Creamy Black Beans Recipe – Instant Pot

March 8, 2019 (Updated: December 12, 2019) By Aneesha |

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Easy Instant Pot recipe for restaurant-style black beans! These creamy & delicious black beans are a perfect side for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or any Cal-Mex or Tex-Mex inspired meal.

Since beans are naturally vegan and gluten-free, this recipe makes for a great potluck dish for summer parties and barbecues.

Black beans in a grey bowl, garnished with cilantro and cotija cheese

What is Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex Food

As the name suggests, Cal-Mex is a fusion cuisine of Mexican inspired recipes with a California spin. It is similar in flavors to Tex-Mex food, a popular Mexican inspired Texan cuisine.

Both styles include a range of fusion recipes influenced by the Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cultures. These recipes are blended with the regional style of cooking, local produce, meats, cheeses and chilies.

Some popular dishes include Nachos, hardshell Tacos and Fajitas. Cal-Mex recipes generally include more avocado, leaner meats and seafood dishes, like the famous Baja Fish Tacos .

I have been cooking Tex-Mex food for almost two decades now, thanks to pro chefs like Rick Bayless and Bobby Flay’s recipes. Over the years, I have managed to put my own quick and easy spin on them. Some recipes on the blog include Mexican Rice, Salsa Tacos, Pulled Fajita Tacos, Chicken Tortilla Soup. More to come….

How Do I Cook Soaked Black Beans in an Instant Pot

I prefer to soak beans overnight. It reduces the cooking time and some studies suggest that soaking makes them easier to digest. Here’s how I cook pre-soaked beans in the Instant Pot. This recipe will work with any electric pressure cooker.

How to Make Black Beans Without Soaking (No-Soak Method)

8 out of 10 times, I do remember to soak the beans. But for those 2 times that I don’t, the no-soak method comes in handy. I rinse the dried beans in tap water, 2-3 times, till the water runs clear.

I follow my regular recipe recipe and add the drained beans (un-soaked), and add 3 times the water with that. So, that’s 3 cups of water for 1 cup of dried beans. I pressure cook for 50 minutes, for a softer texture. If you prefer them slightly more firm, cook them for 45 minutes.

A spoonful of creamy Black beans garnished with cilantro and cotijja cheese

How to Make this Recipe with Canned Black Beans – 30 Minute Recipe

I love the convenience of canned beans and always have a few cans of each variety, in my pantry. They come in so handy for last minute dinners and weeknight cooking. This recipe works just as well with canned Black Beans.

Follow all the steps in this recipe and add the canned beans. Reduce the water in half, since you don’t need to cook the beans, you only want them to simmer with the aromatics and seasoning.

Pressure cooker for 5 minutes and wait 5-10 minutes before releasing the pressure manually. Follow the instructions and enjoy these Creamy Black Beans in less than 30 minutes!

A grey bowl of creamy black beans made in tex-mex style, garnished with cilantro and lime

Common Questions Regarding Quantity of Beans:

How many cups of dried beans in a pound?

1 pound dried beans = 2 cups dried beans

A cup of dried beans makes how many cups of cooked beans?

1 cup dried beans = 3 cups cooked beans

How many cups of cooked beans in a can?

1 can of beans = Roughly 2 cups of cooked beans

How many people does 1 cup dried beans serve?

1 cup dried beans serves 4, and, 1 pound dried beans serves 8

How many cans to substitute for 1 lb. dried beans?

1 pound dried beans = Roughly 3 cans of cooked beans

A bowl of black beans with sprigs of cilantro on the right hand side

Make a MEAL- What to Serve with Black Beans

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Black beans in a grey bowl, garnished with cilantro and cotija cheese

Creamy Black Beans in Instant Pot

Easy Instant Pot recipe for restaurant-style black beans! These creamy & delicious black beans are a perfect side for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or any Mexican inspired meal. 
4.63 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
NPR: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 130kcal


  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 cup black beans soaked overnight (or 8 hours)
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning (add 3 tbsp for medium spicy) I use Trader Joe’s brand (see notes for substitute)
  • 2 cups water (or 1.5 cups for less liquid)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (adjust based on salt in Taco seasoning)


  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp cotija cheese (optional)


  • Rinse and soak beans overnight, or for 8 hours.  Alternatively, use the no-soak method. 
  • Turn on the Instant Pot.  Heat oil on Saute mode (high). Ad crushed garlic, followed by chopped onions.  Saute for 1 minute, or until the onions turns translucent.
    Cooking onions till they turn translucent
  • Add rinsed and drained beans, seasoning and water.  Cancel Saute.  Pressure cook on Bean/Chili Mode or Pressure cook mode for 30 minutes.  Reduce time to 25 minutes for a more firm texture. 
    Adding water to the pressure cooker to cook black beans
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 15 mins (NPR 15).  After that, release pressure manually.  You can do that by turning the pressure knob to ‘venting’ position in DUO model, or, push down the pressure valve in ULTRA model. 
    Releasing pressure manually in an Instant Pot by turning the knob
  • Open the lid after the pin drops.  Using a potato masher, mash a few beans for a creamy texture.  Garnish with cilantro and Cojita cheese crumbles and serve warm!
    Mashing a few beans with a potato masher


Notes & Recipe Tips

Estimated Time includes roughly 10 mins for pressure build-up.  Cook time = Time to set for pressure cooking.
This recipe has been tested in a 3qt and 6qt Instant Pot. If making this in an 8Qt size, adjust the water quantity to meet the minimum requirement. 
Substitute for Taco Seasoning: 1 tbsp Mexican chili powder + 1 tsp ground cumin + 1 tsp ground coriander + 1 tsp Mexican oregano
30-Minute Recipe: This recipe can be made in 30 minutes by using canned beans. Instructions mentioned in the content above.
If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: beans, black beans, instant pot beans, instant pot mexican recipes, tex mex recipes
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Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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