These Instant Pot Black Beans are seriously THE BEST! Easy, delicious, and full of flavor. So much faster than on the stovetop, cooking beans in the Instant Pot is a quick, budget friendly way to make an amazing dinner the family will love. vegetarian, gluten free and dairy-free.Jump to Recipe
UPDATED June 3, 2019
I remember the first time a coworker of mine gave me a batch of her *amazing* homemade Cuban black beans. It was the dead of summer and I was VERY pregnant with Alice. It was hot, I was very preggo and had zero interest in standing in a sweltering kitchen to cook dinner.
“I always keep some in the freezer,” she said, handing over a giant of her container of perfectly cooked Cuban black beans, “They are a favorite in our house and make a really great easy meal to reheat. Enjoy!”
When I got home that night, I quickly reheated the beans on the stove. I threw them over some rice with avocados and whatever greens we had on hand and dug in.
These beans were out. of. this. world. AMAZING!
The flavors danced on my taste buds. The beans melted in my mouth. They were so good. So so so good. And while I might not have been motivated to cook, I NEED that recipe in my life and belly on a regular basis.
Instant Pot Black Beans
I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended soaking your beans for at least 8 hours before cooking. This makes them so much easier on the digestive system and really cuts down on the whole “beans beans the magical fruit” situation that have most people running away from beans of all kinds.
Why is soaking your black beans so important?
Soaking helps to reduces the phytic acid (enzyme inhibitors naturally present in beans, grains, nuts, and seeds) that makes certain foods hard to digest.
How to soak your black beans
My preferred method for soaking my black beans in to do it overnight. But If you only have 8 hours, that will do the trick as well.
Before you soak your beans, give them a good rinse. You want to get all the dirt and stuff off. And while you’re at it, pick through your dry beans to make sure there aren’t any little rocks trying to hang out in your dinner. Black beans are a bit notorious for having little rocks in them.
Once all that rinsing and picking through is done, simply throw your beans into a bowl. Cover them with 2-3 inches of clean water. Throw a clean dishtowel over the bowl to keep random debris and insects from ending up in the bowl. And let the bowl hang out at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.
You can also add a tablespoon or two of an acidic medium (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice) to the soaking water to help make the beans more digestible.
Do I have to soak my black beans before making them in Instant Pot?
Running low on time and want to skip the soaking process all together? You can and cook them right from dry if you want.
The cooking time will change, though.
Cook UNSOAKED beans for 30 minutes on HIGH pressure and let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
How to cook black beans in a slow cooker?
Not everyone is as in love with the Instant Pot as me, so if slow cookers are more your jam…you can still enjoy this recipe!
Combine everything but the salt in your slow cooker and cook the beans on high for 3-4 hours (checking after 3 hours to see if the beans are done) or on low for 7-8 hours (checking after 7 hours to see if beans are done).
Should I use salt when cooking black beans?
I think salt really enhances the flavor of beans, so I say yes to the salt.
However, WHEN you add the salt is key to their success.
I have made black beans from dry more times than I can count, adding salt before cooking and other times after. I have found that adding the salt AFTER the cooking process ensures that the black beans are consistently tender and perfect.
Why are my black beans still hard after cooking in Instant Pot?
While this recipe is almost always successful….there are a few factors to keep in mind if you beans are still hard after cooking and may result in you needing to give them a bit more time.
If your beans are still hard after cooking, some reasons why this might be are:
- The size of the beans. Black beans are usually pretty consistent in size but they are a plant and sizes can vary. If your beans seem larger than normal, you might need to cook them for a few extra minute. If your beans are on the small side, shave off a few minutes.
- How old your beans are. Old beans tend to take longer to cook and may also require a few bonus minutes cooking to soften up.
Other black beans recipes you are going to love…
- Corn and Black Bean Salad
- The BEST Slow Cooker Black Beans
- Instant Pot Black Bean & Butternut Squash Soup
- Instant Pot Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili
Loving the Instant Pot black beans and hungry for more?
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Instant Pot Black Beans
- Instant Pot
- 1 1/2 cup dried black beans picked over, rinsed, soaked, and rinsed again.
