tray should be pushed to the outer edges. This helps to ensure more even cooking and to prevent burnt beans.
Let your black beans cool to room temperature before eating. They'll be crispy and cheesy on the outside but still a little soft in the middle. I absolutely love roasted black beans for a convenient and inexpensive snack!
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). I made the serving size for these roasted black beans smaller than some of my roasted chickpeas recipes. That's because everyone here found the smaller portions of this black bean snack to be more satisfying than an equal portion of similar chickpea snacks.
This move knocked this recipe down to level 2, but keep in mind the levels are a bit arbitrary. If you have a weight loss goal, comparing how filling you find a meal to its nutrient- and calorie-density is what is important.
We aren't all going to have the exact same answers regarding which foods best provide lasting satiety. In general, though, the foods that top most of our lists will have some combination of the following:
- High protein content
- High fiber content
- Large fluid volume
The foods that many of us tend to overeat (cookies, most breads, chips, cupcakes, etc.) have none of the above.
But back to the roasted black beans. This is an excellent snack for kids, filled with nutrients that support bone and muscle health. Additionally, some kids might find this crunchy bean snack to be more appealing than most vegetable options.
(Psst… if you didn't know that black beans can count as a veggie, don't miss the FAQ section of this post!)
What goes with roasted black beans?
Even though I'm filing roasted black beans under "snack recipes," there's no reason you couldn't fit them into a meal. Here are a few suggestions on how to use them:
- Butcher Block Recipe – The Ultimate Dinner Game-Changer! Use the beans as either the protein or as one of the vegetables in this meal.
- Vegan Gazpacho (Raw Soup Recipe) I usually serve gazpacho with cheese and crackers, but these beans with the crackers would be great too.
- Spicy Beef and Black Bean Taco Salad Elevate the flavor profile of this tasty salad by using roasted black beans instead of plain black beans. The crispy beans would add texture, kind of like a cheesy crouton.
- Wildflower Bread Chopped Salad Copycat Recipe (Gluten-Free!) Again, use these roasted beans in place of the plain black beans. For the best texture, I would not stir the beans into the salad until right before you are ready to eat.
Of course, if you'd rather enjoy the black beans as a snack, that's fine too. Grab a cold glass of keto lemonade, and snack away!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can cooked black beans be frozen?
Yes, cooked black beans freeze well. When I purchase dried black beans, I typically pressure cook a large batch and freeze the drained beans in 2-cup containers.
Each container has about as many beans as you'd get in a can. When I want to cook with black beans, I simply defrost however many containers I need overnight in the fridge. Having the containers of frozen black beans at my disposal is just about as convenient as using canned beans.
Using dried beans tends to be less expensive here than buying cans of beans. It's a small way to save money since I usually have some extra freezer space.
Do cooked black beans need to be refrigerated?
Yes, you should refrigerate black beans after cooking them because they can go bad. These roasted black beans are crispy on the outside but do retain some moisture in the middle. You should put any that you don't eat within an hour or two in the fridge.
Are roasted black beans healthy?
There are exceptions to every rule, but in general, I would say that roasted black beans are good for you. These black beans are a rich source of plant-based protein and fiber. In addition, the Parmesan cheese here provides more calcium than you would get with the beans alone.
That said, I want to add that the answer to "Is this food healthy?" isn't usually as clear cut as it seems. For example, if you have a dairy allergy, these Parmesan black beans are definitely not a healthy choice for you. For others, they might be a great choice.
When we are asking whether a food is healthy, it is important to consider the context. Who wants to know whether it is healthy, and what are their health and nutrition needs and goals?
Why are black beans considered a vegetable?
What's really neat about black beans (and other beans and peas) is that they are both a vegetable AND a protein. You can count black beans are part of the vegetable group or the protein group on the MyPlate, depending on what you need.
The reason that black beans can be considered a vegetable is that they have fiber and nutrients like potassium and folate. These nutrients are in other vegetables as well.
Also, beans such as black beans are one of the best plant-based sources of protein. Legumes such as black beans are important foods that can help vegans and vegetarians meet their protein needs. Because of their unique nutrient composition, black beans help increase your veggie intake and increase your protein intake.
Are cooked black beans supposed to be hard?
Your cooked black beans should not be hard; they should be similar in softness to black beans from a can. (This may vary by brand. Some canned black beans are firmer and less mushy than others.)
If your dried black beans are still hard after cooking for an extended period on the stovetop, they may be old. To soften old dried beans, I start by soaking them overnight in water at room temperature. Then I pressure cook the beans for one hour on high pressure using my Crock-Pot express crock multi-cooker.
One of my favorite uses for pressure cookers is making old dried beans edible. I've managed to salvage beans that were still hard after many hours in the slow cooker with pressure cooking.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
We're semi-obsessed with crunchy legume snacks over here. Making your own saves so much money compared to buying roasted legume snacks from the store! Here are a few more recipes to make after you try the roasted black beans:
- Chickpea Snack Recipe – Cheesy and Crispy!
- Roasted Chickpeas Snack with Mustard
- Zaatar Chickpeas (Only 4 Ingredients!)
- Nacho Chickpeas (Easy Plant-Based Recipe!)
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All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Roasted Black Beans (Oven or Air Fryer Black Beans Recipe)
- 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained (cooked from dry or canned beans are both fine)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Stir the salt and pepper (if using) into the drained black beans. Next, stir the oil into the beans. Finally, sprinkle the Parm over the beans and stir to coat them.
- Spread the beans out in a single even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. It is fine if the beans are touching. Put the baking sheet in the top third of the heated oven.
- Bake the beans for 35-40 minutes, flipping and stirring halfway through cooking time. When you stir, push the beans on the outside edges of the baking sheet towards the middle. Meanwhile, the softer beans in the middle of the sheet should be pushed towards the outer edges. This will help ensure more even cooking.
- When the Parmesan coating on the beans has sufficiently crisped up, remove the beans from the oven. They should be crisp on the outside with soft insides. Let cool to room temperature before eating. Enjoy!
How to Make Air Fryer Black Beans:
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for 5 minutes.
- Drain a 15-ounce can of black beans well and stir in the oil, Parm, salt, and pepper (if using).
- Spread the black beans out on a hot air fryer basket or tray. If you have an air fryer oven, put the tray with the beans in the top rack position.
- Air fry black beans for 10 minutes at 375°F (190°C). Then flip the beans, moving the crispier beans on the edges of the tray to the middle, and vice versa. Air fry for 5 more minutes.
- Check on the beans. They may be done enough for you at this point. If you like super crispy air fried black beans like I do, stir and flip them again and air fry for 5 final minutes.
- Let the black beans cool for a few minutes before eating. Yum!
- High protein content
- High fiber content
- Large fluid volume