How to Cook Dry Beans in the Instant Pot (No Soaking Required, Pressure Cooker Recipe)

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My goal for the next few months is to share 1-2 Instant Pot recipes a month. Many reader friends are new Instant Pot owners, and I want to help you (along with Helen, who works to perfect many of the Instant Pot recipes here on Live Simply) feel confident using your new appliance.

The easiest way to cook dry beans! No soaking required. All done in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, for example).The easiest way to cook dry beans! No soaking required. All done in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, for example).

For many meals, the Instant Pot isn’t necessarily a faster way to cook (when you factor in the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure and then naturally release that pressure, if needed). The appeal of the Instant Pot for these meals is the hands-off time it provides the cook.

The easiest way to cook dry beans! No soaking required. All done in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, for example).

Now there are a number of recipes that shorten the overall cooking time when you make them in the Instant Pot. Soup is one meal that takes less time to make in the Instant Pot than on the stove-top or in the slow-cooker. This chicken and rice soup is the perfect example. Raw chicken, uncooked rice, and veggies are fully cooked into a creamed soup in under 30 minutes.

(Let’s just pause here for a second, because it’s important to note that I am not affiliated with Instant Pot. I just really like my Instant Pot. I don’t use it all the time, but I’m definitely using it more than ever before.)

 The easiest way to cook dry beans! No soaking required. All done in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, for example).

Beans are another great example of a meal that can be made quickly in the Instant Pot.

Dry beans are a very time-consuming ingredient to prepare and cook. First, there’s the soaking step, which does help with digestion (reducing the tummy issues that can come from eating a bowl of beans). Then, after about 12 hours of soaking, the beans are ready to be cooked for hours in the slow-cooker or on the stove-top. The Instant Pot just laughs at this laborious task and says, “Let me show you just how quick and easy it can be to cook dry beans.”

The easiest way to cook dry beans! No soaking required. All done in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, for example).The easiest way to cook dry beans! No soaking required. All done in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, for example).

Okay, the Instant Pot doesn’t actually laugh (it is just an appliance ;)), but it certainly would if it could. In the Instant Pot, or any electric pressure cooker you may choose to use, dry beans are ready to enjoy in under 90 minutes (total). And here’s the best part…soaking isn’t required. So if you’re like me and you just can’t seem to remember to soak the beans the night before, the electric pressure cooker says, “No problem, sweetheart! I’ve got you covered.”

The easiest way to cook dry beans! No soaking required. All done in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, for example).

The easiest way to cook dry beans! No soaking required. All done in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, for example).

How to Cook Dry Beans in the Instant Pot
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How to Cook Dry Beans in the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker Recipe)

The easiest way to cook dry beans. This simple method uses an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) to cook dry beans in under 90 minutes (no soaking required). 

Course How To, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 5 "cans" of beans
Calories 335 kcal
Author Kristin Marr

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried beans black beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas
  • 1/2 white onion or yellow onion, peeled and left intact
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves peeled and left whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt *
  • 8 cups water

Special Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Rinse the beans and pick out any undesirables (stones, etc.)

  2. Add the beans to the Instant Pot.

  3. Add all the ingredients, ending with the water.

  4. Lock the lid on and set the Instant Pot to Manual, High Pressure for 30 minutes (for black beans and pinto beans) or 40 minutes (for chickpeas). The valve on top should be set to Sealed

  5. Once the beans are done cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 30 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure (use a hot pad holder or towel) and opening the lid.

  6. Remove the aromatics (bay leaves, onions, garlic). Drain and rinse the beans, if desired. Or, you can store or serve the beans with some of the liquid. <--This all depends on how you plan to use the beans. If you're storing the beans in the fridge (or freezer), I recommend storing the beans in some of the liquid. 

Recipe Notes

*I usually add 1/2 tablespoon-1 tablespoon of salt. I recommend starting out with 1 teaspoon of salt in the beginning, and then adding more salt after cooking the beans. Once you cook your first batch of beans, you'll have a better understanding about how much salt to add based on your taste preference. 

Do not leave out the oil. It reduces foaming.

The beauty of a pressure cooker is that you don't have to soak the beans in order to achieve soft, creamy, perfectly-cooked beans. If you want to soak the beans first for digestion purposes, then you're more than welcome to do so. If you choose to soak the beans overnight, I would be inclined to cook the beans for 20-25 minutes on high pressure versus going with the full 30 minutes (for black and pinto beans, and reducing the time by 5-10 minutes for chickpeas), and still allow the pressure to naturally release but only for a few minutes (about 15-20 minutes versus the full 30 minutes).  

The easiest way to cook dry beans! No soaking required. All done in an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot, for example).

