by Olena

Instant Pot Rice and Beans

by Olena

4.9 from 41 reviews

You can make Instant Pot Rice and Beans recipe tonight! With dried black beans, no soaking, no sauteing, in 30 minutes flat. Bam!Instant Pot Rice and Beans

Pressure Cooker Beans and Rice

OK, this healthy Instant Pot rice and beans recipe is a weeknight dinner saver! Black beans and brown rice cook together in one pot in 22 minutes. There is barely any chopping required and I will slap your hands if you soak the beans.

And don’t even think about sauteing the onion. Food cooked under pressure comes out more flavorful than cooked on the stovetop. Sauteing IS NOT necessary with Instant Pot, in most cases. Check out my Instant Pot guide for more tips and tricks. And if you still don’t have this magic appliance, see which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion.

Are you ready to have healthy dinner on the table in 30 minutes?! P.S. Browse all healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Instant Pot Rice and Beans inside electric pressure cooker

What Are Instant Pot Beans and Rice Ingredients?

This delicious Mexican dinner consists of mostly pantry ingredients:

  • Brown rice
  • Dried black beans
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Spices: cumin, chili and garlic powders and salt.
  • Cilantro

diced tomatoes, black beans, onion, brown rice, spices

FAQs and Substitutions

Cooking in a pressure cooker is a trial and error method. I test Instant Pot recipes thoroughly because different kinds of rice or beans require different cooking times, for example. For best results, I recommend to follow the recipe. Below I hope to cover all possible questions about variations and substitutions for Instant Pot rice and beans recipe.

Can I use white rice?

No. White rice and brown rice require different amount of liquid and cooking time. We do not eat white rice. I simply won’t be able to tell you what to do. Brown rice is more nutritious containing the bran. It is so nutty and hearty. Why don’t you give it a try? Might take a few times to get used to but health benefits will be well worth it.

Do I have to soak the beans?

No. The beauty of Instant Pot is that beans don’t have to be soaked. There is a popular belief that soaking makes beans less gassy and more nutritious. I honestly didn’t notice any change in the first one. And as for the second point, it’s hard to tell. So for the sake of convenience, I love this recipe! You know, life is not always black and white.

Can I use red kidney or pinto beans?

No. Believe it or not pinto and red beans take longer to cook in a pressure cooker. I was completely surprised by this discovery while test cooking black beans. I still haven’t found the perfect ratio of water and time. Black beans cook the fastest out of all beans. Making Instant Pot rice and beans together a reality.

Can I use canned beans?

No. I hate to be “the recipe Grinch” but it’s just the reality. Canned beans are already cooked. If we use canned beans, what is going to happen to all that liquid that gets soaked up by dried beans?!

Can I add chicken?

Yes. I finally said “yes”. Small pieces of chicken breast or thighs added on top of rice will work. No other changes necessary. And if you decide to go with some sort of kielbasa one time, I will not judge you.:)

Can I use tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes?

No, sorry. It will probably instigate a “burn” message.

Is this Instant Pot rice and beans mild enough for kids?

Yes. Here is the deal. It is flavorful enough but not overly pungent or spicy. You can add red pepper flakes before cooking or hot sauce after. You can also substitute all spices with taco seasoning. Or add more spices to taste after Instant pot black beans and rice has finished cooking.

How to Make Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice

how to make Instant Pot Rice and Beans step by step

1. Add All Ingredients to the Instant Pot

  1. It is super important to add ingredients in the following order: onion, brown rice, black beans, water, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and diced tomatoes.
  2. Do not change.
  3. Do not stir.

2. Cook for 22 Minutes

  • Close the lid, turn pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 22 minutes.
  • Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • You can chop cilantro or make cucumber and tomato salad in the meanwhile. It goes amazing with this vegan rice and beans.
  • Release pressure using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting and open the lid.

What If Rice Came Out Mushy or Crunchy?

When it comes to rice cooked in a pressure cooker, it’s a little bit of trial and error method for everyone. Sometimes different varieties of brown rice cook differently. Also rice could be old. I always use long grain brown rice and buy one brand. Last time my husband bought different brand and it needed maybe 1 more minute cooking. Once you find “your rice” you will know how long it cooks and you can add extra minutes.

If your rice comes out crunchy: stir, close the lid and let it sit for 20 minutes. It will get there. Also try to add a few more minutes to cooking time next time. Unfortunately, you can’t re-close the lid, cook for extra 2 minutes and say that’ your new cooking time. You have to try recipe from scratch again to find your rice cooking time.

