Black Beans in the Instant Pot

I love black beans. Love them!  I have found them to be a little trickier to make at home than any other bean. Why? Who knows. It has just been difficult to achieve that perfect inky soft bowl of beans we get at our favorite taco joint.

Since the Instant Pot seems to be able to do no wrong I thought I would give it a whirl. We are not huge heat lovers in this house so I like to make things mild and add hot sauce after the fact to taste. Feel free to add some jalapenos here to bring the heat you want.

There are a few steps to this recipe so not as easy as just throwing it all in at once and setting the pressure, but it is worth it, in my opinion. And, it is all done in the blender so that’s easy.

I think getting the vegetables into a fine chop helps the texture and the flavor of the beans. I saw a Melissa Clark recipe where she added in a homemade raw sauce (hence the blender) at the end of cooking and I think this method really brightens the beans. I bet you could even swap it out for your favorite jar of salsa!

Don’t have an Instant Pot yet? I think you could follow steps 1-6 and then slow cook on the stove or in the slow cooker for 6 hours, checking as you go for doneness. Then continue with steps starting at 9! But, the Instant Pot is GREAT! Here is the one I have, Instant Pot DUO80, and here is the review I wrote!


Black Beans in the Instant Pot


  • 1 Pound Dried Black Beans rinsed (I REALLY love Rancho Gordo Beans. You can find them here)
  • 5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet Onion
  • 1 Red Pepper (jalapeno too if you like heat)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder (More to taste if you like it spicier)
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro rough stems removed and a few leaves saved for garnish (if you like that sort of thing)
  • 7 Scallions with a bit of the green tops removed and chopped for garnish.


  1. Turn on your Instant Pot and press the sauté button. Add 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil.
  2. Pulse the onion in the blender or food processor until it is finely chopped. Then add to the heated Instant Pot. Saute until soft and golden.
  3. While the onion is cooking add the red pepper and two cloves of garlic to the blender and pulse until very finely chopped. Add that to the Instant Pot and saute for 3 more minutes.
  4. Add the oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder and salt and cook one minute more.
  5. Add the rinsed and picked over black beans to the Instant Pot.
  6. Next add 5 Cups of water. I use the blender as my measuring cup and fill it with water to rinse it out and get any remaining vegetables.
  7. Stir well, cover the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is set to sealing.
  8. Using the manual button set pressure to high with a cooktime of 55 minutes. Once finished allow for a natural release.
  9. While the beans are cooking make the fresh sauce. In the blender add the tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, one remaining garlic clove and 3 remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Blend until smooth.
  10. Once the Instant Pot has naturally released, about 30 minutes or so, remove the lid and stir in the fresh sauce. You will turn off the “keep warm” function and turn on “saute”.
  11. Let simmer on the saute function for 10-15 minutes to reduce, stirring frequently.
  12. Turn off Instant Pot completely and let cool a bit, it will continue to thicken.
  13. Serve as tacos or in a bowl with your favorite toppings! We love sour cream, tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado and don’t forget your favorite chips! My favorite chimichurri sauce would also be great with them!

Beans will keep in your fridge for 5-7 days. They freeze beautifully as well!


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