Find out how to make Cuban Black Beans in the Instant Pot pressure cooker or on the stove with this easy recipe! Serve as bean and rice bowls or in tacos.

Two white bowls filled with rice, Cuban black beans, mango salsa, arugula, and avocado with gold forks.

A jar of humble dried beans is often the start of our meals. Chickpeas go into classic falafel, easy falafel wraps, vegetable soup, and Greek-inspired salads. And I did a whole post about cooking dried lentils. Black beans are favorite in my house too. We use them in everything from burgers to black bean soup, to veggie tacos. I shared how to make black beans in the slow cooker a few years ago, but thought I should update you on my current method: the Instant Pot pressure cooker! 

These easy Cuban-style black beans are so easy to make and you’ll be so glad to have ditched canned beans. Cooking dried beans is cheaper, tastier, and more natural than using cans that are sometimes lined with toxic substances. Cuban black beans take simple black beans a step further by adding flavor. Let’s check out how to make them in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop. 

Cuban Black Beans Ingredients

The ingredients for Cuban black beans sit on a cutting board and include dried black beans, bay leaves, cumin, garlic, onion, and green bell pepper.

What are Cuban style black beans and what makes them different from “regular” black beans? Cuban black beans are cooked with onion, garlic, and green bell pepper. They get a dash of earthy smokiness from cumin and bay leaves. Because they simmer with all these flavorful ingredients they have a lot more going on than plain black beans. 

How to Cook Cuban Black Beans in the Instant Pot

A glass bowl filled dried black beans that are still wet after just been rinsed.

The thing I absolutely love about the Instant Pot is that it can cook dried beans, without soaking, so darn quickly. There is no need to soak the dried black beans if you’re using the Instant Pot pressure cooker. If you’re making this recipe on the stove, you’ll want to soak the beans for a good 4-6 hours, or overnight. Either way, you’ll want to give them a good rinse and picking over. 

An Instant Pot pressure cooker filled with the dried black beans, onion, cumin, bay leaves, and chopped bell pepper to make Cuban black beans.

Though I’ve shown all the ingredients here in the pot together, I actually recommend sauteeing the onion first. Then the garlic, peppers, rinsed beans, herbs, and water are added. Either boil on the stove, adding more water as needed to account for evaporation, or lock the Instant Pot lid and let it do its thing. Dried, un-soaked black beans need to pressure cook for about 25-30 minutes and will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before cooking begins. 

Cuban black beans in an Instant Pot pressure cooker after pressure cooking.

If cooking the beans in the Instant Pot, let the pressure come down naturally. When you remove the lid it will look like this. Discard the bay leaves. 

Cuban black beans in an Instant Pot with a ladle are ready to eat.

Give the beans a stir and season with salt. It’s best to cook beans without salt and season after to avoid tough beans. 

How to Use Cuban Black Beans

Beautiful vegan bowls filled with Cuban black beans, mango salsa, avocado, and rice.

You can use Cuban style black beans in most places you’d use plain black beans. Just don’t use them somewhere you wouldn’t want savory flavor – like in Black Bean Brownies! Here are some ideas to get you started. 

How to make Cuban black beans in the Instant Pot pressure cooker or on the stovetop. This easy recipe for Cuban black beans is so delicious and perfect in rice grain bowls with mango salsa or in tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. These Cuban black beans are vegan and gluten-free.

Black beans are a great plant-based source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They’re a heart-healthy option that’s cheap and easy to cook (especially in the Instant Pot). 

How to Store Cooked Beans

When I have leftover beans I’ve cooked from dry, I store them in glass jars. Keep them in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or in the freezer. When freezing beans and their cooking liquid in glass, be sure to leave an inch of room for them to expand. When ready to use, simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight. 

Yield: about 4 cups

Cuban Black Beans

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Find out how to cook Cuban black beans with dried black beans in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop. Black beans are great in Cuban black bean bowls or tacos.

Cuban Black Beans


  • 1 teaspoon avocado or olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Heat the oil in the Instant Pot on sauté mode. Add the onion and sauté until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Press cancel. Add the garlic and bell pepper and sauté another minute longer.
  2.  Add the beans, cumin, bay leaves, and water. Lock the lid with the valve set to sealing. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure cook for 27 minutes. Naturally release the pressure for 15 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure.
  3. Carefully remove the lid and check that the beans are tender. Season to taste with salt. 


To cook Cuban Black Beans on the stove, soak beans for 4-6 hours, or overnight. Follow the Instant Pot recipe but boil in a large pot on the stove for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Add water as needed to cover beans during cooking, as some will evaporate on the stove, but not in the Instant Pot.

If you end up with leftovers, you can freeze cooled beans in glass jars. Just be sure to leave room at the top for expansion.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 283mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 16gSugar: 4gProtein: 22g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.