Instant Pot Black Beans
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
These Instant Pot Black Beans are easy to make, and the taste and texture is so much better than canned beans. This post includes directions for how long to cook soaked and unsoaked black beans. These Instant Pot Black Beans freeze well so you can meal prep a big batch!
Once you try these Instant Pot black beans, you won’t want to go back to canned beans. These black beans are my 10 year old’s favorite thing that I make in my Instant Pot. Every time I make these pressure cooker black beans, she tells me that they are so much better than the beans from a can.
I have to agree. There really is no comparison between these seasoned black beans and canned. My Instant Pot pinto beans are another delicious example of how tasty homemade beans can be.
This recipe uses simple seasonings to make Mexican black beans. If you prefer, you can make unseasoned black beans for recipes such as black bean muffins.
When you cook dry beans yourself, you can control the firmness and texture of your cooked beans. You can also season the beans as they cook, and you can control the amount of salt.
Why we love these Instant Pot Black Beans:
- The taste and texture of Instant Pot beans is much better than canned beans. You can adjust the firmness of your beans by adjusting the cook time.
- Black beans are a versatile ingredient. You can use these Mexican black beans to make many quick dinners, including burritos and taco salad.
- Cooking beans from scratch is likely healthier. Cooking dried beans yourself means that you don’t have to worry about BPA in the lining of cans, you control the amount of salt that you add, etc.
- Black beans are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and fiber. Black beans are also a good source of iron and folate, as well as other vitamins and minerals. These Instant Pot Mexican Black Beans are vegan.
Do you need to soak beans before pressure cooking?
You do not need to soak beans before cooking them in an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Unsoaked beans will cook evenly, with great flavor and texture. In my experience, unsoaked beans tend to split apart less during pressure cooking. So if you forget to soak your beans or just prefer not to, you’ll have no problem cooking delicious beans in your Instant Pot.
Why you might want to soak dry beans before pressure cooking
- Soaking beans for 8-12 hours before cooking may make them easier to digest. Soaking beans helps to remove some of their gas-causing sugars.
- Soaked beans will also cook faster. With Instant Pot black beans, you can cut about 15 minutes off of the cook time by soaking the beans overnight (or for about 8 hours) before cooking them.
How long do you cook black beans in a pressure cooker?
The cook time depends on whether or not you soak your beans. It also depends on how firm or soft you want the cooked beans to be. I like to make my beans softer when I’m making enchiladas or beans and rice, and a bit firmer if I plan to add the beans to tacos, burritos or salads.
Unsoaked Black Beans
For firmer beans: Pressure cook at high pressure for 25 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural pressure release.
For softer beans: Pressure cook at high pressure for 30 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural pressure release.
Soaked Black Beans (tested with 8 hours of soaking time)
For firmer beans: Pressure cook at high pressure for 8 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural pressure release.
For softer beans: Pressure cook at high pressure for 10 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural pressure release.
How to cook black beans in an Instant Pot
These black beans are quick and easy to make. See the recipe box at the end of this post for the full list of ingredients and instructions.
- Optional: Soak beans in cool, filtered water for 8-12 hours. Drain and rinse.
- Put black beans, water and seasonings in your Instant Pot.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
- Pressure cook on high pressure (manual) according to the cook times listed in the recipe.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes.
- Quick release any remaining pressure.
- Open the Instant Pot lid, and stir in salt to taste.
If you’re just getting started with Instant Pot cooking, read my simple Instant Pot Instructions. Then try a few of my other favorite basic Instant Pot recipes: Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs, Instant Pot Brown Rice and Instant Pot Shredded Chicken. You might also enjoy these Healthy Instant Pot Recipes.
Black Bean Recipes
Instant Pot black beans are delicious in these recipes:
- Vegetarian Chili
- Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Taquitos
- Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Instant Pot Chili
- Taco Soup
Cooking Tips for Instant Pot Black Beans
- Salt beans after cooking, not before. This helps the beans to become tender while cooking.
- When I’m in a hurry (or when I don’t have an onion or fresh garlic on hand), I take a shortcut with this recipe by omitting the chopped onion and minced garlic. Instead, I add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder along with the other seasonings. The beans are still so delicious!
- If you want to use your black beans in recipes for baked goods or non-Mexican flavored dishes, you can make these Instant Pot black beans without seasonings. Simply add only the beans and water to your Instant Pot and cook as directed in the recipe. You can salt the beans after cooking, if desired.
If you prefer to cook beans on the stove, see this Black Beans Recipe.
