Brazilian Black Beans Recipe

Brazilian black beans are a delicious and indulgent dish, making them a perfect family treat. This easy instant pot black beans recipe, is packed with comforting flavors from smoked sausage and bacon, plus, as all Brazilian recipes, it’s loaded with all the garlic and onions. This big batch recipe freezes wonderfully, and will make your midweek dinners a breeze!

Looking for the slow cooker version of this recipe? Check out Slow Cooker Black Beans Brazilian Style for instructions!

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Why I love this recipe

Oi Gente!

To me, a full plate of arroz e feijão (Brazilian rice and beans) is more Brazilian than carnaval and futebol. We Brazilians, usually eat beans pretty much everyday, almost in every meal. I mean, what’s not to love?!! Beans are easy to make, CHEAP, and protein-packed! They also freeze very well, and can last several meals. Not only that, they’re also a pretty diverse side dish, and good enough to just be eaten as a main dish. In other words, beans are AWESOME!

This Brazilian beans recipe has a special place in my heart as it’s the recipe I grew up eating. I remember coming home from school, and almost everyday being greeted by the sounds of a whistling stove top pressure cooker, and the delightful smells of my mom’s bacon, onion and garlic refogado, while she was preparing this very recipe, we’d then eat for lunch. And then again for dinner. This is definitely a dish packed with a lot more than just delicious flavors. To me, it’s packed with wonderful memories!

I hope you love this authentic Brazilian recipe as much as I do, and that you too create wonderful memories while making and eating it with your family and friends. And if you’re looking for a vegetarian black beans recipe to switch things up a bit, check this one out!

Bom Apetite!!

Beijinhos xx

Beans in Brazilian Cuisine

Beans are at the very center of Brazilian cuisine. There are a number of traditional regional Brazilian dishes with some kind of feijão as the star of the dish – tutu de feijão, acarajé, baião de dois, feijoada, and so many others. Depending on where you are in Brazil the preference for color/type of beans will vary, but, when it comes to the basics and the day to day of the average Brazilian, the feijão Carioca (pinto bean) is the most consumed.

Although the pinto is the most consumed feijão in Brazil, in Rio, where I’m from, the star bean is the Feijão Preto (black beans).

This Brazilian style black beans recipe while meaty and comforting, is not at all the same thing as a traditional feijoada recipe. Feijoada is a different, much more elaborate, and even meatier dish, that includes Brazilian dry beef, and other cuts of pork. I’ll be posting that soon!

How to make Brazilian Black beans

Cooking dry beans may seem overwhelming, but I promise you, it’s actually really easy. The only actual hands on time in this recipe is about 20 mins, all of the other “time” is wait time while the beans are soaking and then when they’re cooking. Think of all the things you can do in between!

Anyway, there are 4 simple parts to this recipe.

TIP: If this is your first time cooking dry black beans, be sure to check out this post where I explain in detail how to cook dry beans. That post is loaded with all the basic info you need to know like, how to soak beans and why you should do that, especially if you’ll be using an instant pot, how to freeze beans and more!

1- Before you cook the beans

  • Pick, wash and soak the beans in cold water for at least 30 mins
  • After 30 mins, drain all the water, wash again, then soak again for another 30 mins in cold water
  • During the second soak, cut the sausage in 1-inch chunks, and set aside
  • Drain again, wash well one last time

2 – Cooking the beans

  • Add the beans to the instant pot, along with the sausage chunks
  • Add the water to the pot and close
  • Cook for 30 mins on manual

3 – While the beans are cooking

  • Cut the onion, the bacon
  • Prepare your Brazilian Sofrito, or mince the garlic
  • Gather and measure the spices and set aside

4 – Seasoning Black Beans

  • When the beans are fully cooked, change the instant pot setting to sauté and let them simmer uncovered. Season with salt and pepper, add the cumin, the vinegar, and the bay leaf to the pot, stir and continue to simmer for about 15 mins. At this point, we want to cook (stirring occasionally) until the liquid thickens a little.
  • Meanwhile, add the bacon to a large skillet over medium to high heat, and let them cook until lightly browned.
black beans recipe - refogado
  • Add the olive oil to the skilled, then the onions and sautée until transparent.
black beans recipe - refogado
  • Now, add the garlic to the skillet, stir and sautée until fragrant and lightly golden (careful not to burn).
black beans recipe - refogado
  • Add the contents of the skillet to the pot of beans
  • Stir and let it simmer until the beans reach the desired thickness

If you’re freezing the beans, put them into freezer safe containers, then let it cool uncovered to room temperature. After that, put the lid on, then freeze. They should last a few months in the freezer, or about 5 days in the fridge.

