October 6, 2022

Instant Pot Black Beans

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Instant Pot Black Beans – Learn how to EASILY make PERFECT black beans in an Instant Pot in just ONE hour! Substitute these superior tasting homemade black beans in any recipe that calls for canned black beans including soups, chili, casseroles, burritos, tacos, or your favorite Mexican recipes!

Instant Pot Black Beans Recipe

Making black beans from scratch is a little treat that is so easy to do! Before the popularity of pressure cookers like the Instant Pot, simmering a pot of beans on the stove was a day-long project. Not anymore!

These Instant Pot black beans are ready in 1 hour and are perfectly seasoned with just a bit of onion, garlic, bay leaves, and optional jalapeno if you want your black beans a bit spicier.

The texture is a soft and tender, almost creamy, without being mushy with intact unbroken skin.

Serve or use these Mexican-style black beans in any recipe that you’d normally used canned black beans. 

Whether you want to add them to soups, chili, ground beef recipes, comfort food casseroles or burritos, in chicken dishes, in a vegetarian salad or side dish, or in seafood recipes, these black beans are perfect.

I have a dozen recipes showcased here but also have about 100+ black bean recipes on my site so there are no shortage of ways to use them.

Of course just eating them straight from the Instant Pot is fine too as is refrying them for refried black beans. 

Ingredients in Instant Pot Black Beans 

Making black beans in an Instant Pot only requires a handful of very common fridge and panty ingredients including the following items:

  • Dried black beans
  • Water
  • White or yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Jalapeno, optional
  • Cilantro, optiona for seving
  • Queso fresco, optional for serving

How to Make Black Beans in an Instant Pot

Making Mexican black beans in Instant Pot is a cinch! Follow these simple and very straightforward steps:

Step 1: Optional but recommended, soak the beans for 4 hours or overnight, drain, rinse, and sort.

Step 2: Place the beans, water, onion, garlic,, bay leaves, salt, optional jalapeno in the Instant Pot.

Step 3: Attach the lid, set the machine to “Bean Mode”, and turn the time to 40 minutes.

Step 4: When the time is finished, allow the machine to slow release for 15 minutes. Then do a quick release.

Step 5: Optionally serve with cilantro, queso fresco, or carry on using the cooked Instant Pot black beans in any recipe you need canned black beans for.

Ways To Use Instant Pot Black Beans

Black beans are the number one most common bean I use in any recipe that calls for canned beans, with only garbanzo beans even coming close. 

Therefore, I have a ton of recipes that call for black beans!

The recipe makes a big batch of cooked black beans – about 6 to 7 cups – so you’ll have no shortage of beans in which to incorporate into your favorite black bean-containing recipes!

Your Instant Pot black beans are going to be perfect in any recipe that calls for drained and rinsed canned black beans. Just substitute these beans right in.

Here is a sampling of my favorite black bean recipes including soup, chili, beef, chicken, sausage, vegetarian, and seafood recipes <— Tip – click that link for 100+ additional recipes using black beans!

What Kind of Instant Pot is Best for Mexican Black Beans?

While the brand name Instant Pot is likely the most widely known in recent years, most any brand of pressure cooker will work. 

Since many people have jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon, that is what I use for sake of ease.

I use the 6-quart Instant Pot with the 7-in-1 Functions but there are “fancier” models with more bells and whistles that are of course fine.

Can I Make Black Beans in my Slow Cooker?

For those interested in making black beans in a slow cooker, I have this Borracho Beans recipe that I make in the slow cooker.

Follow the basic gist of the recipe for how to cook dried beans in a slow cooker, making sure to add onions and the seasonings called for in this Instant Pot recipe, cover with water by about 2 inches, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until done.

However, it is so much faster cook dry beans from scratch in an Instant Pot compared to a slow cooker but as long as you’re prepared for the cook time, black beans turn out nicely in a slow cooker.

Additionally, for anyone wanting to make more of a “baked beans” style of bean recipe in your Crock-Pot, these Bourbon Maple Slow Cooker Baked Beans cannot be beat!

Is It OK to Add Salt When Cooking Black Beans in an Instant Pot?

Salting beans is a controversial topic and some people say that salting the beans during the cooking process prevents them or really delays the cooking process. And that salting them at the end is better.

This may be true for stovetop beans, but cooking beans in a pressure cooker with the salt added in the beginning seems to work just fine.

One tablespoon sounds like “a lot” of salt but one pound of beans produces 6 to 7 cups cooked beans. Therefore, in no way is 1 tablespoon too much salt for us. But of course, salt to taste. 

As an aside, under-salted beans to me are actually more distasteful than overly salted.

How Long to Black Beans Last?

Black beans will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I Freeze Instant Pot Black Beans?

Yes, you can also freeze black beans for up to 4 months.

If you’re going to freeze them, consider making a double batch. 

Tip: If you’re freezing them, I recommend using small to medium-sized freezer safe containers to make the thawing process faster. Plus, that way you only need to thaw what you plan to use for any given recipe you’re making. You can also use plastic baggies but I feel more comfortable using containers for the leakage factor.

