by Olena

Instant Pot Rice and Beans

by Olena

4.9 from 21 reviews

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 21 reviews

You can make Instant Pot Rice and Beans recipe tonight! With dried 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.

58 comments on “Instant Pot Rice and Beans

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  1. 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!

  2. 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.:)

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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