These Brazilian Black beans pair perfect with

Other Brazilian Recipes to try in the Instant Pot

Close up of a white bowl holding a serving of Brazilian black beans
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5 from 153 votes

Brazilian Black Beans

Brazilian black beans are a delicious and indulgent dish, making them a perfect family treat. This easy instant pot black beans recipe, is packed with comforting flavors from smoked sausage and bacon, plus, as all Brazilian recipes, it's loaded with all the garlic and onions. This big batch recipe freezes wonderfully, and will make your midweek dinners a breeze!
If you're looking for the slow cooker version of this recipe, check out Slow Cooker Black Beans Brazilian Style for instructions. If you need a vegetarian Black Beans Recipe, check this one out.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Aline Shaw

Ingredients

  • 16 oz dry Black Beans
  • 1 14 oz Smoked sausage cut into chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt** *add more, or less salt as desired – depending on how salty the sausage and bacon you're using are – taste as you go!
  • black pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp of white vinegar
  • 4 strips of smoked bacon cut into lardons
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 tbsp Brazilian Sofrito or 6 cloves of garlic, minced

Instructions

  • Pick, wash, then soak the beans in cold water for 30 mins.
  • Change the water, and soak in cold water for another 30 mins.
  • Drain beans, then add them to a pressure cooker or instant pot. Add the sausages and 5 1/2 cups of water.
  • Close the instant pot, and cook on manual for 30 mins.
  • After 30 mins, safely release the pressure and open the pan.
  • Change the now open/uncovered instant pot settings to sauté mode, and let the beans simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Season with salt and pepper, add the cumin, the vinegar, and the bay leaf to the pan, stir and continue to simmer for about 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile, add the bacon to a large skillet over medium to high heat, and let them cook until lightly browned.
  • Add the olive oil to the skillet, then the onions and sautée until the onions are transparent, 2-3 mins.
  • Add the garlic to the skillet, stir and sautée until fragrant and lightly golden.
  • Add the contents of the skillet into the beans, stir and let it simmer until desired thickness is reached.

Bom Apetite!!

    Did you make this recipe? Show me how it turned out! Snap a photo and share with me on Instagram tagging @aline_shaw!

    Notes

    **If you’re using a stove top pressure cooker, add an extra cup of water to this recipe. Please be careful. Pressure cookers can be dangerous, especially if there isn’t enough water left inside of the pan – they can explode! Always keep a close eye on the pan, and when in doubt STOP and check. Please use your pressure cooker with caution, and follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.

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    67 Comments

    1. 5 stars
      OMG! THIS! This recipe is amazing and simple. Just like any Brazilian, I was raised on black beans. After moving to the US, I spent a loooong time with just a memory of it because cooking black beans and me did not belong in the same sentence. I could not make it for the life of me. Until Aline came along and saved my childhood memories, and more importantly, brought this back into my kitchen. Now, I don’t need to go to a Brazilian restaurant, which by the way is NEVER as good as the real deal, in the hopes of eating an okay black beans. I cook it any time I want and it tastes incredible. I am not even exaggerating! Hands down the best black beans ever!!

      1. Woohooo!!!! So awesome, Angela!! I’m glad you’re loving the recipe 🙂 It always warms my heart to know that people feel closer to their childhood memories and heritage through the food I helped them make! Keep on cooking and thank you kindly for your sweet comment!! Beijinhos xx

    2. 5 stars
      These beans are LIFE CHANGING. Drop what you are doing and make these now. You and your friends or family will be very happy bean eaters.

      Not only is this a great everyday recipe, it will also teach you how to be a better cook AND use an Instant Pot.

      Thanks Aline!

      1. LOL!! You’re so welcome, Jeremy!! Your enthusiasm warms my heart!! This awesome sense of accomplishment you’re feeling is what I hope everyone achieves when I’m developing a recipe. So, yay!!! Knowing that it works changes MY LIFE!! Thank you!! xx

        1. 5 stars
          Hi Aline!
          If I double all the in gradients, do I double the water too? I’ve made these several times and we love them but they get eaten too fast so want to make a double batch. My thought is yes because the water gets absorbed but thought I’d check with you.
          Thank you!

          1. Hi Deena!! That’s such awesome news!! I love that you guys love the beans that much to the point that it doesn’t last ahaha To answer your question, yes, although I’ve never done it this way myself. But, depending on the size of your instant pot/pressure cooker you should be able to. Make sure to check the capacity of yours, to ensure that doubling the recipe isn’t too much for it. I want you to be safe and to avoid a potential spill over mess hahaha let me know how it goes! Beijos!

    3. 5 stars
      Oh be still my heart. There is nothing I love more to eat than black beans. I am not even kidding. They are so delicious but for some reason I can never find a consistent way to make them. I usually just wing it and then I don’t remember how I did it. This recipe is amazing! I’m not a pork eater but the recipe on its own is amazing.

