This Instant Pot black beans and rice recipe is made with dry brown rice and dry black beans in just an hour. It includes options for soaking or not soaking black beans, and it's perfect for a week of meal prep or a last-minute dinner!
It's easy to make rice and beans in the Instant Pot using just brown rice, dry black beans, and a handful of seasonings. The best part of this recipe is that the black beans don't need to be soaked before cooking in the Instant Pot.
I love making Instant Pot black beans on their own, but adding in brown rice is an easy way to make a balanced and inexpensive meal.
This tried and true recipe has been made hundreds of times and it's one of the best meal prep recipes on my blog. I love using the rice and bean filling in freezer burritos, as a side, or as a base for quick meals.
I love this recipe so much that I used this method as a template for Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice!
Why this recipe works
- No soaking required: The brown rice and dry black beans cook at the same time in the Instant Pot. Unlike many recipes, the black beans do not need to be soaked overnight before cooking.
- Fix it and forget it: Move aside stove-top rice and beans, Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice requires only 10 minutes of active time, allowing you to fix it and forget it.
- Versatile: Use the black bean and rice filling in tacos, burritos, and burrito bowls… or just eat the rice and beans on their own piled high with your favorite toppings!
- Flavorful: A combination of Mexican-inspired seasonings like chili powder, oregano, and cumin creates a flavorful backbone for the rice and beans.
- Black beans: We are using dry, unsoaked black beans. See the FAQ below for more bean options,
- Brown rice: Choose long-grain brown rice.
- Fire-roasted diced tomatoes: Some readers prefer to avoid cooking tomatoes with dry beans because it's said that the acid in the tomatoes can cause beans to cook more slowly. I haven't run into this problem, so I add the tomatoes with juices right in with the other ingredients.
- Vegetable broth: You can always use water in a pinch, but the broth adds a lot of flavor. I use reduced-sodium vegetable broth to control the saltiness.
- Seasonings: Cumin, oregano, chili powder, and garlic powder create a flavorful base. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Step by step instructions
Note: I tested Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice in a 6 qt DUO60 Instant Pot.
- Sauté onions. I recommend sautéing the onions instead of adding them straight to the Instant Pot because it adds extra flavor to the final dish. If you're in a hurry you can actually skip this step and just add the onions straight to the pot without the oil. Always deglaze the pot with a bit of vegetable broth to make sure that no onions are stuck on.
- Layer ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot: vegetable broth, fire-roasted tomatoes with juices, seasonings, black beans, and brown rice. Don't stir!
- Set to high pressure for 28 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Once the pressure has been released (the floating pin will be dropped down) you can remove the lid.
- Stir the rice and beans together. Taste for seasonings and enjoy!
Expert tips and variations
- Other beans: This method for Instant Pot rice and beans also works with pinto beans and small red beans because they are a similar size as black beans. Kidney beans and chickpeas will take longer to cook so I don't recommend using them unless they are first soaked overnight.
- How to use soaked black beans: If you prefer to cook with soaked black beans, I recommend soaking the beans for at least 8 hours or overnight. Reduce the total cooking time to 22 minutes (that's how long it takes to cook brown rice). Note that you don't have to pre-soak the beans and I never do, but I know that some people prefer to do it to make the beans softer.
- Don't stir! The rice and beans are added in a specific layer to the Instant Pot because it helps them cook evenly. If you forget and stir the ingredients it's not the end of the world, but try to avoid stirring if able.
No. My recipe for Instant Pot Rice and Beans does not work with canned beans because they require less cook time to cook and less liquid.
No. White rice cooks much more quickly than brown rice and requires a different liquid amount so it won't work in this recipe.
Beans don't need to be soaked before cooking in the Instant Pot because they cook much more quickly in pressure cookers than they do on the stovetop. For example, black beans cook in about an hour without soaking in the Instant Pot, including cook time and pressure release time, whereas black beans take several hours to cook on the stovetop.
One cup of dry black beans yields about 3 cups of cooked black beans. Because this recipe uses 1.5 cups of beans, it yields about 4.5 cups of black beans.
The burn notice is a common culprit in pressure cooker recipes. It usually happens because food is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Here are my go-to tips to avoid the burn notice with Instant Pot rice and beans:
- Deglaze the pot: Always deglaze the pot with a bit of vegetable broth to make sure that no onions are stuck on. To do this, simply add a splash of vegetable broth to the Instant Pot. Stir to remove any stuck or burned-on pieces from the bottom of the pot.
- Layer ingredients and don't stir. The original version of this recipe did not layer ingredients, but over the years I've found that layering ingredients helps everything cook better.
Beans aren't fully cooked
As annoying as it can be, every so often I'll get a bag of beans that just take longer to cook. If this happens, don't worry!
Just pop the lid back on, seal the vent and add an extra 2 minutes. Once the time is up you can do a quick pressure release.
Leftovers: Keep leftover black beans and rice refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Let cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge.
Freezing: The rice and beans can be frozen in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Again, the rice and beans should be cooled before freezing.
Reheating: The easiest way to reheat individual servings is in the microwave. To reheat a large portion of rice and beans, I recommend putting them in a pot on the stove over medium heat. To reheat in the Instant Pot, use the saute function and add a splash of vegetable broth. Stir frequently to avoid burning the rice and beans.
To make freezer burritos: I love making burritos and freezing those for a grab-and-go meal. Add about 1 cup of rice and beans to one large tortilla then wrap into a burrito. Wrap in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, remove foil and place on a plate. Microwave for 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway through.
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Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice
- 1 and ½ cups dry black beans rinsed
- 1 and ½ cups dry brown rice rinsed
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 medium red onion diced
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 15 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes with juices
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- Select the "sauté" button on the Instant Pot. Set to "normal" and adjust time to 7 minutes. Once the pot says "Hot", drizzle in 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add diced onion. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté the onions until softened, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Deglaze the pot by adding ~¼ cup of the vegetable broth. Stir to remove any stuck on bits of onion. Add the rest of the vegetable broth and water. Add fire roasted tomatoes with juices, seasonings (chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, optional cayenne), black beans and brown rice. Don't stir.
- Lock the pressure cooker lid in place and set the pressure release valve to "sealing". Cook on high pressure for 28 minutes. Once the cook time is done, let the pressure release naturally. This will take about 15 minutes. Once the pressure has released (the floating pin will be dropped down) you can remove the lid.
- Test beans for doneness. Stir and taste for seasonings. Enjoy!
- Can I use canned beans? No. This recipe won’t work with canned beans because they need less time to cook and less liquid.
- Can I use white rice? No. White rice cooks much more quickly than brown rice and requires a different liquid amount so it won’t work in this recipe.
- Can I use another type of bean? You can try this recipe with pinto beans or red beans because they are a similar size as black beans. Kidney beans and chickpeas will take longer to cook so I don’t recommend using them.
- Can I soak the beans? Yes! I recommend soaking the beans at least 8 hours or overnight. Reduce the cook time to 22 minutes (that’s how long it takes to cook brown rice).
- Leftovers and freezing Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. The rice and beans can be frozen on their own for up to 3 months.
- Beans aren't cooked through? Just pop the lid back on, seal the vent and cook for 2 minutes, adding more time as needed. Once the time is up you can do a quick pressure release.