Easy, foolproof and perfect every time Instant Pot Black Beans with only 2 ingredients and in 30ish minutes. This simple recipe uses dried beans and no pre-soaking. Versatile beans can be used in so many recipes.

Instant Pot black bean soup is another quick recipe that requires no soaking of beans.

Instant Pot black beans in a glass baking dish.

Pre-soaking and cooking beans on the stovetop can be very time-consuming but what if I told you this Instant Pot black beans recipe lets you in on a secret?

The simple science behind perfectly firm, non-mushy beans, is something I stumbled upon after trying over 10 times!

And what if I told you, you could achieve it all with only 2 ingredients, 15 minutes, and no pre-soaking?

I am so excited to share with you this simple process of cooking dry black beans in the Instant Pot.

Why Cook Black Beans in Instant Pot?

  • Budget-friendly which means you can make a lot more than comes in a can from the store.
  • Quick and easy so these delicious beans can actually be done on any busy weeknight. Make-ahead to streamline meal prep. Lunches for days!
  • Vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly.
  • Effortless recipe because it’s really just a set-it-and-forget-it recipe! There is very minimal clean-up as well.
  • Health benefits of black beans include high fiber and protein content, and you avoid all that sodium that comes with canned beans.
  • Can easily be doubled or tripled for when you want to make more.
  • Freezer friendly which is nice because you can freeze them and save yourself a little time down the road.

Ingredients You Will Need

You really need only 2 simple ingredients to make Instant Pot black beans.

Instant pot, dried black beans in a jar and cup with water.
  • Dried black beans: You will need to rinse the beans with cold water and then drain just to make sure to get all of the dirt off. No soaking required.
  • Cold water: It is very important not to use warm water, so the cooking time is not thrown off. You’ll soon understand why.
  • Salt (optional): Sometimes I add a pinch to bring out flavor but more often than not, I leave it out. This is especially important when I know I’ll be using my beans for baking.

Recipe Tip

Testing how to cook perfect black beans in Instant Pot in two different size pots was life changing.

How to Cook Black Beans in Instant Pot

I’ve done the leg work, so all you need to do is follow my easy simple-step guide on how to cook dried black beans in an Instant Pot and achieve perfectly cooked firmer beans every time.

I also explain the slight differences between how to get the same results using different-sized Instant Pots which means you can make a big batch for pennies!

  • Prep the beans by rinsing in a colander under cold water. Drain completely and don’t soak.
  • Combine beans and cold water in Instant Pot. No need to stir and you can add a pinch of salt. Close the lid and turn valve to sealing position.
  • Cook on High Pressure for 12 minutes. On some models, you have to press Pressure Cook button and select High pressure. The simpler model, Lux, has a Manual button and cooks only with high pressure. Press that one.
  • Pressure release: For 6 quart Instant Pot, let pressure come down on its own called Natural Release. Do not do Quick Release, your beans will be undercooked. For 8 quart Instant Pot, wait for 10 minutes and only then release remaining pressure by turning the venting knob. Important difference from 6 quart. If you let your 8 quart electric pressure cooker release pressure naturally all the way, black beans will be overcooked.
  • Drain, rinse and cool off black beans: When float pin is down, it is safe to open the pot. I like to rinse cooked beans under gentle stream of cold water. Then drain excess liquid, cool and use in recipes.
Cooked black beans in Instant Pot on a spoon.

Tips for Best Results

  • Cold water: Always use cold water. Warm or hot water will change cook time.
  • 3 quart Instant Pot: I don’t have one, so can’t say how long. I would try 15 minutes with natural pressure release and adjust accordingly for the future.
  • Stovetop: Check out my stovetop dried beans recipe I used for years.
  • Be gentle: Handle tender black beans carefully with a metal spoon. They are delicate and tender.
  • Bean broth: Do not discard the cooking liquid. It is a delicious and nutritious veggie broth. Use as a base for making any soup. Especially, Instant Pot black bean soup.

How to Season Them

This is a basic straightforward recipe that will get you straight-up cooked black beans. If you would like to add a little extra flavor to your Instant Pot black beans and serve as a side dish, there are some things you could try.

  • Add a few wedges of yellow onion in there just to infuse some flavor. You can even leave the skin on.
  • Whole cloves of garlic would be another aromatic you could use.
  • Use vegetable broth instead of water.
  • Toss in some bay leaf and add seasonings like cumin, oregano, cayenne, chili powder for added taste. All to your personal taste, you can always add more later.
  • For Mexican black beans, add fresh herbs like chopped fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice after cooking.

How to Use Instant Pot Black Beans

Black beans are my favorite beans because of their mild taste, small size and ability to hold their shape. They are also highly nutritious and satisfying and because they are a good source of protein they keep me full longer.

Try Instant Pot black beans in our family favorite recipes:

How to Substitute for Canned Black Beans in Recipes?

