Vegan Black Beans

Get your instant pot ready! This super easy and hearty vegetarian recipe is coming into your life to stay and become your new go-to dry black beans recipe. It’s loaded with delicious flavors from smoky chipotle chiles, all the garlic and onions plus a few others pantry essentials. This 10 servings recipe freezes wonderfully, and will keep providing you with essential vegetable protein from meatless Mondays through the weekend!

Brazilian vegan black beans with rice

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About this hearty recipe

Oi Gente!

We Brazilians really, really, LOVE beans! We 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’re also a pretty diverse side dish, but good enough to just be eaten as a main dish.

Growing up, my mom always made this Brazilian Black Beans recipe with bacon and sausage, which, if you eat meat, my friend, you need to try it. It is SOOO GOOD, and also very indulgent!

But, eating as much beans as we do, I needed a recipe that my family could eat daily with less guilt. So, I created this meatless version that has all the flavor but a lot less fat. It’s seriously all you ever needed to get several meals worth of delicious vegetable protein.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

Bom Apetite!

Brazilian vegan black beans recipe

Cooking Beans from scratch

Cooking beans from scratch is super easy, and can be super fast too, if using an instant pot, or any other kind of pressure cooker. Making your own big batch of beans is also super handy, as beans freeze super well. One pot will last several meals!

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!

Flavoring Vegan Black Beans

One of the questions I get asked the most when I’m teaching is, how do you make your vegan beans so incredibly flavorful!!?

Usually, flavors develop as they cook low and slow, meaning cooking at a low temperature, for a looong time. When we use a pressure cooker, a pretty aggressive way of cooking, we basically need to treat the process differently because the flavors won’t develop the same way. The biggest secret to cooking delicious beans (or really anything!) in the instant pot is not just about what seasonings you add to your recipe, but when and how to add them.

Here are my 3 secrets to flavoring beans:

1. Add depth of flavor – In this vegan recipe, I use these dried smoked chipotle chiles that I normally find at whole foods. I love them so much because they add a mild smokiness to the beans, creating a little subtle layer of interest. They usually don’t add any real spice to the recipe, unless they break in the pot. If they do break, then yes – fire alert!

Dried chillies for vegan Black Beans Recipe

2. Add a bay leaf – Bay leaves have got to be my ultimate favorite herb to add to beans. They add such delicate herbal flavor and aroma to beans, creating necessary depth and balance to the dish – it’s bean umami!!!

Flavoring vegan Black Beans

And the most important tip is for after the beans are fully cooked!

3. Layer in acid, spices and aromatics – A lot of recipes will tell you to add aromatics and spices at the beginning of the cooking process, but, layering them in is how true flavor shows up!

Here’s what I recommend layering in AFTER the beans are fully cooked:

  • Vinegar – the moment I open my instant pot, I throw in a little white vinegar in the pot. Acid breaks through proteins and helps not only your digestion, but also, makes the liquid get nice and creamy. As for flavor, the vinegar helps brighten the flavor of the beans, helping your taste buds feel that umami. One little half a teaspoon in a big pot of beans changes everything!! Just make sure to only add vinegar after the beans are cooked. Adding them before they’re done, will cause the beans to get tough because the acid basically seals the bean, making it difficult for them to absorb liquid and cook evenly.

  • Salt and Spices – After the vinegar, I add salt and my favorite spice, cumin! Cumin and beans are a match made in heaven, in my opinion. At this point you can add some heat with your pepper of choice as well. I like to keep it simple, so I just go for black pepper.

  • Aromatics – Something magical happens you layer the aromatics in AFTER the beans are fully cooked. The beans retain all of that magical flavor from sauteed aromatics, which makes them incredibly delicious. To do that, when the beans are almost done, just heat the olive oil on a skillet, and sauté your aromatics, like onions and garlic, using your fat of choice. I use olive oil, onions and, of course, my Brazilian Sofrito! After everything is nice and golden, just pour all that into the pot of cooked beans.
Flavoring Vegan Black Beans

This vegan black beans recipe will be a game changer for you and your familia. You can serve it white rice, brown rice, collard greens, add to veggie bowls, tacos, burritos… Seriously, anything! You can even use it as a base to make delicious this delicious creamy black bean soup.

Bom Apetite!

Beijinhos!! xoxo

Brazilian vegan black beans with rice and Farofa.

What to serve with these healthy beans

5 from 117 votes

Vegan Black Beans

This super easy and hearty vegetarian recipe is coming into your life to stay and become your new go-to dry black beans recipe. It's loaded with delicious flavors from smoky chipotle chiles, all the garlic and onions plus a few others pantry essentials. This 10 servings recipe freezes wonderfully, and will keep providing you with essential vegetable protein from meatless Mondays through the weekend!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
soaking time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Aline Shaw


  • 16 oz dry Black Beans
  • 2 whole smoky chiles chipotle
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp of Brazilian Sofrito or 1/2 onion diced, plus 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste


  • Pick, wash, then soak the beans in cold water for 30 mins.
  • After 30 minutes, drain all the water, and soak in new cold water for another 30 mins.
  • Drain beans, wash them well, then add them an instant pot, or pressure cooker. Add the chiles, the bay leaves, and the 5 cups of water.
  • Close the instant pot, and cook on manual for 30 mins.
  • When the beans are almost done cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium to high heat. Add the Brazilian Sofrito and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes.
  • After 30 mins, safely release the pressure and open the pan. Change the now open/uncovered instant pot settings to sauté mode and pour the sautéed Brazilian Sofrito, the cumin, the vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  • Cook on sauté mode uncovered for 10-15, stirring occasionally.