If your rice comes out mushy: cook a few minutes less next time. Easy-peasy.

Can I use Natural Release?

You can use Natural release where pressure subsides on its own. You can pre-program this recipe and dinner can wait for you on the counter when you get home. Since Instant Pot keeps cooking while releasing pressure slowly, consistency might be a bit more soft. Which is not a big deal. It’s a hearty recipe anyways.

3. Add Cilantro and Stir

  • Stir gently. Don’t attack Instant Pot black beans and rice recipe with a wooden spoon at 100 miles per hour. Husbands are known for that. Stir gently.
  • I see some liquid. My beans are “dry”. Don’t panic, just stir. Stirring should take care of extra liquid. If beans or rice is a teeny weeny crunchy, close the lid and let sit for 10 minutes. It will get there.
  • Don’t forget to add a small bunch of finely chopped cilantro. It changes everything!

What to Serve Rice and Beans With?

tomatoes, cucumber and cilantro in a white bowl with a fork

More Rice and Beans Recipes

More Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

Print

Instant Pot Rice and Beans

4.9 from 41 reviews

You can make Instant Pot Rice and Beans recipe tonight! With dried black beans, no soaking, no sauteing, in 30 minutes flat. Bam!

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups water or low sodium broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Hot sauce, optional

Instructions

  1. In Instant Pot, add ingredients in the following order (do not change): onion, brown rice, black beans, water, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and diced tomatoes. Do not stir.
  2. Close the lid, turn pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 22 minutes.
  3. After Instant Pot has finished cooking, release pressure using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting and open the lid. Add cilantro and gently stir. If rice and beans are a bit liquidy or tiny bit crunchy, close the lid and let them sit for 10 more minutes.
  4. Serve warm with hot sauce if desired and our favourite addition – cucumber and tomato salad. We love the pairing of hearty rice and beans with cool and fresh veggie salad.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freezer Meal: In a gallon size Ziplock bag, add all ingredients except water finishing with tomatoes on top. Let as much air out as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Pressure cook on High from frozen (don’t forget to add water) for 22 minutes with Quick Release. 

Notes

Please do not use white rice. It cooks differently than brown rice.

All dried beans require different cooking times. I do not recommend to use other kind of beans besides black beans.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

127 comments on “Instant Pot Rice and Beans

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  1. I made this yesterday with no major changes. Used “quick-cook” brown rice and the texture came out fine. The black beans were slightly crunchy, but not in a way that detracted from the dish. Dividing this dish into six portions makes for a very generous (and filling!) serving size, but it was perfect as a main course. Would recommend smaller portions if you’re using this as a side dish.
    Was surprised at how flavorful it was! Topped it with a dollop of sour cream and green onions, served steamed veggies on the side.

  2. Today i am catching up on reviews:)
    I’ve made this recipe half a dozen times, with & without chicken. Great flavour, good leftovers and freezes well. Family thinks they hate cilantro but i use it anyways and no one complains. Good with a spoonful of yogurt and some green salsa. The huge bag of bl. beans I bought must be on the older side because they were too crunchy no matter how much longer i extended the cook time so I now do a quick-soak (shorter than usual, about 30 minutes?) beforehand.

  3. Soooo yummy! I made this for some vegan vegitarians who came to visit. We served it on tostadas with avocado. Everyone raved! Thanks, Olena!

  4. This is hands down the best black bean and rice recipe I have ever tasted. You can use it with any meat as a side dish or add the cooked meat to it for a main dish.
    It makes quite a lot. Wonderful and flavorful😊

  5. Perfect! Had to cook for 27 min and it turned out great! Used black rice instead of brown rice and added fresh lime juice at the end.

  6. Perfection! My last two attempts at IP rice and beans were complete disappointments. This is absolutely delicious … didn’t change a thing. Thank you!!

  7. Should the canned tomatoes be drained or not?

    I followed instructions correctly (besides the tomato confusion above, potentially) but it was very liquidy when finished. Resealed and pressure cooked on high for 8 more minutes and that helped. Needed maybe four times the salt and seasoning to finish.

    1. Not drained. As it says in the recipe and pics show, it is liquidy at first but let it sit and it becomes “normal”. 4 times the salt and spices? That just can’t be good for many reasons. You probably need to slowly reduce salting food to get your tastebuds used to recommended daily intake below 2000 mg. Just an idea. Be healthy!