Also, spray the plastic containers and ziptop bags with cooking spray to ensure the beans will “plop” right out and not stick.

Can I Make Refried Black Beans from Black Beans Cooked in an Instant Pot?

Yes you sure can!

Follow the Instant Pot black beans recipe as I outline and then:

  • If you plan to mash your beans by hand, a basic potato masher is all you need. I prefer hand mashing because I like some texture in my refried beans. I don’t mind the bit of extra work but some people want quicker, faster, easier.
  • For those that want to blend your beans in a blender, today’s high-speed blenders are incredibly powerful and it only takes a couple very quick pulses to get the beans blended. Therefore, be careful not to overdo it or you will end up with an ultra-smooth puree closer to baby food than black beans which is not my preference.

Tips for the Best Instant Pot Black Beans 

I always soak the black beans to save time later. You can soak them for anywhere from a couple hours to overnight. Rinse and drain them after soaking.

You don’t have to soak your beans but if you don’t, it’s likely you will need to cook them about 10 minutes extra. Not a big deal but it’s worth pointing out. 

Always taste test a few beans when evaluating doneness. Beans should not be hard when done. If they are at all hard, they need more time. Don’t be afraid to cook them another 10-15 minutes on the Bean mode, or as necessary.

If the water has mostly already been cooked out, add 1 to 2 cups more. In order to soften, beans need to absorb water, so make sure there is sufficient water for them to absorb. Don’t just add more time on the Instant Pot and not add water. Time is useless without water.

You can also use vegetable broth if desired instead of water if you have some on hand. In that case, you may not need to as as much salt.

If you’re new to Instant Pot or pressure cooking, there are a couple things that surprised me when I first delved into it:

  1. First, it takes awhile for the machine to build up pressure and actually start “cooking”. In the case of high pressure cooking such as the “bean mode”, at least 10 minutes so don’t be surprised.
  2. Secondly, when releasing the steam, make sure to wrap a kitchen towel over the lid on the machine and/or use hot mitts on your hands because the steam that escapes is incredibly hot and can burn you.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry black beans, sorted and rinsed; soaking 4 hours or overnight recommended*
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, cut into chunky 2-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 jalapeno, halved; optional
  • Cilantro, optiona for seving
  • Queso fresco, optional for serving

Instructions

  1. To a 6 -quart Instant Pot or similar type of pressure cooker, add the beans, water, onion, garlic, bay leaves, salt, optional jalapeno (halve it lengthwise and add as much or as little as you want from 1/4 of it to all of it, remove the seeds for less heat) stir to combine, and affix the lid.
  2. Select the Bean button and set the time to 40 minutes. Note – It takes awhile for the machine to build up pressure and actually start “cooking”. In the case of high pressure cooking such as the “bean mode”, at least 10 minutes so don’t be surprised.
  3. When the time has finished, allow a slow release for 15 minutes.
  4. Then do a quick release. Note – When releasing the steam, make sure to wrap a kitchen towel over the lid on the machine and/or use hot mitts on your hands because the steam that escapes is incredibly hot and can burn you.
  5. Test a few beans to make sure they are done. If they are tender and done, great. If they are at all hard, they need to cook longer.**
  6. If you need to cook the beans longer, you will need to add more water, probably 1 to 2 cups more.***
  7. When the beans are done, remove the bay leaves.
  8. Optionally remove the onions and jalapeno if you used it, but I leave them in for extra flavor.
  9. Serve as desired or use the beans in any recipe that calls for canned black beans. Cilantro and queso fresco are optional but if eating them plain and not incorporating the black beans into another recipe, they are great garnishes. Beans will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Tip – Store them in small to medium-sized containers sprayed with cooking spray to make the thawing process easier and to ensure the beans don’t stick.

Notes

*I recommend soaking the beans overnight, or for at least 4 hours, rinsing them again, and draining them. This helps them cook quicker and more evenly in the Instant Pot. If you do not soak them, it’s possible you will have to cook them 10 to 15 minutes additionally, after the first 40 minutes.

**They will probably need an extra 10 to 15 minutes on the Bean setting again, but it will vary based on how underdone they were. Again, this is why soaking your beans ahead of time is recommended to reduce cooking time and guesswork here. Then do a quick release and repeat if necessary. If there is minimal water remaining but the beans aren’t done, add 1 to 2 cups additional water because the beans need to absorb moisture in order to cook and soften.

***The amount of water or liquid remaining should be minimal when the beans are done – very slightly wet and just enough to keep them saucy, but not tons of excess. If there is, but the beans are done, fish the beans out using a slotted spoon.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

14

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 139Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 524mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g

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two dishes of slow cooker baked beans on white towels - Instant Pot Black Beans

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Instant Pot Black Beans

Instant Pot Black Beans

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Lime Cilantro Shrimp and Black Bean Salad - Tender juicy shrimp, black beans, avocado, cilantro, and more coated in a lime sauce that - Instant Pot Black Beans's a FIESTA in your mouth!! An EASY and HEALTHY Mexican-inspired salad that’s ready in 10 minutes!!

 

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