Brazilian Style Black Beans and Rice

Many of you know both my husband and I spent about 2 years of our lives living in Brazil when we were in our twenties.   We didn’t meet until we were both back in the states attending college at BYU, but that was definitely something that we loved having in common from the very start.  I spent most of my time in southern Brazil (Curitiba, to be exact) but afterwards traveled to just about every corner of that beautiful country.  Brazil and its different states are just as unique as those here in the United States.  When it comes to food, each region has different specialties and customary dishes, but one thing you will eat no matter where you go, is arroz e feijão, aka Rice and Beans.

Brazilian Black Beans Recipe

And just like you’ll find very different BBQ depending on where you travel in the US, you’ll find varying types of rice and beans in Brazil.  But it’s something that most of the population eats every day, and I loved it.  Where I lived in the south, black beans reign supreme, and the method of cooking them that I’m going to share with you today is how the local people would prepare them day in and day out.  The beauty in this dish is the simplicity.  It’s not a complicated thing; in fact you won’t see any seasonings except for salt and pepper.  The flavor comes from these three things: bacon, garlic, and onion.

Black Beans

The other thing that is standard in every Brazilian kitchen is a pressure cooker. Every household has one.  I did a whole post about pressure cooking, here.  Check it out and see what a great addition a pressure cooker is to your kitchen!  I have both a stove-top pressure cooker and an electric pressure cooker, and I use my electric one more these days because I like being able to walk away, whereas I feel I have to babysit the stovetop one.  But I’ve linked great options for both in my post, here.  If you don’t have a pressure cooker, check out my recipe for Quick and Easy Black Beans; it’s a twist on these traditional beans, using canned beans.  Just as the name implies, they are so quick and easy!  We also have a great slowcooker recipe, which you can find, here.

When it comes to using dry beans, most people like to soak them overnight because it cuts down on cooking time.  Soaked beans will cook in a pressure cooker in about 10 minutes or so.  The only problem with that is that I generally don’t think that far ahead.  I’ve written this recipe for dry beans, straight out of the bag, because that’s how I make them the most often.  I also like a thicker “sauce” on my beans, and using dry beans in a pressure cooker causes more splitting of the beans so it naturally thickens and I like that.  Using dry beans, this will still be on the table in about an hour.

You’ll want to really carefully go through your beans and remove any impurities.  It’s not uncommon to have little shrived beans and even tiny pebbles sometimes.  You’ll also want to rinse them well.

Black Beans

One note about my method here- traditionally (at least from every single person that made beans and rice for me) Brazilians cook their beans in water in the pressure cooker and while they’re cooking, they saute the bacon, garlic and onion in a separate pan.  When the beans are done, they ladle in a few spoonful into the bacon pan and let it simmer away absorbing flavors, while lightly smashing the beans to thicken the mixture.  That entire mixture is then poured back into the bean pot where they finish seasoning and let everything cook up together.

I combine those steps and just start everything in my pressure cooker and cook it all together.  Saves dirtying a pan and they always come out great, so I’m going with my rebel methods.

On that note- heat up your pressure cooker to saute and cook a few slices of bacon.

sizzling bacon

The bacon adds a smoky, meaty flavor and the rendered bacon fat is what we’ll use to cook the onion and garlic.  Now let’s have a moment of silence to imagine onion and garlic sauteing in bacon grease.  If anyone can create a candle with that smell I’ll buy it.

Brazilian Black Beans Recipe

After that has cooked for a few minutes you’ll add your beans, salt and pepper, and the cooking liquid.  Now, in Brazil they generally use water, but I like to use broth because I feel like it enhances the flavor really nicely.  I call for vegetable broth here, but you could use chicken or even beef as well.  I cook them for 40 minutes on high pressure and then immediately let out the steam after that.

Brazilian Black Beans Recipe

This is a rather thick ratio when it comes to black beans, but that’s how I prefer it.  If you’d like your beans “soupier” you can certainly add more liquid after they are done, or cook them with more liquid to start.

Brazilian Black Beans Recipe

If you’d like to eat these in the traditional way, serve over Brazilian Style Rice.

This south American staple has become a staple in my own home and it’s now something my kids love eating as well. And although these are Brazilian black beans, they obviously go very well with other Latin dishes like burritos, fajitas, Southwest salads, etc.

If you want to turn this into a full meal, just pair it with some grilled chicken, beef, or fish.  Or one of my favorites is Linguica sausage, which is eaten often in Brazil.