  8. Simply delicious! My daughter dislikes black beans and she had 4 helpings of this! Thank you Olena for taking the time to create such a wonderful, user friendly website to encourage others to healthier eating!

  9. This recipe is so good! I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate more fiber into my diet, and this is delicious. I did throw in some chopped up bell peppers that I needed to use up. I have a big appetite and I can barely finish a full serving. Next time I think I’m going to do divide into 8 servings instead of 6. So filling and yummy! Thank you for the recipe!

  10. So very easy, we appreciate this recipe. It is very good. I’ve made this several times and once layered the beans first then rice by mistake, getting ahead of myself. You are so right, it didn’t cook as well, so all your experimentation in providing the perfect instructions were spot on. Have already shared this with others That are new Instant Pot owners and intimidated by it. Thank you so much.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Deb. Glad it all worked. I test and re-test many times. I have 3 IPs going at same time sometimes haha. Eventually all intimidated and hungry people crack up and open the box haha.

  11. I made this for the first time tonight and it was pretty good. There is certainly room to improve, though. I did a half batch and followed the recipe exactly, just half of each ingredient. My rice and beans were both a little al dente, though still quite edible. I even put the lid back on and waited an additional 10-15 minutes, which helped a little.
    Served with avacado, a side of salsa, and lime. Delicious.
    Lessons learned: cook an additional 2-3 minutes, and add more spice. I might also even the bean to rice ratio—I prefer more beans.
    Overall the meal was a success and my thanks go out to the author!

    1. I want to increase the amount of beans as well. I’m new to this instant pot world so I’m wondering if Ikeep it at 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of beans, do I need to increase the amount of liquid?

  12. Thanks so much for such a great recipe! I’ve been excited to try this one since we first got our Instant Pot a couple of weeks ago. Tonight was the night! The dish came out great! So good to have such tasty vegan options available! We skimped a little on the cilantro… won’t do that again! Really adds to the flavor. I’m looking forward to trying this with the cucumber and tomato salad – sounds like a great combination!

  13. This is a very versatile recipe. I use it to stuff vegetables, peppers, zucchini, by adding some grated cheese to the beans and rice.

  14. I made this with *gasp* white rice and *double gasp* red kidney beans! Yes, it is possible, despite the angsty tone of the author. Just use 3 cups of water/broth instead of 4. Let it slow release for 10min then quick release.

    Please consider alternative options for your readers. Some people enjoy white rice.

  15. I made a few adjustments to use ingredients I had on hand such as a can of rotel diced tomatoes and green chilis plus a fresh chopped tomato. I also used roasted garlic I had available. I included red pepper flakes since we like a little spice in our dishes. I took care to keep the liquid proportions the same as the recipe and it turned out awesome! Hubby says to repeat this one. Thank you!

  16. Comes out perfect as written. I prepared this recipe as written with no substitutions or additions. Thank you for posting this. I needed a quick recipe for a potluck I am attending this afternoon and this more than fit the bill.

    1. Soooooo good! I put some local made kielbasa in it ( cooked it with the rice) served it with sour cream and cheese…..made the cucumber salad and it was a hit!!!
      Kids loved it, hubby loved it and we have plenty of leftovers for several lunches!

  17. This was my first instant pot meal and everyone in my family enjoyed it! Thanks so much! I pretty much cooked it exactly according to instructions except that I added more of the spices and left out the salt. I love that this could be adapted to a very low sodium diet and still be flavorful. Also, exactly as described, it looked a little watery when I opened it, but as soon as I mxed it all up it was perfect.

  18. Thanks, Olena! My husband’s mom’s family is Ukranian. He’s a natural vegetarian (just doesn’t crave or want meat) so it’s nice to have fast, simple balanced veggie meals.

    Anne

  19. Absolutely love this recipe. Quick, easy and delicious!!!! We like to garnish with sliced avocado. Great vegan recipe as a bonus!

