Mango BBQ Black Beans


A couple weeks ago I boldly lamented about my distaste for the usual summer barbecue suspects: the bland, mayonnaise-laden cold (err, warm depending on how long they’ve been sitting out) salads. If you can even call them salads. Can something so monochrome, devoid of any fresh summer vegetables and herbs, really be called a salad?

I know, I’m being a little unfair. Your aunt’s famous macaroni salad does call for some chopped bell pepper.

But I can’t see it’s bright sun-kissed hue or feel it’s fresh, crisp crunchiness between my teeth. If a veggie is covered in mayonnaise, is it still a veggie?

So you might be surprised that there’s something about barbecues I dislike even more. Beans.

Bakes beans, barbecue beans, whatever you call them. I can’t really pinpoint why, because in theory I feel like I should like them. But every time I try them, they’re just not what I expect them to be. Too sweet? (did I just say that?) Too flat? (the flavor, not the beans.) Too mushy? Too disappointing.

I honestly had no idea what I was looking for in a bean dish. That is, until I found this recipe using all sorts of natural, yummy, vegan things. Now, it was quite obvious to me how beans should taste and I never wanted a bowl of them so badly in my life. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long because it’s summer and there’s always a bbq coming up. And, this recipe couldn’t be easier to throw together. I promise.

It’s official. Beans have been bumped up, and are no longer my least favorite thing about summer barbecues. As long as they’re these beans, of course. Sweet and spicy and bursting with layers of flavor. Warm and hearty, and delightfully not too heavy. Clean and nutritious to boot. But don’t just take it from me. Remember that chef I mentioned? The one who couldn’t get enough of my Tropical Butternut Squash Salad, shockingly surprised that clean, healthy food could taste so good? Well let’s just say he felt the same way about these beans. I’m pretty darn sure you will too.


Mango BBQ Black Beans (sugar free, vegan optional)
Adapted from the taste space
Printable Recipe

1lb dry black beans
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 mangos, peeled and diced
1 15oz can no-salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
3 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup (use maple syrup or agave to make this a vegan dish)
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place the beans in a large colander and rinse well. Sort through the beans, removing and discarding any broken beans or beans that already have some of the skin falling off. Transfer the good beans to a large slow cooker, and add enough water to cover by several inches. Cook on high for four hours.

Drain and rinse the beans and return to the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook on low for another 6-8 hours, until beans are tender. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe: 12 servings, about 2/3 cup each
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118.9
Total Fat 0.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 252.6 mg
Potassium 107.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.1 g
Dietary Fiber 14.1 g
Sugars 12.1 g
Protein 8.5 g

PS: I’d like to wish a very Happy Blog Birthday to one of my loyal readers, Junia. She is celebrating her Blog Birthday over at Mis Pensamientos with a Vegan Clean Eating event and giveaway. This recipe fits the bill and I’m excited to share it. Junia, I can’t wait to see plenty more beautiful, clean recipes in the year ahead!

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Additionally, I’m sharing this wholesome recipe with Diet, Dessert and Dogs Wellness Weekends Event for 7/15/2011.

Check out the roundup for plenty of healthy, delicious links!

Thanks for visiting Cara’s Cravings. If you like what you see and want more, subscribe via email or in a reader, follow me on Twitter, or visit me on Facebook.

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19 Responses to “Mango BBQ Black Beans”

  1. 1

    janet @ the taste space — July 11, 2011 @ 9:59 am Reply

    Yum yum yum! I am so glad you loved them as much as us! 🙂

  2. 2

    Ammie R — July 11, 2011 @ 1:24 pm Reply

    Oh, these look and sound delicious!  I'm trying to iron out the menu for my birthday BBQ and I think these will fit in nicely!

  3. 3

    Lindsey @ BeantownEats — July 11, 2011 @ 3:04 pm Reply

    This recipe sounds great! I just printed it to try for our next BBQ, or even a side dish for a simple dinner on the grill.  Thanks!

  4. 4

    Cara — July 11, 2011 @ 3:19 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing it! It's definitely a new favorite 🙂

  5. 5

    Julia Mestas — July 11, 2011 @ 3:22 pm Reply

    I can't stand bland bbq food either.  Although, the side dishes, if they are good, are my favorite part.  And if I were served these, I'd gobble them up.

  6. 6

    Shannon — July 11, 2011 @ 3:23 pm Reply

    some of my favorite things, it's sure to be a winner 🙂

  7. 7

    Kaytorade — July 11, 2011 @ 4:33 pm Reply

    It's funny, because my summer salads are usually full of fresh veggies (because it's summer ager all), some penne, and a little olive oil and vinegar!

  8. 8

    Joanne — July 11, 2011 @ 5:58 pm Reply

    Dont even get me started on traditional bbq food.  I refuse to eat ANY of it.and no a veggie is DEF not still a veggie when covered in mayo. At that point it's just…grease.  I saw these beans on Janet's site and bookmarked them!  Can't wait to try them.

  9. 9

    Chrysta — July 11, 2011 @ 10:57 pm Reply

    Hey girl! You take the most gorgeous photos! I always love the composition. Just saying=) Amazing recipe as usual. I have so many of yours bookmarked..ssso good!

  10. 10

    Cara — July 12, 2011 @ 12:35 pm Reply

    aww thanks, that makes my day!

  11. 11

    EA Stewart — July 12, 2011 @ 2:27 pm Reply

    This bean recipe looks fabulous! I've always liked beans, but often forget about eating them, but lately, I've been trying to incorporate more beans in to meals, because they are so nutritious. I'm definitely going to try this recipe out!

  12. 12

    Wvuprincess0716 — July 12, 2011 @ 5:16 pm Reply

    I am having a barbecue this weekend and have already printed the recipe. I can't wait to try. Does it make sense to make these the day before and just reheat day of or are they best fresh?

  13. 13

    Cara — July 12, 2011 @ 5:18 pm Reply

    You can definitely make them ahead of time, I think the flavor will improvewith time. Enjoy!

  14. 14

    Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers — July 12, 2011 @ 11:55 pm Reply

    I love mango, bbq, and beans, so it must be good!

  15. 15

    Nicole, RD — July 13, 2011 @ 10:38 am Reply

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds baked beans to be too sweet! I don't get why those things are so popular…and then to add hot dogs. Oh my heavens…there's just something so, so very wrong about that. These, however, look amazing! I adore beans as is, so these would be all the more incredible 🙂 P.S. I am trying a ton of recipes from your blog this week – so far, so yum! Tonight is the Tropical Butternut Squash Salad and I pretty much cannot wait!

  16. 16

    Cara — July 13, 2011 @ 10:40 am Reply

    Yay! Can't wait to hear how you like it!

  17. 17

    grace — July 15, 2011 @ 4:58 pm Reply

    i go right past all the pasta salad, potato salad, and chips and head straight for the bean dishes at any barbecue or cookout.  this is a fine batch o' beans, cara.  very refreshing and different!

  18. 18

    Olga @ MangoTomato — July 17, 2011 @ 6:33 pm Reply

    what an interesting combination! I've done black bean salad with mango before, but never in a hot version.

  19. 19

    Charissa — July 27, 2011 @ 10:00 pm Reply

    I love bean dishes…especially with black beans. This looks like my kind of meal!

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