by Olena

Instant Pot Rice and Beans

by Olena

4.7 from 11 reviews

You can make it tonight! With dried 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.

You can make it tonight! With dried beans, no soaking, no sauteing, in 30 minutes flat. Bam!

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

You can make it tonight! With dried beans, no soaking, no sauteing, in 30 minutes flat. Bam!

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

You can make it tonight! With dried beans, no soaking, no sauteing, in 30 minutes flat. Bam!

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?

You can make it tonight! With dried beans, no soaking, no sauteing, in 30 minutes flat. Bam!

More Rice and Beans Recipes

More Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

Print

Instant Pot Rice and Beans

4.7 from 11 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 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.

29 comments on “Instant Pot Rice and Beans

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!

  4. 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!!!

  5. I’m not sure what I did wrong while making this dish, but it burnt the bottom of my instant pot so bad. My IP alerted me “burn” and I had to take everything out to clean the pot. Soaked it for a while and had to scrub.

    1. Hi Gina. Let’s troubleshoot. It shouldn’t give you Burn. Did you stir? You are not supposed to. Did you add tomatoes on top? You are supposed to. Is your Instant Pot very new model?

  6. I enjoyed this recipe, but I need to experiment some more! I cooked it for 24 minutes + full natural pressure release (about 18 min), opened the lid, and then closed it for another 10 min. The beans were still a little crunchy but edible. Next time, I think I will soak the beans in hot water for at least a couple of hours. I also halved the recipe but used the full amount of spices. As always, I enjoy your recipes and instructions, Olena!

    1. You are very welcome, Sabrina. You know with beans and rice Instant Pot can be a few minutes off either way depends on your altitude and products. Sometimes it’s how old are the beans what brown rice blah-blah-blah. Yes, make it yours and good to go.:)

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

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

  12. 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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