Instant Pot Black Beans Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 5 min. Cook: 30 min. + releasing
Instant Pot black beans are so delicious and easy to make, you may never want to order black beans from a restaurant again. Bonus: You control the seasonings, for a completely customizable taste.

Updated: May 30, 2024

You just might forget about your favorite Mexican restaurant once you try this Instant Pot black beans recipe. Once you’ve added the ingredients to the pressure cooker, the dish practically makes itself. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to customize with your favorite spices, fresh garlic or jalapenos. Yum, indeed.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Black Beans

  • Dried black beans: Black beans are the most important part of this dish. Since they’re dried, they’re free of added salt or ingredients found in some canned black beans.
  • Lard: Lard provides some of the flavor as well as the restaurant-style texture of this Instant Pot black beans recipe.
  • Cumin: Cumin adds warmth and complexity to the flavor.
  • Garlic powder: Garlic powder adds mellow garlic flavor without the heat or the bite of fresh garlic.
  • Broth (optional): Mix a little of your favorite broth in at serving time for additional flavor.
  • Queso fresco (optional): Everything’s better with cheese, right?
  • Cilantro (optional):  Fresh cilantro serves as a garnish on this dish, and it also adds fresh flavor.

Directions 

Step 1: Sort and rinse the beans

Pour the beans out on a clean surface and remove any grit or debris. Rinse the beans, then place them in a 6-quart electric pressure cooker.

Step 2: Quick-cook the beans

Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 7 cups of water, then lock the lid and close the pressure-release valve. Cook the beans on the high setting for two minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes, then quick-release any remaining pressure.

Step 3: Finish cooking the beans

Drain the beans, discarding the liquid. Return the beans to the pressure cooker along with the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, plus 5 cups of water and the lard, cumin and garlic powder. Lock the lid and close the pressure-release valve before cooking the beans on high for 25 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick-release any remaining pressure.

Step 4: Serve the beans

Transfer the beans to a serving bowl. If desired, mash some of the beans with a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth for additional flavor. Sprinkle a little queso and fresh cilantro on top and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Use vegetable shortening: Feel free to replace the lard with vegetable shortening. They’re similar fats, but shortening is plant-based, while lard is made from rendered animal fat. The fats in this dish improve the texture of the beans.
  • Use vegetable broth: For the second cooking phase, use vegetable broth in place of half the water for added flavor. Some vegetable broths are salty, so adjust the broth amount to taste.
  • Add minced garlic: Love garlic? Minced garlic brings extra garlicky goodness to every bite.
  • Add diced onions: Diced white onions pack a punch and add a little crunch to Instant Pot black beans. Saute them with garlic first for added scrumptiousness.
  • Spice it up: Black beans and seasonings are meant for each other. Add chili powder, black pepper or even a little smoked paprika to liven things up.
  • Add jalapeno: Jalapeno peppers bring crunch and heat to Instant Pot black beans. It’s the seed membrane that packs most of the heat; remove most of it, and the seeds, to keep things on the milder side.

How to Store Instant Pot Black Beans

Refrigerate Instant Pot black beans in a non-metallic storage container with an airtight lid. They’ll keep for up to five days in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze Instant Pot black beans?

Yes, you can! Transfer Instant Pot black beans into portion-sized freezer storage bags or stackable non-metallic freezer containers, and you’ll have quick-meal options on a busy day. Frozen, these black beans last three to six months.

Can you make Instant Pot black beans ahead of time?

Instant Pot black beans are an excellent choice for a make-ahead meal, as the flavors build a bit over time. Make the dish up to four nights ahead of time and store it in an airtight, non-metal storage container in the refrigerator.

Instant Pot Black Bean Tips

Can I make black beans without an Instant Pot?

Yes, this recipe works just as well without an electric pressure cooker; it just takes a little longer to cook. After rinsing, place the beans in a saucepan with 7 cups of water and the seasonings. After it reaches a full boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer the beans for 60 to 90 minutes, or until they’re soft.

Should I soak dried black beans?

While some recipes require soaking any variety of dried beans ahead of time, this black bean Instant Pot recipe works well without the added wait time. Soaking any dried beans overnight, or even for a few hours, reduces the cooking time needed to make them tender. Since the black beans are relatively small and cooked in an electric pressure cooker, soaking them beforehand won’t really save much cooking time.

Can I turn this into a dip? 

Absolutely! This Instant Pot black beans recipe makes a great dip. Puree the beans in a food processor or with a handheld immersion blender after they’ve fully cooked. Sprinkle fresh lime juice atop the dip, if desired, and serve with tortilla chips.

Instant Pot Black Beans

Prep Time 5 min
Cook Time 30 min
Yield 20 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds dried black beans (about 4-1/2 cups)
  • 4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Optional: Queso fresco and cilantro

Directions

  1. Rinse and sort beans. Transfer to a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 7 cups water. Lock lid; close pressure-release valve. Adjust to pressure-cook on high for 2 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes and then quick-release any remaining pressure.
  2. Drain beans; discard liquid. Return beans to pressure cooker. Add remaining 2 teaspoons salt, 5 cups water, lard, cumin and garlic powder. Lock lid; close pressure-release valve. Adjust to pressure-cook on high for 25 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick-release any remaining pressure; do not drain.
  3. If desired, mash or puree beans in broth and sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup: 203 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 475mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 7g fiber), 10g protein.

Instant Pot black beans are the key to a lot of my family's meals, whether for a weekend breakfast or for taco salads and burritos throughout the week. For years, I've tried to find a homemade recipe as creamy and tasty as Mexican restaurant beans. This is that recipe. —Helen Nelander, Boulder Creek, California
Recipe Creator
Community Cook