Instant Pot Black Beans
- 1 pound dry black beans
- 3 ½ cups water
- ½ onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Rinse and pick over dry beans to make sure there aren’t any small pebbles or other debris.
- Optional: Soak beans by placing beans in a large bowl and filling the bowl with cool, filtered water. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours. Then drain and rinse beans.
- Place black beans (soaked or unsoaked), water, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and pepper in Instant Pot. Stir.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
- Set the cook time using the Pressure Cook or Manual button, at high pressure:Unsoaked Beans: 25 minutes for firmer beans or 30 minutes for softer beans.Soaked Beans: 8 minutes for firmer beans or 10 minutes for softer beans.
- The Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down.
- When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes (just leave the Instant Pot alone after the cook time ends).
- Quick release any remaining pressure by carefully moving the steam release valve to the venting position using the handle of a long spoon. Once all of the steam has escaped and the pin drops down, carefully open the Instant Pot lid.
- Stir in salt. Serve.
- To cook unseasoned black beans (for baking) omit all ingredients except for the beans and water and follow the method as written. Add salt after cooking, if desired. Plain beans with no salt or seasoning will taste very bland on their own. If you plan to add the black beans to your meals, you will probably want to add a little salt or other spices/seasonings.
- Beans can be cooled and then stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months in an airtight container.
Black beans are the first thing I made in the Instant Pot and I was hooked (my recipe will be coming soon)! Black beans are our favorite and I love having them on hand to make soup, toss into dishes or eat all on their own during the week. These are perfect!
Yes, there are so many delicious uses for black beans! I can’t wait to see your recipe!
Thanks, these were terrific! I have tried cooking black beans in crock pot and stove top and never got good results.
If I wanted to cook 2lbs of black beans, instead of 1 lb, would the cooking time change? I do have the 8 quart Instant Pot.
The cooking time will be the same, just double the ingredients. Enjoy!
I loved the flavor of the black beans. I’m new to using the electric pressure cooker and was a little hesitant because it’s not an Insta Pot but it came out great. Thank you for the recipe.
Hi Tiffany! I’m so glad this recipe worked for you! Aren’t these black beans soooo much better than canned?
I made these today, but I added a few things to them. I cooked the beans as you stated to, but I added one 14 1/2 ounce can of diced tomatoes. When it was done, I added a pound of smoked sausage that I had sliced and sautéed in a skillet with a little more diced onion and some red and green bell pepper. It was absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!
That sounds delicious!
How do I make these if I already soaked them overnight ?
Hi Kristen, I’ve been meaning to test this recipe with soaked beans, but haven’t yet. I would try pressure cooking for 10 minutes, followed by 10-15 minute natural pressure release and then quick release the remaining pressure. Please let me know how they turn out! 🙂
Do I need to reduce the amount of cooking water if I choose the pre-soak method? I don’t want to have too much liquid in the finished beans.
You can reduce the water some for pre-soaked beans. I would try 3 cups. There is often extra liquid when you cook beans from dry, but it is easily drained off.
O. M. G. This recipe will be the one from now on! So good, so easy and liked by my husband too!
Thank you for posting it!
I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂
The flavors in this recipe were great. The times did not work for me. I had to try 3 times and the beans are still a little firm for my liking. I used soaked black beans with 9+12 minutes. They were too hard. I put back in for 6+10 minutes. Still too firm bad too much liquid. I then sautéd for about 10 minutes to soften and reduce liquid. I’ll have to play around more with this. Next time I’ll probably start with 20+20 minutes. But that seems very far off from your recipe. I soaked the beans overnight so I don’t think that was the problem.
The age of the beans can really affect how long they take to cook. Depending on your beans and texture preference, you may have to experiment a bit to find the cook time that works best for you. There is supposed to be some excess liquid after cooking to ensure that the beans have enough liquid to cook without giving you a burn warning. I usually drain off most of the liquid before serving. Good luck!
This is the best way to make black beans!! I opt for 25 minute cook time and they always come out perfect. Thank you so much for the recipe and tips!
I have come to rely on this recipe – the proportions and cook time, at least for soaked beans, are just right! I always start by sautéing the onion with one bell pepper (diced), then add the garlic and spices and toast them a bit before adding the beans and water. I add salt only after the beans are done cooking.
A good basic recipe that I will use repeatedly, I’m sure. Thank you.
