by Olena

Instant Pot Rice and Beans

by Olena

4.9 from 35 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.


Instant Pot Rice and Beans

4.9 from 35 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
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 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


  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. 


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.

112 comments on “Instant Pot Rice and Beans

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

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