It’s a “how to” day! I’m sharing the deets on how to make the best ever Instant Pot Black Beans. This easy method for making black beans in the pressure cooker requires no soaking in advance and no draining of the pot after they’re finished. I’ve included tasty ideas for ways to use your big, beautiful pot of black beans once you are finished too.

Instant Pot Black Beans with Cuban seasoning. The easy way to cook black beans and they taste so much better than canned! Pressure cooking means the beans don’t need to be soaked in advance, and you can swap them for any recipe that calls for canned black beans. Simple, vegan, and so flavorful!

I’m quite unabashed in my love of beans, especially black beans.

They’re ultra affordable, high in protein and fiber, and work well in recipes that range from Crock Pot Mexican Casserole to my favorite Instant Pot Chili to even brownies (I haven’t tried my own recipe yet—anyone interested?—but this Black Bean Brownies recipe has my eye).

For maximum weeknight ease, I usually reach for canned black beans, but I know from personal experience that when you cook the beans yourself from dried instead of using canned beans, their texture is far superior.

If you are really watching your budget, dried beans are less expensive than canned beans too.

The issue with cooking black beans? TIME.

Dried beans need to be soaked overnight before cooking, a small detail I have an impressive track record of forgetting to complete before I head to bed.

Even if you use the quick-soak bean cooking method (soaking the beans in boiling water for about an hour), it still takes an additional hour to cook them from there.

My solution: Instant Pot Black Beans! (For the curious, this is the Instant Pot model I own, though any electric pressure cooker will work for this method. More recipe ideas can be found here: 15 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes!)

Instant Pot Black Beans. An easy pressure cooker recipe starting with dried black beans. Make them plain or Cuban style!

How Long Does It Take to Cook Black Beans in the Pressure Cooker?

My recipe testing found that, for the water-to-black-bean ratio used, 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.

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 still 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 with the quick-soak method.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Dried Beans in the Pressure Cooker?

If you are thinking “hiiiiii, you just answered that,” I’m adding this FAQ as a word of caution: this method is intended for Instant Pot Black Beans. Larger or harder beans (such as cannellini, navy, or pinto beans) will need longer, so if you are using the method below, I’d suggest adding several minutes to the pressure cook time.

Dried black beans, picked through and ready for the pressure cooker.

How Many Cups Is in 1 Pound of Dried Beans? (Plus Helpful Conversions)

  • 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

Black Beans Instant Pot Water Ratio

I tested two different water ratios:

  • 1 pound dried beans + 8 cups water: After 30 minutes of pressure and 20 minutes of natural release, my beans were perfectly cooked, BUT there was an excess of water in the Instant Pot that needed to be drained. I wouldn’t have minded for just plain old black beans, but the excess water diluted the wonderful bonus Cuban flavors I’d added. Plus, draining the beans was an extra step that I wanted to see if I could eliminate.
  • 1 pound dried beans + 3 cups water: The winner! 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.

Instant Pot Black Beans: Turning Up the Flavor

While you can use this method to make regular ol’ Instant Pot Black Beans (which you can then use in any recipe that calls for canned black beans or cooked black beans), I wanted to make them extra special and flavorful.

I took inspiration from the islands and made these Instant Pot Black Beans Cuban (or Cuban-ish) by incorporating a few star ingredients in Cuban cuisine: bell pepper, onion, cumin, bay leaves, and oregano. I loved the extra depth of flavor and caught myself eating these right out of the pot.

While these black beans are Cuban inspired, you certainly don’t need a Cuban recipe to use them.

The flavors and ingredients are fairly ubiquitous in Mexican cuisine too, so any Southwest style of recipe would be excellent with these seasoned black beans swapped in place of plain.

Want to make Instant Pot Black Beans Mexican? Try adding chili powder and, if you are feeling dangerous, a pinch of cayenne.

Easy Instant Pot Black Beans. No-soak method for making black beans in the pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Black Beans: Why Should I Bother?

While I still love canned black beans for their mega convenience factor and plan to continue using them often, I’m glad to have this Instant Pot method at my disposal.

  • The black beans cooked in the Instant Pot far outshone the canned version in both taste and texture. (I feel the same way about canned refried beans too, which lead to my recipe for Instant Pot Refried Beans!)
  • Where canned beans can be a little mushy, the Instant Pot Black Beans were pleasantly firm without being chewy, and the insides were tender and creamy.
  • As odd as it sounds, I also felt that the Instant Pot Black Beans tasted more “pure” than ones I’ve had from a can.
  • Cooking your own black beans also means you can customize them by adding booster ingredients and spices. I opted to keep the Instant Pot Black Beans vegan, but for a special occasion, I can see incorporating black beans with bacon being a tasty adaptation. The spices are simple to edit (see “Turning Up the Flavor” above as well as the recipe notes).
  • At $1 to $2 per pound, black beans are a bargain.
  • These black beans are very freezer friendly, so you can cook a batch and portion them into 1 1/2 cupfuls that you can reach for any time a recipe calls for a 15-ounce can of black beans. A few to recipes get you started: Mexican Chicken Casserole, Slow Cooker Taco Casserole, and Mexican Chicken and Rice.

