Our favorite black beans recipe that can be made in one pot on the stove. These beans are ultra-flavorful, creamy, and taste so much better than canned. Tips for adapting our recipe for a pressure cooker is provided in the recipe below.
How to know when the beans are done: How soft the beans should be depends on what you plan to do with them. For dips and spreads, cook the beans until they are very soft and you can crush them easily with your fingers or a fork. For salads, topping rice and grain bowls, and for soups, cook the beans until tender, but not falling apart.
1 pound (450 grams) dried black beans, rinsed (about 2 cups)
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and gently smashed, use more for garlicky beans
1/2 medium peeled onion, see notes
1 bay leaf
1 medium lime, halved
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Add the beans, garlic cloves, onion half, and bay leaf to a large pot and cover with 3 to 4 inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, stir the beans, and reduce the heat to keep the beans at a low simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, at a low simmer until the beans are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. As they cook, if you notice the beans look a little dry, add a bit more water to the pot.
Remove the garlic cloves, onion, and bay leaf. Add the juice of half a lime and season the beans with salt. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there based on your tastes.
Serve straightaway or to make the creamy gravy that surrounds the beans in our photos, increase the heat to medium, and then simmer until the liquid around the beans has thickened and sticks to the beans. Serve with additional lime juice squeezed over the top if needed.
Rinse the dried beans then add to a 6-quart pressure cooker (we have an Instant Pot). Add the garlic cloves, onion half, and bay leaf. Add enough water so that the beans are covered by 1 1/2 inches, but do not fill past the “max fill line.” Add 1 teaspoon of neutral oil like vegetable or olive oil (this prevents the beans from foaming).
Seal the lid and cook on High Pressure for 30 minutes, and then allow the cooker to naturally release (you can tell when it is safe to open the cooker when the steam release valve drops). We recommend you read the user manual of your specific pressure cooker before using this method.
Remove the onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaf, and then discard them. Add the juice of half a lime and season the beans and liquid with salt. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there based on your tastes.
Serve straightaway or to make the creamy gravy that surrounds the beans in our photos, turn the pressure cooker to SAUTE and simmer, without the lid until the liquid thickens and starts to stick to the beans. Serve with additional lime juice as needed.