Instant Pot Black Beans With Spiced Fried Onions

These beautifully spiced Instant Pot black beans with caramelized onions are vegan and gluten-free and would make a fantastic filling for tacos, a protein-rich main with rice, or as a side dish.

If you think a dish of black beans sounds bland and boring, think again! These Instant Pot black beans are prepared in a way that will make you fall in love with legumes all over again. The magical combination of sticky, fried onions, cherry tomatoes, garlic and warm spices takes plain ol’ beans to the next level.



Popular in Latin American cuisine, black beans are fantastic for meat-free cooking. They are high in protein, iron, magnesium and calcium, and full of fibre, which is beneficial for your gut health. And although legumes can create some digestive discomfort in some people, you can reduce that possibility by pre-soaking the dried beans before cooking them.

Instant Pot Black Beans With Spiced Fried Onion (gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian)


Using an Instant Pot to cook the beans means that you can have this dish done in a fraction of time. We used dried black beans, which were pre-soaked in double the water for 2-3 hours before cooking. Then it’s 10 minutes at HIGH pressure.

While the beans are cooking,  prepare our special friend onions and the other side dishes.

What makes this dish so good is the fried onion mixture. White or red onion is sliced and cooked gently in lashings of olive oil until it’s golden brown. It is then flavoured with spices, garlic and cherry tomatoes until it turns into sticky, caramelised goodness. It is this magic sauce or condiment that is used to flavour the beans once they are cooked.

How to make Instant Pot Black Beans

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can easily cook the beans on the stovetop or use canned black beans as well, although I prefer to cook my own to avoid any additives and preservatives.

This recipe is gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly (replace butter with more olive oil).

We like to serve these beans with a side of freshly made guacamole, salad, rice and some hot sauce for an extra kick. We always make a batch of these and use leftovers to make huevos rancheros (eggs with beans), as a filling for quesadillas or tacos, or in a salad.

Pressure Cooker Black Beans Recipe



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Instant Pot Black Beans With Spiced Fried Onions

Instant Pot Black Beans With Spiced Fried Onions

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main or Side
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex


These beautifully spiced Instant Pot black beans with caramelized onions are vegan and gluten-free and would make a fantastic filling for tacos, a protein-rich main with rice, or as a side dish.


  • 1 1/2 cups dried black beans
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 25 g butter (about 2 tablespoons, or 2 more tablespoons of olive oil)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced or sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chilli or other chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • To serve: fresh lime, guacamole or sliced avocado, rice, salad of choice, salsa or hot sauce


  1. Pre-soak the beans in slightly salted water for at least 2-3 hours before cooking. We like to do a double soak, where you refresh the water half way through, but that’s not essential.
  2. Rinse the soaked beans and add them to the pressure cooker pot. Add 4 cups of water as well as the vegetable stock cubes. Adding the stock flavors the beans during the cooking process.
  3. Place and lock the lid, make sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing. Press MANUAL (High Pressure) and set to 10 minutes. After 3 beeps the pressure cooker will start going.
  4. Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then use the quick release to let off the rest of the steam.
  5. While the beans are cooking, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and half of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and salt, and stir. Sauté over medium heat for 6 minutes, stirring a few times, until softened and golden brown.
  6. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook together for 2 more minutes, stirring a couple of times. Finally, add the spices and oregano, stir through and add the butter (or more olive oil). Once melted, stir and remove from the heat.
  7. Once the beans are ready, strain through a sieve and return to the pan with the onions. Stir through and serve with fresh lime on the side. That’s it!


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 310
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 693.2 mg
  • Fat: 10.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.3 g
  • Fiber: 10.2 g
  • Protein: 13.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 10.8 mg

Keywords: Pressure cooking, Mexican,



Instant Pot Black Beans With Spiced Fried Onion

Instant Pot Recipes
By Instant Pot Eats

About Instant Pot Eats: Published by a seasoned food blogger and cookbook author, Irena Macri, and a team of cooking experts and enthusiasts, this blog is dedicated to delicious Instant Pot recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

More about us here »


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  1. We really, really loved this recipe. It was too spicy for my son (who doesn’t like spicy stuff at all – he even says pizza is “too spicy”), but it was perfect for the adults! Thank you for the recipe!!!

    1. Thanks Heather! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 You can definitely reduce the amount of spice for next time, but I agree it is perfect for the adult palate 😉

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