Making dry black beans in the Instant Pot is so easy - no soaking required! These beans are an easy way to add a flavorful, fuss-free plant-based protein to any meal.
- Diet-friendly: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free
- Made using dry beans (no soaking required!)
- Requires just 10 minutes active time
- Flavorful and easy to customize
- Great as a plant-based protein in place of canned black beans
What you'll need
Dry black beans: This recipe uses half a bag (½ pound or 1 cup) of dry black beans.
Cilantro adds a ton of flavor to the beans and broth. It's finely chopped so it shouldn't be noticeable, but you can omit it if you're not a fan of cilantro.
Taco seasonings like chili powder, cumin and oregano are the main seasonings. You can also use a packet of taco seasoning instead, but if you're doing this I recommend omitting the salt or choosing a salt-free taco seasoning.
Red onion can be replaced with white or yellow onion as needed.
Step by step instructions
Step one: Select "sauté" on your Instant Pot and adjust to "normal". Once hot, drizzle in the oil.
Step two: Add the onions and salt and sauté for 6-8 minutes, until softened and golden.
Step three: Sprinkle in the garlic and sauté a minute more, until golden and aromatic.
Step four: Add a splash of vegetable broth (about 2-3 tablespoons) to deglaze the pot. Stir in the remaining spices.
Step five: Add the black beans and remaining vegetable broth. Place the lid on the pot and set the vent to "sealing".
Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes for soft beans. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Once the valve floats down you can remove the lid (step six).
I serve the beans with their liquid because it's flavor-packed, but you can drain off the liquid if you desire.
Troubleshooting and expert tips
For reference: ½ pound or ½ bag black beans = 1 cup dry beans = 2.5-3 cups cooked. 1 pound or 1 bag dry black beans = 2 cup dry beans = 5-6 cups cooked.
- Tips to avoid burn error: Wait to add oil into the pot until it reads "hot". Always deglaze the pot with a small amount of vegetable broth to remove any stuck on bits.
- Bean cook time: 30 minutes yields very soft beans. For firmer beans, cook for 27 minutes.
- Beans not tender enough? If your beans aren't tender when the pressure is completely released, cook on high pressure for 2-3 more minutes. Release pressure manually (careful, hot steam will come out!).
I haven't tested this with soaked black beans but it should work. Soak them overnight or at least 8 hours. Reduce the cook time to 20 minutes. This should yield very soft beans.
Yes, but first you will need to soak the black beans overnight in water. Sauté the onions and garlic as you do with the Instant Pot method. Add the spices, soaked black beans (drain off the soaking liquid) and vegetable broth and bring up to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer over low heat. Cover and simmer for 1 and ½ to 2 and ½ hours, until the beans reach your desired softness. Add extra broth as needed.
Yes, this recipe doubles well. Double all ingredients, including the liquid. The cook time will remain the same though it may take longer to come up to pressure.
This recipe should work with dry pinto beans and small white beans. Refer to the Instant Pot Cooking Time Table to adjust timing as needed. Do note that they cook black beans for a shorter time than I recommend in this recipe.
This recipe does not work with canned beans.
Keep refrigerated in a closed container for 4-5 days. Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stove over medium-low or in the microwave.
Use these anywhere you would use a can of black beans. Here are my favorite ways to use them:
- Black Bean Enchiladas
- Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole
- Sweet Potato Nachos
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
- Enchilada Casserole
- Fajita Veggie Burrito Bowls
You can also enjoy them on their own with rice, avocado or guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips. I like using them on taco salads too.
Looking for similar recipes?
You might like this article on how to make Instant Pot black eyed peas.
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Instant Pot Black Beans
- 1 cup dry black beans
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ cup diced red onion from ½ large onion
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 and ¼ cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 medium lime
- Rinse the dry black beans. Remove any debris or broken beans.
- Press the "sauté" mode on your Instant Pot. Set to normal heat. Once it reads "hot", add the olive oil. Add the onions and salt. Sauté until onions are softened and golden, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté a minute more, until golden and aromatic.
- Add a splash of vegetable broth (2-3 tablespoons) to deglaze the pot. Stir in the seasonings: cumin, chili powder, oregano, cilantro.
- Add the remaining vegetable broth and dry black beans. Lock the lid into place and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, then allow a natural pressure release. It will take ~15 minutes to come to pressure and ~15 minutes for the natural pressure release. Once done (the valve will drop down), remove the lid check the beans for tenderness.
- Squeeze in the juice from one lime before serving. Enjoy in bowls, tacos and burritos.
- Cook time: 30 minutes yields very soft beans. Cook for 27 minutes for firmer beans.
- Beans not tender enough? If the beans are not as soft as you'd like, cook for 2-3 more minutes on high pressure. The pot will come to pressure quickly since it is already hot. Release the pressure manually (careful, hot steam will come out!).
- This recipe is easily doubled. Double all ingredients and keep the cook time the same.
- One recipe yields about 1.75-2 cups cooked black beans. Serving sizes change depending on the use of the black beans, but one standard serving of this recipe is ½ cup of refried black beans.
- Leftovers: Keep refrigerated in a closed container for 4-5 days. Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stove over medium-low or in the microwave.
Note: This recipe was originally written as "refried black beans" and shared January 2019. It was updated May 2021 as a general post on how to cook black beans in the Instant Pot. The only difference is an additional ¼ cup vegetable broth and I no longer include the step to mash the black beans, but you can do this if you prefer.