Instant Pot Black Bean Soup Recipe

Instant Pot black bean soup

The Spruce / Morgan Baker

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 66 mins
Pressure Build/Release: 30 mins
Total: 106 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
652 Calories
31g Fat
66g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 652
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 1903mg 83%
Total Carbohydrate 66g 24%
Dietary Fiber 18g 64%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 179mg 14%
Iron 6mg 32%
Potassium 1781mg 38%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Instant Pot makes cooking beans simple and quick. Typically, if making black bean soup on the stovetop, you’d need to soak your beans for a few hours beforehand. Most store-bought dried beans have been on the shelves for some time and soaking them is often recommended—it leads to faster and more even cooking. Using a pressure cooker allows you to skip this process and get dinner on the table in a manner that's much faster and with less fuss. It skips the soaking process altogether; think of it as though the beans are soaking and cooking simultaneously, and the soup develops even more flavor as a result. (Tip: Don't believe the hype that you have to discard the soaking liquid before you cook your beans; you're building flavor.)

Sometimes black beans can come out tasting bitter. To prevent this, be sure to use an appropriate amount of salt. This recipe calls for a tablespoon, but don’t forget to taste for salt when your soup is finished and add more if desired; it will depend on how salty your bacon is, too. You can purée the entire soup if you want it extra creamy, or leave it on the chunky side if you like a little texture.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound dried black beans

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 8 cups water

  • Sliced avocado, for serving

  • 2 cups tortilla chips, for serving

  • 2/3 cup pickled red onions, for serving

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Instant Pot black bean soup ingredients

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  2. Cook bacon and onion in the Instant Pot on the sauté setting, stirring occasionally, until most of the fat from the bacon is released and onions are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

    Bacon and onion cooking in an Instant Pot

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  3. Add the garlic, salt, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, black pepper, beans, and bay leaves to the pot.

    Spices added to black bean soup ingredients in the Instant Pot

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  4. Add the water. Set the Instant Pot to high and cook for 1 hour. After the pressure cooking cycle is over, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes then manually turn the pressure dial and release the pressure fully.

    Water added to black bean soup ingredients in the Instant Pot

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  5. Unlock the lid, remove the bay leaves and discard. Remove half the beans with a slotted spoon and set aside.

    Cooked black bean soup in the Instant Pot with bay leaf removed

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  6. Use an immersion blender to blend the beans until thick and creamy.

  7. Stir in the reserved whole beans and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  8. Serve with sliced avocado, tortilla chips, pickled red onions, sour cream, sliced sliced scallions.

    Instant Pot black bean soup served in a bowl with toppings

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

Recipe Variations

  • Leave the bacon out for a vegetarian black bean soup.
  • Swap finely diced ham for bacon, if desired.
  • For a vegan soup, skip the bacon and opt for a plant-based plain yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • Omit sour cream and use plain Greek yogurt.


How to Store and Freeze

This soup will keep covered in the refrigerator for three or four days. If you'd like to store it for longer, it can be frozen (without sour cream on top, ideally) for at least three months and up to six months provided it's in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating or in the microwave.

Do I need to soak beans before cooking in the Instant Pot?

No, you don't. You certainly can, if it's your habit and you like doing it that way. But this recipe is written in such a way that there's sufficient liquid to allow for the beans to cook, with enough liquid leftover to create a flavorful soup.