To substitute canned beans with Instant Pot black beans in recipes all you have to know is that one standard can of about 14-15 ounces equals 1.5 cups of drained cooked black beans. If you recipe calls for one can, measure out 1.5 cups. If it calls for 2 cans of beans, measure out 3 cups. And so on and so forth.

Storage Recommendations

Fridge: Refrigerate cooked black beans in an airtight container well for up to 5 days. You can use them in place of canned black beans with a ratio of 1.5 cups drained cooked beans = 15 oz can.

Freezer: I like to triple the recipe at a time and freeze black beans for later. To replace canned beans, measure in 1.5 cups portions into resealable sandwich bag, let the air out and seal well to avoid freezer burn.

Freeze for up to 6 months. I rinse, dry, and put away bags to use for next time. It is more environmentally friendly.

To thaw: Place the bag with frozen Instant Pot black beans on a counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight. You could also place it in a bowl with hot water for 5 minutes and then drain it.

FAQs

What is black beans to water ratio in Instant Pot?

This recipe is specific to 3 cups of water to every 1 cup of dried black beans. To double the recipe it would become 6 cups of water to every 2 cups of black beans, and so on. Always keeping the same cook time.

How many cups is in 1 lb of dry beans?

1 pound of dry black beans is just over 2 cups or around 7 ounces. Once they are cooked, you will end up with a bit over 5 cups. To replace one standard 15 ounce can of black beans, use 1.5 cups of cooked and drained Instant Pot black beans.

Do I need to soak beans before cooking in Instant Pot?

No. If you really want to pre-soak your beans, for improved digestion, you could but then you would need to adjust the cook time for soaked beans.

How long does it take to cook raw beans?

Total cook time with pressure build up and coming down is about 35-40 minutes. The actual pressure cooking time is 12 minutes on high pressure.

Why are they hard and tough?

Your black beans could be old, low quality or there wasn’t enough liquid. Also if you live at high altitude, you might have to adjust the cook time.

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

Alternately, you can browse my collection of 45 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Instant pot black beans in glass dish and pressure cooker behind it.
instant pot black beans

Instant Pot Black Beans

Easy, foolproof and perfect every time Instant Pot Black Beans with only 2 ingredients and in 30ish minutes.
5 from 9 votes
Servings 3 cups
Calories 221
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 12 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time 25 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup dried black beans rinsed & drained
  • 3 cups cold water
  • Pinch salt optional

Instructions 

  • In Instant Pot, add black beans and cold water.
  • For 6 Quart Instant Pot: Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 12 minutes.
  • After cooking is done, let 6 quart Instant Pot bring pressure down on its own – Natural Release. Do not do Quick Release, your beans will be undercooked or fall apart.
  • For 8 Quart Instant Pot: Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 12 minutes.
  • After cooking is done, let 8 quart Instant Pot bring pressure down on its own for 10 minutes and then release remaining pressure immediately. If you let your 8 Quart Instant Pot release pressure naturally all the way, black beans will be overcooked.
  • Open the lid. That’s it! Your Instant Pot black beans are ready.

Notes

  • Store: Cooked black beans refrigerate well for up to 5 days. You can use them in place of canned black beans with a ratio of 1.5 cups drained cooked beans = 15 oz can.
  • Freeze for later: Drain and rinse with cold water. Measure 1.5 cups (equal to a 15 oz can drained) into sandwich bags, let air out, seal and freeze for up to 6 months.
  • Thaw: Place bag with frozen black beans on a counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight. You could also place it in a bowl with hot water for 5 minutes and then drain it.
  • Broth: Do not discard the liquid. Use as a base for making any soup. Especially, Instant Pot black bean soup
  • It is super important to use cold water not to alter cook time.
  • For 3 quart Instant Pot, I would cook beans for 15 minutes with natural release and go from there.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. Question: if I double the recipe, what changes do I need to make to cold water quantity and cook time (I have an 8 qt Instant Pot)?

    1. To double the recipe it would become 6 cups of water to every 2 cups of black beans, cook time remains the same.

  2. 5 stars
    Once again you surprised me with such an easy delicious meal, & I didn’t even have to soak the beans 👍🏼!!!
    Thank you so much for your wonderful, easy-to- peruse site, with extra help and tips and ideas 💡!!!

  3. 5 stars
    I love your healthy recipes. I also really appreciate that you often tell me how to modify a recipe to use dried beans in chili instead of purchased canned beans.I also appreciate that you give directions for both the 8 quart and 6 quart instant pots. If you are looking for ideas for future posts, I could really use a post on how to cook white and red kidney beans without soaking in the instant pot. A lesson on romano beans would also be wonderful.
    Thank you for all you do. It is nice to have a Canadian blog to follow using ingredients and can sizes readily available in Canada.

  4. This maybe a dumb question, but I’m always confused regarding which measuring cup to use. Do I use the glass measuring cup used to measure water or do I use the small tin one that flour is usually measured in.

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