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

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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
4.94 from 31 votes

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
Keyword Dry Beans, Instant Pot
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


  • 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:


  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 Video

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

More from Kristin Marr
Instant Pot Mushroom Barley Vegetable Soup (Vegan, Pressure Cooker Recipe)
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn...
Read More
Join the Conversation


  1. says: Karin

    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!

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      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.

      1. says: Debra

        5 stars
        I sautéd a small pack of cured bacon in the pot before pressure cooking the pinto beans. They are cooking now and smell delicious. I can’t wait.

  2. says: Heloise Raaths

    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

  3. says: Jerry

    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!

  4. says: Raul

    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!

  5. says: Cj

    This looks wonderful and so easy! I used my pressure cooker for the first time yesterday to cook a whole chicken… 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?

  6. says: Jake

    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.

    1. says: pamela

      Hi Jake,
      Do you get less bean breakage with a short soak and then the cook? My understanding about the soaking (other than digestion ) was to create less breakage. Does your method of the short cook result in less bean breakage than just cooking the dry beans in the instant pot?
      Thank you!

    2. says: Toni

      I do the same. I pressure cook the peas/beans for 5 min., QR and drain and rinse the peas/beans and then pressure cook for the 25 minutes. This method gets the gas bubbles out like rinsing canned peas/beans.

      1. says: Rich dow

        To speed up the heating up process in the instant pot you might try the following. While preparing your ingredients set the Instant pot, to saute, with the lid off. You might want some fluid because it will heat quite quickly. Then when the ingredients are all In, turn the instant pot off and back on to your regular cooking settings.

  7. says: Susana Martin

    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?

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      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.

      1. says: N Allen

        Hi Kristin
        I’m a chef-educator and live in an area with hard well water. I add a tablespoon pink salt to each pound dry beans when I cook or soak them. This softens them wonderfully. If I use the salt for soaking it decreases the cooking time. Check it out.

  8. says: Alene

    5 stars
    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!

  9. 5 stars
    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.

  10. says: Tina

    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?

  11. says: Courtney

    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!

    1. says: Audra

      5 stars
      I doubled the beans and everything else, but put in only 12cups of water, as that’s where I hit the halfway mark on my 8qt IP. I also increased the cook time to 40 minutes (I like a softer, creamier type pinto bean). The beans came out perfect and there was PLENTY of liquid still in the pot.

  12. says: Denise

    5 stars
    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

  13. says: Kelly

    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!

  14. says: Peggy

    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

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      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.

  15. says: Cindy

    Tried pressure cooking on the insta-pot to cook beans for a bean soup. I measured 1/2 cup each of Black, red kidney, pinto, and garbanzo beans I set the timer for 40 minutes (I like soft beans). While they were cooking I went shopping for soup ingredients. By the time I returned they had been kept warm for 40 minutes and all of the steam had been released naturally. After separating the beans from the liquid, I prepared the soup. When it came time to add the beans and 1 cup of the liquid, the beans were perfectly cooked, drained, cooled and ready to be added to the end of the soup cooking time. Best bean soup I have made so far….it far outweighed any canned beans. Thanks for this recipe 🙂

  16. says: Dane

    I have a 14 quart instapot and wonder if your instructions still apply if you want to cook 2 or 3 lbs of beans? When I make chili or Navy Bean Soup, I like to make a large batch and freeze it for later.
    The recipe I have for the Navy Bean Soup instructions include adding the dry beans after you sauté the vegetables and then cook, but it does not address any larger quantity than 24oz of dry beans.
    I plan on cooking 3 lbs of beans and need to know if they will take longer due to the volume.
    If you have a recipe for Navy Bean Soup, I would also appreciate a link to the recipe!
    Thank you in advance for your assistance!