- 1 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup coconut oil avocado oil or ghee
- 1 1/2 cups minced yellow onion
- 2 cups diced bell pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 5 cloves garlic minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder), or to taste
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 5 cups broth
- cayenne to taste optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients EXECPT FOR SALT in your Instant Pot. Stir a few times to mix.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, lock in place and turn the valve to sealing.
- Select the MANUAL setting and use the +/- buttons to set cook time for 9 minutes on HIGH pressure. It will take your pressure cooker about 10 minutes to get up to pressure. This is normal.
- Once the beans are done cooking, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before quick releasing the remaining pressure.
- Remove bay leaves. Stir in salt to taste.
- Drain some (or alof the cooking liquid off of beans. How much you drain off is up to you. If you plan on enjoying all of the beans right away, feel free to remove as much of the liquid as you like. However, if you plan to store these beans, I recommend saving some to help the beans from becoming to dry in the fridge. Or keep all the cooking liquid in and enjoy the beans as a soup!
- Store leftovers in fridge from up to a week or in freezer for months to come!
- If you opt not to soak your black beans ahead of time, cook for 30 minutes on HIGH pressure. Allowing the pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes.
- Adding the salt AFTER cooking helps to ensure the beans soften up appropriately. I have cooked them with salt and then add it after, but I get the most successful and consistent results when I add the salt after the cooking process.
- Black beans are usually pretty consistent in size but they are a plant and sizes can vary. If your beans seem larger than normal, you might need to cook them for a few extra minute. If your beans are on the small side, shave off a few minutes.
- Old beans tend to take longer to cook and may also require a few bonus minutes cooking to soften up. Keep this in mind when making this delicious Instant Pot Black Beans recipe!
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!
Looks amazing and I can’t wait to try. Do you know what the cooking time would be on the stove top?
I linked the stove recipe that inspired this IP version in the post! You can check it out for the best way to make these on the stove!
I see it now, thank you!
Looks delicious. Black beans are a favorite.
How about crockpot & timing estimate?
I would probably say about 8 hours on low!
These look so good! A little tip try adding some red wine vinegar to your beans, a total game changer!
Oh great addition!!
How much wine vinegar did you add?
Im trying this tomorrow. My beans are soaking over night. Can’t wait to try.
Are these good cold? I was thinking to make them for a BBQ, but maybe no one would want to eat a warm dish on a warm day?
I don’t personally enjoy beans cold, so I wouldn’t suggest it. However, it is a personal taste.
These were good. I followed the recipe as is the first time. I generally prefer to fully cook my beans, then add tomatoes, but I wanted to see how this went. There was a bit of overheating ("hot" indicator on IP). Also, I felt there was too much liquid at the end (I think this is highly dependent on the age of one’s beans). That said, they were delicious beans.
Second time I made a few adjustments. Saved 1/2 the oregano and all the tomato paste. Once the pressure/release cycle ended, I turned the pot to low saute, added in the oregano and tomato paste. After a few minutes, I added a generous pour of red wine vinegar. after another 15 minutes, these were the beans of my dreams. Thanks for a great jumping off point!
I actually soaked my beans overnight plus most of the next day. I followed the recipe and set the IP for 30 minutes, waiting for 20 minutes after that before releasing the pressure. They were not as done as I would have liked. Next time I’ll cook a bit longer. The flavor was great and there was a lot of broth. Thanks for sharing.
I just made this for dinner tonight. I soaked the beans overnight and most of the next day. I added a few dashes of cayenne. Also after reading a few reviews about the beans not being cooked quite enough according to the recipe timing, I let the natural release go for an extra 10 minutes. The beans were absolutely perfect, nice creamy interior. We ate this as a soup (I didn’t want to lose all of that delicious liquid). My husband and I loved it! This will now be a regular. It has replaced 2 other black bean recipes. I think next time I will either reduce the liquid by 1 cup or add 1/2 cup more beans. Thank you!
What type of broth is best to use??
I personally like to use chicken broth, but whatever your favorite broth is should work well!
I have the lux IP-LUX do you put it on steam or manual for 30 min
I made these and they turned out very nice but I didn’t add enough salt. I was wondering if that much liquid is really needed to cook the beans properly? Do you think 3 cups would be enough?
