Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans

Beans have always been one of my simple go-to real food meal staples! Easy on the budget and cooked from dry in a relatively short amount of time with the help of a handy dandy pressure cooker, this recipe for Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans is full of flavor and real food goodness that will make real food realistic on so many levels.

Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans

I remember the first time a coworker of mine gave me a batch of her *amazing* homemade Cuban black beans. It was the dead of summer and I was VERY pregnant with Alice....and definitely not all that interested in spending a lot of time on my feet in the kitchen. I had mentioned to her the day before that I might just live off of PB & J sandwiches until Alice made her arrival, since cooking was not on my agenda, and she came in with a giant container of her Cuban black beans the next day.

Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans

"I always keep some in the freezer," she said, handing over the container of perfectly cooked beans, "They are a favorite in our house and make a really great easy meal to reheat. Enjoy!"

I was beyond grateful...since 1) I have never really been all that big of a fan of PB & Js 2) she was handing a pregnant lady some seriously amazing looking food 3) it meant I could go another day not having to actually cook dinner.

So. Much. Winning.

Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans

When I got home that night, I quickly reheated the beans on the stove and threw them over some rice with avocados and whatever greens we had on hand and dug in.

It's a good thing my husband came home from work soon after I started eating, because there might not have been any beans leftover for him otherwise...These beans were out. of. this. world. AMAZING!

Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans

The flavors danced on my taste buds. The beans melted in my mouth. They were so good. So so so good. And while I might not have been motivated to cook, I NEED that recipe in my life and belly on a regular basis.

So, long story short...this recipe is an adaptation of that beloved recipe that had me swooning over little back beans. The original is definitely a keeper (and you can find it here), but I found that it was something that was best made on a rainy Sunday afternoon when I could hang around my house, sipping wine, listening to John Coltrane and babysitting the beans until they were cooked to perfection....and not a practical thing to make for a busy weeknight.

So...I did what I do best and tweaked it! I made it work for me and my busy, hectic, crazy beautiful life. 

While this recipe is certainly easy to make, it is not something that can be thrown together without a little thought or planning.

Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans

Why? I mean, it is an Instant pot recipe after-all! Well, because I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended soaking your beans for at least 8 hours before cooking. This makes them so much easier on the digestive system and really cuts down on the whole "beans beans the magical fruit" situation that have most people running away from beans of all kinds.

Why is soaking your beans so important?

Soaking helps to reduces the phytic acid (enzyme inhibitors naturally present in beans, grains, nuts, and seeds) that makes certain foods hard to digest.

HOW TO SOAK YOUR BEANS

My preferred method for soaking my beans in to do it overnight. But If you only have 8 hours, that will do the trick as well.

Before you soak your beans, give them a good rinse to get all the dirt and stuff off and pick through your dry beans to make sure there aren't any little rocks trying to hang out in your dinner (black beans are a bit notorious for having little rocks in them).

Once all that rinsing and picking through is done, simply throw your beans into a bowl and cover them with 2-3 inches of clean water. Throw a clean dishtowel over the bowl to keep random debris and insects from ending up in the bowl with your beans and let the bowl hang out at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. 

You can also add a tablespoon or two of an acidic medium (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice) to the soaking water to help make the beans more digestible. 

Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans
instant pot, vegan, black beans
Yield: 6 servingsPin it

Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans

Beans have always been one of my simple go-to real food meal staples! Easy on the budget and cooked from dry in a relatively short amount of time with the help of a handy dandy pressure cooker, this recipe for Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans is full of flavor and real food goodness that will make real food realistic on so many levels.

prep time: 10 minscook time: 50 minstotal time: 60 mins

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup dried black beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked, and rinsed again.
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, avocado oil or ghee
  • 1 1/2 cups minced yellow onion
  • 2 cups diced bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder), or to taste
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 5 cups broth
  • cayenne to taste (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in your Instant Pot. Stir a few times to mix.
  2. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, lock in place and turn the valve to sealing.
  3. Select the MANUAL setting and use the +/- buttons to set cook time for 30 minutes on HIGH pressure. 
  4. Once the beans are done cooking, allow the pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes before quick releasing  the remaining pressure.
  5. Remove bay leaves.
  6. Drain some (or all) of the cooking liquid off of beans. How much you drain off is up to you. If you plan on enjoying all of the beans right away, feel free to remove as much of the liquid as you like. However, if you plan to store these beans, I recommend saving some to help the beans from becoming to dry in the fridge. Or keep all the cooking liquid in and enjoy the beans as a soup! 
  7. Store leftovers in fridge from up to a week or in freezer for months to come!
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Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans