These Tex-Mex black beans are 100% vegetarian and can even be vegan (if you opt to serve them without the sour cream). However, with all the flavour in this dish, even the most devoted carnivore won’t miss the meat!
My adventures with black beans started early. When I was a little girl, living in Rio de Janeiro, feijoada was amongst my favourite dishes. I couldn’t get enough of this rich stew, packed with flavourful cuts of pork.
I still make a mean feijão. However, every once in a while, I crave a lighter, vegetarian black bean dish. On those days, I go Tex Mex and prepare these easy, Instant Pot™ black beans.
The thing I love about these beans is that leftovers never go to waste. You can warm them, mash them and add them to just about anything — from taco salad, to nachos, or even quesadillas.
About the Recipe
One of the things I love about cooking black beans in the Instant Pot™ is that there is no need for overnight soaking. As busy as we all are, that tiny extra step is sometimes difficult to fit in.
Moreover, if you are anything like me, you can wake up in the morning with a serious black bean craving and want to eat them on the same day! So, if you own an Instant Pot™ (or another electric pressure cooker), problem solved.
Because this is a vegetarian recipe, it is important to get maximum flavour out of each and every ingredient. Therefore, caramelising the onions is critical. Taking the few extra minutes to sauté the onions until they are a deep, golden brown yields beans with a rich, satisfying depth of flavour. Don’t be tempted to take a shortcut on this step!
As always, please take the seasonings — spices and chiles — as a guideline. Depending on your family’s tastes, you can always adjust these up and down. Personally, I could even use six serrano chiles, as opposed to the three suggested in the recipe. However, my family loves the heat. If your family has a milder palate, feel free to use just one. Don’t let ingredients lists limit you!
If you have chipotle peppers on hand, you could substitute a few of those with a spoon or two of adobo sauce for the chiles in this recipe. Since chipotle chiles in adobo aren’t readily available in South Africa, I’ve left them out. However, they add a delicious hit of smokiness to the dish. So, I highly recommend that option if you’re so inclined.
Finally, I hope your family enjoys these delicious Tex-Mex black beans every bit as much as mine does. Bon appétit!
Vegetarian Tex-Mex Black Beans from the Instant Pot™
These flavour-packed Instant Pot™ Tex Mex black beans are sure to be a hit with the whole family. They make a quick and satisfying vegetarian meal and can easily be made vegan by omitting the sour cream at serving time. In short, this is sure to become your family's favourite dish on Meatless Mondays!
- 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1-3 serrano chiles (according to taste, jalapeños may be substituted for milder flavour)
- 1 cup coriander (leaves and stems), washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons canola oil (or other neutral oil)
- 2 medium onions, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon natural sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 500 g (1 lb) dried black beans (feijão preto), rinsed and drained
- 5 cups water
- For serving
- 1 lime, cut into six wedges
- 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños (or to taste)
- Step 1 Place the tomatoes, garlic, chiles, and coriander in a blender jug. Pulse about 10 times. Then, let the blender run until the mixture is pureed. Set aside.
- Step 2 Using the [sauté] function, heat the canola oil until the Instant Pot™ display says “Hot”. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 12 minutes, or until the onions are a rich golden brown.
- Step 3 Add the pureed tomato, garlic, chiles and coriander. Stir to loosen any browned bits on the bottom of the Instant Pot™. Stir continuously until the water has evaporated and the pureed mixture has thickened a bit (about 2 minutes). Add the salt, chili powder, and cumin and continue stirring for an additional minute or just until fragrant. Press the [cancel] button on the Instant Pot™.
- Step 4 Add the black beans and water to the Instant Pot™. Cover and seal the instant pot, ensuring that the steam valve is set to “Sealing”. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Step 5 Meanwhile, prepare the toppings (if using) and set aside. When the beans are fully cooked and the pressure is released, taste for salt and adjust, if necessary.
- Step 6 To serve: Ladle the black beans into individual bowls. Swirl a tablespoon of sour cream into each bowl. Top with tomatoes, green onions, coriander leaves, and pickled jalapeños. Serve each diner one wedge of lime to squeeze into the bowl when s/he eats.