Easiest of all however, is one of my favorite comfort foods: rice and beans topped with a runny fried egg.  That might sound strange but trust me, heaven in a bowl.

Brazilian Black Beans Recipe

If you’re interested in more Brazilian food, you can check out a few other recipes, here!


Also, find a beans and rice version with canned beans, here, and with a slow cooker, here.

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Brazilan Style Black Beans in Pressure Cooker

  • Author: Our Best Bites
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Brazilian


An easy recipe for black beans cooked in a pressure cooker. No soaking required! Can be served the traditional way over rice, or used for Latin dishes like burritos, fajitas, and salads.  Click Here for my Brazilian Style Rice Recipe.


  • 1 pound dry black beans
  • 4 slices bacon (I like center cut bacon)
  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 56 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (can use chicken or beef, or even water instead)
  • 1 cup water (more if desired, for “soupier” beans)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • cooked white rice for serving (my Brazilian rice recipe will be live on Friday!)


  1. Place beans in a fine mesh strainer and pick out any shriveled ones, along with any impurities.
  2. Heat pressure cooker to medium-high heat (sauté setting for electric pressure cooker, medium heat on stove top for regular pressure cooker). While pot is heating, cut bacon into about 1/2-inch pieces. Cook bacon until lightly browned and starting to crisp. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add beans, broth and water, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and secure lid. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes, and then release steam from pot. If desired, lightly smash some beans on the side of the pot (this will thicken them), season with additional salt and pepper if desired, and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve over white rice.


  • Brazilian beans are typically served over rice. Add protein by pairing it with grilled steak or chicken, or tossing a fried egg on top (my favorite!).
  • This recipe yields about 6 cups beans.

Keywords: brazilian recipes, instant pot black beans, pressure cooker beans


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  1. My husband served in Manaus and already tells me I have the heart of a Brazilian when i make your quick and easy black beans. So, he’s really gonna love me if I buy a pressure cooker and make him this recipe. Hahaha!

  2. Ah, owing to the influence of Portuguese peeps in our UK ward, my husband makes feijoada at least once a week now! Lovin’ the black beans- simple, nutritious and delicious! How about pasteis de nata for dessert?

  3. Your other black beans recipe is my go-to for company meals 😉 But this one sounds good too, except now I’m hungry and I’m doing the Dietbet…

  4. Yum! We always eat a bunch of foods from the host country every year during the Olympics, so this is definitely going on my list for this summer!

  5. Beans and rice with an egg on top is a weekly staple in our house. But I usually do canned beans so I can’t wait to try this is in my instant pot!

  6. I am so making this on Friday when you post your Brazilian rice recipe!! This meal is right up my alley and I cannot wait to dig in!!! Looks delicious! Thank you!!

  7. My husband served in Curitiba too! I need to make this one day soon and surprise him with this and pao de quiejo. He’d be on cloud nine! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Drat! Unfortunately, I don’t own a pressure cooker. These do sound so good. While in San Juan, PR we had amazing beans and rice. This sounds equally as delicious!

  9. I made this this afternoon thinking they would be good to bring to a friend who just had a baby. I am not much of a bean eater, but she is. HAHAHAHA I couldn’t stop eating them! Had to make a second batch. Count me as a bean convert thanks to this recipe.

  10. My husband served in Maceio and so we are a rice and beans loving family too! He is always on the hunt for the right sausage and would die to get his hands on some somewhat authentic linguica. Where did you buy yours? Thanks for all your awesome recipes! We cook OBB food all the time!

      1. Sweet! I had the same question. I constantly buy different kinds of linguisa trying to find the “right kind” for my hubby who also served in Curitiba!

  11. Thanks for sharing! This was a delicious, hearty dish. I adjusted the recipe by adding a little cumin, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Came out really good!

  12. My husband served in Curitiba as well! He’s actually there right now on business. He gets so excited to go down there-because of the food! I make your black bean recipe from your cookbook once a week. No lie. We actually make all of your Brazilian recipes quite often. I”ll have to try these. I love my pressure cooker! Thank you for your awesome recipes!

  13. Do have a good resource for Farinha de Mandioca? My husband wants me to make him some farofa in the worst way. For his birthday I make him black beans, rice, Pão de Queijo, Coxinha de Frango, and something involving sweetened condensed milk for dessert. One year I even ordered Maracujá from Florida (we live in washington) so I could make him some juice. The biggest thing missing is still the farofa.

