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Instant Pot Cuban Mojo Black Beans

4.64 from 25 votes

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How to make flavor-packed, no-soak Cuban black beans in a fraction of the usual time, using a pressure cooker and spices.

Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans

If you have an Instant Pot or other brand of electric pressure cooker, you might have already discovered one of its best features — cooking dried beans from scratch in about an hour, without soaking or presoaking.

I don’t know why this is the most amazing thing ever, but after recently buying and falling in love with the Breville pot, it’s the bean cooking that turned out to be a huge revelation for my everyday cooking.

Canned beans are a pantry staple, and while they’re just a smidge less economical than dried beans, I’ve been happily using them to make quick, healthy dinners for years and years (and always will).

Cooking black beans in a pressure cooker

But have to tell you there really is a big difference between basic canned black beans and these super-tasty black beans cooked in a pressure cooker.

Because you season these beans with Latin-inspired spices and aromatics while they pressure cook (unlike canned beans which usually have no other seasoning aside from salt), they come out with tons of flavor and perfect texture. 

Instant Pot Cuban Mojo Black Beans

Pressure cooker versus stovetop cooking for dried beans

I used to have a stovetop pressure cooker and I never seemed successful at cooking dried beans in it.

They would either turn out like absolute mush or so undercooked that it took additional cooking (and re-pressurizing) to get them tender.

I think the reason a stovetop pressure cooker can be trickier to use is because it’s harder to moderate a consistent pressure versus an electric one, which is calibrated and programmed to specific temperatures.

And of course, you can always cook dried beans (that you first must remember to soak overnight!) in a big heavy pot after what seems like endless simmering.

Something about that process removes the spontaneity just a tiny bit.

With an Instant Pot cooker you really can just whip up a batch of black bean soup on a whim!

How can you not love that?

The only dried bean I regularly make on the stovetop are chickpeas, which I throw in my lunch bowls, or use to make homemade hummus and snacks like fried chickpeas with za’atar.

Electric pressure cookers are so great for cooking dried beans, and after making a batch or two you’ll be hooked, too. I bought this one and it’s literally in use every single day.

Instant Pot Cuban Mojo Black Beans

How to cook perfectly tender, tasty black beans in a pressure cooker

How long to cook pressure-cooked black beans: 

A perfectly cooked black bean keeps its shape, but yields tenderly to the tooth and has a creamy texture inside when you take a bite.

I tested different batches of black beans, and found that 45 minutes in the pressure cooker on high was the sweet spot. (Keep in mind that depending on the freshness of the beans you use, it could take an additional 5 or 10 minutes) 

For best results, buy your dried black beans at stores with a high turnover, or get them online to ensure they are really fresh.

Instant Pot Cuban Mojo Black Beans

the best ratio of water to dried black beans in a pressure cooker

Pressure cookers tend to produce extra liquid at the end of cooking time due to condensation.

Which is great when you’re making soup. Otherwise the ratio of food to added liquid is important.

This recipe for Cuban-style black beans makes a pot of flavorful beans with a little liquid left in the pot after they’re cooked.

They’re not dry, and neither are they too soupy or diluted with extra water.

I found that 4 cups of water to 1 pound of black beans was the amount that yielded winning results.

Cuban-stye Mojo seasoning for black beans

These seasoned beans have the full flavor of a Cuban mojo, which is based on lots of garlic and fresh citrus like lime and orange juice.

The seasonings include other spices I love, like cumin, paprika and chipotle pepper to give it some smoky depth.

You can use the beans in a recipe that calls for cooked or canned black beans, and they’d be also be perfect in Mexican-style dishes like tacos or burritos.

  • For reference, one can of black beans yields 1 3/4 cups beans.
  • This recipe makes about 7 cups cooked beans.
  • The cooked beans will freeze well for up to a month.