  20. I tried it tonight with the exact recipe…. It looked a bit watery at first and then I turned the IP on to Sautee mode for an additional 3 to 4 mins for the water to dry up a bit, however, the bottom was a little burnt. The rice came out perfect and the taste was really yummy. We had it with jerk chicken and some sour cream. It was a nice combo and my family liked it. Just the black beans were a little chewy, but edible. I’ll try and soak the black beans in hot water for half an hour next time. I only added 1/2 a tsp of chilli powder coz my hubby can’t take any spice…. Also I forgot the cilantro… LoL…

  21. Amazing, maybe cook a bit longer next time otherwise one of the best things I’ve eaten and such a healthy and cheap meal

  22. I followed the recipe except I used a medium onion and a small Italian pepper (~100 g). I used 4 cups of liquid. After 22 minutes and quick release, the end product was watery. Everything was cooked, although toward the chewier side for the rice. Should I have used less liquid or done natural release? Maybe I let the rice and beans stand for ~5 min in water as I was rinsing them, but the amount of excess water seemed surprising.

      1. Bottom left picture is actually my cooked rice and beans. Once I stirred with herbs, it became all normal consistency. I also think it was that extra pepper that gave it extra water. Cooked rice is like pasta – if you let it sit, it will absorb moisture. Next time it should come out perfect for you. 🙂

    1. Pepper adds a lot of water. You would be surprised how much under pressure – I was haha. So I would skip that next time or do Natural Release. And also add 3-4 more minutes to cooking time for softer rice with Quick Release. But if you have left to Natural Release I think it would be not watery. Sometimes IP needs a bit of tweaks depending on its size, altitude and type of beans and rice. 🙂

  23. Made this tonight and it was delicious. I added a chopped up green pepper with the onion and fresh garlic in place of the ground. Then garnished with avocado and lime squeezes. Delicious and nutritious. Thank you for a great recipe.

  24. Fabulous! Live your stringent don’t change a thing’ directions! This dish is perfect and freezes well. Easy to dress up at the table with salsa, avocado and other toppings. Thanks!

  25. I did this exactly as instructed, but beans were still pretty hard while rice was on the edge of being overcooked. Next time, I’ll try putting in beans first, giving them 5 -10 minutes in the instant pot, then adding everything else. Other than that, tasted great and although the beans were a bit crunchy, they were just done enough that we could eat them. The only change I made was using chunky salsa instead of tomatoes for a bit of extra flavor

    1. I would soak them in a boiling water for 30 mins prior then. Might be that particular batch of beans, older or smth. I would buy different beans next time just out of curiosity. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.:)

  26. The beans were just slightly undercooked so will add a minute or two next time….however, I ate this every day until it was gone so it was that good!! So happy to have a recipe that cooks both at once, just what I was looking for. Going to check out your other recipes right now, thanks!!!

  27. I think I made a few mistakes, it came out good but aldente. This likely happened because of the elevation in Colorado. I did 23 minutes and put the lid back on twice for 10 minutes. Also, I’m not sure I used the correct rice, there were 3 options at the store, short, long and jasmin brown. I went with the jasmine brown, would you suggest something the short or long brown?

    1. I think it’s just your elevation. Any browns rice is ok. Cook for let’s say 27 mins next time. To close the lid back on won’t do the same effect.

  28. This was my first Instant Pot recipe and it turned out great! Family loved it and we had plenty of food. I just added some frozen chicken tenderloins to the pot, but otherwise I used the recipe as written. The chicken turned out very tender and it broke apart easily.

    Thanks!

  29. I doubled this for my huge family and it worked out wonderfully! Everyone loved it! The leftovers tasted even better in my opinion.

    My only request is that you list the ingredients in the recipe the order they need to be put in the IP. Im on mobile and scrolled back and forth several times to make sure it didn’t mess it up.

  30. This sounds very good. However, I will soak the beans first. We live in Colorado, and I don’t know if that makes a difference, but if I don’t soak the beans overnight, they end up being very hard.

  31. Super easy and deliciously comforting. I used 3 garlic cloves (rather than powder) added with the onion, and let steam release naturally. Topped with cheese. Yum.

  32. Easy-peasy recipe! I used frozen chopped onions & a smidge of olive oil as the first layer. Are all your recipes this delicious?

    1. Absolutely perfect at 22 minutes. The second recipe I’ve cooked on my first pressure cooker, IP Duo Evo Plus purchased yesterday! How magic is it that beans can be like little pebbles and 22 minutes later (after getting to pressure) they’re part of a most yummy dish. You had me at cumin!

  33. This was my first instant pot meal and it turned out great! I followed the instruction to a T and had no issues. Does it freeze well after being cooked?

  34. I made this in the mini with out the tomatoes because I didn’t change the measurements.
    Came out great. Next time I’ll halve it with a 14 oz can of tomatoes.

    but the consistency of what I got was great.