  17. says: I. R. Moyer

    Hi, just got my Instant Pot a few days ago. Trying the hardest beans to cook first that I don’t mind over-cooking…soybeans. I usually have to soak them for two days, then cook for 4 hours. Bought the Ultra as it has a setting to be able to change cooking times according to altitude (I’m at almost 4000 ft). I’m setting the time for an hour. If it goes well, then it will have been worth the price for this Pot. The only settings that I really wanted was the pressure cooking part, the sterilizer, and the yogurt maker. I am, however, really curious about the cake setting. Can’t wait to try that one.

  18. says: Teena

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh! These are sooo good! I followed the recipe exactly except I used a 15 bean mix since that’s what I had. I cooked them for 35 minutes & they were delicious. I will definitely make these again. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. says: Karen Reed

    I made beans the other day and soaked over night only because that’s what I always do. I added onion, 1/3 cup of molasses, 1 Tble. brown sugar, salt and pepper, salt pork and 1/4 tsp. dry mustard. covered with about two inches of water. I used two lb. bag of yellow eye beans. They were as good as those I bake in a slow oven.

  20. says: Kelley Terrazas

    5 stars
    Just started using my instant pot. I love cooking in it. Cooking pinto beans with home made jalapeno venison sausage tonight. Quick and easy is what I’m about. Thanks for all your recipe ideas.

  21. says: FATISHA WRIGHT

    So happy I found your site. New to Instapot and wanted to make Smoked Turkey (tails) & Baby lima beans SOUP form. Can you please advise. Thanks

  22. says: Nanette

    I tried this. It worked like a charm. Tender beans in an hour! (30 min cook, 30 min cool). I chopped the onion and garlic and it worked well. There is a lot of juice left over so maybe a little less water would work too? Amazing that dried, black beans could cook so quickly.

  23. says: Becky

    Excited to try this. Just retired and my sister-in-law gave me one as a retirement gift! Trying today for first time, with red beans, that, yes, I soaked over night as I always do. Will try it next time without soaking, cause that would be awesome. We eat beans about twice a month, and this will be amazing if it turns out great. My husband is a skeptic and does love his beans, so would be tickled to prove him wrong. LOL

  24. says: Nancy C

    Making these today! Salt has an asterisk * after it in the ingredients and I cannot find what it’s there for!!! Help please!

    1. says: Chardea Singer

      Hi Nancy! Salt is always up to the one making the dish! So it’s there to let you know how much Kristin uses but you can use more or less. 🙂

  25. says: Nancy C

    5 stars
    Oh! That makes sense! But whenever I see an asterisk, I look for an added note. I did add the salt, even though I’ve heard it toughens the beans. These were NOT tough! In fact, best beans I’ve made so far, being a fairly new “bean cooker”! ?

    A while back I read an article, (can’t remember who it was by,) which claimed the utensils that come with the Instant Pot are made to also lift the pot out. DO NOT DO THAT. I SPEAK FROM HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE. ?

  26. says: Ruth Engelthaler

    Has anyone else heard the advise never to salt the beans until they are soft? I have a number of Mexican friends and they all swear that salting the beans before they are soft prevents them from getting soft and you are more likely to get unsoftened beans. I especially noticed this when slow cooking but never knew if it was because my crock pot didn’t get hot enough or not. I am hoping the IP will give me better consistency with the beans. No one likes half cooked beans.

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Ruth, Since the Instant Pot cooks the beans super fast, the rule is kind of “thrown out the window.” I’ve had issues with salting beans when soaking or using the slow cooker, but not with the Instant Pot.

    2. says: Kate

      Cooks Illustrated actually suggests soaking dry beans in a brine before cooking, and it’s supposed to result in nice soft beans and more even cooking. I found the article on the thekitchn website if you want to google it and learn the science behind the recommendation.

      1. says: Kristin Marr

        Hey Kate, I would suggest that, but you really don’t need to do it with the Instant Pot. That’s the beauty of using a pressure cooker. But for the slow-cooker or stove-top, that method can be awesome.

