This recipe for easy, hearty, Instant Pot rice and beans makes cooking tasty black beans from scratch an easy weeknight endeavor. Stovetop directions at the end of the recipe.
I’ve been making this hearty dish of rice and beans topped with sweet plantains for years. I always used canned black beans to make it a quick weeknight meal.
To be honest, cooking dry beans from scratch always seemed like too much work until I got my Instant Pot. Now making rice and beans from scratch takes just slightly longer in the Instant Pot than the canned variety on the stovetop and takes even less effort.
I love to top this dish with sweet, yellow plantains. You can bake them while the rice and beans are cooking.
What is an Instant Pot?
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An Instant Pot is a brand name of multi-use, programmable electric pressure cookers. The Instant Pot brand offers several different sizes and there are a number of other brands on the market as well with similar features. I have the Instant Pot Duo 6qt, so all of my instructions are based on that one. All of the pressure cookers brands and models are pretty similar; they just name things a bit differently, so refer to your manual if I reference a button that you don’t have on yours – or leave a comment in the notes and I’ll try to help you out!
Instant Pot ‘Pot in Pot’ Cooking
For this rice and beans recipe, I use a method called ‘Pot in Pot’ (PIP) cooking. This entails placing another cooking vessel inside the Instant Pot, usually elevated on a trivet, so you can cook two things separately at the same time. For the rice and beans, you’ll cook the beans on the bottom of the stainless steel pot, place a trivet in the pot, and cook the rice in a pan placed on the trivet.
I like this trivet set since it gives you two different height options that can be used on their own or together for hard-boiled eggs or other types of dishes.
For pans, I’ve been using this versatile 6-inch by 3-inch cake pan for rice, cheesecake, frittata, and lots of other Instant Pot dishes.
How to Make Instant Pot Rice and Beans
Start by dicing up an onion and bell pepper. Then rinse the black beans, discarding any shriveled beans or stones (I’ve never found any stones in the beans I buy, but always check, just in case). Place some vegetable oil in the stainless steel Instant Pot liner, and add the onion and bell pepper, the beans, spices, and water.
Put the rice and water in a pressure cooker-safe pan. Place a two- to three-inch tall trivet on top of the black beans. Then put the rice pan on top of the trivet. Seal the lid, close the pressure relief valve and press the “Pressure Cook” button until it’s on “Normal” and the “Pressure Level” until it’s on “High Pressure”. Then press the +/- buttons until the time shows 00:35 for 35 minutes. The Instant Pot will say “On” while it’s getting up to pressure and then will start counting down. When it’s done, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes (just leave the Instant Pot when it’s done and it will start to count up). When it’s on 00:10, then ten minutes are up. Then turn off the Instant Pot by pressing “Cancel” and quick release the rest of the pressure by opening the pressure relief valve (making sure to steer clear of the steam).
When the float valve is down and the pressure is released, open the lid. Carefully remove the rice pan using tongs or a potholder. Serve the beans on top of the rice. For a special touch, serve with baked plantain slices. To make the plantains, just slice two yellow, very ripe plantains. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes while the beans are cooking.
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes using rice? Try this Instant Pot Enchilada Rice or Instant Pot Risotto. If you try this Instant Pot Rice and Beans, leave a comment and review below and let me know how it worked out for you!
Instant Pot Black Beans and Rice
- 1 pound dried black beans (no need to soak)
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 bell pepper (cored, seeded and diced - or substitute an onion)
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
- 2 cups water (adjust the amount of water based on package directions if following the stovetop method)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Instant Pot Instructions
- Place the stainless steel liner inside the Instant Pot and add the onion and bell pepper. Then add the beans, spices (except salt), and water. The salt will be added to the beans after cooking.
- In a smaller pressure cooker safe pan (I used a 6-inch cake pan) add the rice, water, and salt.
- Add a 2- to 3-inch tall trivet into the Instant Pot on top of the beans and place the rice pan on top of the trivet
- Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Press “Pressure Cook” until it’s on “Normal” and press the “Pressure Level” button until it’s on “High Pressure.” Then press the +/- buttons until you see 00:35 for 35 minutes. The Instant Pot will say “On” until it gets up to pressure and then will start counting down from 35.
- When it’s done, just leave it alone (natural pressure release) for 10 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure by opening the steam release valve.
- When the float valve is down, press “Cancel” to turn off the Instant Pot and open the lid. Carefully remove the rice pan, then add the salt to the beans and stir. Serve the beans on top of the rice with plantains if desired (see note).
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Cook the black beans according to package directions, or substitute 2 15.5 oz cans of beans for the dried black beans. Drain the cans.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a dash of vegetable oil and the onion. Cook for about 4 minutes until the onion is softened. Add the bell pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the black beans and spices and cook until heated through.
- Serve the beans on top of the rice with the plantains (see note below).
Love it! Super easy and delicious!
The rice was way overcooked.
This is a really clever time-saver!
I wonder if this technique would also work with quinoa & pre-soaked beans (and reduced time, since quinoa only takes a minute). Maybe I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the great tip!
Let me know if you give it a try, quinoa and black beans sound delicious!
a couple of questions –
1. does cooking in layers like this change how long those items need to cook (as in, layers means slightly longer time)?
2. Does the rice require a longer cooking time because of being up on the trivet? I ask because I cook rice all the time and don’t need anywhere near that long.
3. And, If you were to soak the beans, do you know how long you would have to cook them for?
Yes, cooking pot-in-pot means the rice takes a bit longer, which is why the rice doesn’t overcook this way. I personally haven’t soaked beans, so I’m not sure how much that would reduce the time. Sorry!
Could I cook the rice on stovetop but do the beans in the instant pot? Would the time change for the beans?
Yes, you could definitely cook the rice on the stove and just do the beans in the Instant Pot. I’ve never done this before, but my guess would be that 25 minutes would be a good place to start for the beans. If they’re not quite done, you can put them on for another 5 minutes – it will come up to pressure much more quickly the second time. Let me know if it works for you!
I am in love with the flavors you have going on in this dish! Love my instant pot. And always looking for something new to try.. this is on my list now!
I still haven’t gotten round to buying an Instant Pot and then I see these great recipes and kick myself for not having one! I also didn’t realize you can cook different things in the IP at the same time. Great! For now, I’ll have to try the stove top version!
I’ve never cooked in an instant pot before but I should really change that – it could save me so much time and effort!
I love how quick and easy this recipe is! Looking forward to trying it!
Yummy, perfect for the winter weather to warm you up.
When I see recipes like this is when I hope I had an instant pot! It looks delicious!