In this blog post, you’ll learn how to cook dried black beans at home on the stovetop.

Black beans are nutritious and versatile, and you can use them for salads, spreads, dips, and other delicious meals.

They are rich in wholesome plant protein and dietary fiber, affordable, and easy to prepare.

black beans after cooking on the stovetop

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How to cook dried black beans + Tips

The following is a basic and universal method of cooking dried black beans and use them as a substitute for canned black beans.

The beans will have a neutral flavor and a tender texture, suitable for most black bean recipes.

1. Visual check and rinse.

First, have a quick visual check of your black beans to see if any stones or dirt are left over from the harvest and hiding between them.

dried black beans on a white plate

Rinse the black beans under running water to remove dust and debris.

Tip: To shorten cooking time, soak the beans in a large bowl covered in cold water overnight.

rinsed black beans in a sift

2. Simmer until tender.

Add them to a large pot and cover with water by about 6 inches or 15 cm.

Cover the pot, bring the water to a boil, crack the top open, lower the heat, and simmer until tender, stirring occasionally.

Black beans can take 1 to 3 hours to cook, depending on how dry/old they are.

After 30 minutes of simmering, add the salt.

Tip: To make the beans more flavorful, add herbs, spices, and vegetables to the water. For example, add an onion cut in half, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, and two bay leaves. The beans will acquire a wonderful earthy, sweet, and aromatic flavor.

black beans in a white pot with boiling water

As the beans cook, some of the water will evaporate, and some will be absorbed by them. If necessary, add more water as the beans cook.

To check for doneness, you can taste the beans or press one between your thumb and index finger.

The beans should mash easily and be tender.

Tip: If you are using black beans to make a spread, dip, or sauce, try adding one teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking water. This will tenderize the beans’ skin, making them ultra creamy as you bend them.

black bean after cooking in a white pot and a silver spoon

3. Drain and use or store.

If you are using the beans immediately, you can drain them and serve them as a simple side dish, or you can use them to make delicious salads, soups, pasta dishes, patties, and many other recipes.

If you want to store them, reserve the cooking water and keep reading.

drained black beans after cooking

Do I need to soak black beans before cooking them?

You don’t have to soak black beans before cooking them since they are smaller and have relatively thin skins compared to most other legumes.

However, soaking has some advantages, and you might want to consider doing so.

lentil chili in a white bowl with avocado and pickled red onions
Protein-packed vegetarian lentil and black bean chili served with avocado, pickled onions, and Greek yogurt.

Here are some of the main benefits of soaking black beans before cooking them:

  1. Soaking makes the black beans more digestible by breaking down the complex sugars that can cause bloating and discomfort.
  2. It improves the texture of the black beans, making them more tender throughout.
  3. It reduces cooking time by almost half.
  4. It boosts the absorption of nutrients.

To soak the black beans, rinse them and add them to a large pot or bowl. Cover with plenty of cold water by at least 3 inches or 8 cm.

Cover with a cloth and keep at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. Keep the beans in the refrigerator if soaking for more than 24 hours.

Microwave sweet potato with black bean topping
Microwave sweet potato stuffed with quinoa, black bean, and lime salad.

How to cook black beans in an instant pot?

We can’t recommend cooking black beans in an instant pot because the beans will cook differently every time.

The main problem with an instant pot is that you can’t adjust the cooking time as the beans cook because the pot is sealed.

This means you’ll have to guess the cooking time; in most cases, the beans will be undercooked or overcooked.

Black bean soup with parsley and lime juice
Black bean soup with cumin, cilantro, and lime served with warm bread and avocado.

If the beans are undercooked, you’ll have to re-pressurize the pot, which takes time and effort.

While cooking the beans on the stovetop takes longer, it’s easier and hands-off, so we recommend it.

However, if you want to scratch your itch and try it anyway, here’s our recommended method for cooking black beans in an instant pot.

black bean salad with cilantro lime dressing
Roasted sweet potato salad with bell pepper, corn, black beans, and homemade cilantro-lime dressing.

Rinse the black beans with water and add them to your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Cover with water by 1.5 inches or 4 cm. Season with salt and, optionally, your favorite herbs and spices.

Close the lid and pressure cook on high for about 20 – 25 minutes.

how to cook black beans in an instant pot

Peeps, cooking time varies depending on the beans’ size and how long they have been sitting in your pantry. Larger and drier beans take longer than 20 minutes.

Manually release the steam, carefully remove the lid, and you should be done.

If the beans are not fully cooked, you can either finish cooking them on the stovetop or re-pressurize the pot and cook in 5-minute increments.

Tip: Select bean mode if you are using an instant pot. Alternatively, go to “custom mode,” high pressure, set time to 10 minutes, and no reminder.

how to cook black beans in an instant pot

Storage

Refrigerator: Let the cooked black beans cool to room temperature. Transfer them to an airtight container and cover with their cooking liquid. Seal the container and keep it in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.

Freezer: Let the black beans cool to room temperature. Drain them and transfer them to a freezer-friendly container or plastic bag. You can freeze individual portions if you prefer. Pop the bags in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Defrost: Thawing depends on the recipe. If you add beans to cold dishes like salads, spreads, or patties, you might want to defrost them in the microwave before using them or in the fridge for several hours.

If you use the beans in warm recipes, like soups and sauces, you add them frozen.

black beans in a see-through glass container with a spoon

Recipes with black beans

Salads with black beans

Mediterranean salad with pita bread and tahini yogurt sauce
Mediterranean salad with black beans served with Greek yogurt and tahini sauce, pickled onions, and pita bread.

Stovetop recipes with black beans

More bean recipes

More cooking basics

black beans in a glass container with a silver spoon

How To Cook Black Beans

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 2 votes
In this blog post, you’ll learn how to cook dried black beans at home on the stovetop.
Black beans are nutritious and versatile, and you can use them for salads, spreads, dips, and other delicious meals.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people (freezer-friendly)
Course: Basic, Technique
Cuisine: International

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried black beans
  • teaspoons salt
  • water to cover the beans by 6 inches / 15 cm.

Instructions 

  • Rinse 2 cups dried black beans with water.
    Make sure there's no dirt, debris, or stones hiding between the beans.
    rinsed black beans in a sift
  • Add them to a large pot and cover with water by 6 inches / 15 cm.
    Simmer until tender. Cooking can take between 1 to 3 hours. Stir occasionally.
    After 30 minutes of cooking, add 1½ teaspoons salt.
    Tip: To shorten cooking time, soak the black beans in plenty of water overnight.
    black beans in a white pot with boiling water
  • If necessary, add more water as the beans cook.
    To check for doneness, you can taste the beans or press one between your thumb and index finger.
    The beans should mash easily and be tender.
    black bean after cooking in a white pot and a silver spoon
  • If you are using the beans immediately, you can drain them and serve them as a simple side dish, or you can use them to make delicious salads, soups, pasta dishes, patties, and many other recipes.
    –> Recipes With Black Beans
    –> Storage instructions
    drained black beans after cooking

Nutrition

Serving: 1out of 8, Calories: 213kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 439mg, Potassium: 927mg, Dietary Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 11IU, Vitamin B6: 0.2mg, Vitamin E: 0.1mg, Vitamin K: 4µg, Calcium: 77mg, Folate: 278µg, Iron: 3mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 107mg, Zinc: 2mg
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If you liked this black bean recipe, you might also enjoy:


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 2 votes

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The description about beans cooking is absolutely perfect and detailed. Thank you so much for all of that and for your incredible variety , delicious recipes!

  2. 5 stars
    Great and to the point. Mine cooked in 1.5 hours. Love the step by step pictures and the recipe ideas. Thank you!