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Instant Pot Black Beans

Instant Pot Black Beans are quick, easy, budget-friendly, versatile, and delicious. They freeze well, are great for meal prepping, and there’s NO SOAKING required!

I love to cook from scratch, but cooking beans from scratch was one of those things that I only did a handful of times before I got my Instant Pot. I’d plan to make beans, but then I would inevitably get busy and forget to soak them overnight.

Once I got my Instant Pot and found out how quick and easy it is to make all kinds of beans (and I didn’t have to remember to soak them), I became a bean-cooking fanatic! My freezer is full of bags of different kinds of beans that are ready for when I need them in a recipe.

To me, there’s just something about the flavor and texture of beans cooked from scratch that I like better than canned beans.

Now, canned beans are great, don’t get me wrong. I’d be lying if I said I don’t ever buy or use them, but they can be kind of mushy sometimes.  Home-cooked beans are firm yet also tender and creamy.

Oh, and did I mention that (BONUS) dried beans are less expensive than canned beans?

Black beans are one of my favorite beans to cook and probably the one I make most often because I use them in all sorts of recipes. They’re great in tacos, enchiladas, soups, salads, and casseroles. I’ve even seen people make brownies with them (Note to self: try that soon!).


  • Dried black beans
  • Water


  • Instant Pot


three images showing steps to make instant pot black beans with text that says add black beans and water to the instant pot, cook at high pressure for 20 minutes, natural release the pressure for 20 minutes
three images showing steps to make instant pot black beans with text that says quick-release remaining pressure and drain, spread out on a pan and let cool, beans are ready to use

You’ll have awesomely cooked beans in just about an hour (most of which is hands-off time)!

It will take about 16 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure + the 20-minute cook time + the 20-minute natural pressure release. Not bad at all, especially since you don’t have the extra step of soaking them overnight!

The 20-minute cooking time gives me a very slightly firm bean that is soft and creamy on the inside (but the beans are not mushy). If you like your beans softer or more firm, note that you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Also, please don’t skip the step of allowing the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes. The beans continue to cook during this time. They will be under-cooked if you skip this step and quick-release the pressure too soon.

Now that you’ve got your batch of black beans, you can use them now, refrigerate them to use within a few days, or freeze them for longer-term storage.

white bowl of cooked black beans on a black napkin


  • Can I soak my black beans before cooking? Yes. Put them in a bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak overnight. Just be sure to reduce the cooking time to 10 minutes. The natural pressure release time will still be 20 minutes.
  • How many cans of black beans will one pound of dried black beans replace? Cooking one pound of dried black beans will replace three (15 to 16-ounce) cans of black beans. Divide your cooked beans into three equal portions (each portion will be just about 1¾ cups).
  • Can I freeze them? Yes! Put them in a freezer bag and remove as much of the air as possible. I find it’s best to freeze them in the 1¾-cup portions so that when your recipe calls for a can of black beans, you can just pull out one bag.
  • Can I add salt to the cooking water? Yes. Some people say the beans won’t soften properly or it will take longer for them to cook if you add salt. Then again, some people say it makes them creamier and keeps the skins more intact. Honestly, I’ve done it with and without salt and have not noticed any major difference. Try both ways and see which you prefer.

So… what are you gonna do with your black beans?  If you need some recipe ideas, I’ve got a great one for Black Bean Burgers coming up next. I also highly recommend making Mexican Lasagna or Quinoa Veggie Chili.

I hope you try this recipe for Instant Pot Black Beans and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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white bowl filled with cooked black beans with an instant pot in the background

Instant Pot Black Beans

Instant Pot Black Beans are quick, easy, budget-friendly, versatile, and delicious. They freeze well, are great for meal prepping, and there’s NO soaking required!
5 from 1 vote
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 36 minutes
Natural Release: 20 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings (about ½ cup each – recipe makes about 5 cups total)
Estimated Calories: 84


  • 1 pound dry black beans
  • 6 cups water


  • Place the black beans and the water in the Instant Pot. Put on the lid and turn the steam release handle to “sealing.”
  • Press Bean/Chili or Manual and set time to 20 minutes. Note: It will take approximately 16 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure before the cooking time will begin to count down. 
  • When the cooking time is complete, turn the Instant Pot off and allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes.
  • Quick-release any remaining pressure (please take precautions as there will be HOT steam released). 
  • Drain the beans and spread them out onto a large baking sheet to cool.
  • Use now, refrigerate to use within a few days, or freeze for longer-term storage.


  • This recipe will yield the equivalent of three 15 to 16-ounce cans of black beans. Divide into 3 equal portions (each will be about 1¾ cups) and use each as you would a can of black beans.
  • If you would like to soak the beans overnight before cooking, reduce the cooking time to 10 minutes. The 20-minute natural pressure release time remains the same.
  • I used an 8-quart Instant Pot for this recipe.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
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Recipe Rating


Saturday 15th of October 2022

I have never put beans in an instant pot. I made them in my foodie ninja on high pressure for a cook time of 22 minutes and they turned out perfect! Thank you for the recipes!!


Sunday 16th of October 2022

You're welcome, Mickey! So glad they turned out perfect for you, and nice to know that the recipe works well in a Ninja Foodie also. Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!


Friday 22nd of May 2020

Are you aware of how to adapt the recipe to be doubled? In an 8qt.


Friday 22nd of May 2020

Hello, Bernadette! I have never doubled the recipe myself, but I do know that, due to foaming that occurs when cooking beans in the Instant Pot, you should never fill it more than half full because the foam or bean skins could block the steam valves on the lid. In an 8-quart pot, if you doubled the recipe and used 2 pounds of beans (which is roughly about 4 cups) and 12 cups of water, you should end up just about at the halfway full mark. If you are over, remove enough water in order to not go past the halfway mark. The cooking time and natural pressure release time would remain the same (you don't double the time). Hope that helps!

P.S. For anyone who has a 6-quart Instant Pot, you definitely can't double the recipe because the pot would be more than half full.