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 chicken and rice and Instant Pot chili are other favorite rice, bean recipes around here.
Table of contents
- Pressure Cooker Beans and Rice
- Instant Pot Beans and Rice Ingredients
- How to Make Instant Pot Rice and Beans
- 1. Add All Ingredients to the Instant Pot
- 2. Cook for 22-25 Minutes
- 3. Add Cilantro and Stir
- FAQs and Substitutions
- What to Serve Instant Pot Rice and Beans With?
- How to Make a Freezer Meal
- More Rice and Beans Recipes
- More Healthy Instant Pot Recipes
Pressure Cooker Beans and Rice
OK, this healthy Instant Pot rice and beans recipe is a weeknight dinner saver! It’s like Instant Pot black beans meet Instant Pot brown rice and 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. Just like with Instant Pot baked beans, I repeat, you do not need to soak!
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.
Just like you can cook chicken, rice and beans at same time when making chicken burritos.
Are you ready to have healthy dinner on the table in 30 minutes?! P.S. Browse all healthy healthy Instant Pot recipes.
Instant Pot Beans and Rice Ingredients
This delicious Mexican inspired Instant Pot black beans and rice consists of simple ingredients, mostly pantry staples similar to Instant Pot white chicken chili:
- Brown rice
- Dry black beans
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Spices: Cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt.
- Fresh cilantro
How to Make Instant Pot Rice and Beans
1. Add All Ingredients to the Instant Pot
- It is super important to add Instant Pot rice and beans ingredients in the following order to the bottom of the pot: onion, brown rice, black beans, water or vegetable broth, 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 position and press Pressure Cook on High pressure 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 Instant Pot 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 rice and beans in Instant Pot 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 Instant Pot rice and beans 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 Pressure Release where remaining 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 rice and beans 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!
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.
No. White rice and brown rice require different amount of liquid and cooking time. Also 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.
No. The beauty of Instant Pot is that dry 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 difference.
And as for the second point, it’s hard to tell. So for the sake of convenience, I love this recipe just like I love Instant Pot black bean soup that requires no soaking!
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 Instant Pot black beans and Instant Pot refried beans. Black beans cook the fastest out of all beans. Making Instant Pot rice and beans together a reality.
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?!
Yes. I finally said “yes”. 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, it’s delish!
No, sorry. It will probably instigate a “burn notice”.
Cut ingredients in half but keep same cooking time.
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.
What to Serve Instant Pot Rice and Beans With?
Serve on its own with a dollop of sour cream, squeeze of fresh lime juice on top of the rice and tortilla chips.
- 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)!
- Air fryer nachos: As a healthy side dish to or even loaded on these cheese air fried nachos!
- Steamed vegetables – Adding vegetables makes these into healthy burrito bowls!
How to Make a Freezer Meal
Instant Pot rice and beans are perfect for meal prep. 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 beans and rice in Instant Pot on High pressure from frozen (don’t forget to add water) for 22 minutes with Quick Release.
For cooking in Instant Pot, it is important to finish with tomatoes on top to avoid “Burn”. Also check out my full list of 20 freezer prep meals. I’m obsessed!
More Rice and Beans Recipes
- Mexican rice and beans with zucchini – great for using up an abundance of zucchini.
More Healthy Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot cabbage rolls – same flavour but without hours spent in the kitchen. Genius!
- Instant Pot chicken wild rice soup – delicious creamy soup without cream!
- Instant Pot jambalaya – one pot weeknight or Sunday dinner.
- Instant Pot taco soup – healthy soup with pantry staples.
- Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup – this classic soup tastes even better now!
Instant Pot Rice and Beans
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cups brown rice rinsed
- 1 cup dried black beans rinsed
- 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 Cook on High or Manual 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.
- Beans: Use black beans only, pinto and red beans take longer to cook. No need to soak. Do not use canned beans, liquid ratio will be off.
- Can I add chicken? Yes. Small pieces of chicken breast or thighs added on top of rice will work. No other changes necessary. Kielbasa will too!
- 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.
Just made this and loved it! Came out perfectly. I added a little extra water (1/4 cup) because I thought I might have added a little too much rice, and it was perfect. I made it with the idea that I would combine it with a chili recipe, but it’s great just on its own. One change: I thought it would benefit from the addition of frozen corn, so I thawed out some corn after it was done, and added it, making it more colourful. I’m wondering if it would work to throw in the frozen corn before cooking, but perhaps not. The corn might be overcooked if you did that. Anyway, thank you for the great recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed my recipe! You can definitely throw in some frozen corn before cooking instant pot rice and beans.
Horrible recipe! So much food ruined! Beans were severely undercooked. Tried cooking more but pot would burn. Rice now over cooked. Why not just say to soak the beans?
I made it this evening per instructions the rice & beans (canned) came out perfectly, but it took an hour until the pressure came down naturally. I live alone & am retired, I put 5 pints (plastic containers) in the freezer, when ready to have meal, remove under water & into a pint Pyrex dish & into one of the pans, I just put in on high for 24 minutes. I loved it & will make again & again, most delicious
That sounds like a very good strategy to meal prep when you’re by yourself. Not sure why I took an hour to pressurize it shouldn’t. Maybe your seal is a bit old and the steam is looking through. I would look into buying a new ceiling ring.
Rice came out overcooked and beans undercooked. I think dried beans usually take a lot (10ish minutes?) longer than rice for me.
Sea level if that’s relevant.
All dried beans need different cooking times in Instant Pot. What size Instant Pot did you use? It could be the beans themselves if you rice was overcooked, they could be older or just the type of those beans. Or the type of rice you use. Did you use long grain brown rice? I live at sea level and that’s how this recipe was tested numerous times. When you take different real food ingredients they all act differently and especially in a sealed pressure cooker, so you should be ready to some modifications, it’s normal.
Great meal! Made this for the family and everyone loved it. Added a dollop of sour cream and sliced avocado before serving. I liked a little sirachi as well. Thanks for the recipe, followed exactly as you instructed and turned out perfect.
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Andy!
How does this do when doubled? Should the cooking time still work?
Cooking time will remain same, pot will take longer to come to pressure. Be careful not to go over max fill line.
Loved and saved lol. I know typically the cooking time for beans for me in Alberta seemed a bit short, so increased to 35 mins with a 10 minute natural release and then quick release and its PERFECT. Tossed some shredded cheese on top and am chowing down. Thank you!!!!!!
So glad you enjoyed it!
Rice was perfect, but beans really undercooked. Any ideas?
Sometimes older beans or different brands could take longer.
I absolutely love this!! I put a sliced avocado on top right before serving. It was so easy and came out just perfect and so delicious!
So happy to hear, Kandy!