Instant Pot Cuban Style Black Beans

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 45-50 minutes

4-6 Servings

Being Cuban and black beans go hand in hand. There are other beans in Cuban cuisine but black beans are THE go-to staple food in any Cuban household. Most Cuban recipes have the same basic ingredients yet each dish just tastes uniquely different. Call it ingenious!

Hispanic and Latin American people each have their own version of a “Sofrito”–the base for most main course dishes, but Cuban Sofrito is simple and an essential component in almost every dish.

A typical Cuban Sofrito consists of onion, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper, olive oil, and tomato paste or sauce. In this recipe, the only ingredient omitted from the Sofrito is the tomato paste. Authentic Cuban black beans don’t call for it. This is my grandmother’s recipe. She is 93! I think she knows what she’s talking about…

I am modernizing this recipe because frankly, who has time to soak beans overnight anymore?

Though recommended, doing this is not necessary. But if you have the time, by all means, soak away! I suggest you rinse the beans, sort, and rinse again. Black beans are known for having little rocks and dirt in the bag.

Thankfully, my Instant Pot is here to save the day! I’ve always been terrified of pressure cookers, but my mom gifted me mine for my birthday and it’s been the greatest thing since sliced bread. 😉

If you don’t own one, a regular pressure cooker is just great. I don’t recommend stovetop cooking with dry black beans. They’ll take forever to tenderize, not good for this recipe.

Here’s the recipe:


  • 1 pack dry black beans (16 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium size yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 cube of Knorr chicken bouillon
  • ¼ tsp white vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp dry oregano
  • ½ medium size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin

Note: I like to use a food processor for the onion, garlic, green pepper. That way you don’t have large chunks floating around.


  1. Add olive oil to your Instant Pot, set to sauté setting.
  2. Sauté the onions, garlic, green peppers for about 2 minutes. Add the oregano, bay leaves, cumin, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the dry beans, water, and chicken bouillon cube.
  4. Turn off the Instant Pot, place the lid on, and turn the valve to sealing mode. Cook on manual setting for 40 minutes.
  5. Release the pressure valve and wait until it has fully decompressed before opening, or do rapid release after about 10 minutes of completed cook time. Turn the Instant Pot off and then set to sauté setting again.
  6. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for 5 minutes.The longer you simmer (not too long, to prevent the beans from drying out) the thicker the bean liquid becomes.

This dish is typically served over white rice. Drizzle a little extra olive oil over top. Yum!

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