This recipe for Instant Pot Cuban black beans is delicious and borrows its flavor profile Cuban seasonings. These tasty black beans are oil-free, quick and easy to make, and require no soaking.
Plain black beans are fine as far as beans go. They are great to add to recipes with lots of seasonings and spices. But when I want to eat a spoonful of beans, I’m looking for flavor! These Cuban black beans are really tasty and do the trick. The best part is that they are made in the Instant Pot with no soaking required.
For other delicious recipes made in the Instant Pot, try my:
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- For other delicious recipes made in the Instant Pot, try my:
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- Ingredients needed to make Cuban Black Beans
- How to make the best Cuban Black Beans
- Serving Suggestions
- How long will the beans keep after cooking?
- The printable recipe card for Cuban Black Beans in the Instant Pot
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Ingredients needed to make Cuban Black Beans
- dried black beans
- chopped onion
- chopped bell pepper – any color but I like to use green and sometimes mix green bell peppers with the other colors
- vegetable broth
- smoked paprika
- bay leaves
- cilantro and lime to top
- And of course, you will need a pressure cooker. This recipe was developed for the 6 quart Instant Pot. You can certainly use the other sizes as well.
How to make the best Cuban Black Beans
Rinsing the beans
Start by rinsing and picking through the dried beans before using them. I always used to think this was a bother when I cooked beans and lentils and honestly, it was a step I skipped. Then one day my daughter picked a string of goat-heads (a nasty prickly weed) from her lentil soup and my eyes were opened! Never again! Plus, you don’t want to chomp down on an unfortunate tiny stone…
Do you need to soak the beans before cooking them in the Instant Pot?
No you don’t – that’s the point of cooking beans in a pressure cooker. BUT… if your beans were old then you may wish you had. If your beans don’t soften in the 40 minutes at pressure you can always bring them back to pressure and cook them longer. Try 15 minutes at a time and see if that helps.
AND…some people swear that their beans are creamier if they soak them first. If you choose to do a long (overnight) soak then the cooking time will be affected. Try a shorter time at pressure – like 15-20 minutes.
How much liquid should be used to pressure cook the beans?
A lot of recipes will give you a huge ratio of liquid to beans – like four cups water to one cup of beans. The problem is that if you use too much liquid then you will have bean soup – which is not what we are going for. If you don’t use enough then the pot might not come to pressure.
I have found after making this recipe many times that the best amount of liquid is four cups – which just happens to be the exact amount found in a 32-ounce container. Lucky us!
Your beans should be covered by about an inch of liquid before cooking. After they have cooked you will wonder if there is too much liquid. It does thicken some as it sits and somehow is just the right amount! It is desirable for your beans to be a little saucy.
Don’t we need oil to cook Instant Pot beans?
Nope! Nothing is added by using any oil. Not flavor or texture. The only thing added is unnecessary calories and fat.
These Cuban black beans make a great side dish and can be served with anything. I like to serve as the main course over rice. I also like to add a drizzle of sauce on top. My jalapeno ranch dressing is super delicious on top as is my vegan honey mustard dressing.
How long will the beans keep after cooking?
You can keep these beans in a tightly covered container for 5-7 days. Don’t worry, if you have a good sniffer then you will know when they’ve taken a turn. Beans have a way of doing that!
The printable recipe card for Cuban Black Beans in the Instant Pot
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Black Beans in the Instant Pot – Cuban Flavored, No Oil
- Pressure Cooker
- 16 ounces dried black beans about 2 cups
- 1½ cup onion yellow or white, diced
- 1½ cup bell pepper any color, diced – see notes
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt see notes
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- cilantro and lime to top
- Rinse the black beans and pick through, checking for any little bits of debris – especially small stones. Set aside.
- Chop the onion, peppers, and garlic. Set aside.Chop the cilantro and set it aside separately. You can also do this while the black beans are cooking.
- Add all ingredients except for the cilantro to the Instant Pot inner pot.Add the black beans, chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, chopped garlic, vegetable broth, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, oregano, cumin, salt, and smoked paprika. Give it a stir.
- Following the manufacturer's directions, set the pressure cooker on high for 40 minutes. It will take up to 10 minutes to come to pressure. After it has come to pressure and counted down 35 minutes, allow for a 20-30 minute natural release.
- Make sure to pick out the 2 bay leaves before serving or someone will have an unpleasant surprise!
- Top with the chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. My Jalapeno Ranch Dressing would also be fabulous to squeeze on top (recipe linked in the notes.)
- Comming to pressure time is included in the prep time.
- You can use any color of bell pepper. I like to use multiple colors for a beautiful presentation and always include green peppers for flavor.
- Other topping options include a squeeze of lime, pickled jalapenos, avocado, red pepper flakes. ALSO, my Jalapeno Ranch Dressing would be excellent to drizzle on top!
- Cooking at high pressure for 35 minutes gives me the perfect texture – tender enough without being mushy. If you find that you might have liked your beans to be softer, you can always cook them at pressure a little longer. Just close the lid and ven and set your timer for 15 minutes. Let release naturally again and check it out.