Those of us who live at altitude are used to making adjustments but may need to add more than the usual time with beans. I live at slightly over 6,000 feet and a half-recipe of these beans in a Duo Mini took about 45 minutes of cooking time. The recommended formula — a 5 percent increase in cooking time for every 1,000 feet above 2,000 feet, or a 20 percent increase at my elevation — would have suggested 36 minutes for softer beans.
Made these last night for supper. What a great way to jazz up black beans and rice for a Friday Lenten Meal 😉
Thanks for making it super easy to be able to come on to your site and know what to do with the instant pot.
I have now followed this recipe twice and feel that for firm beans it is best to not cook the beans any more than 25 minutes and let the steam only go about 5-10 minutes
This was my first time cooking beans from dry and it turned out great! I used garlic powder, soaked them for 8 hours, and cooked for the 8 minutes with 15 minutes NPR for the firmer beans. I ate them over tostadas with chopped onion and the texture was way better than any canned bean. I’m super excited to try them in different recipes and also try making pinto beans!
For soaked beans 3 cups of water is way too much. I think 2 cups is close, but maybe even less. I will see what happens with 2 cups next time and let you know.
I can’t for the life of me figure out how people had beans done in 8min. Soaked 8 hours rinsed and 3.5 cups of water plus spices. Then 10 min with a 15 natural release and they were still hard as a rock. So I put them in for another 6min and still no where close to done. Another 20 min yielded an edible bean.
I also thought that there was way more water than needed. Ended up letting these go on sauté till they were thicker and ready for topping our rice.
My mom who lives in Tn says 40 min and 45 if you are going to use an Immersion blender for refried.
Hi Amity, I tested this recipe multiple times and the cook times listed in the recipe worked well for me. Based on feedback from other readers, it sounds like beans can really vary in the cook time needed, depending on their age, etc. It sounds like you’re on your way to finding the cook time that works for you. 🙂
I used soaked beans since I have digestive issues, and doubled the servings to use 2lbs of beans. I did fast release after cooking 12 min but beans needed much more time. I added 12 min more but that made them much too soft, many burst open. I understand the age issue makes it a challenge but I think I’ll try 18 min next time to evaluate.
I can’t tolerate spicy so I left out the chili powder but added 1/3 cup BBQ sauce for flavor , adding it with the veges ( I had seen that used on another recipe). I do think it gave them a nice flavor. I also diced a med yellow bell pepper to sauté in with the onion.
I used the wrong amount of water for soaked beans so had way too much water to drain off, which drained off the flavor somewhat. After reading the comments again I think I may go with 4 cups for the two lbs, hoping it won’t be too much. I’m glad you mentioned salting after cooking because then you can avoid over salting but still get enough for flavor.
This method for making black beans is so much easier than the saucepan or slow cooker and yields fully customizable end product. Thanks for making my cooking life more fun!
I always use this recipe for my black beans. Works perfectly and tastes delicious! Thank you.
I soaked the beans for 8 hours and used the instructions on high for 9 minutes w 20 mins natural pressure release. Beans were not cooked.
Beans that have been sitting on the shelf in the store or in the pantry can get so dried out that they take much longer to cook than fresh beans.
For digestibility I prefer to soak and drain the beans, but not overnight. Instead*, for 1 cup dry beans and 4 cups water, I cook them at high pressure for 4 minutes, release the pressure after 10 minutes, and drain them. I return them to the Instant Pot, add 2 cups water, i.e., enough to cover, and cook them at high pressure for 17 minutes, then natural release for 15 minutes. Good texture. Some burst but I don’t mind. Some liquid remains; either drain or save to use as soup stock. *This tip comes from the Instant Pot recipe book’s “Not Re-Fried Beans!” recipe, bottom of page: “Instant Tip: Forget to soak beans?” I skip the salt.
Sounds like one of your commenters might be having an Instant Pot breakdown. There is such a thing as “broken”? I think there is some sort of test that can be done to check the pot but I am not sure what it is.
Meanwhile, Your recipe is a great start.. I would add peppers. Poblano, Cubanelle or just regular peppers would be good. Also, you could throw in a Jalapeno if you like them. The lady who added tomatoes probably would enjoy the peppers very much. I know I do.
This is a great start for Black beans and ham. I’ll use the end of a smoked ham bone, leaving/using any amount of meat you wish. Use the exact recipe and put the bone in the insta-pot. When done I’ll put it on the stovetop and simmer for another hour or so adding your favorite spices to suite your taste. I seem to always add a bay leaf. If more liquid is needed or desired, add chicken broth. Meat will fall right off the bone. Serve over rice with hot sauce, cilantro and lime