    1. Hey Danielle! To make Farofa, you need to find Manioc Flour. I’ve found it in good Latin markets, or I’m sure you could find it online somewhere. If you have that, I just cook up a few slices of chopped bacon and add diced onion and garlic and then stir in the manioc to toast it. At the end you can toss in a handful of parsley and season with salt and pepper. Basic but delicious!

  14. We visited Brazil many years ago and have since loved black beans and rice! I’m so excited to try your recipe!

    Do you happen to know what those yummy roots are that they often fry? We had them almost every where we went. We also had this amazing potatoes and tomatoes bake, would you have a recipe for that our know what it was called? I have looked for recipes but nothing American is right.

    1. Hi Laura! The fried root you’re looking for is Mandioca, or Yucca in English. If you can actually find the Yucca anywhere, you just fry it up! As for the potato and tomatoes, I’m not sure on that one!

  15. I love black beans and can’t wait to make this recipe. As an aside, can you tell me where you got that strainer? I have to get one like that!

  16. Made these tonight and they were delicious! Marcelo said he felt like he was back in Brazil. And three out of four kids loved them, so that’s a major win. 🙂

  17. Hi.I don’t eat bacon(yeah, I’m weird that way)and was wondering if there is anything else I could use in it’s place.
    And I just wanted to say that I loooove your blog and the recipes are just spot on.
    Love,from another part of the world.

      1. Oops.. I should’ve specified that its All pork products that I don’t eat;not just bacon.Thanks for the tip anyways.

    1. I suppose it would work with pinto beans; I’m partial to black so I’ve never tried it with pinto, but I’m pretty sure they cook the same so go ahead and try it out!

  18. I must be missing something, when do you add the water? I made it once and added water with the broth and the beans came tasty but the liquid was thin. L

  19. These are seriously the best black beans I have ever tasted. In my life. And let me qualify that by saying I live in Tampa (lots of Cuban food), and have lived in South Florida (lots of restaurants from all over Latin America), so I have tasted my share of wonderful black beans. These are just the best. Thanks for sharing!

  20. So yummy! The flavor was great, Except my bacon pretty much turned to mush. Is that just going to happen in a pressure cooker or is there anyway to prevent that?

    1. Yes, that just happens when you cook meat in a liquid. I like it because it just blends in with everything else, but if you don’t like it that way, you can just cook up the bacon and add it at the end.

  21. I have made your beans in my Instant Pot a few times, but they don’t all cook well. I have been using manual time on 45 minutes. I also tried the bean/chili setting for 40 and adjust it to high. I always seem have some beans that are not completely cooked. Is this normal? Am I using the correct settings? I would appreciate any advice you might have. Thanks!

  22. My husband and I spend 2 months in Jaõa Pessoa 7 years ago and we miss it every day. I spent a few weeks in the kitchen and learned the ways, but have never actually tried to make this. I have been craving beans and rice like crazy! If i didn’t know better I would think I must be pregnant or something! I decided to make a batch of these beans. It is now 10:30pm and here we are are making rice so we can relive our Brazil days. We mostly ate the brown beans where we were but I really love black beans. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. So, this is very similar to an Americanized feijoada. People always ask for that recipe, but really, it’s what you see here with tons more meats added in. The only problem is that most Americans wouldn’t use most of those meats, haha. So if I’m making Feijoada, I generally use this recipe, but I add in more meat- short ribs work great, or chunks of beef and pork. It’s generally served over rice and with farofa, very thinly sautéed sliced collard greens, and orange slices on the side!

  23. Thanks for this recipe. I have a son and daughter both on missions in Sao Paulo right now and they’ll be home soon (they left on the same day so they’ll be home six months apart). My daughter has told me she plans to continue eating beans and rice at every meal. So I’m excited to know how to make these. Now that I know bacon is involved I’ll be happy to eat some too!

  24. I’ve been on the lookout for a Brazilian bean recipe so I’m thrilled to find this one in my search. My husband and I lived in Maringa (a few hours from Curitiba) for about 3 years in our late 20s. We spent quite a bit of time in Curitiba. It’s one of my very favorite cities. I’m looking forward to giving this recipe a try!

  25. Just wanted to clarify. Are you sauteeing the bacon, onions, and garlic directly in the Pressure Cooker, right after it has heated on the saute function? Thanks!!!

