A bowl of instant pot black beans on a linen table cloth with a spoon and sprigs of fresh herbs nearby.

An electric pressure cooker is an absolute game changer when it comes to cooking dried beans! Not only does it shave off hours and hours worth of time, but it also strips away tons of steps (no soaking necessary!). Combine this with the low cost of dried beans, and you’ve got yourself an affordable, nutritious, quick way to make a delicious plant-based protein in no time!

Our Instant Pot Black Beans recipe is seasoned and flavorful—perfect for eating as a side dish, nestling into a burrito, or putting into a quesadilla. You’ll never buy canned beans again!

Tight view of quick-cooked black beans in a bowl with a sprig of fresh cilantro alongside.

Why should I cook black beans in a pressure cooker?

The Instant Pot is the fastest way to turn dried beans into cooked ones—you can even skip the soaking step! With the pressure cooker, you can have tasty, flavorful beans in your dinner without worrying about remembering to soak them first.

How much water do I use for one pound of beans?

You’ll need a quart or four cups of water for one pound of beans. We also love to use broth for our beans to add even more flavor!

Close view of shiny dried black beans in a single layer on a counter.

How long does it take to make black beans in the pressure cooker?

Altogether, cooking dried beans will take just under an hour in the Instant Pot—35 minutes of cooking at high pressure, plus 20 minutes of natural pressure release.

What’s the best Instant Pot to buy?

We’ve fallen in love with two electric pressure cookers, and we think either is a good option for the home cook. The Instant Pot Duo is a classic for a reason—it’s helped us make hundreds of batches of bone broth, yogurt, and soup!

We also recently fell head over heels for the Ninja Foodi. We love it because it combines a bunch of small appliances into one easy-to-use item. The Foodi replaces an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, air fryer, dehydrator, rice cooker, and steamer with one appliance!

What setting do I use on my Instant Pot for beans? 

Your black beans will cook on Manual pressure set to High.

A gray bowl of instant pot cooked black beans with a spoon beside it on a linen tablecloth.

Do I need to soak the beans before cooking them? 

Nope! Isn’t it grand? The high pressure of the Instant Pot softens the beans beautifully with zero pre-soaking. You can cook dried black beans in under an hour!

What do I need to make Instant Pot black beans?

To make perfectly seasoned black beans, you’ll need:

  • A pound of dried black beans
  • A diced onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Jalapeños
  • Bay leaves
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Broth, stock, or water

How do I cook beans in my Instant Pot pressure cooker?

You’ll love how hands-off this recipe is. All you need to do is: 

  • Put all the ingredients in the Instant Pot. Skip the aromatics like onion, garlic, jalapenos, and cumin if you want plain beans.
  • Seal and set the pressure cooker to manual, high pressure for 35 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, stir, and enjoy!
Overhead of a bowl of no soak black beans with fresh cilantro nearby.

What is the ratio of beans to water in the Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot’s ratio of beans to liquid is one pound of beans to four cups of liquid.

Protip: Adjust for large Instant Pots

If you have a larger Instant Pot or another electric pressure cooker (over the typical 6 qt size), we recommend adding an additional 1 cup of liquid to make sure all of your beans cook properly.

How can I use my seasoned black beans?

These black beans are so flavorful and seasoned that sometimes we just eat them with a side of cornbread and some vegetables! But they can also be worked into a number of recipes:

One pound of dried beans should give you around six cups of cooked black beans, so you’ll get a few dishes out of these affordable, delicious legumes!

How long will cooked beans last?

Cooked black beans can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. They can be frozen for 10-12 months.

A bowl of instant pot black beans on a linen table cloth with a spoon and sprigs of fresh herbs nearby.

Instant Pot Black Beans Recipe

Yield: About 6 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Forget the canned stuff! For the quickest, most effortless black beans, try using the Instant Pot! Here's how.


  • 1 pound dried black beans, picked through
  • 4 cups broth or water
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 jalapeños, seeds and membranes removed and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste


  1. Combine 1 pound of dried beans with 4 cups broth in the Instant Pot, plus the onion, garlic, jalapenos, bay leaves, cumin, and salt.
  2. Seal and set to manual, high pressure for 35 minutes.
  3. When the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes.
  4. Release the pressure and stir the beans. Eat immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • If your Instant Pot is larger than 6 quarts, add one additional cup of water or broth to the pot to ensure your beans cook evenly.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 296mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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