This Instant Pot Black Beans recipe shows you how to cook dried black beans at home. Cooked with flavorful seasonings they make a simple side dish, or a versatile cooking and baking ingredient. We’ll also show you how to store cooked black beans to easily replace canned beans in recipes.
How to cook black beans in a pressure cooker
Cooking black beans or any other kind of dried beans in a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot is very easy. There is no necessary preparation to do before making these instant pot black beans, other than soaking them if you choose to do so.
The beans go into an instant pot with water and seasonings. You don’t even have to chop the onion and the garlic cloves don’t require peeling. In fact, these get discarded at the end of the cooking time.
Pressure Cooking Times for Black Beans
Soaked – If you soak your black beans for these Instant Pot black beans, they will take less time to cook – only 11 minutes at high pressure. If cooking at high altitudes, however, the cook time will be 15 minutes.
Unsoaked – The benefits of pressure cooking beans is that a pressure cooker will cook dried beans without presoaking. In this case, expect the total time for your beans to take 30 minutes at high pressure. Or 40 minutes, if cooking at high altitude.
Seasoning Black Beans
Seasoning black beans makes them flavourful and perfect as a simple side dish. In fact, these are excellent to pair with a Mexican-style meal due to the additions like cumin and oregano.
Some say that cooking beans with spices (like cumin) makes them easier to digest. For those who have trouble eating healthful beans due to digestion, adding slightly spicy and earthy cumin is known to aid the process. If you can’t stomach cumin, however, ginger, fennel seed, or turmeric are excellent options, too.
Many people love to incorporate black beans into desserts. If cooking beans for desserts (like brownies), be sure to omit the savoury seasonings. This will allow your beans to be multipurpose as you enjoy them through the week.
If you have any leftovers after adding the beans to your baked goods – like black bean cookies, you can heat them on the stove with your favorite herbs and spices to serve as part of a main meal. These are excellent served over rice with a sprinkling of vibrant green cilantro for taste and colour. And they can also go into brothy bean stews with tomato or a hearty chili.
Benefits of soaking black beans before pressure cooking
Soaking black beans for these Instant Pot beans aids digestion, so that they induce less or minimal gas. Beans are coated in oligosaccharides, which is a type of sugar. Soaking black beans prior to cooking allows the human body to break down that coating earlier in the digestive process and limit the potential for uncomfortable digestion.
Another bonus to pre-soaking beans is that their nutrients become more bioavailable. This is because the soaking has helped break the beans down a little, so that you can extract all the nutrition from them more easily. Because of the digestive benefits, I highly recommend everyone soak their dry beans for at least 4-12 hours.
Personally, I cannot stomach unsoaked beans. So I take it even further and try to soak them for 48 hours. I still change the water and rinse the beans every 12 hours. Because of the frequent water changes my black beans are lighter in colour. But even if they don’t look deep black, they still have the delicious black bean flavour that I love.
Can I still cook dry/unsoaked Black Beans?
Yes, you can! Using a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot makes it possible to cook dried beans in a reasonably short time. In fact, once the cooker comes under pressure, the beans should take only a total time of 30 minutes to cook.
This means that even if you didn’t plan to eat black beans on a particular day, you can make them last minute with little fuss. Just make sure you always have a bag on hand in your pantry, so that you can have a quick side dish to pair with dinner.
How to store cooked black beans
If using in the upcoming week, you can store the beans in their cooking liquid. Simply place in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 1 week. This recipe makes a lot of beans so, depending on the size of your family, you should be able to incorporate them into a few meals.
Consider having these as a side dish one evening and a vegetarian black bean bowl over rice with salsa, avocado, and sour cream on another day. You could even turn the cooked beans into a quick pureed black bean soup later on if you are really looking for something different.
If you need to store the beans for longer, you can freeze them for up to 6 months. Simply divide them between sealable freezer bags once cooled and pop in the freezer. Of course, the beans should be perfectly safe to consume if stored longer, but their structure may deteriorate with longer freezing time.
Storing the beans in jars in the freezer is a possibility, too, but you have to be a little more careful. If storing the beans in jars, ensure that you leave at least a 1/2-inch of headspace. This will prevent the jars from breaking in the freezer.
If you think that you will be using beans in drier preparations like salads, you could drain the beans before freezing. In that case, you could use the bean liquid as a broth for vegan or vegetarian soups or even braising meat. It is even an excellent and delicious cooking liquid for simmering rice. Otherwise, freeze the beans in their liquid so that they are ready to add to soups and stews, or to enjoy as they are.
How to Use Instant Pot Black Beans to replace canned beans in a recipe
If you are used to using canned beans in your favorite black bean recipes but would like to replace with these cooked Instant Pot beans, one regular 15-ounce can contains about 1.5 cups of drained black beans. I divide cooked beans into deli containers or silicone storage bags for storage.
I measure 1.5 cup of drained beans into each storage container to make them easy to add to black bean dishes and top them up with some of the cooking liquid.
As a result, each container equals 1 can of beans. In the case of this black bean Instant Pot recipe, 1 pound dry beans results in 6.5 cups cooked black beans. This is actually equal to more than 4 cans. For a price comparison, a pound of dried beans may cost between $3 and $4, whereas a single can could cost between $2 and $3 on its own. The bottom line is that using dried beans can save a lot of money.
Delicious Recipes using Black Beans:
How to Cook Black Beans in the Pressure Cooker
This instant pot black beans recipe displays the best and most easy way to cook dried black beans at home. The beans go into a pressure cooker bowl with water and seasonings before being cooked until tender. The cooking time is fast, too, as pressure cooking softens the beans within a few minutes rather than an hour or more of cooking time on the stove.
If you love eating black beans on their own or adding to your favourite recipes like savoury grain bowls or huevos rancheros, these pressure cooked black beans will be perfect. Moreover, you can also use this as a base recipe for cooking other types of beans in your pantry, such as navy or pinto beans.
- 1 pound dry black beans sorted and rinsed
- 1/2 onion
- 2-5 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin optional
Pick over the black beans and remove any pieces of debris or stray seeds/grains. Then rinse the beans well
Soaking - Optional, but highly recommended
Add the rinsed black beans to a bowl with plenty of water. Cover the bowl and let the black beans soak to rehydrate at least for 12 hours (overnight) or up to 48 hours for best results. Rinse beans and change water every 12 hours. Discard any soaking water and rinse the beans one last time.
Add the black beans to your pressure cooker and fill the pot with fresh water. It should be about 2 inches above the beans.
To the beans add onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves, sea salt, oregano, and cumin (optional).
Close the lid and turn the pressure valve to sealing position. Cook soaked black beans on high pressure for 11 minutes (15 mins for high altitude). Cook unsoaked black beans for 30 minutes (40 mins at high altitude).
The pressure cooker will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure before the timer starts to count down. At the end of the cook time, let the pressure release naturally (NPR) until the pin drops by itself, or quick release any remaining pressure after 20 minutes.
Now open the lid and discard the onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. If serving as a side dish or over rice, add chopped cilantro.