Use your Instant Pot or pressure cooker to make the perfect pot of black beans! Then serve them over rice, use them in any recipe calling for canned beans, or freeze them!
One thing that almost all the healthy diets I have in common is the suggestion to eat beans every day. Luckily, I absolutely love beans.
My two favorite ways to cook beans are with my slow cooker, like these Slow Cooker Pinto Beans with Bacon, and now my Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
While some people say the best way is to simmer them low and slow on a stove, I simply don't have time to watch over my stove for hours.
This recipe is for a basic pot of black beans. It's simply seasoned so that you can use the beans however you would like. Here I served it over rice with cilantro lime salsa.
If you need more convincing to make a big pot of beans, read Why Beans are Good For You!
- Black Beans - I use dried beans that I got from Costco. You can find dried black beans at any grocery store.
- Garlic - peeled cloves.
- Red Pepper Flakes - optional, for a little kick.
- Herbs - I keep it very neutral if I'm not sure what I'm going to use the beans for, either a sprig of thyme or a bay leaf.
- Shallots - or onions. I like the milder flavor of shallots.
Do you need to soak beans before cooking in the Instant Pot? You are going to hear opinions on both sides of this. I've done it both ways and I've found that I tend to prefer the soaked beans. They seem to cook more evenly and they cook for much less time. Yes, you have to remember to soak them, but they only have to soak for 6-10 hours, so just start soaking them in the morning and they'll be ready for dinner!
Place beans in a bowl and cover them with at least 2 inches of water. If you are not going to be home, cover them with more, some older beans can really soak up the water.
When the soaking time is up, discard the water (again, some people say to use the water, but I prefer to discard it) and rinse the beans.
Peel the garlic cloves, they are being left whole and they will become wonderfully soft at then end of cooking!
Peel and thinly slice or dice the shallots.
Place the beans, shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper in the Instant Pot.
Pour in enough water to cover the beans. If you want a little extra broth, you can cover the beans by an inch or two.
This is where my directions differ from some. I like to cook these beans on low pressure for 5 minutes and then do a complete NPR (natural pressure release - which means you don't turn the release pressure valve, you let the pressure come down on its own.) Cooking the beans on low and letting them do a natural pressure release results in fewer split beans and they come out perfect!
When the pressure has been released, smoosh the garlic cloves against the side of the pan and stir them in the beans. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
These beans are one of the reasons I love my Instant Pot so much! The pressure cooker does the work, no hovering over a stove adding water if you need to.
These are very lightly seasoned, which makes them perfect for almost any recipe! You can take them in any direction you like. They are also perfect for freezing, so that the next time you need a can of black beans, you have your own so much better beans in the freezer!
More Instant Pot bean recipes for you to try!
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Instant Pot Black Beans
- 1 pound black beans soaked for 6-10 hours
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 shallots peeled and sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cups water or broth
- Rinse and drain beans.
- Add beans, garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes and thyme sprigs to the Instant Pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. You can also wait and season at the end if you prefer.
- Pour in the water and stir to combine.
- Set the sealing valve to sealing, and the pressure to low. Cook at low pressure for 5 minutes. Then allow the pressure to release naturally (do not set the sealing valve to venting.)
- When the pressure has released, remove the lid and the thyme sprigs. Smooshe the garlic cloves against the side of the pot and stir. Taste and adjust the seasonings.