You can make Instant Pot Rice and Beans recipe tonight! With dried black beans, no soaking, no sauteing, in 30 minutes flat. Bam!
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.
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
- Spices: cumin, chili and garlic powders and salt.
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.
What to do for 3 quart Instant Pot?
Cut ingredients in half but keep same cooking time.
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
1. Add All Ingredients to the Instant Pot
- 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.
- Do not change.
- Do not stir.
2. Cook for 22-25 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.
High altitude adjustment: If you live at altitude 2000 ft and above, cook for 25 minutes and use Natural Release.
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, next time cook for 25 minutes and let pressure come down on its own. It could be the altitude or rice and beans brand. 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?
- Baked chicken breast – lean juicy protein on a side.
- Baked chicken thighs – affordable chicken never tasted so good!
- Cucumber and tomato salad – we love the pairing of hearty rice and beans with cool and fresh veggie salad.
- Guacamole – classic, only 5 ingredients, so easy and so much flavor (there is a trick)!
More Rice and Beans Recipes
- Black beans and brown rice with cauliflower – protein, complex carbs and veggies all in one pot.
- Tex Mex rice and beans with zucchini – great for using up an abundance of zucchini.
- Chicken cauliflower rice and beans – lower in carbs cauliflower as rice substitute.
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.
- Instant Pot chicken and rice – with healthy brown rice and everything cooks in one pot!
- Instant Pot cabbage rolls – same flavour but without hours spent in the kitchen. Genius!
- Instant Pot stuffed peppers – with ground turkey and quinoa, ready in 15 minutes.
- Instant Pot jambalaya – one pot weeknight or Sunday dinner.
- Instant Pot carnitas recipe – delicious Mexican tacos without Coke. And crispy!
- 30 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes – more great recipes to make you fall in love with your Instant Pot!
Instant Pot Rice and Beans (No Soaking)
- 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
- 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.
- Close the lid, turn pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 22 minutes. If you live at altitude 2000 ft and above, cook for 25 minutes.
- After Instant Pot has finished cooking, release pressure using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting and open the lid. If you live at altitude 2000 ft and above, use Natural Release.
- 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.
- 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. Or easy guacamole.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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.
- Can I use white rice? No. White rice and brown rice require different amount of liquid and cooking time.
- Do I have to soak the beans? No.
- 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 do not recommend to use other kind of beans besides black beans.
- 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. 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.
- What to do for 3 quart Instant Pot? Cut ingredients in half but keep same cooking time.
- If your rice and beans come out crunchy: Stir, close the lid and let it sit for 20 minutes. It should get there. Also, next time cook for 25 minutes and let pressure come down on its own. It could be the altitude or rice and beans brand.
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