Making black beans in the Instant Pot is quick and easy compared to using the stove top. Our Instant Pot Black Beans recipe is full of Mexican flavors and makes a great side dish.
Get perfectly cooked black beans every time with our simple cooking process. You’ll never want to buy canned black beans again after trying this easy recipe for the first time.
There’s no need to soak the beans and you can freeze leftovers for another night.
Instant Pot Black Beans Recipe
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup onion - chopped
- ½ cup bell pepper - chopped
- ½ cup tomato - chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 teaspoon jalapeno - minced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro - chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons taco seasoning
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound black beans - rinsed and sorted
- 4 cups chicken stock - or filtered water
- Cutting Board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing spoon
- Instant Pot
- Warm the olive oil using the Instant Pot on Sauté function. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the onions start becoming translucent.
- Stir in the tomato, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro and cook for about 60 seconds, then turn off the heat.
- Stir in the taco seasoning and sea salt, then pour in the water and stir in the dry beans and bay leaf. Be sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot as you stir so you don't get a burn notice.
- Close the lid and cook on High Pressure for 60 minutes. Use a full natural pressure release, then carefully open the lid. Stir, taste and adjust salt and spices, if necessary.
- Drain beans with a slotted spoon and serve as a side dish or ladle into a bowl topped with more chopped cilantro and cheese for a hearty lunch.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Tips for the Best Instant Pot Black Beans
1. How are these different from Cuban black beans?
They’re not! A lot of cultures use similar ingredients. If you do a quick search for Cuban black beans, you’ll see they have pretty much the exact same ingredients as Mexican black beans.
2. Can I double this recipe?
Yes, you should be able to double this recipe as long as it does not go over the max line in your Instant Pot inner pan. Keep the same bean to water ratio if this is your first time making them.
3. Why use bay leaves?
I usually add a bay leaf or two to my black bean recipes. It’s not a required ingredient, but they add another level of flavor to black beans.
4. Are these black beans vegetarian?
To make these flavorful black beans vegetarian, simply substitute vegetable broth or filtered water for chicken broth and your black beans are not only vegetarian, but vegan too.
5. My beans were over or undercooked…
After extensive testing, I discovered that I need to cook unsoaked beans for much longer than the recommended cook times.
Every Instant Pot cooks a little bit differently and older beans also take longer to cook, so there are a few factors to consider when pressure cooking beans.
- If your beans still weren’t cooked as thoroughly as you’d like, just put them back on for longer. Beans are very forgiving.
- If your beans were too soft for your taste, next time you’ll need to cook them for less time than recommended. You can also turn them into refried beans, eat them as a soup (see below) or just drain them and eat. Soft beans still taste amazing.
6. Do I soak the beans first?
No, that’s one of the great things about making beans in an electric pressure cooker – no soaking necessary. If you do soak them first, they’ll cook faster and absorb less water during cooking.
7. Topping ideas?
You can serve these black beans as a side dish. However, they’re also absolutely delicious in a bowl as a meal on their own. A squeeze of fresh lime juice really takes them over the top.
Some of my favorite toppings are homemade sour cream or queso fresco, fresh cilantro and green Cholula hot sauce. You can also use guacamole, shredded cheese, green onions, chopped red onion, tomatoes or anything else you desire.
8. Can I make refried black beans?
Of course. Simply follow the recipe above, then follow the instructions in our Instant Pot Refried Beans recipe for using an immersion blender to turn them into refried black beans.
9. Can I use pinto beans instead?
You can use pinto beans instead of black beans in this recipe. However, I find that Instant Pot Pinto Beans take longer to cook, so you’ll want to increase the cook time.
10. How to cook plain black beans?
Beans will cook faster in the Instant Pot without a lot of other ingredients – just plain beans and water. See my post on cooking beans in the Instant Pot for more information on the fastest way to make beans in a pressure cooker. It also covers cooking other types of beans with recipes.
11. How to store black beans?
If you have leftover black beans, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 3-4 days.
12. Can you freeze cooked black beans?
If you want to make Instant Pot Black Beans to use later, that’s no problem. Drain most of the cooking liquid, then freeze in an airtight container or plastic bags with the extra air removed.
If I know I’m going to make a big batch to freeze for later use, I like to decrease the cook time on my electric pressure cooker by 5-10 minutes so the beans don’t break down as much.
13. How to reheat black beans?
Simply put cooked beans in a small saucepan on the stove on low to reheat beans from the fridge. Add more liquid if needed.
For frozen beans, I like to let them defrost before reheating. It helps keep the structure of the bean more intact.
14. Ways to use black beans:
There are so many ways to eat black beans! Here are some of my favorite recipes:
- Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Sweet Potato & Black Bean Vegetarian Tacos
- Black Bean Brownies
- Homemade Tamales
- Nachos with tortilla chips
15. Can I make Instant Pot Black Bean Soup?
If you don’t drain the beans first, you can serve this recipe as a black bean soup by adding more liquid. You can also substitute black beans for pinto beans in our Spicy Instant Pot Bean Soup Recipe.
16. Make it a meal!
These are my favorite Mexican food recipes including main dish, side dish and topping ideas for family taco night: