This Instant Pot Cuban Black beans and rice recipe takes the authentic Cuban Moros y Cristianos home. Starting with dried black beans, this recipe takes about an hour, rather than all day. It’s an Instant Pot black beans no soak recipe that tastes as traditional as its classic counterpart.
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What Are Cuban Rice And Beans
One of the first recipes I learned to make was a Cuban-style authentic black bean recipe. I needed a recipe to bring to my high school Spanish class pot-luck.
My cousin’s wife, a Cuban-American, taught me the recipe when I was 16, which was a long time ago. Since then, I’ve made a version of the recipe (I’m sure I am butchering the original, authentic recipe) dozens and dozens of times. All by memory.
In the past, I always made it with canned black beans and served it over white rice. You can check out a version of this recipe with our Chipotle Style Black Beans recipe.
Moros y Cristianos
More recently, though, we’ve been trying to make things a little more authentic. This includes using dry beans to make Instant Pot bean recipes rather than starting with canned beans. I love the ease of cooking with canned beans, but some recipes just taste better when they are a little more traditional.
This is just the case with Moros y Cristianos. Moros y Cristianos literally translates to Moors and Christians. It’s in reference to the Moorish occupation of what is now Spain in the 8th Century. This dish is not eaten in Spain, where we live. It is popular in Cuba, though, which was populated by descendants of Spain.
Despite its interesting name, the recipe is for black beans cooked with rice. The black beans represent the Moors and the white rice represents the Spanish.
Instead of the beans cooked separately and served on top, the beans are cooked with the rice. This infuses the rice with the flavor of the black beans. It also means the rice looks a little “dirty.” This dish is served at almost every Cuban restaurant, normally as a side dish.
Cooking Black Beans In An Instant Pot
This is not as “instant” as other Instant Pot recipes. Instead, it’s a way to more quickly prepare dried black beans in a Cuban-style. There are just more steps to this recipe than our others, but if you follow them, you will be rewarded with authentic Cuban black beans.
To properly cook authentic Moros y Cristianos, the beans are soaked overnight and then cooked for hours on a stovetop. Using an electric pressure cooker means there’s no need to soak the beans overnight.
And it only takes a little more than an hour from start to finish. This is one of the best instant pot black beans recipes because it is made in a more authentic way than using canned black beans.
There are essentially two steps to this process. First, making the black beans. Second, making the rice and beans.
Check out our other Instant Pot bean recipes:
Ingredients For Cooking Dry Black Beans In An Instant Pot
Using dry black beans is definitely more traditional for a recipe like this, but it does mean there’s a little more work.
The beans are cooked in the Instant Pot and seasoned with thick bacon, bay leaves, garlic, and onion. This is all cooked in water. All of these ingredients will be removed from the beans before going onto the next step.
In Spain, we get really thick bacon I can cut myself. Any thick bacon is fine. The bacon is used twice in this recipe. Once when cooking the dried black beans. The other when making the rice and beans. When making the beans the bacon is cut into much bigger pieces or left whole.
The bay leaves add a layer of flavor like mint and black pepper. Bay leaves also help to lift an otherwise heavy soup or stew. They need to be removed before serving any dish. Whenever adding bay leaves to a recipe, just remember to count how many you add so that you know how many to remove at the end.
When making the black beans they are also seasoned with onion and garlic. In this case, just chop the onion in half or in quarters. Smash the garlic so that it releases flavors and aromas but remains whole. This makes it easier to remove when the beans are done.
Ingredients For The Instant Pot Rice And Beans
Be sure to follow the steps below on how to make the rice and beans. It’s necessary to empty the beans from the Instant Pot, clean and dry the Instant Pot, and then start with this second step to the recipe. These are the ingredients for the second step.
The rest of the ingredients for rice and beans include a lot of pantry staples that many home cooks already have at home.
Thick bacon, garlic, yellow onion, and green pepper are all cooked in olive oil. Here, the thick bacon is sliced into small, bite-sized pieces so that they brown. This time, the onion should be diced smaller (see the photo above).
The garlic should be minced small or pressed. I like to use a garlic press too so that there aren’t big chunks of garlic in the beans. Try the Zulay stainless steel garlic press, which is easy to use. There’s no need to even peel the garlic ahead of time. A small amount of green pepper or hot pepper is also diced small.
The black beans are seasoned with dried oregano, cumin, and more bay leaves, as well as salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid to use a good amount of salt in this recipe. It will help to season the beans and bring all of the ingredients together.
Preparing And Rinsing The Rice
The white rice should be rinsed and drained before using it. This means running the rice under cold water several times until the water runs mostly clear.
Try using a sieve (like this one) and not a colander, or the rice will just run right through the holes of the colander. The goal here is to reduce the amount of starchiness from the rice before cooking.
Liquid For Cooking The Beans And Rice
The beans are cooked in the liquid that comes from cooking the black beans in step 1. See how to do that in the detailed instructions below.
At the end, add a bit of white wine vinegar. This helps to add a little acidity to the dish. You can also use a bit of tomato paste, but that alters the color of the dish. I prefer white wine vinegar. You can also use regular white vinegar or even apple cider vinegar if you have it.
