Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans Recipe

Published on October 19th 2022 by Jennifer Dodd.
Last updated on April 1st 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Front View of Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans

Beans have been grown and farmed in Cuba for centuries, making beans a staple ingredient in Cuban cuisine. You may have heard of the famous Cuban dish Moro y Christianos, which is black beans cooked with rice and seasonings. Another renowned word known throughout Latin America and said to have originated in Cuba is Frijoles Negros, which translates to black beans in English. Dried black beans are stewed for hours with hot peppers, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and tomato paste, seasoned with cumin, bay leaves, oregano, and fresh cilantro. In this case, we're pulling out the Instant Pot for a quick and easy version of this classic dish. Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans uses low-cost dried black beans that don't need to be soaked overnight and are cooked until creamy and fragrant in only 35 minutes with 20 minutes of natural pressure release. So grab your Instant Pot and try out this quick and tasty Cuban dish. Serve with Instant Pot Brown Rice and a side Garden salad.

What is the ratio of black beans to water in Instant Pot?

The ratio for cooking dried black beans in the Instant Pot is 2:4, i.e., two parts dried beans to 4 parts water. If cooking more giant beans like kidney or cannellini beans, the water ratio would need to be increased. 

How long do you put beans in the Instant Pot?

Cooking black beans takes 35 minutes on the high-pressure setting and 20 minutes allowing the instant pot to release, slowly steaming the beans simultaneously naturally. 

Can I freeze Cuban black beans?

Yes, Cuban black beans can be frozen in freezer containers or using freezer bags for up to 3 months. Then, simply put the beans from the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge overnight before heating the beans back up. 

What happens if you don't rinse black beans?

The reason for needing to rinse the black beans is to wash off the beans' dust, dirt, and grit. At times small stones can be found mixed with the beans as well. If the beans aren't rinsed, the soil, spirit, and rocks will end up in your food, making it unpleasant to consume. 

Author: Jennifer Dodd
Average: 5 (4 votes)
Total rating includes sum of all comments and anonymous votes.

Click to avoid screen dimming during cooking.

Time & Serves

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
50 mins
6 persons


  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil 

  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced small

  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeds and veins removed, diced small 

  • 1 small Red Serrano Pepper, seeds and veins removed, diced small * if unavailable jalapeños can be used instead. 

  • 3 cloves Garlic

  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste 

  • 2 cups Dried Black Beans, rinsed picking out any stones

  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano 

  • 2 Bay Leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt 

  • 4 cups Water

  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, chopped 


Set the Instant Pot to the sauté setting, adding in the olive oil to heat up for 1 minute. 

Prepare instant pot for sautéing

Stir in the onions, bell peppers, and Serrano peppers and sweat for 5 minutes. 

Sautéing onion and peppers

Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before mixing in the tomato paste. 

Sautéing garlic and adding tomato paste

Add the rinsed black beans, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and salt, and stir using a spatula cooking for 1 minute. 

Adding black beans

Add the water and attach the lid to the Instant Pot, setting it to high pressure for 35 minutes. 

Pressurized  the black beans

Once the cooking process is completed, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes. 

Let the pressure heat goes down

Remove the lid and stir in the chopped cilantro before portioning the Cuban black beans into dishes or a sharing plate.  

Serving the Cuban Black Beans
Jennifer Dodd

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

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