This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for details.
Easy vegan Instant Pot black beans with rice on the side, this meal is absolutely delicious, filling, and pantry-friendly. Perfect for meal prep, freezes well, sticks-to-your-ribs, inexpensive, and packed with plant-based protein and necessary vitamins / minerals.
Don't worry, if you don't have a pressure cooker, you can still make this meal easily. (More on that later.)
I came up with this recipe since lately, we are all having to stay inside, and people may not have access to fresh produce.
Inexpensive pantry meals don't have to be boring, though! This recipe is surprisingly delicious and downright addictive.
This recipe is awesome for meal prep. It makes about 8 servings so it will last you several days depending on how many you're feeding!
And if you can't finish it all, freeze it and reheat another day!
Let's talk about what you need to make this dish!
What You'll Need and What You Can Substitute
So beans are a must for this recipe, but there's a lot of lenience there.
This recipe features black beans, but will work fine with red beans, white beans, chickpeas, etc. I am referring to dried beans here.
If you only have canned beans, I recommend only pressure cooking for a minute or two, or just cook them stove top to control how soft your beans get.
I use a fresh onion in this recipe but you can use onion powder or dried minced onion. I usually actually use red onion in this recipe but this time I did not have access to red onions.
For the other spices you can really use whatever you like. I used garlic powder (I did not have access to fresh garlic, but if you do I recommend it), cumin, coriander, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and dried red bell pepper.
It seems like dried red bell pepper isn't super common but I LOVE it and highly recommend it. You can also use a fresh red bell pepper or omit it completely.
The recipe is awesome with some tomatoes. I only had access to canned tomatoes, and the ones I found were fire-roasted--absolutely delicious. This will work with any kind of canned tomatoes (or fresh if you have them).
If you can only find whole canned tomatoes, give them a quick dice before throwing them in with your beans.
Finally the recipe also calls for vegetable broth. If you don't have this you can do a few different things: you could use a Better Than Bouillon paste or powder, you could use extra canned tomatoes, or you could probably just use water (I'd add more spices in this case).
How To Make Vegan Instant Pot Black Beans
You don't need to be afraid of your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. They're much safer than their older stove top counterparts.
If you haven't yet performed the water test as outlined in your manual, do that before attempting this recipe. The water test serves the purpose of making sure your Instant Pot doesn't have any defects, but it also makes the user a little more comfortable operating it.
So, for this recipe, it's really simple. We're going to chuck everything in the pot and set it to high pressure for 30 minutes.
Make sure to switch your pressure valve to "sealing" and leave it alone for a while. Go read a book or something.
When it's done, do a natural pressure release for about 20 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure. Remove the lid and give the beans a nice stir. Taste them, be amazed, and adjust salt and/or spice if needed.
But What About the Rice?
I like the texture of the rice when it's cooked separately, so I didn't include it in the instant pot. If you were to include the rice, it may overcook because of how long you're cooking the beans for.
You could solve this by pre-soaking your beans, therefore reducing their cook time, but I never remember. After 10-15 minutes the pot should come to pressure, and you can start your rice on the stove top.
What to Serve with Beans and Rice
If you're fortunate to have access to fresh produce, I definitely recommend serving my vegan black beans and rice with some avocado, maybe pico de gallo--even on top of a salad!
If not, you could definitely dress this up by stuffing it in a burrito (hello, freezer friendly!), adding some jarred salsa, loading up tortilla chips, or just eat it straight up as I've done many times--still perfectly delicious.
You could also try topping it with one of my yummy melty cheeses! They only take 5 minutes to make and they're ridiculously good.
Other Pantry Friendly Meals?
Looking for more pantry friendly meals? Definitely check some of these out:
Tofu Vegetable Curry (sub the tofu for beans if needed -- this recipe utilizes frozen veg)
As always, I hope you love this recipe!
Let me know in the comments below if you make it, tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!