  35. Made this recipe and really enjoyed it! My only question is this…if I want to put more beans in…say 1.5 cups or even 2 cups to the same amount of rice…any idea of how to adjust the amount of liquid?

    1. I would try with extra 1/2 cup liquid. And see. If they are still too hard close the lid and let them sit longer. And next time add 3/4 cup water.

  36. This has become one of my favorites! Tonight I made this into a “clean out the fridge” dish: added in a little riced cauliflower and chopped chicken sausage in with the rice & bean mix. After cooking & quick release, I mixed in 1 chopped zucchini and some frozen corn, sealed, and let it sit 10 minutes. The majority of my dinners are one-pot/one-bowl meals and this is perfect.

  37. This recipe is so simple to make and so good to eat. It is even more delicious reheated. I heated leftovers in the microwave with a little shredded cheddar cheese, added a scoop of sour cream, and ate it with tortilla chips. Yummy! I am going to try it with a little lettuce and salsa next time.

  38. Easy and delicious! I see in other comments that others have had some trouble getting the recipe to cook properly, but it worked perfectly for us — no Burn messages from the Instant Pot, and the dish was ready to eat when I quick-released and opened the pot. The cilantro and hot sauce adds some welcome additional flavor and heat (the recipe is kept intentionally mild for younger palates). It was a big hit with my wife and teenage daughter as well.

  39. I made this for me and my mom and we loved it. I made it as the recipe calls for and I added 2 frozen chicken thighs on top. I let it natural release for about 15 minutes and it was amazing. I’ll make this again. YUM!!

  40. Love this dish and recipe! This was my first Instant Pot dinner, and it came out great! I went rogue and added some diced green peppers. The extra water rendered required putting the top back on and letting the rice soak up all the juice for 15 more minutes. LIght stirring, and ready to serve! My daughter is a vegetarian, and just returned from college today, I wanted to make her something special and she loves beans and rice. This dish is so flavorful, it did not need any meat.

    The boyfriend asked if he could take a small container home, and I’m going to have some beans and rice topped with eggs tomorrow morning 🙂 A BIG HIT! THANK YOU, OLENA!!!

  41. This was sooooo good. I made some guacamole and tomatillo sauce with it and added it on top! Super easy and super delicious! Thanks for this one!

  42. Am I supposed to drain the diced tomatoes? Made this last night and it turned out like SOUP! My first IP failure. We even left it closed for 30 min after stirring.

    1. You are not supposed to drain tomatoes. It was either your rice or not sealed properly Instant Pot. As you can see in my pictures my didn’t come out as soup at all. Here are my thoughts about rice and advice.

      When it comes to rice cooked in a pressure cooker, it’s a little bit of trial and error method for everyone. Sometimes different varieties of brown rice cook differently. Also rice could be old. I always use long grain brown rice and buy one brand. Last time my husband bought different brand and it needed maybe 1 more minute cooking. Once you find “your rice” you will know how long it cooks and you can add extra minutes.If your rice comes out crunchy: stir, close the lid and let it sit for 20 minutes. It will get there. Also try to add a few more minutes to cooking time next time. Unfortunately, you can’t re-close the lid, cook for extra 2 minutes and say that’ your new cooking time. You have to try recipe from scratch again to find your rice cooking time.If your rice comes out mushy: cook a few minutes less next time. Easy-peasy.

  43. For two of us, I cut the recipe in half, cooked in a 3-quart IP. Didn’t have plain canned tomatoes so I used Rotel. Perfectly spiced. Neither the beans or rice were fully cooked. Let it sit the 10 minutes recommended and the rice was fine. Beans still a little crunchy. Will add 5 minutes to pressure time, and maybe let it slow release for another 5 before quick release? Great flavor! Served on a bed of mixed baby greens with a little sour cream on the side. YUMMY!

  44. Hi, is there any way we can use this with a pressure cooker that is not an instapot and know how long to cook it? I have Wolfgang Puck instant cooker. I wish I knew how long to keep it on!

  45. Easy and delicious. Served with shrimp. Just as described and followed the recipe exactly, no hand slapping needed here! Lol

  46. Another great one, Olena. I love your presentation and rules!! I love it that there’s no sauteeing. I’ll throw the onion in chopped and raw! Instead of brown rice, I’ll try hull-less barley or farro. Or maybe I’ll buy brown rice! Your studio is looking gorgeous. GOOD LUCK!

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