Instant Pot black beans are perfectly tender and flavorful, seasoned to perfection and cooked effortlessly in under an hour.

instant pot black beans 6 — Health, Kids

Are Black Beans Better in the Instant Pot?

The short answer is yes! Using an Instant Pot for black beans is a time-saving, convenient, and reliable method that gives your black beans the best flavor and retains the most nutrition.

  • Speed and Convenience: The Instant Pot significantly reduces cooking time compared to traditional stovetop methods. Black beans that usually take hours to cook can be ready in under an hour.
  • No Need for Soaking: Soaking beans overnight can help reduce cooking time and improve digestibility, but when you cook beans in a pressure cooker, soaking isn’t necessary and they turn out perfect every time.
  • Consistent Results: The controlled environment of the Instant Pot ensures that the beans cook evenly and consistently. This helps avoid the common issue of some beans being undercooked while others are overcooked​.
  • Flavor Infusion: Pressure cooking helps to infuse the beans with the flavors of any spices, herbs, or other ingredients you cook them with.
  • Nutrient Retention: Cooking beans in a pressure cooker can help retain more of their nutrients compared to boiling them on the stove. The shorter cooking time and sealed environment minimize nutrient loss, ensuring you get the most health benefits from your beans​.
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Ingredients for Pressure Cooker Black Beans

  • Water/Broth: The ratio of beans to water in a pressure cooker is typically 1:3. This means for every cup of dried black beans, you should use about three cups of water. This ratio ensures that the beans have enough liquid to cook evenly and absorb without drying out or burning.
    • You can definitely use water, but I like to use vegetable or chicken broth to add flavor.
  • Onion: Onions are an aromatic that give a deep, savory flavor to the beans. As they cook, they release their natural sugars and essential oils, which meld with the beans, creating a richer and more complex taste​.
    • Cutting the onion into wedges makes them easy to remove if you have onion haters 😉
  • Beans: When you are buying dry beans, here are a few things to consider:
    • Check the Packaging Date: Fresher beans cook more evenly and have better flavor. Look for beans with a recent packaging date.
    • Uniform Size and Color: Choose beans that are uniform in size and color to ensure even cooking.
    • Avoid Wrinkled or Discolored Beans: These could be signs of old or improperly stored beans.
  • Add-Ins: If you want to add more flavor, before cooking you can add:
    • garlic cloves
    • cumin
    • bay leaves
    • bell pepper
    • jalapeno
instant pot black beans ingredients — Health, Kids

How to Cook Beans in a Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)

Cooking beans in your pressure cooker is SO easy!

  1. Prep Beans: Rinse and sort beans to remove any debris.
  2. Add to Pressure Cooker: Place beans, water, and optional flavorings in the pressure cooker.
  3. Cook: Seal the lid and set to high pressure. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Release Pressure: Allow for a natural pressure release (about 15-20 minutes) before opening the lid.
  5. Season and Serve: Season to taste and enjoy!


  • No Soaking Needed: The pressure cooker can handle unsoaked beans, saving you prep time.
  • Flavor Infusion: Adding aromatics like onion and garlic enhances flavor.
  • Check for Doneness: If beans are not tender, you can cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
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Questions and Troubleshooting

Can you overcook beans in Instant Pot?

Yes – leaving them too long under high pressure can cause them to become mushy or fall apart. If you follow the recommended cooking time, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Why are my beans still hard in an instant pot?

-Old Beans: Older beans take longer to cook and may never soften completely.
-Hard Water: Water high in calcium or magnesium can inhibit the softening of beans.
-Acidic Ingredients: Adding acidic ingredients (like tomatoes, vinegar, or lemon juice) before the beans are fully cooked can prevent them from softening.
-Not Enough Water: Beans need enough water to cook properly. Ensure you use the correct bean-to-water ratio

Is it healthier to pressure cook beans than other methods? YES!

-Pressure cooking retains more vitamins and minerals compared to boiling or slow cooking.
-The high pressure and temperature can help preserve and even improve the quality of the proteins in beans
-Pressure cooking can reduce antinutrients such as phytic acid and lectins, which can interfere with the absorption of essential minerals.

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Recipes to Use Black Beans

Instant Pot Black Beans

Instant Pot black beans are perfectly tender and flavorful, seasoned to perfection and cooked effortlessly in under an hour.

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time25 minutes

Natural Release20 minutes

Total Time55 minutes

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Mexican

Servings: 12 (1/2 cup servings)

Calories: 133kcal

  • Rinse beans in a colander and remove any cracked beans. Add to the pot of your Instant Pot along with the water, vegetable broth, onion and salt.

  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and switch the vent to seal. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. When the time is done, allow the steam to release naturally for 20 minutes.

  • Open the lid carefully and remove onion and strain off any excess cooking liquid.

  • Serve with a squeeze of lime, an chopped cilantro. You can store extra beans in the fridge for 5 days. To freeze the beans, let them cool and then portion into freezer safe ziploc bags. Remove air and lay flat to freeze. Enjoy!

Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.05g | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg

Keyword : Instant Pot Black Beans

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Natalie Monson

I’m a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

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