    4. Is there a healthier version of this without the pork or bacon? My students are all Brazilians and they talk about rice and beans all the time. I’d love to try it, but I’d rather not have the fat from the bacon and pork.
      You mentioned turkey sausage, but it has a lot of cholesterol. Would chicken sausage work and can the bacon be omitted without ruining the flavor?
      Thank you:)

      1. Hi Diane!

        How fun!! Yes, try my Vegan Black beans! It has none of the meats in it and it still tastes super Brazilian – your students will love it! It’s my go-to for day to day since it’s less fatty, and I mostly use this version with the meats when we want to indulge!:)

        Let me know if you have any other questions!

        Enjoy,

        Aline

    5. Hi Aline! Why do you sauté the bacon, onion and garlic in a separate pan and add Them to the beans after? Is it possible to sauté the ingredients using the sauté function of the instapot and then add the beans and cook them all together? Thanks for clarifying. Making it now!

      1. Hi Brunna!

        Sauteeing the ingredients and pouring them over the cooked beans brings out A LOT more flavor than using the sautee function of the IP and cooking everything together. You can definitely do that if you prefer, but you’ll definitely get a lot more delicious flavors by sauteeing the stuff on a separate pan and mixing them in after the beans are cooked as I suggest. Hope this helps! Beijos xx

      1. Oi Allison,

        The sausage in the photo is this one but I bought at a Brazilian market here in Los Angeles because they hardly ever have it in stock on Amazon.

        I also like to use Farmer John Classic Smoked Sausage that I can just find at my local Vons and other grocery stores.

        Hope this helps xx

    6. Just made this and it’s tasting amazing!
      I don’t have an instant pot, but used a pressure cooker on my stove top and it’s perfect.
      Thanks so much for the recipe! The house smells amazing as well 🙂
      Will try the collard greens tomorrow.

      1. Hey Katia, that’s awesome!!!

        So happy you’re loving the taste and all the smells from this recipe!! Now you know how my house smells half the time ahahah

        You’ll love the collards too, I’m sure!!

        Beijinhos xx

    7. 5 stars
      I made this for my Brazilian guy friend who misses his mom’s cooking, and he absolutely loved it. I’ve never tried making Brazilian food before, but this was very easy and delicious!

    8. 5 stars
      Hi Aline, thanks for sharing this recipe! I made the beans as a side dish yesterday at a bbq party. All Brazilians -my husband included – loved the beans! I love to cook so I’m checking your site for what to make next!

      1. Hi Barbara!! That’s excellent news!! Thanks for letting me know – so happy everyone loved the beans!! I can’t wait for you to explore other recipes – any questions let me know!! Have fun! Beijinhos xx

    9. 5 stars
      Man this takes me back to my trip to São Miguel where I had Brazilian black beans (I know so strange). But seriously one of the best meals of my life! It’s been 4 yrs and I still daydream about it. Could I use a Dutch oven for this? I don’t have an instapot or pressure cooker.

      1. Hi Madelyn,

        You can check out my Slow Cooker Black Beans recipe (https://braziliankitchenabroad.com/slow-cooker-black-beans-brazilian-style/) and all steps should largely apply to stove top cooking as well, just be sure to adapt the following steps:

        – The second soak: instead of soaking for just 30 minutes, soak overnight.
        – Amount of water: you may need a little more water to start, and while the beans are cooking you need to always have at least about a half inch to an inch of liquid over the beans. If it goes below, just add a bit more throughout the cooking process.
        – How to cook it: you’ll need to make sure you’re simmering on low until the beans are cooked through. If you’re boiling, they won’t cook evenly.

        Hope this helps,

        Aline

    10. Making this now. After spending over 40 weeks in Brazil during a 2 year span, I truly miss correct black beans.
      I always loved the saying. “botar mais água no feijão” which translate roughly to throw some more water on the beans. I take that as, we will dilute the beans to make sure you can join us for dinner. Its a beautiful sentiment and I heard it used in many situations where others can be included.

      1. Haha!! Yes!! It’s not just a saying, but it really is a “way of life” in Brazil – we truly value gathering with people we love, no matter what, and we always make sure we make it possible!! Similar to our “jeitinho Brasileiro” meaning we’ll always find a way to make things work! I hope you love the beans! Beijos!

    11. Hi Aline, I am also Brazilian, my mom was born in the state of Ceara so this recipe is giving me so many great memories!! I can’t wait to make this dish and so many more from you! Just wondering if you think I can use my crock pot instead of an IP. I’ve always been super nervous to cook dry beans. Thanks <3

      1. Hi Natalia!!

        Yay – so happy you’re here. My brother lived in Fortaleza for years, and I spent a lotttttt of time there. I love Ceara so much!!!

