Cuban Instant Pot Black Bean Soup is quick, easy, and flavorful. Made with frugal dry beans and pantry spices (and no soaking required!). A nutrient-dense vegetarian meal or add extra protein on the side (like grilled chicken or chicken fajitas).

Black bean soup in bowls topped with cilantro, green onions, and sour cream.
With rich flavor and tender beans, this soup is the perfect vegetarian meal!

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A Traditional Soup With Delicious Flavor…

Cuban black bean soup is a traditional meal that’s enjoyed in Latin America and the Caribbean. It’s such a versatile meal because it can be serves as-is, over rice, or with a side of grilled chicken.


  • NO SOAKING – The Instant Pot makes the BEST black beans. Honestly, the Instant Pot makes any kind of dry bean taste amazing and better than the canned version.
  • FAST- This recipe takes a fraction of the time it would take to make it on the stove-top or in the slow-cooker.
  • MEAL PREP – Black bean soup leftovers are amazing the next day for an easy meal prep lunch.
  • MEATLESS – Made with plant-based ingredients, this recipe is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, and meatless.
  • VERSATILE – Serve this recipe as a traditional soup, use the beans to make enchilada or nachos, or blend the beans fully with an immersion blender to make “refried” beans (without the frying).
Chopping vegetables to make the soup.
Made with simple ingredients from the pantry.

Ingredients Needed

Turn bland beans into a delicious meal! The spices, paired with the veggies, are what makes this recipe have such scrumptious flavors.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced (approx. ¾ cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼” thick rounds (approx. 1 ½ cups)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced (1 generous cup)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, vegetable stock, or chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes undrained (juice and tomatoes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste after cooking)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels (optional)

Equipment Needed

  • 6 or 8 Quart Instant Pot for sautéing the veggies and cooking the soup
  • Immersion blender, regular blender, or potato masher if you want a thick and creamy soup

Ingredient Substitutions & Variations 

  • Canned Beans: Use 3-15.5 ounce cans, drained, instead of dry beans for a quick dinner. Add the beans, veggies, seasonings, and broth to the Instant Pot, and pressure cook for 5 minutes, then a quick release.
  • Pinto Beans: Instead of black beans, use dried pinto beans. No need to soak the beans first.
  • Bell Peppers: Poblano peppers add heat, without making the soup spicy. I love to add them to chili as well. If you don’t have poblano peppers, use a bell pepper instead.
  • Add Meat: Saute 1 pound pork sausage or a few bacon strips (cut into small pieces first) with the veggies. Brown the meat, veggies, and beans in the Instant Pot. If you want to make a creamy soup, I add cooked sausage AFTER cooking and blending the soup.
  • Slow Cooker: Prefer to have the soup cook all day while at work? Use the slow-cooker method to make this recipe instead.

How to Make, Step By Step Instructions

If you’re new to the Instant Pot, check out 16 Must-Know Instant Pot Tips. And the best foods to make in the Instant Pot.

Step 1: Rinse Beans

Add the beans to a colander. Rinse the beans under fresh water and pick through the dried beans to check for rocks and misshapen beans.

Step 2: Saute Veggies and Spices In the Instant Pot

Prepare all the vegetables (chopping, mincing) before starting.

Turn on the saute function of the Instant Pot. Once hot, add olive oil. Add the chopped vegetables, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, and sauté for a few minutes until beginning to soften and sweat.

Add the cumin, paprika, and oregano. Stir for just a minute to bring out the flavors in the spices (this creates delicious, deep flavor).

Press the Cancel button on the Instant Pot.

Step 3: Add Broth, Tomatoes, and Remaining Ingredients

Splash in some of the broth and use a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is an important step to avoid the burn notice when pressure cooking.

Add the black beans, remaining broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, and salt. Stir to combine.

Step 4: Pressure Cook for 30 Minutes

Lock the lid on the Instant Pot. Position the steam pressure valve on top of the lid to Sealed. Cook the soup on Manual, High Pressure for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Release Pressure Naturally or 20 Minutes

Once the cooking cycle ends, the Instant Pot will beep and then begin counting up on the screen. Don’t touch the pot! Let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, carefully release the remaining pressure from the pot by turning the steam valve on top from Sealed to Venting. Once steam is no longer pouring from the steam pressure valve, open the lid.

Removing the lid from the Instant Pot.

Step 6: Taste & Salt

Taste the soup and add more salt (until it tastes just right). The amount of salt added will depend on if your broth was salted as well as the tomatoes. Tasting is the key to salting and flavoring your food well.

Serve the soup in its chunky form with your favorite toppings or over rice, or blend it up to make a thick and creamy soup. Before serving, stir in the frozen corn kernels, if using.

How to Make a Thick and Creamy Soup

To thicken the soup, there are 3 options…

  • Immersion Blender: Blend the soup in the Instant Pot, after cooking, with an immersion blender (stick blender) to your desired texture. This is my preferred method.
  • Regular Blender: After cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove some beans (2-3 cups) to a tabletop blender and puree. Add the pureed beans back to the pot and stir.
  • Potato Masher: After cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove 2-3 cups of beans to a large bowl, use a potato masher to mash the beans. Then add the beans back to the Instant Pot and stir.
Spooning a creamy and thick soup into a bowl.
Puree the soup to create this thick and creamy consistency!

Favorite Topping Ideas

  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • homemade slaw
  • lime juice: squeeze some fresh lime juice over a bowl of soup
  • shredded cheese
  • dollop of sour cream
  • chopped green onion
  • pickled red onion
  • salsa: we love this fermented salsa or pico de gallo
  • avocado slices: toss with lime juice and salt for extra flavor
  • radishes: toss with salt and lime juice to decrease bitter flavor
  • crispy tortilla strips: cut a tortilla (or homemade corn tortillas) into strips and cook in oil on the stove-top until crisp

What to Serve With This Delicious Black Bean Soup

Serve this black beans recipe alone, with toppings of choice, or add a delicious side or main. Here are a few ideas….

SIDES

Hands holding a bowl of soup with sour cream topping.

How to Store & Reheat 

  • Store leftover black bean soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Black bean soup freezes well and makes a great meal prep lunch or dinner. Spoon leftover soup into a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge before reheating.
  • Reheat the soup in a pot on the stove-top, in the Instant Pot using the saute function, or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Three black bean soup bowls with toppings: cilantro, sour cream, green onions.
Black bean soup in bowls topped with cilantro, green onions, and sour cream.
5 from 4 votes

Cuban Instant Pot Black Bean Soup (With Dry Beans)

Cuban Instant Pot Black Bean Soup is quick, easy, and flavorful. Made with frugal dry beans and pantry spices (and no soaking required!). A nutrient-dense vegetarian meal or add extra protein on the side (like grilled chicken or chicken fajitas). With the perfect texture, serve the soup chunky or thick and creamy!
Kristin Marr
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Natural Pressure Release20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Cuban
Servings 6 people
Calories 278 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 poblano pepper seeded and diced (approx. ¾ cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into ¼” thick rounds (approx. 1 ½ cups)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion diced (1 generous cup)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes use juice and tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt this will need to be adjust to taste after cooking
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels optional

Instructions

  • Add the beans to a colander. Rinse the beans under fresh water and pick through the dried beans to check for rocks and misshapen beans.
  • Prepare all the vegetables (chopping, mincing) before starting.
  • Turn on the saute function of the Instant Pot. Once hot, add olive oil. Add the chopped vegetables, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, and sauté for a few minutes until beginning to soften and sweat.
  • Add the cumin, paprika, and oregano. Stir for just a minute to bring out the flavors in the spices.
  • Press the Cancel button on the Instant Pot.
  • Splash in some of the broth and use a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is an important step to avoid the burn notice when pressure cooking. Add the black beans, remaining broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Lock the lid on the Instant Pot. Position the steam pressure valve on top of the lid to Sealed. Cook the soup on Manual, High Pressure for 30 minutes.
  • Once the cooking cycle ends, the Instant Pot will beep and then begin counting up on the screen. Let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, perform a quick pressure release: carefully release the remaining pressure from the pot by turning the steam valve on top from Sealed to Venting. Once steam is no longer pouring from the steam pressure valve, open the lid.
  • Taste the soup and add more salt (until it tastes just right). The amount of salt added will depend on if your broth was salted as well as the tomatoes.
  • Serve the soup in its chunky form with your favorite toppings or over rice, or blend it up to make a thick and creamy soup. Before serving, stir in the frozen corn kernels, if using.
  • For a thick and creamy soup, blend the soup directly in the Instant Pot with an immersion blender to desired texture. Or use a regular blender or potato masher (see instructions in notes).

Notes

To thicken the soup without an immersion blender, use…
  • Regular Blender: After cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove some beans (2-3 cups) to a tabletop blender and puree. Add the pureed beans back to the pot and stir.
  • Potato Masher: After cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove 2-3 cups of beans to a large bowl, use a potato masher to mash the beans. Then add the beans back to the Instant Pot and stir.
Topping Ideas: 
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • homemade slaw
  • lime juice: squeeze some fresh lime juice over a bowl of soup
  • shredded cheese
  • dollop of sour cream
  • chopped green onion
  • pickled red onion
  • salsa: we love this fermented salsa or pico de gallo
  • avocado slices: toss with lime juice and salt for extra flavor
  • radishes: toss with salt and lime juice to decrease bitter flavor
  • crispy tortilla strips: cut a tortilla (or homemade corn tortillas) into strips and cook in oil on the stove-top until crisp

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 14gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1091mgPotassium: 1157mgFiber: 12gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 4834IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 116mgIron: 4mg
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3 Ways to Use This Soup

  1. Soup: Top the soup with sour cream, chopped avocados, cheese, and green onions (if desired). For a creamy soup, use an immersion blender to blend the soup for just a minute or two to puree some of the beans.
  2. Multi-Purpose Beans: Use water instead of the broth and strain the beans from the liquid before serving. Store some of the beans in the liquid to keep the beans from drying out. Serve the beans with rice and toppings, in burritos or enchiladas, tortillas for tacos, etc.   
  3. “Refried” Beans: Spoon some of the beans (or all of the beans) into a bowl and add just enough cooking liquid to help puree the beans into a thick and creamy consistency. Add more liquid, if needed, to reach your desired consistency. Serve the beans in taco shells, burritos, or as a side dish with shredded cheese and green onions–my favorite!
5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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3 Comments

  1. Sorry – I see the directions in the actual recipe now. The beans aren’t mentioned in the blog description. 🙂 You can erase my comments.