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 these 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, and frittata, and lots of other Instant Pot dishes.
How to Make Instant Pot Rice and Beans
Start by dicing up an onion and a 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, 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 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 bell pepper (cored, seeded and diced)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1 1/4 cups water
Instant Pot Instructions
- Rinse and drain the beans, discarding any stones or shriveled, dried up beans. Set aside.
- Add the vegetable oil to the Instant Pot stainless steel liner and swirl around. Then add the onion, bell pepper, and salt. Add the beans, spices, then water.
- In a smaller pressure cooker safe pan (I used a 6-inch cake pan) add the rice and water.
- 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 stir the beans. Serve the beans on top of the rice with plantains if desired (see note).
- Cook 1 cup of 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 the 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).