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Leave the canned kind behind! These no soak Instant Pot Black Beans are easy, creamy, flavorful, and cook hands-free.

A pressure cooker full of black beans

Why You’ll Love This Instant Pot Beans Recipe

  • The Texture of the Beans is PERFECT. This Instant Pot black beans recipe blows the canned version out of the water in both taste and texture. (I feel the same way about canned refried beans too, which led to my recipe for Instant Pot Refried Beans!) Where canned beans can be a little mushy, these were pleasantly firm without being chewy, and the insides were tender and creamy.
  • They’re Customizable. Cooking your own black beans means you can customize them by adding booster ingredients and spices. I opted to keep the Instant Pot black beans vegan. For a special occasion, however, I can see black beans with bacon being a tasty adaptation. Or, if you’re using them in a recipe (like Crock Pot Mexican Casserole), you can leave out all of the flavor additions.
  • It’s Very Wallet-Friendly. Delicious, nutritious, and affordable? Sign me up! At $1 to $2 per pound, black beans are a bargain. Whether you enjoy serving black beans as a side dish or simply want to use them in recipes like Slow Cooker Taco Casserole, making them yourself is a very economical option.
Instant pot black beans being stirred with a wooden spoon

How Long Does it Take Beans to Cook in an Instant Pot?

I found that about 55 minutes is how long you need to pressure cook black beans when using the water-to-bean ratio in this recipe).

  • 35 minutes of high pressure followed by 20 minutes of natural release yielded beans that had the perfect amount of chew.
  • They retained their shape on the outside and were tender and creamy on the inside.
  • Yes, you can overcook beans in a pressure cooker (they’ll end up mushy), so don’t leave them for much longer than the recipe suggests.

If you add the cooking time up (55 minutes of pressure + release, plus the 10 or so minutes it takes the Instant Pot to come to pressure), it’s more than an hour, but the beauty of the method is that it’s completely hands-off.

It’s also about an hour faster than cooking the dried beans on the stove using a quick-soak method.

What’s the Ratio of Beans to Water?

I tested a couple of different ratios to make sure I ended up with the perfect black beans.

  • I found the best ratio for beans in the instant pot is 1:3. That’s 1 pound of dried beans and 3 cups water (using more water worked fine, but there was a lot of excess liquid).
  • This ratio took 35 minutes of pressure cooking + 20 minutes of natural release, but no draining was required, as the beans absorbed nearly all the liquid.
  • There was a bit of extra liquid in the Instant Pot, but I found that once I stirred the beans, I like having it there for serving, as it ensured the beans were not at all dry.
Dried black beans

5 Star Review

“This is the most accurate, delicious recipe for black beans. These beans were perfect texturally. Beans turned out great.”

— Polly —

How to Make Instant Pot Black Beans

The Ingredients

  • Black Beans. Packed with fiber, potassium, and vitamins, black beans are an exceptionally nutritious addition to any meal. Use dried black beans for this recipe, not canned beans which are already cooked.
  • Olive Oil. What we’re using to sauté the vegetables.
  • Vegetables. I added a yellow onion and green bell pepper for Cuban flair, nutrition, and flavor. These are optional but delish.
  • Spices. A mix of salt, cumin, dried oregano, and bay leaves adds to the Cuban flavor and makes these black beans taste extra special.
  • Garlic. For a touch of garlicky flavor.

The Directions

  1. Rinse and Drain the Beans. Pick out any stones or bad beans.
  2. Sauté the Vegetables. Stir in the cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and garlic.
  3. Cook the Beans. Cook on HIGH pressure for 35 minutes. Perform a natural pressure release for about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. ENJOY!
Easy Instant Pot black beans topped with fresh herbs

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate beans in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Rewarm beans in a pot on the stovetop or in the microwave. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze beans in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator or reheat directly from frozen.

Meal Prep Tip

For easy black beans on demand, freeze your black beans in portion-sized amounts in freezer-safe airtight containers.

Leftover Ideas

Use leftovers to make some tasty Burrito Bowls.

