Forgot to pre-soak your beans? No problem! I do that all the time. Here's your recipe for cooking black beans in an Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker) with no soaking.
And black beans cooked from dried beans are so much more flavorful than canned beans.Jump to Recipe
- Are dried beans healthier than canned beans?
- Why are dried beans better than canned?
- Ingredients for Instant Pot Black Beans
- How to Season Black Beans
- Recommended Equipment
- How to cook black beans in the Instant Pot
- Easy Black Bean Recipes
- Instant Pot Black Beans FAQ
- Instant Pot Black Beans (no soak) Recipe
When you have a stash of cooked black beans in the refrigerator, you have an endless supply of last-minute, quick meals. For example, this Quinoa and Black Bean Wrap with Hummus and Tomatoes and Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado and Grapes are both ready in 30 minutes or less.
And if you have an Instant Pot, or other electric pressure cooker, it's the best way to cook up a pot of dried beans, IMO. Especially if you forgot to soak the beans first.
Are dried beans healthier than canned beans?
Canned beans are hard to beat for convenience. And their nutritional value isn't a great deal different from dried beans, except in one respect. Sodium. Even if you purchase low-sodium beans, drain and rinse them thoroughly.
Additionally, at one time, many canning manufacturers used BPA in the linings of its cans. But today, BPA laced linings are far less common. Regardless, check to make sure that you purchase BPA-free cans. This chemical can migrate from the linings into the food during processing and storage.
Why are dried beans better than canned?
There are at least 3 big reasons for cooking your beans from dried.
- The flavor of dried beans is far superior to canned.
- You can control the texture and firmness of the bean when cooking from dried. No more mushy beans, unless of course, you want them mushy.
- Dried beans are waaaaay cheaper than canned. Canned beans cost anywhere from 4 - 5 times more than dried. If you're on a budget, and most people are, dried is the way to go. (As a note: if you purchase heirlooms beans, which are quite a bit more expensive, canned beans are only roughly twice as expensive.)
Ingredients for Instant Pot Black Beans
- Dried black beans - you can find dried black beans in almost any market, but they're not all created equally. Some beans might be as old as 2 years. This affects the texture, flavor and the ability of the bean to soften during cooking. If you cook a lot of beans, I recommend purchasing them from either Rancho Gordo or Chili Smith.
- Water or vegetable broth
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Dried ancho chile pepper
- Dried oregano
- Onion powder
- Lime juice
How to Season Black Beans
Beans can be bland, and great benefit from some seasoning. Here are some ideas for your next pot of beans.
Spice it up. I like a combination of kosher salt, garlic, dried peppers to infuse a little smoke, and dried oregano and onion powder. Cumin and paprika are other great choices.
Simple spicing. Or keep it simple and just add some Taco Seasoning.
Sauté the spices. The important thing, however, is to sauté the seasonings in the pot with a little olive oil before adding the beans and water / broth. This really kicks up the flavors.
Add heat. Want a little heat? Add minced jalapeño pepper to the sauté. Or Serrano pepper to take the beans further up the heat scale.
Garlic. When using garlic, sometimes I add garlic paste, or mince a few garlic cloves. But often I slice the top off of a head of garlic and add it to the oil along with the other spices. Then I stir in the beans and water / broth. When the beans are done, I remove the head of garlic.
Lime. If I'm eating the black beans on their own, I squeeze a little lime over them before serving. The lime sharpens the flavors and really makes them pop!
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How to cook black beans in the Instant Pot
Whether you soak the beans first or not, the process of cooking them is exactly the same. The only difference is the amount of time. If you pre-soak, you will only need to cook the beans for 10 minutes, and then perform a 5-minute natural release.
For no soak black beans, cook the beans for 30 minutes using HIGH pressure, and perform a 25-minute natural release.
Step 1 (5 minutes)
Sauté seasoning. Use the Instant Pot Sauté function, Medium heat, to sauté the garlic, dried Ancho chile pepper, and other herbs and spices you want to use, in a little olive oil for 5 minutes.
Tip: Leave the dried pepper whole to make it easier to remove after the pressure cooking process is complete.
Step 2 (55 minutes)
Add the beans and water. Add the dried black beans and 3 cups of water or vegetable broth to the inner pot of the Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker.
Turn the Instant Pot off, and select the Manual function.
Cook for 30 minutes, and allow a 25 minute natural release. For a softer cooked bean, add an additional 5 minutes to the cook time.
Step 3 (1 minute)
Drain. Drain the beans into a colander. You can reserve any leftover cooking liquid for a vegetable broth, or discard it.
Squirt some lime. Just before serving, squirt a little lime juice over the beans to sharpen the flavors.
Easy Black Bean Recipes
Besides serving black beans on their own, use them in any of these recipes.
Or if you want to make black bean soup in the slow cooker or crockpot, use dry black beans to make this slow cooker black bean soup.
Instant Pot Black Beans FAQ
1 cup of dried black beans is how much cooked?
1 cup of dried black beans = 3 cups cooked black beans.
What is the best way to store cooked black beans?
Store cooked beans in a covered container that is not made from metal in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Also try storing cooked beans in smaller one to two cup portions, for ease of use in recipes. Here's a great website with more information.
Instant Pot Black Beans (no soak) Recipe
- Instant Pot
- Rinse. Rinse the beans and pick out any stones.
- Sauté seasoning. Using the Instant Pot Sauté function, select Medium heat, and sauté the garlic, kosher salt, oregano, onion powder, and dried Ancho chile pepper in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Tip: Leave the dried pepper whole to make it easier to remove after the pressure cooking process is complete.
- Add the beans and water. Add the dried black beans and 3 cups of water or vegetable broth to the inner pot of the Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker. Turn the Instant Pot off, and select the Manual function. Cook for 30 minutes, and allow a 25-minute natural release.
- Drain. Drain the beans into a colander. You can reserve any leftover cooking liquid for a vegetable broth, or discard it.
- Squirt some lime. If using the beans as a side dish, squirt a little lime juice over the beans just before serving to sharpen the flavors.
Originally published March 19, 2020; Updated and republished July 21, 2022. Recipe updated to provide clearer directions for cooking black beans not pre-soaked, using an Instant Pot. New information was also added for how to season black beans.