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INSTANT POT BLACK BEANS

Instant Pot Black Beans made from scratch are full of flavor, healthy and easy to make – no soaking or draining the beans needed – just simple ingredients cooked in a pressure cooker and ready in 1 hour! Plus, you’ll find plenty of ideas on how to use these wonderful black beans.

top down view of easy instant pot black beans in a serving bowl with items surrounding.

I absolutely love making vegan recipes in my instant pot!

You may already be familiar with these vegan Instant Pot Refried Beans, Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans and these healthy Instant Pot Baked Beans. They are tried & true, delicious, no fuss recipes. The hardest part is prepping the produce.

These pressure cooked black beans are tender and flavorful. Plus they’re low fat, oil free, able to cook fast without the need to be soaked and are easily customizable.

There’s nothing complicated about making beans in a pressure cooker. Simply dump it all in, press a button and let the Instant Pot do it’s magic. It’s straight forward and they turn out perfect every time, it’s practically fail-proof!

Don’t I Need To Soak Black Beans Before Cooking?

No! Contrary to what you may have heard, there really is no need to soak the beans before cooking, no matter how you are cooking them. In fact, soaking the beans ahead of time means you’ll lose some of the flavor.

The only reason you may want to soak is to save a little cooking time, but even then it will only save you 30 minutes to an hour. I always like to direct reader’s to this LA Times article about the myth of soaking beans. and this 4 Surprising Reasons Not To Soak Your Beans Again.

Please note, if you’re very sensitive to eating beans that haven’t been soaked, by all means give them a soak, either quick soak or soak overnight in cold water. Personally, I have no issues with not soaking my beans, so I recommend doing what is best for you.

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top down view of the process of making easy instant pot black beans.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here is everything you’ll need to make this full-flavored, vegan black bean recipe:

  • Black beans: We’ll be making this black bean recipe from scratch so you’ll need a 1 pound package of dried black beans, about 2 cups.
  • Onion and garlic: Added for superb flavor. If you don’t have fresh on hand, use 3 teaspoons of onion powder or 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Vegetable broth: The beans will soak up the vegetable broth, adding another layer of flavor when cooking. To cut down on cost and sodium I use 1 teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base to the 4 cups of water called for.
  • Spices and peppers: I like to add cumin, 2 bay leaves and 1 jalapeno. These would also be delicious with 1 teaspoon of oregano.
  • Salt and pepper: Add up to 1 teaspoon each of mineral salt and pepper. Mineral salt is different than table or sea salt, and includes essential minerals and trace elements. I find it more flavorful and that I don’t need as much. It’s the salt that I use most and highly recommend using it.
  • Lime juice: Freshly-squeezed at the end of preparation adds a wonderful brightness of flavor.

Ways To Customize This Recipe

  • Keep them super simple. Use just the black beans, vegetable broth, salt and pepper for plain black beans. Use these beans anywhere black beans are called for. Just drain and rinse the beans as you would with canned black beans.
  • Use everything but the spices. You can also opt to use black beans, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, salt and pepper.
  • Skip the chopping. Instead of dicing onion and garlic, use 1 teaspoon EACH onion powder and garlic powder.
  • Add more vegetables. For an even heartier black bean recipe add 1 – 2 diced bell peppers of any color. Or try these Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans which calls for 2 green bell peppers and green olives.

top down view of freshly cooked instant pot black beans in an instant pot with ladle.

How To Make Instant Pot Black Beans

Making homemade black beans in the instant pot only requires a few simple steps:

  • Start by washing the beans. Rinse the beans under cool running water using a colander. Pick out and remove any odd shaped beans.
  • Add ingredients to the instant pot. Place the black beans in the bowl of the instant pot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, jalapeno (if using), bay leaves, salt, pepper and finish with the liquids.
  • Pressure cook the beans. Manually set the Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 35 minutes, close the vent to SEAL. Once done, let the pressure cooker steam vent naturally for about 25 minutes.
  • Taste for flavor. Taste the beans, adding as much lime juice, salt and pepper as you like. Beans will soak up the remaining liquids as they cool.