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Instant Pot Cuban Mojo Black Beans

Instant Pot Mojo Cuban Black Beans

Karen Tedesco
Make these incredibly tasty Cuban-style black beans seasoned from the inside-out in your Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker.Serve these black beans with cooked brown rice, quinoa or other whole grain, topped with one or all of the garnishes, it tastes hearty and delicious!
Print Pin
4.64 from 25 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Instant Pot
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup (160 g) chopped red or yellow onion
  • 6 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 green jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked or sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from a can, depending on your heat preference
  • Kosher salt * see note
  • 1 pound (450 g) dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups (1 l) water
Suggested garnishes for serving – choose one or all!
  • Sliced avocado
  • Thinly sliced sweet white onion
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh crumbled cheese such as feta, goat cheese or quest fresco
  • Plain yogurt or sour cream
  • Hot sauce, I love this one

Instructions 

  • Press the “saute” button on an electric pressure cooker and preheat on high heat. Once the interior pot is hot, add the olive oil and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened, about 3 – 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, paprika, oregano, cumin seeds, chipotle and 1 tablespoon salt (see note below) and stir until fragrant and the spices are coated in oil, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the black beans, bay leaves, orange and lime juice and the water. Secure the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on high for 45 minutes, allowing the pressure to release naturally.
  • Taste the beans and season with additional salt, if needed.
  • Serve the beans in bowls with cooked rice, quinoa or other whole grain. Top with desired garnishes and enjoy.

Notes

  • Pressure cooker brands can vary regarding cook time. I recommend that you read the instructions for your pot before starting this recipe.
  • If your dried black beans have been sitting on a shelf for a while they may take longer to cook. If your beans aren’t tender in 45 minutes, secure the lid of the cooker and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  • I use Diamond brand kosher salt. If you’re using Morton kosher or regular table salt, reduce the amount to 2 teaspoons.
  • You can use the beans in a recipe that calls for cooked or canned black beans, and they’d be also be perfect in Mexican-style dishes like tacos or burritos.
  • For reference, one 15-ounce can of black beans yields 1 3/4 cups beans. This recipe makes about 7 cups cooked beans.
  • The cooked beans will freeze well for up to a month.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 917mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 393IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram!!

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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14 Comments

  1. So easy and tastes fantastic. Add some feta and avocado made a great dip for an easy supper.

  2. I love this except chipotle isn’t even close to being Cuban and it overpowers the beans. I hacked this recipe to make it much better in my opinion. Eliminate chipotle, add an extra jalapeño, add a packet of Sazón, add 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, use a whole orange and 1-2 limes depending on the size. Oh, and of course use way more garlic because you Always use more garlic.

    1. I love your tweaks! I used chipotle to make the recipe accessible for folks who don’t have access to great Latin ingredients like Sazon in their grocery stores.

  3. I made this delicious recipe, but I misread 1-2 canned peppers as 1-2 cans (gulp)! Don’t do this, it’s really spicy 🔥🥵 Can’t wait to make it again, the proper way!

  4. Darrow Molder says:

    5 stars
    These were very good, but took an extra 15 minutes or so to get soft. The flavor was incredible though, and the leftovers were even better.

  5. 5 stars
    I added a little extra spices and less salt and it turned out amazing. I’m sure it turns out perfect with the proportions given but I wanted to customize it.

  6. Y. Brauchle says:

    oh my goodness…. these are delicious — I omitted the spicy ingredients because some of my family members don’t tolerate the heat – but Good Lord – these are amazing, thank you sooooo much for sharing this recipe.

  7. Hi there Karen.
    Just an fyi. Cubans don’t use chipotle or jalepeño peppers in their beans or cooking as all!

    1. Hey Nena – By no means do I intend this to be authentic – we just love the flavor combo of smoky chili with black beans! Cheers

  8. Four cups of water Was definitely not enough for me. It totally burned and being stuck to the bottom. I stopped it 10 minutes early. Will try again with more water

    1. So sorry to hear this Laura – I’ve made the recipe many times and never had that problem. What brand pot are you using?

  9. This is a great recipe. I made a few adjustments:
    For a more authentic Cuban recipe (not spicy) I used bell pepper instead of jalapeño and skipped the chipotle. I also use a 1/2 tsp of ground cumin as that was what I had.
    I increased the amount of cooking time by 3 minutes as I was using beans that I suspected were a little older.
    Really delicious recipe, with the perfect amount of moisture.