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

instant pot black beans in pressure cooker with wooden spoon

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 are pleasantly firm without being chewy, and the insides are 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.

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.
cooked black beans in instant pot

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.
  1. Sauté the Vegetables. These form the base of flavor.
aromatics in instant pot for cooking black beans
  1. Add Seasonings. Stir in the cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and garlic.
liquid added to instant pot for cooking black beans
  1. Add the Beans. Pour in the water, too.
top down view of cooked black beans in instant pot
  1. Cook. Cook on HIGH pressure for 35 minutes. Perform a natural pressure release for about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. ENJOY!

Meal Prep Tips

For easy black beans on demand, freeze your black beans in portion-sized amounts in freezer-safe airtight containers. I also like to make a big batch over the weekend to use in meals throughout the week. Here are some of my favorites:

black beans in instant pot with cilantro for garnish

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.
  • My Beans Won’t Get Soft—Help! If your beans aren’t softening, they could be old, you may not have added enough water (without the right amount of water, the Instant Pot won’t come to pressure), or you may have added an acidic ingredient. Wait to add any acids (vinegar, lemon, lime, etc.) until after your beans are cooked, as the acidity can make the beans hard.

Instant Pot Black Beans

4.54 from 163 votes
The best way to make perfect Instant Pot black beans every time. Easy pressure cooker method that requires no soaking and no draining!

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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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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4.54 from 163 votes (47 ratings without comment)

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363 Comments

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  1. I had to add five minutes to the cook time (closed the lid, reset for 5 minutes high pressure and 10 minutes natural release) to get them to perfection. But that was easy enough to do, and the addition of the aromatics and other seasonings was delicious. Thanks!5 stars

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