Instant Pot

Instant Pot Beans

December 22, 2021
4.5 Stars
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

Let’s talk beans. Can you just open a can? Of course. But dried beans are more economical and emerge from the Instant Pot with a satisfying al dente texture. Beans are nourishing and quick, making them a summertime go-to for turning a salad into a satisfying meal. In the Instant Pot, they cook without pre-soaking and without heating up the kitchen, springing from the back of your pantry to center stage.

For more on Instant Pot Bean Salads (and the recipes pictured above), go here. —Daniel Shumski

Test Kitchen Notes

As the developer for this recipe, Daniel Shumski, writes, the Instant Pot can be utilized to make a big batch of beans in half the time. Those beans can be turned into salads that he also developed, which are refreshing, colorful, and super-easy to make once the beans are cooked. He says, "While the Instant Pot is an appliance of many talents (slow cooker, rice maker, sauté pan, yogurt maker), it’s the pressure-cooker function that shines for these salads, such as Black Bean with Melons and Feta, White Bean with Cucumber and Sumac, and Black Bean with Mango and Chili Powder. Follow the master recipe here to make the beans, stash them in the refrigerator for a few days if you’d like, and then turn them into the salad of your choice."

Or you can just make the beans in your pressure cooker and have them around for whenever you need beans, which can be quite frequently when you come right down to it. Say you need a savory side, a hearty filling, or an addition to soups. Since this recipe works for black beans as well as kidney beans, and that you can cook them up to 5 days ahead, you may be taking out your pressure cooker a lot more often once you start to embrace everything it can do. As Daniel mentions, without the step of pre-soaking, you're going to save a lot of time here. Most of the cook time is hands-off, and you'll definitely love the convenience. —The Editors

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  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours
  • makes About 2 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup dried black beans or white kidney beans (rinsed, drained, and picked over to remove debris)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions
  1. Place the water, beans, and salt in the inner pot of an Instant Pot. Close and lock the lid. Set the valve on the lid to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook function with High Pressure. Set the time to 25 minutes for black beans or 40 minutes for white kidney beans.
  2. When the cooking cycle ends, press Cancel. Allow the appliance to cool and release pressure naturally, about 30 minutes. (The pressure is released when the small metal float valve next to the pressure-release valve sinks back into the lid and the lid is no longer locked.)
  3. Remove the lid. Bite into a bean. It should offer a slight resistance to the tooth but should have no hard spots. If it isn't soft enough, press Sauté and select the middle temperature (“Normal”). Cook with the lid off and allow the liquid to come to a boil, about 
5 minutes. After the liquid has boiled, taste a bean every 5 minutes until cooked, then press Cancel.
  4. Wearing oven mitts, remove the inner pot (be careful—it’s hot!) and drain the beans in a colander. Keep the beans in the colander and rinse with cold water.
  5. Do Ahead: The beans can be made 5 days ahead. Store in an airtight container and chill.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

I'm the author of "How to Instant Pot," the delicious guide to demystifying and mastering this incredibly useful and sometimes baffling appliance.

7 Reviews

Donna W. March 3, 2020
Don't discard the broth from cooking the beans. If it has no place in your current recope, freeze the Bean broth for another recipe or a vegan soup otherwise you're throwing out nutrients from the beans
Michele K. October 8, 2019
I always thought you soaked the beans to reduce phytic acid, lectins, and enzyme inhibitors that cause gastrointestinal distress (aka gas and the like). Does pressure cooking like this still achieve the same effect w/o pre-soaking?
Christal November 19, 2017
I have 2 cups of beans. Can I double this recipe, or would that overload the Instant Pot? Thank you!
Author Comment
Daniel S. November 19, 2017
The idea when pressure-cooking cooking grains and beans is not to fill the inner pot more than halfway. For a 6-quart Instant Pot, doubling this recipe would break that guideline. (If you have an 8-quart Instant Pot, you're fine doubling it.)

I see two ways around this: Do a 1.75x recipe. (That would be *just* over halfway, but close enough that it should be fine.) Or cook with less water (say, 2 cups of beans and 10 cups of water) and know that you may have to finish off the beans on the Sauté setting with the lid open, adding more water as necessary to cook them fully. (Whether the beans cook well with less water will depend on the beans.)

Hope that helps.
NYNCtg August 29, 2017
50% of my instant pot usage is for making beans this way.
Uncle J. August 24, 2017
Great idea. Would love to see more instapot recipes here. Haven't used mine as much as I thought I would.
Miss V. January 6, 2018
yes, More Instant Pot recipes, please. Just got one a Christmas - a 3 quart mini Duo.