  26. Has anyone tried doubling this in the 6qt instant pot? We love these (thank you!!) and we hoping to make a bunch to freeze. I know beans can be frothy but I’m hoping the instant pot could handle it?

  27. These were SO delicious – but next time I’m going to cut back the salt to about 1/2 Tbsp. Maybe my broth was saltier than yours. 🙂 YUMMY stuff!

    1. These were so good! I love the flavor and texture of the beans. We are ours over rice but will have to try the egg over top sometime. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  28. These black beans were amazing! Our family couldn’t get enough of them. The best part was how easy the cooking and cleaning was. Thank you! Please keep the pressure cooker recipes coming!!

  29. My family loved these beans! My bean-skeptic husband kept scooping more on his plate! We ate them with roasted sweet potatoes in tacos and and everyone devoured them. Next time I’ll try them with rice and a runny egg, can’t wait. Thanks!

  30. Just tried this last night and it’s a winner! Best black beans I’ve ever made! Thanks for the recipe and inspiration!

  31. I lived in Brazil when I was 7 and 8, and we came home with many recipes but feijao is by far my favorite and one I make often. I love the idea of making it in the IP. I will say that our version – we lived in Bahia – we cook the bacon, add onions, cilantro, S&P – then add the beans, meats [sausage, linquica, short ribs, and I think some form of tomato [paste, sauce]. I only use dry beans on the stove top, soak overnight, and cook for a few hours on the stove. The quick turnaround is what I am excited to try. Thanks for sharing!

  32. With some adjustments, this is a delicious recipe. First off, 40 minutes yielded beans that were way too hard. I have tried it at 50 minutes (a little softer) and 60 minutes (the best). I found it best to release the pressure slowly on its own (takes about 20 minutes more). Also, the grease from 4 strips of bacon was way too much oil. I drained off most of the grease and it was perfect.

  33. My daughter is leaving for Brazil on an LDS mission in two weeks! And we are throwing a little open house to celebrate and give people a chance to say goodbye! I’m serving chicken skewers, your Brazilian rice and beans, fruit, Pao de Queijos and a few varieties of bars for dessert. I am trying to figure out quantities on the rice and beans. How many people do you think a pound of dried beans feeds? How about your Brazilian rice? It calls for a cup of rice? How many would that feed? Sorry for all the questions. Feeding a huge crowd and trying to get my numbers right while getting this little missionary all packed up to head south! Love your blog, your food and your cheerfulness!

    1. 1 cup of rice doesn’t make a huge amount. I have no idea how many people you’re planning on, but I’d just make however much a large pot can fit 🙂 . As for the beans…I’d probably double that recipe.

  34. Ive made these twice now and we’ve loved them both times! My husband served in Brazil and loves the food there. So I’ve been trying to make some authentic recipes and your site has helped a lot! I never have bacon in the house so the first time i just omitted it. Still turned out great though a little salty. The second time I added an extra cup of water like you suggest for soupier beans. I also threw in some frozen chunks of pork. The meat cooked perfectly in the beans and my husband said “this unidentifiable chunk of meat makes it much more authentic” ? thanks for the recipe! We’re keeping this one around, for sure!

  35. These are the BEST beans I have EVER had in my entire life. Woah. I did need to cook an extra 10 minutes in my IP and then they were perfect. Thanks for the recipe- you guys are the best!

  36. These beans are so dang good! Made them last week and I’ve been craving them since we finished up the leftovers. I’m making them again tonight! We cut down on the salt a little, but other than that they’re perfect! Crazy that such simple ingredients can pack so much flavor. YUM!

    1. Instant Pot is simply a brand name, when you see people refering to an Instant Pot, it’s referring to any Electric Pressure Cooker.

  37. Loved these! Only draw back is we had tons of leftovers since there are only two of us. Could I half the recipe? How would that change the IP settings?

  38. I just realized I’ve been using this recipe for years without ever properly thanking you! We have people who don’t eat bacon in our family, so I skip it and just sauté the onions and garlic in a little oil, and they’re still full of flavor and delicious. Over 20 years ago, when I was in college, a girl who’d served her mission in Brazil whipped up a pot of black beans for us in a stovetop pressure cooker. They were so good that I daydreamed about them in all the years afterwards. I knew hers were really simple, but no black beans I made ever tasted like them—until I came across this recipe! So thanks for fulfilling the yearnings of two decades for me! 😆 Our family makes these all the time and we love them.

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