        All these years and I still haven’t tried to make this recipe on a slow cooker ahaha I’m doing it today and I’ll update the recipe card to contain those instructions.

        But – don’t be afraid to try the IP one of these days!! The pressure cooker is one of Brazilian food’s best friends ahaha it’s intimidating, but if you give it try and follow the instructions safely, you’ll be a pro in no time!

        beijos xx

    12. I’m really wanting to try this but I do not have an instant pot. Have you tried yet in a slow cooker?

    13. 5 stars
      Amazing recipe-the best that I have tried. This really takes me back to my days growing up in Brazil. I’ve tried many recipes but this one nails it.

      Pair this recipe with Aline’s Brazilian rice recipe, she tells you how to make it just right and avoid it getting all mushy. The secret ingredient is the Sofrito base, which is that extra but simple touch that gives the dishes such an authentic flavor.

    14. I have family in Brasil and was able to spend about 5 weeks there with them one summer and loved everything about it! And gained about 10 pounds from all the gatherings and food haha. I really want to try your recipe but do not have an instapot or pressure cooker. Is there a way to adapt this recipe to a slow cooker or stovetop? I would love to hear your suggestions!!

      1. Hahah!! That’s awesome!! So sorry it took me a while to get back to you! I just needed to finish the slow cooker post, which is finally up and live for you to check out here. Enjoy!! Beijos!

    15. 5 stars
      Just made these beans for a family dinner and they are delicious!! A huge hit with everyone and ended up printing out your recipe and handing them out as well as pointing them to your website!! Thank you so much, they are perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing!! Can’t wait to try your other recipes now, thank you for sharing and keep them coming Please!!

      1. Hi Linda!!!!!!! What a lovely message! Thank you!!! I am so so happy you and your family loved the beans and I hope you love the other stuff you try too!! Beijos xx

    16. 5 stars
      I just popped over to say that after years of trying and failing to get my Carioca mother to just WRITE DOWN how she makes her feijoada (I swear she changes the description/order/amounts every time I asked for it, just to throw me off) I decided to learn how to make it myself — and since this pandemic means I can’t just go home to Miami every 3 months and eat hers, I was missing it a lot. Your recipe is now how *I* make feijao, and it tastes exactly like hers!

      I’ve introduced my gringo toddler to it; so far he adores farofa, will shovel it into his mouth until there’s none left on the plate, but won’t touch the feijao. We have some work to do. 🤣

      1. Hahaha yes!! Thank you so much, Krissa!!! I have the same issues with my own mom, but somehow I manage to decipher her instructions which help me keep this site hahaha I’m so happy you tried to make the Brazilian beans yourself and the recipe worked for you and was a success 🙂 That’s soo awesome that your baby loves farofa, too lol a lot of people write to me telling me the opposite – that their gringo families will eat anything EXCEPT farofa ahaha you’re all kinds of winning over there and I love it!!! Beijinhos xx

    17. 5 stars
      Oí, Aline!
      Excelente! Obrigado!
      We visit Brazil once in a while since we live in a neighboring country. I just made this recipe now. My dear husband and son loved it. We are all satisfied!
      God bless you!
      Lutchie

    18. Hi! Trying this recipe for the first time and need clarification on instructions. You say: 4) Close the instant pot, and cook on manual for 30 mins. 5) After 30 mins, safely release the pressure and open the pan.

      Do you mean:
      1) cook for 30 min and immediately do a quick release or
      2) cook for 30 min, wait 30 min (natural release) , then do quick release?

      Thanks for clarifying!

    19. 5 stars
      Loved this! The beans came out delicious!
      One warning to anyone making a half batch or a double batch – since the water is not listed with the other ingredients, the recipe always calls for 5 1/2 cups of water. I used the recipe calculator to give me the amounts for a half batch, but didn’t realize that I should have only used 2 3/4 cups of water. I realized that something had gone wrong when I released the pressure and had a very watery soup. After I figured out the issue, a coffee cup helped to bail out most of the excess water. 😉

    20. 5 stars
      One of the only reasons I have an Instant Pot. I love this recipe and every time I make it, I’m amazed that something so simple can be SO delicious, and that little pop of acid makes such a difference in the flavor. Don’t skip it!

    21. 5 stars
      Tried this tonight. Love it!! Just like at the Brazilian restaurant we used to have locally. I’ve tried other recipes and none were the same. I followed the recipe as is and it turned out great. Will be making this over and over again for sure!

    22. Aloha!
      I’d love to make this recipe as it sounds the most delicious. how would you recommend modifying so that my vegan friends can enjoy, too? I’m stumped on how to duplicate the smoky flavor from the meat. thanks for your help!

    5 from 153 votes (120 ratings without comment)

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