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!


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    1. 5 stars
      Black beans are my LIFE! Thank God for your vegan recipe because mine is all about the meat, LOL!! Vegans need to have black beans too.

      1. hahaha Me too!! I can’t live too long without beans, nor would I want to lol and yes, meaty beans are delish too, but I like eating this one version more regularly, leaving the meaty one as an indulgent treat!

    2. 5 stars
      I just LOVE the addition of chipotle peppers in these beans! I know how much flavor they add. Thanks for the tips, my kids enjoy black beans.

    3. 5 stars
      I can always go for a side of basic black beans with a Brazilian touch! It brings me back to when I was growing up and I got to eat wonderful Brazilian food from my friends. So good. Thank you for sharing.

        1. 5 stars
          I just home from a three week trip to Recife. Had so much amazing food and wanted to find a recipe that was like some of the vegan feijoada I had while I was there. I want to include this in my cooking rotation where I mostly avoid meat. These came out so delicious I am so impressed- thank you so much! (And so easy even a gringo like me can do it!!!)

    4. 5 stars
      I’ll admit I’m lazy and just open a can because the thought of cooking my own always sounds so time consuming. But instant pot changes everything. And thank you for the tips on how to maximize flavor as well! No excuses now!

      1. Hahaha Yes!! The IP is sooooo helpful! Plus this is the perfect lazy recipe – easy to make and loads of leftovers for less cooking later! So happy you found the tips useful and that they’ve inspired you to make your own pot! 🙂

    5. 5 stars
      I’m so glad to have found this recipe. I just purchased an instant pot and have been looking for some great recipes to use. I really like this one because I can make a large pot of these black beans and freeze the leftovers so that I will have them all fall.

      1. Kelly, so happy you got your IP – you’ll LOVE it, I bet!! And that’s a great plan. I always have beans in the freezer. You’ll have loads of fun making new dishes with fresh beans in them.

    6. 5 stars
      YUM! These are seriously so tasty! I love a big pot of beans and the smoky chipotle pepper in these are wonderful!

    7. 5 stars
      I love that this uses the Instant Pot! It makes it so quick and easy to put together these flavorful bean. Thanks for sharing!

    8. HI Aline,
      Thank you for the recipe!
      It does look delicious and want to try it.
      I have a question for you… Do you think that if I were to use liquid smoke instead of the chiles will work well to infuse a smokey flavour? If so, what amount of liquid smoke should I use?
      I don’t know if I can find those chiles in Canada. Also, the liquid smoke may be a safer alternative because – as you wrote above – if they do break then the beans will become spicy. And I don’t like spicy food.
      Thank you so much for your feedback!
      Wishing you a happy and lovely day,

      1. Hi Vivi!

        That’s a great question – I have worked with liquid smoke before, but I haven’t tried in this recipe, BUT I think it should totally work. I’d add it towards the end, right after you add in the sauteed Brazilian sofrito/onion and garlic. Add a few drops at a time and taste to see how you like it.

        You can also maybe try smoked paprika! It isn’t spicy and has great smoky-ness to it. Let me know how it goes as this would be a great tip for people who don’t want to run the risk of having spicy beans in the end by using smoky chilies!

        Good luck and keep me posted!

        beijos xx

    9. 5 stars
      I tried this recipe last night for the first time. With no chipotles, I used 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke along with the sofrito. The beans were delicious. I might increase the liquid smoke to 1/2 teaspoon next time.

    10. 5 stars
      Made them. Loved them! The beans were exactly what I wanted- not too spicey, meatless, easy, and yummy. My only sub was shallots. I’ve been on a shallot kick lately. And, I let it sit too long so it got thick so I added veggie broth to my second serving.

      1. Awesome, Heather!! So happy you loved the recipe – shallots is such a great addition! And I usually just add water if I want to thin it up a little, but veggie broth sounds amazing, and I’ll definitely try that next time!! Beijos xx

    11. 5 stars
      These were delicious! I was lazy and used canned black beans since it was quick and easy. Went with this recipe instead of the black beans with sausage since I also didn’t have any sausage or bacon defrosted. My Brazilian husband loved it! Served it with your picadillo recipe, white rice, and some farofa. Thank you!

    12. 5 stars
      We love black beans in our house, and these have been a hit with everyone, including the kids. They taste great, and they’re easy enough to make for a weeknight and serve over rice. SO good!

    13. 5 stars
      I just finished making these Vegan Black Beans for our Sunday dinner tomorrow. I don’t know if they will last till then because I may eat them all right now. These are absolutely the best black beans I have ever had!!!! Thank you so much for the recipe and the Refogado is a keeper too!

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