How to Use Instant Pot Black Beans

  • With Rice. Instant Pot black beans and rice is classic! Mix with brown rice or white rice for a simple meal. You can also top with chicken, a fried or poached egg (or Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs), and avocado or salsa. (Or add them to Mexican Chicken and Rice.)
  • Scrambles. Add black beans to a tofu or egg scramble or to Sweet Potato Hash.
  • Toast. Mash with avocado and spread on toasted bread for next-level avocado toast (I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from adding an egg to this too).
  • Mexican-Style Recipes. Fill burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos…and all other good things involving tortillas and cheese (including Mexican Chicken Casserole).
  • Soups. From Instant Pot Chili to Chicken Tortilla Soup (swap the pinto beans for black beans), black beans make an excellent addition to soup.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Black Beans

  • Instant Pot. This is the one I own and love.
  • Measuring Cups. My favorite because they are sturdy.
  • Wooden Spoon. Great for stirring the beans and making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Make It Your Own. Feel free to follow the recipe as written or change it up to meet your needs. Want to make Mexican Instant Pot black beans? Try adding chili powder and a pinch of cayenne. Love herbs? Sneak in more of your favorites! The opportunities are endless.
  • Rinse Your Beans. Even if you’re in a hurry, you mustn’t skip over the rinsing and draining step. Rinsing the beans removes dirt, debris, and more from the beans. While you’re rinsing, you’ll also want to remove any cracked beans or foreign objects (like stones).
  • Natural Release, Please. The black beans need a natural release so that they are soft and able to continue absorbing moisture. Save the quick-release method for other Instant Pot recipes.

Instant Pot Black Beans

4.54 from 155 votes
The best way to make Instant Pot black beans. Easy pressure cooker method that requires no soaking and no draining of the beans. Recipe includes options to add spices or keep them plain and use for any recipe that calls for canned black beans.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings: 6 cups, approx.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound dried black beans  about 2 cups, no need to soak
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 cups water
  • Optional for serving: diced avocados jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, cherry tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Rinse and drain the beans and pick out any stones or bad, cracked-looking beans. Set aside.
  • Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion, bell pepper, and salt. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and garlic, and cook until the spices are very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the water and beans and stir. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure for 35 minutes. When the timer goes off, allow the steam to release naturally for 20 additional minutes. Remove the lid. Remove the bay leaves and discard them. Enjoy warm or let cool completely and store in individual containers.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate beans in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm beans in a pot on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze beans in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator or reheat directly from frozen.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 124kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 7gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 336mgFiber: 7gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 73IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 2mg

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Other Types of Dried Beans in the Instant Pot?

This method is intended for black beans. Larger or harder beans (such as cannellini, navy, pinto, or kidney beans Instant Pot) will need longer, so if you are using the method below, I’d suggest adding several minutes to the pressure cook time.

How Many Cups Is in 1 Pound of Dried Beans?

1 pound dried beans = 2 cups dried beans = 5 cups cooked beans

1 (15-ounce) can = 1 1/2 cups cooked beans <—this is good to know if you want to use your own Instant Pot Black Beans in recipes that call for canned black beans.

Do You Soak Beans Before Pressure Cooking?

No. For this recipe, you do not need to soak beans before pressure cooking. I don’t know exactly how long to cook soaked black beans in the Instant Pot (as that’s not what I tested), but I’m guessing you’ll need significantly less cook time.

Why Are My Beans Still Hard After Pressure Cooking?

If your beans aren’t softening, here are a few possible reasons why:
1. They’re old. Beans that are old (or haven’t been stored properly) may remain hard even after cooking.
2. There wasn’t enough water. Without the right amount of water, the Instant Pot won’t come to pressure and function as it should.
3. Acid. Wait to add any acids (vinegar, lemon, lime, etc.) until after your beans are cooked, as the acidity can make the beans hard.

More Recipes Using Black Beans

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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347 Comments

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  1. I made some changes as I like my beans with more south of the border flavor. I added to the pot: seeded 2 guajillo & 1 arbol chili peppers, 1 cinnamon stick, bacon pieces, a large teaspoon of minced garlic, chicken bouillon and some taco seasoning. I normally do 1 1/2 cup of black beans or pinto beans along with 3 cups of water. Put on high for 47 minutes. Allow to slow release. Take out 1/4 of the pot – to include the chilis (remove cinnamon stick from pot) and blend then add back to the pot. This helps to thicken it up and breaks down the peppers for more flavor. I eat this pretty often as is or sometimes over brown rice. Can top with shredded cheese, chopped jalapenos, etc.4 stars

  2. I liked your recipe but I wish I hadn’t been so quick to set the timer. If I’d read the comments, I’d have seen several people cook their beans longer. I wanted mine softer and so I restarted the crock pot and cooked another 12 minutes and had to let the steam release. Lesson learned….being in a rush only takes more time in the end! The beans were delicious in the end, creamy and flavorful. I ate some nachos sans beans while I waited.4 stars

    1. Hi Josephine! Typically the 1 pound of pinto beans should equal to 2 cups. When in doubt, use 2 cups. Hope this helps!