It is needed, as the beans will stay hard without it in my experience. I like to drain off some liquid in the end and add a little extra salt to taste after!
Question: is the measured amount of beans before or after the soaking?
Hi Taesha! I just typed Pressure cooker Cuban black beans recipes into Google and your recipe was the third that came up on my screen. I was shocked…I thought, I know the Natural Nurturer!!! Like you’re famous…or your recipe is famous….or something like that…. I dunno. I’m going to give your recipe a try! 🙂
We had the Cuban black beans for lunch and they were a smash hit! I followed the recipe exactly. I chose coconut oil, as I had it handy. I also increased the pressure cook time by ten minutes as we all like our beans kinda’ messy. I served them over rice, with a sprinkle of Mexican cheddar cheese, and a glob of sour cream on top. We all had seconds. We’ll be eating the beans often! 🙂
I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed these beans! They are a family favorite as well!
These beans are DELICIOUS! I love recipes that require no soaking. Wish I had a BIG Instant Pot so that I could double the recipe, because they sure get devoured quickly. Thank you!
I am so glad you enjoyed them!
What is the purpose of the oil? Can you make without?
It just gives them a nice richness, but it can be omitted!
I must have done something wrong. This recipe should be fantastic, but mine were almost inedible. Not sure what to do to "fix" my disaster
I’m so sorry to hear that! Were they too hard? Did you sub anything? Perhaps forget something?
Some people have reported undercooked (way undercooked) beans when they add salt to the cooking. Trying skipping on the salt and add after pressure cooking.
This recipe turned out wonderful for us. Thanks for posting it. We found adding smoked turkey meshed nicely with the flavors. Quite nice. Cheers!
How many does this recipe serve?
I would say 5-6 servings.
Can you use the liquid from the beans for the rice?
I don’t see why not! Sounds like a delicious idea!
LOVED this recipe. I had baby tomatoes in the fridge so i threw in a pint of those as well. Delicious. Thank you!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I know it’s traditional to use green bell pepper, but, since I’m not fond of the green, how do you think it would taste with red bells? Thanks!
I think that would be totally fine! It really depends on how sweet you like your peppers!
Just wondering about the cooking time. I’ve often cooked soaked black beans in my IP and have consistently found that 5 minutes with a 10 minute natural release is just right for fully cooked beans that aren’t falling apart. I think if I cooked them 30 minutes they’d explode. You are talking about soaked beans, right? Maybe I’ll start with 5 minutes and check it out… I can always continue cooking if necessary. I just think it’s curious that so many had undercooked beans with this lengthy cooking time. Looking forward to trying your recipe. Thanks.
Funny, I JUST updated the recipe!
These are so easy and the while family (and guests) loved them!
Can you link the stove top recipe? I cant find it 🙁
These beans were amazing!!! I used a little over 2 cups black beans and added in some more cayenne and cumin. We ate these three days in a row. I enjoyed the extra broth, brought so much flavor. Thank you for this recipe! Game changer
Can I use canned beans?
Since canned beans are already cooked, they would likely turn to mush in the Instant Pot.
Hello, being a Cuban I couldn’t agree more: with the comments on this excellent recipe. Our grandmother’s always teach us NOT to add any ingredients , except for the broth and oil, before the beans are soft. In general, salt and other ingredients make it harder for the beans to cook, and in case of vegetablesif I always add after the beans are soft, together with salt and others to avoid overcooking and losing their vitamins. Personally i like black beans both ways: warm on the same day or cold.from the fridge the day after 😜
Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Made your slow cooker black beans in the slow cooker last week and your Cuban black beans in the IP this morning.
I used fresh beans, and nine minutes of cooking was plenty. Didn’t need salt. Will try with just 4 cups of broth next time. Have really enjoyed both recipes; thank you!
I’m so glad they have been a hit!
By ‘fresh’ beans I mean I had just purchased them. They hadn’t been sitting on the shelf for a long time.
This is surely the dinner all the family will love. It’s easy to make, healthy and, I bet, so delicious, too! 🙂