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #LIVESIMPLYBLOG. I'd love to see what you make!

 

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43 Comments

  • I just got an Instant Pot for Christmas and I’m anxious to try it for ham & beans, so I’m thrilled to see this recipe! My grandma and great-aunt would cook a raw potato with the beans to reduce the digestive issues and throw it away once the beans were cooked–do you think I could include one in this recipe? I usually forget to soak too. Thanks for posting!

    • Awesome, Karin! I think you’re going to love it. That’s so interesting. I’ve never heard of adding a potato. I bet you could do that with this recipe. The only thing is the potato may get really soft under the pressure, so you may have some potato “meat” to pick out of the beans.

  • Hallo Kristin, thank you só much for yet another awesome recipe. I just want to know if it is possible to make this recipe in a Crockpot as well? Thank you xxx

  • I can’t wait! My beans are cooking !!

    I love the prep time! This is how I do did it….. I set my Insta pot to 30 minutes and added 2 cups of water to the cooking pot to start it heating while I clean the beans. I put my steamer /strainer into the sink. As I checked the beans I threw them into the strainer in the sink with the water spraying on them . So the beans in the steamer were cleaned. I just set it into my pot and added the remaining ingredients, put the lid on, close the valve for pressure, turned the Insta pot off and then back on again and I was back to 30 minutes for cooking the full time. Yeah it was so easy!

  • Just used this recipe for my maiden voyage of my brand new instant pot. Can’t wait to try the results. Seemed like a perfect recipe for a first time user. Thanks!

  • This looks wonderful and so easy! I used my pressure cooker for the first time yesterday to cook a whole chicken…..it was great can’t wait to try this recipe for dry beans! Would it work the same if I use mayocoba beans and with a ham hock?

  • For those who prefer a soak, first run the beans through 2-4 minutes of a full pressure cook. Manually release pressure, strain, add new water and then follow the above directions. Works almost as good as an overnight soak, but you do get some bean breakage.

    If you want to do rice with beans, run the “soak” (first cook) about 20 minutes, then release pressure, add new water and rice, then follow above directions but manually release pressure. It gives the soaking effect to beans and stops the rice from becoming discolored from bean residue.

  • Hi! Do you turn off the instant pot once the 30 minutes of cook time is up? Or do you just leave the pot on?

    • Hey Rebekah, Yes, that’s what I would recommend. The long natural release usually does the trick, but if they are still too hard, I would set the pressure again for about 10 minutes. Also, that’s usually a sign that the beans are old (maybe the store doesn’t have a high turn around on those beans, or beans in general, etc.), which isn’t a problem they just always take longer to cook and soften.

  • Just fyi, my beans were what I would call overcooked at 30 minutes in the Instapot. My beans were fairly new, and all I had were pinto beans. They are slightly smaller than red kidney beans. Now that I think about it, that was probably it. But they were delicious! Husband away, and I had it over basmati rice with chopped peanuts. Loved it. Making a scrambled egg wrap with miscellaneous veggies and this recipe. Perfect perfect! Thank you!

  • This is indeed a bit time consuming recipe because of the dry beans but very delicious. I’m glad I tried it. And, yep the images are fantastic. I love the way how you explained the whole recipe using the HD images. Thanks for sharing.

  • Question, if I’m cooking 16 oz pinto beans, soaking around 8 hours, do I still use 8 cups of water? Or is water reduced if presoaked?
    My understanding for presoaked, cook pinto beans 30 minutes on high pressure, then natural release 15-20 minutes?

  • Hi Kristin. Do you let the IP go into the keep warm setting once the cooking time is up or turn it off? Rice sticks to the bottom if the keep warm setting isn’t turned off. I suspect the same happens with beans? Thanks!

  • Great recipie…I chopped the onions as I wanted to leave them in with the beans and I added a heaping spoon of salsa to give it some pizzazz .
    Turned out great
    Thanks

  • Found there was way too much liquid, next time I will cut the fluid in half. I cooked beans with a ham hock, used spicy chicken Thai broth (Campbell’s) for my “water” added pink salt, liquid smoke, curry and chilli powder once the beans were cooked left the onions in, froze in portions and placed in the freezer for lunches. Yummy!

  • Hi first time trying cannelloni beans I cooke them for 20 minutes let
    The pressure come down ,when I opened the insta pot my beans came missy
    And over done what did I do wrong

    • Hey Peggy, I don’t think you did anything wrong. We tested this recipe with black beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas. Cannellini beans should take the same amount of time, but it sounds like this may have been too long for the texture desired. I would reduce the natural release time in the future and do a quick release after about 10 minutes.

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