Now all you have to do is enjoy the best black beans ever!

Is It OK To Salt The Water When Cooking Dried Beans?

Absolutely! It’s perfectly ok to salt the beans when cooking. In fact, it adds more flavor and doesn’t keep them from fully cooking. The myth of salt interfering with cooking has finally been debunked (#6).

Most of the time if beans don’t cook correctly, is because they are old or you have hard water (acidic water). Be sure to source beans from a place that replenishes them often and try using purified water or add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the water.

side angle view of easy instant pot black beans in a serving bowl with items surrounding.

How To Store Leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, and reheat well with these simple tips:

  • To refrigerate or freeze in containers: Let the beans cool completely. Place the beans in airtight containers of desired size. Refrigerate for up to 4 – 5 days or freeze for up to  2 – 3 months.
  • To freeze flat (perfect for space saving): Let the beans cool completely. Portion them into freezer friendly ziplock bags and label with the date. Seal the bags, removing as much air as possible. Then squish the beans so the bag lays flat. Freeze flat for up to 2 – 3 months.
  • To reheat: If the beans are frozen, let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat them in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often until warmed through. You can also zap them in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds to 1 minute, until warmed through.

Serving Suggestions

Use these flavorful Mexican inspired black beans in:

Simplify this recipe without produce & spices and use them in:

up close view of easy black bean tacos on a serving tray.

More Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Love

If you try this pressure cooker black beans recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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INSTANT POT BLACK BEANS

Instant Pot Black Beans made from scratch – no soaking or draining the beans needed – just simple ingredients that cook in one pot and ready in under 1 hour! Recipe is vegan and includes options for making them plain to use for any recipe calling for canned black beans.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 60 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 5 cups 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Mexican, Tex-Mex

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed and odd beans removed
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, optional
  • 1 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth

Instructions

Start by washing the beans. Rinse the beans under cool running water using a colander. Pick out and remove any odd shaped beans.

Add ingredients to the instant pot. Place the black beans in the bowl of the instant pot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, jalapeno (if using), bay leaves, salt, pepper and finish with the liquids.

Pressure cook the beans. Manually set the Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 35 minutes, close the vent to SEAL. Once done, let the pressure cooker steam vent naturally for about 25 minutes.

Taste for flavor. Taste the beans, adding as much lime juice, salt and pepper as you like.

Beans will soak up the remaining liquids as they cool. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Makes about 5 cups. Serves 8 – 10, 1/2 cup per serving.

Store: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 days. To keep longer, store in freezer safe containers or baggies for up to 2 – 3 months.

Notes

Keep the beans super simple. Use just the black beans, vegetable broth, salt and pepper for plain black beans. Use these beans in any recipe calling for black beans. Drain and rinse them before using just as you would with canned black beans.

Use everything but the spices. You can also opt to use black beans, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, salt and pepper.

Skip the chopping. Instead of dicing onion and garlic, use 1 teaspoon EACH onion powder and garlic powder.

Add more vegetables. For an even heartier black bean recipe add 1 – 2 diced bell peppers of any color.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I use this Instant Pot. For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials.

Keywords: instant pot black beans, vegan black bean recipe

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6 Comments

  1. Delicious!! Great recipe! I subbed onion powder and omitted the spices. Still fabulous and so easy. Thank you!

  2. Absolutely delicious! I have tried a few IP black bean recipes and this one is the best by far. Thanks!

  3. Tiffany Dumas says:

    I needed more liquid for my beans. They did not cook evenly with the first try. But I put them back through with more liquid & that worked.

  4. First time I have cooked beans in the instant pot. Turned out great! My whole family loved them! I really appreciated the variations that you gave as well. I’ll make this recipe in the future and try it with the variations. Thanks so much!

  5. shannon = says:

    I’ve made these twice according to the recipe and both times they cooked very unevenly. Next time I’ll use both more liquid and more time.

    1. but very good flavor!

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