These Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans are zesty, saucy, gluten-free, vegan, and made in just TWO steps! Make this dish for dinner tonight!
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Looking for a new side dish to add to your menu? I’m pretty sure I have you covered with these Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans. They are tender, saucy, and flavorful and are one of the most hands-off homemade bean recipes you’ll ever make.
Take one look at my blog these days and it’s pretty clear that I’m obsessed with Cuban food as of late.
Is it because I’m looking for new ways to express myself? Because if I can’t go out to restaurants to get my ethnic food fix, I guess I just have to create it myself? Or am I trying my hardest to explore new foods and cultures while considering the fact that it may be a while before I can travel again?
Maybe it’s a bit of all the above. After all, I’ve never been to Cuba but I’ve been interested in it.
And what’s one of the main reasons to travel, anyways?
But even then, I’m not going to pretend like this is an authentic recipe imported directly from Cuba. Far from it.
It's a recipe I’ve taken and refined over multiple attempts of combining a handful of my favorite Cuban spices and ingredients (cumin, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil) with beans until we had some beans that we just couldn't stop talking about.
Given that a lot of Cuban black bean recipes rely on bacon for part of their flavor, I also had to get creative on how to develop flavor in the beans without making the beans heavy, high in saturated fat, or greasy.
(Also, I’m just not the biggest fan of bacon, but I do give directions below on how to include it before if you are.)
I also didn't want to have to rely on hard to find ingredients or a complicated recipe. After all, it's more often that I'm looking for a recipe on a busy Tuesday night than I am looking for a long and drawn out bean recipe on a Sunday afternoon.
What resulted from my testing is a black bean recipe that I'm confident is budget-friendly, vegan, gluten-free, and pantry staple-friendly, and all while being flavorful, tender, and delicious.
Don’t believe me? Try for yourself. There’s not a whole lot you can lose. 😉
These Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans are...
- As spicy (or not!) as you like
- Made in just TWO steps
- A versatile side dish
Whether you're looking for a new healthy side dish, looking for an easy bean recipe to serve with your Cuban or Mexican food, or simply wanting to be the star of your next barbecue, these Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans are for you!
What this pressure cooker black bean recipe is not:
- Full of hard-to-find ingredients
- Requiring soaking
- Full of bacon fat
That's right! Say goodbye to flavorless beans that take forever to make and require unhealthy or hard-to-find ingredients!
This recipe requires only pantry staples, making it easy to make in a pinch and making it an extremely budget friendly recipe!
Ingredients in these pressure cooker Cuban Beans:
Dried Black Beans - these dried beans are the star of this recipe. Buy them in the bulk section of the grocery store for the best deal, but they're also a great budget ingredient when purchased pre-packaged.
Olive Oil - just a few tablespoons of olive oil adds richness and a good mouthfeel to the beans without making them heavy.
Cumin - this dried spice gives the beans depth and a savory finish to the beans and is a classic Cuban spice.
Garlic - we'll be using 2-3 minced garlic cloves. Fresh garlic is best but jarred or canned garlic also works in a pinch.
Distilled White Vinegar - this classic vinegar is responsible for bringing out all the flavor in these beans.
Cayenne Pepper - this optional ingredient gives the beans a nice little kick! You can adjust the amount you use based on your taste preferences.
Recipe substitutions or alterations:
White Vinegar: rice wine vinegar or lime juice work quite well in place of the distilled white vinegar in this recipe.
Olive Oil: avocado oil or coconut oil can work in place of the olive oil in a pinch!
How do you make Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans?
Thankfully, it's super easy to make these tender and spicy beans!
Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Give them a quick stir.
Step 2: Lock the pressure cooker lid on and cook the beans on high pressure for 50 minutes. Quick-release the pressure and serve hot!
What type of pressure cooker do you like best?
I love my Ninja Foodi pressure cooker. It's a pressure cooker and air fryer in one (win-win!) and the pressure cooking pot is non-stick, making clean up a breeze. I love how sturdy and strong the pressure cooker is. There's a dehydration, yogurt, and roasting setting on this pressure cooker/air fryer combo, too.
Do you need to rinse or soak beans before pressure cooking them?
No, you do not need to rinse or soak the black beans before using them. Just pour the beans into the pot of the pressure cooker with the water and other ingredients and the pressure cooker will do all the hard work for you!
Are these black beans recipe gluten-free & vegan?
Yes, if you follow the recipe there will be no gluten or animal products in this recipe, making it both vegan and gluten-free!
Can you add bacon to these Cuban black beans?
Yes, you can add bacon to these black beans, though it will make the recipe no longer vegan or vegetarian.
To add bacon, cut up 2-3 pieces of bacon into 1" slices and saute them on medium heat with half of the olive oil in the pressure cooker for 4-5 minutes, or until the bacon has browned up.
Then, turn off the saute feature, add in the rest of the ingredients and continue with the rest of the recipe as directed.
How long do you need to pressure cook black beans?
To get perfectly tender beans, just pressure cook them for 50 minutes and quick-release the pressure.
Can you double or triple this recipe?
Yes! You can double or triple this recipe. Simply double or triple all of the ingredients except for the water and add one quarter cup less water for every time you mutiply the recipe.
For example, to double the recipe, add 4.75 cups water and to triple the recipe, add 7 cups water.
Regardless of whether you double or triple the recipe, you should still cook the beans for 50 minutes. That is, you don't have to increase the pressure cooking time that you sent the Instant Pot for.
What can you serve with these Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans?
These beans go well with so many dishes so don't feel like you can only serve them with Cuban meals!
Here are some of my favorite ways I like to serve them:
- With barbecue
- Over steamed rice or quinoa
- With Cuban Mojo Chicken
- Alongside Mexican food
- With grilled sausages
- With burgers
How long do these beans last?
These black beans last covered in the refrigerator for 5-6 days.
Can you freeze these black beans?
Yes, you can freeze these beans. Just let them cool to room temperature and then place in a freezer-safe airtight container before you place in the freezer. Once frozen, these beans will last 2-3 months.
Will these black beans upset my stomach?
Chances are these black beans won't upset your stomach, but our bodies are all different so you may need to try them out to be sure.
Recent studies, however, show that pressure cooking beans helps to remove the lectins, therefore making the beans easier to stomach (source).
What tools do you need to make these black beans?
Other Cuban recipes you might enjoy:
Other delicious & easy side dish recipes you'll probably also like:
- Pressure Cooker Maple Baked Beans
- Honey Turmeric Glazed Carrots
- Air Fryer Green Beans with Lemon
- High Altitude Beer Bread
- Instant Pot Risotto
- Air Fried Smashed Garlic Potatoes
- Chickpea & Grilled Corn Salad
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!