Leave the canned kind behind! These no soak Instant Pot Black Beans are easy, creamy, flavorful, and cook hands-free.
WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
From time to time, we'll send you the best of Well Plated. We respect your privacy and you can opt out anytime.
Already registered? Log in here.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- Rinse and Drain the Beans. Pick out any stones or bad beans.
- Sauté the Vegetables. Stir in the cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and garlic.
- Cook the Beans. Cook on HIGH pressure for 35 minutes. Perform a natural pressure release for about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. ENJOY!
- 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.
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
- Tacos. These black beans would be a scrumptious side dish for Steak Tacos or Vegetarian Tacos. (Don’t forget the homemade guacamole!)
- Salad. Serve the black beans alongside a large bowl of Avocado Salad, or use them in this Mexican Salad or Taco Salad.
- Chicken. Pair black beans with Crockpot Mexican Chicken or this Chicken Quesadilla Recipe.
- Fajitas. Black beans made an excellent side dish for Steak Fajitas or Grilled Chicken Fajitas.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Join today and start saving your favorite recipes
Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.Sign Me Up
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.