How To Make Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans And Rice
There are two very distinct steps for preparing black beans and rice in an electric pressure cooker. This first step will cook the dried black beans without soaking.
Then, once cooked, remove the black beans while reserving the liquid they are cooked in. Clean and dry the electric pressure cooker’s inner pot and then replace it.
The second step will be to sautee the seasoning and spices and then pressure cook the beans and rice together. Again, not a super-easy “instant” recipe, but well worth it! Here are the steps in more detail.
How To Make Instant Pot Dry Black Beans – Step 1
The reason why this recipe is not so instant is that it starts with dried black beans. Although the beans don’t need to be soaked ahead of time, it does take some time to cook the beans in the electric pressure cooker to reconstitute the dried beans.
Sort two cups of black beans in a colander. Rinse them well in cool water and drain them.
Place the black beans, bacon, bay leaves, garlic, onion, and water into the Instant Pot. Close the lid and seal it. Place the Instant Pot on the pressure cook function for 20 minutes. When the time is up, use an oven mitt or towel to manually release the pressure.
Carefully remove the lid away from your face. Carefully remove the inner pot of the electric pressure cooker using oven mitts. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pieces of bacon, whole garlic, bay leaves, and any whole onion that remains. If bits of onion or garlic remain, don’t worry. It adds flavor!
Drain the beans into a colander while reserving all of the bean liquid. For this, I like to place the colander into a medium to large size pot so that the liquid collects in the pot but the beans end up in the colander. Put the beans and the liquid aside. Wash and dry the inner pot of the electric pressure cooker to ensure no food remains.
Instant Pot Black Beans And Rice – Step 2
When dry, place the inner pot back into the electric pressure cooker. Turn the Instant Pot on the saute function. Add the olive oil.
Once the pot and the olive oil start to warm, add the bacon, onion, garlic, and pepper. Saute the ingredients for 3-4 minutes until the bacon starts to soften. The bacon doesn’t and shouldn’t be cooked until it’s crispy.
Add the rinsed and drained white rice to coat the rice in the olive oil and seasonings. Turn the Instant Pot off.
There should be enough warm liquid from the rinsed rice to use to deglaze the bottom of the pot. If not, just add a few tablespoons of water. Using a wooden spoon and the liquid, scrape any bits of food from the bottom of the Instant Pot. This prevents food from sticking while the beans and rice cook in the pressure cooker, which can sometimes lead to a food burn error.
Next, add the oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir the rice to coat in the spices and oil. Add 2 ½ cups of the reserved black bean liquid and stir to coat the rice. There should be enough liquid that the rice is mostly covered by the liquid.
Add the black beans on top. There’s no need to submerge the black beans in the liquid. They will cook on top just fine. Close the lid and seal the Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot to the pressure cook setting for 5 minutes.
When the time is up, allow the electric pressure to release for 5 minutes. Use an oven mitt or a kitchen towel to then manually release the rest of the pressure.
Stir the rice and beans. Remove the bay leaves. Add the vinegar and stir again to warm the vinegar. Taste the beans and add any additional salt and pepper if needed. Add a little more vinegar if needed to taste a bit of tang.
- 2 cups dried black beans, rinsed
- 6 pieces of thick bacon (2 left whole, 4 cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 6 bay leaves (3 for the beans, 3 for the rice)
- 6 cups water
- 8 cloves of garlic (4 left whole, 4 diced or pressed)
- 1 1/2 small yellow onion (1 cut into fours, 1/2 diced)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of green pepper or hot pepper, diced (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups white rice, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
For The Beans
- Sort two cups of black beans in a colander. Rinse well in cool water and drain.
- Place the black beans, bacon, bay leaves, garlic, onion, and water into the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid and seal. Place on the pressure cook function for 20 minutes. When the time is up, manually release the pressure.
- Carefully remove the inner pot of the electric pressure cooker using oven mitts.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the pieces of bacon, whole garlic, bay leaves, and any whole onion that remains.
- Drain the beans into a colander while reserving all of the liquid.
- Wash and dry inner pot of the electric pressure cooker to ensure no food remains. When dry, place the inner pot into the Instant Pot.
- Put the Instant Pot on the saute function. Add the olive oil. Add the bacon, onion, garlic, and pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes until the bacon starts to soften.
- Add the rinsed rice and stir to coat in the oil and seasonings. Turn the Instant Pot off. Use whatever liquid is in the pot that came with the rice and deglaze the bottom of the pot.
- If there isn’t enough liquid, add a few tablespoons of water to deglaze.
- Add the oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir the rice to coat in the seasoning.
- Add 2 ½ cups of the reserved black bean broth and stir to coat the rice. Add the black beans on top.
- Close the lid and seal. Set the Instant Pot to the pressure cook setting for 5 minutes. When the time is up allow the electric pressure cooker to release for 5 minutes. Then, manually release the rest of the pressure.
- Stir the rice and beans. Remove the bay leaves. Add the vinegar to stir and warm.
- Taste and add any additional salt and pepper if needed.
For The Rice And Beans
If you are not familiar with cooking in an Instant Pot, be sure to see our detailed instructions above. The additional time needed is for the pressure cooker to pressurize and release the pressure.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 595Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 515mgCarbohydrates: 99gFiber: 23gSugar: 7gProtein: 32g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.