  3. In another comment you said the ratio of beans to water was 1:3, in this recipe you called for 2 cups of beans to 3 cups of water, but 1 lb of beans is 4 cups. So your recipe calls for 4 cups of beans and 3 cups of water.

    1. Hi Corie, I’m not sure what you are referring to about a ratio of beans to water. But this particular recipe calls for 2 cups beans and 3 cups water. Hope this helps!

  4. I love your recipes and would love to give this a try but I don’t have a pressure cooker or insta-pot. How might I modify this recipe to use with a crock pot?

    1. Hi Janine! I haven’t tried the black beans in the crock pot but I have pinto beans so the method might be similar. Hope this helps! Here is the link: https://www.wellplated.com/crock-pot-pinto-beans/

  5. Regarding pairing, why not have Cuban mojo chicken with Cuban black beans? It’s the perfect combination. Mexican-style chicken is a world apart from Cuba flavorings.

  6. I tried this exactly recipe as written and found that 3 cups of water was not nearly enough. The beans were very dry and hard (not cooked). I will try again and double the water.2 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe Karen. Was there any vapor or water escaping while this was coming to pressure? This is typically the main reason as to why the bean can turn out in that manner. Let me know how it goes after you’ve added the extra liquid.

    2. You really don’t seem to want to hear it but this was not enough water at all. Burnt the bottom of my pan. Beans inedible. Should have been 6 cups more likely. Fix this recipe or take it down, so annoying1 star

      1. Erika, I am so sorry to hear this! I have not had this issue; are you sure that your instant pot was properly sealed? I’ve had issues before when I didn’t realize it was slightly vented so a lot of water escaped while the pressure built and caused it to burn. I’d love to help troubleshoot!

  7. Easy and delicious! Saving this for all time. I made 1x the recipe and it was barely enough for 6 adults and 7 kids with a few lucky to get a small second serving. Zero leftovers. Next time, I’ll double if I’m serving to that many people so people can chow down on these amazing black beans!5 stars

  8. I’ve been reading the comments here. I always want to be respectful and sure before I jump in. I’ve been using a pressure cooker for 40 years and I knew there was not enough water in this recipe for a pound of beans. Sure enough I scorched my expensive pot. Revise?1 star

    1. Hi Mary, I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe. We’ve not been able to replicate the issue, could you tell me what size and model Instant Pot you are using? Thank you!

  9. I made the simplest version of the recipe possible (beans, spices, water) and it turned out great. I used 1 pound of dry black beans, measured by weight – this is about 2 cups in volume. I added 3 cups of water, plus cumin and powdered garlic. 35 minutes high pressure, 20 minutes natural release – just like the recipe says. They were firm, but fully cooked and perfect to add to the chili I was making. No burning at all.5 stars

  10. This was too little water and not enough cooking time. I used the quantities listed and need to add another 2 cups of water and cook another 40 min to make them soft enough to eat.2 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Amy. The amounts and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would have been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it does not turn out for you.

  11. For those complaining of not enough liquid, I followed the suggested ratio and it worked like a dream. The ratio does work.

    Dearest Erin, I really wanted to make it your way, but I was in a hurry and was missing some of your suggested ingredients. Instead, I threw the beans in the Instant Pot, added 1 can of original Rotel (which, as a Texan, I always have on hand), plus your suggested ratio of liquid (some of which was broth because I needed to get rid of it) closed the lid and set it for the time you suggested. WOWEE! They were so flavorful and delicious. It was such an easy way to cook them and it didn’t take all day over a hot stove. Also, I love the advice on the equivalent of a can of beans. I packaged and froze mine for later use and they still tasted freshly cooked. My husband said they were the best beans he ever tasted and we are Mexican food lovers and have eaten at many of the best Mexican food restaurants in Texas and California, so that was one heck of a compliment.

    Many thanks for sharing! I will never forget this!5 stars

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