More Ways to Use Instant Pot Black Beans

  • Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice: CLASSIC! Mix with brown rice for a simple meal. You can also top with chicken, a fried or poached egg, and avocado or salsa.
  • Add to a tofu or egg scramble.
  • 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).
  • Fill burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos…and all other good things involving tortillas and cheese.
  • Make the Cuban Beans and Rice that I’m sharing later this week!

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

Instant Pot Black Beans with Cuban seasoning. The easy way to cook black beans and they taste so much better than canned! Pressure cooking means the beans don’t need to be soaked in advance, and you can swap them for any recipe that calls for canned black beans. Simple, vegan, and so flavorful!

Instant Pot Black Beans | Cuban Style or Plain

4.69 from 66 votes
The best way to make black beans in the Instant Pot. Easy method that requires no soaking and no draining of the beans. Recipe includes options to make the black beans Cuban, or keep them plain and use for any recipe that calls for canned black beans.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 hr 15 mins
Total: 1 hr 20 mins

Servings: 6 cups, approx.


  • 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


  • 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.


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 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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  1. This was really good. However the beans were a little on the chewy side for my taste so next time i’ll add about five minutes cook time and another cup of water. Thank you for the great recipe!4 stars

    1. Do not add salt untill beans are done cooking, this prevents them from being chewy or tough, no need to cook longer.

  2. These beans came out really great. We did 40min on high pressure and 20min natural release and they weren’t quite cooked, but another 10min at high pressure did the trick, so just be aware your cook time may vary depending on your beans. But otherwise a big success.5 stars

  3. This recipe worked great for me. I’m at a pretty high elevation (near Salt Lake City) so I gave it a few extra minutes, and it worked perfectly! Thank you so much, Erin! It lasted in the fridge a solid 2 weeks, and was delicious.5 stars

    1. Did you increase the time when you doubled the recipe? We are going camping with 8 families this weekend and I was thinking about adding this to our taco night.

  4. I also found that they were undercooked, so I read some comments below and decided on the extra cup and another 10 minutes. They TASTE good, but they’re not quite done. I also added choped cilantro stem for added flavah and it was a yummy add. (if cilantro doesn’t taste like soap to you that is lol).

    1. Hi Kathy! I’ve only tested the recipe as written! If you decide to try it that way instead, let me know how it goes!

  5. I love your recipes. I am in Canada. I would love to purchase your cook book but I don’t use cook books anymore, all on line recipes. Is there any way I can join your cook book on line?
    I see your recipes on your web site. I love your emails. You are really a sensation to me.

    Yours truly. Debbie

    1. Hi Debbie! There is no way to join my cookbook online, I don’t have anything like that available. You can purchase the kindle version which gives you an online only version. Hope this helps!

  6. I soaked the beans for 20 hours changing the water twice to pour the flatulence down the drain. Cooked for 10 minutes on high and slow release for 20. They were very good. YES 10 minutes.5 stars

  7. I’ve made this so many times! For my family it’s perfect as is.
    For my in-laws who like more kick to their food I add in the Indian chili powder from a local ethnic store and they LOVE it.
    We could eat this everyday. The bean-hater among us gets teased when asking for seconds. It’s that good. And such a simple list if ingredients and method! Thank you for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  8. I’m new to instant pot cooking so I’m not sure if I did something wrong, but the beans at the top of the pot were dry and undercooked! The rest is good, and since I’m portioning out and freezing some I’ll just simmer them on the stove a bit.3 stars

    1. Hi C! I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with this recipe. It’s so hard to say what might’ve gone wrong without being in the kitchen with you. I would suggest to double check the amount of ingredients and making sure you stir the beans before you put them under pressure. Glad you were able to enjoy some of them!

  9. Followed the recipe and had to add 20 extra minutes to the instant pot. Also beans were bland and did not have much flavor. Next time I will soak the beans before and see if that helps. Will plan to add more spices as well.1 star

    1. I’m so sorry you had trouble with this recipe, Monique. It’s hard to say what went wrong without being in the kitchen with you.
      I know it’s frustrating to try a new recipe and not have it turn out. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed them, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

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