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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.
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.
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.)
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.”
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.”
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).
- 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
Rinse the beans and pick out any undesirables (stones, etc.)
Add the beans to the Instant Pot.
Add all the ingredients, ending with the water.
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.
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.
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.
*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).
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #LIVESIMPLYBLOG. I'd love to see what you make!