Cheesy, Spicy Black Bean Bake

Cheesy, Spicy Black Bean Bake

Whether or not you’ve fallen for the cheesy white-bean tomato bake, we’d like you to meet its bolder counterpart, smoky and spiced, with lots of melty cheese. Black beans shine in a deep-red mixture of fried garlic, caramelized tomato paste, smoked paprika and cumin. The whole skillet gets coated in a generous sprinkling of sharp Cheddar or Manchego cheese, then baked until melted. The final result is what you hope for from a really good chili or stew, but in a lot less time. For a spicier rendition, add a pinch of cayenne with the paprika, or douse the final skillet with hot sauce. Serve with tortillas, tortilla chips, rice, a baked potato or fried eggs.

15 mins total time

5 mins active time


Serves 4



  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic

    peeled and sliced

  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans black beans

    drained and rinsed

  • ½ cup boiling water
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups grated cheddar cheese

    or Manchego cheese (from about a 6-ounce block)


  • 1Insert the wire rack to position 6 and set oven to 475°F Bake. While the oven heats, continue to the next step.
  • 2In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Fry the garlic until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, red-pepper flakes and cumin (be careful of splattering), and fry for 30 seconds, reducing the heat as needed to prevent the garlic from burning. Add the beans, water and generous pinches of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  • 3Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.
  • 4Place the skillet in the oven and start the timer.
  • 5Bake until the cheese has melted. If the top is not as browned as you’d like, give it a bit more time.
  • 6Serve immediately.