  27. says: Laura D

    5 stars
    I just used this recipe to make pinto beans in my IP for the first time and they turned our perfectly! They were the same consistency as canned beans but had a lot more flavor! I’ll be using this to make black beans later this week!

  28. says: Kate

    5 stars
    Thanks. This is very helpful, since the Instant Pot booklet gives no instructions for cooking dry beans – just cooking times. It should be noted that if you are someone who is concerned with reducing your energy use, soaking reduces the cooking time by at least half. For example, soaked cannellini beans only require 6 – 9 minutes vs. 25 – 30 minutes of cooking, so as little as about 1/4 of the energy use. I, on the other hand, forgot to soak but will try to get my act together for next time 😉

  29. says: Jen

    Hi! I will probably have an answer to this (by trial) before you respond but still curious as I couldn’t find anything out there on it…
    Why not just cook the beans IN the mesh strainer insert? That way I can pull out the beans, straining themselves and not remove the inner liner to dump out?

    I’m trying it that way right now so we’ll see! (I’m making hummus so I need to reserve some liquid anyway so thought this would mean one or two less dishes!)

  30. says: Jen

    It went well! Yes, I bought a recommended off brand mesh basket strainer for my IP (it’s also great for stock and hard-boiled eggs!)
    I meant to take a photo but then just started making my hummus… much easier clean up, used less bowls, and none of the beans stuck to the mesh insert (which was my fear). Just pulled it out, put them in a bowl and made the hummus from there!

    I am sure it would work for other beans as well 🙂

  31. says: Rick Clayton

    Hi Kristin,
    I love cooking and like the science behind it to help in developing other recipes. Just bought my 1st IP (8qt). My Mother made the best southern bean soup from dried beans. She used baking soda or powder during one of the processes for the internal issues. Anyway I could never cook the dried beans properly even after soaking for days it seemed, or cooking for hours so I am hoping that this recipe will do the trick. Question though, I am going to start preserving some of my finished products once perfected and was wondering how I would preserve these beans. I am hoping that vacuum mason jars work. By the way I have the recipe for the bean soup and tastes like my moms using canned beans however not the same ingredients.

    Thank Very Much
    Rick C.

    1. says: Chardea Singer

      Hi Rick,

      Kristin hasn’t tried preserving food. So unfortunately she won’t be able to help you with this question.

      Best of luck!

      LS Team.

    2. says: Kay

      You can home-can cooked beans by pressure canning them in a pressure CANNER, not your instant pot. Get yourself a good home canning book though because the pressure differs based on your kitchen’s elevation above sea level.

  32. says: Phyllis

    Can I soak and cook a pound of beans in a 3-quart. Instapot? I’m asking before I buy, but I’m leaning toward that size because of a lack of counter and cabinet space. Thanks so much. O

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Hey Phyllis, I don’t have any experience with the 3qt. I’m guessing you can, but the amount will differ. Keep in mind, nearly all recipes online and in cookbooks are written for the 6-quart model so may have to adjust recipes.

  33. says: Ronda

    5 stars
    I always bought canned. WOW. Had to try and you’re right, they are easy. The first time I made them, I added a few extra minutes so they would be easy to mush into refried like beans. Thanks!

  34. says: Ford

    5 stars
    Can I soak and cook a pound of beans in a 3-quart. Instapot? I’m asking before I buy, but I’m leaning toward that size because of a lack of counter and cabinet space. Thanks so much. O

    1. says: Chardea Singer

      I don’t have any experience with the 3 quart but it should work. You may just need to decrease the amount of beans due to the size of the pot.

      LS Team

  35. says: Samantha

    5 stars
    I didn’t know it would be so simple and quick to cook beans in an instant pot. They were alsways such a chore in the past so I started buying can but I would like to go back to fresh again. Thanks for the tips!

  36. says: Chelle Thompson

    5 stars
    This is the very best time table guide and method I have found for cooking dry beans in an instant pot! Thanks for all your work experimenting and publishing!

  37. says: Becky

    5 stars
    Tried a pot of black soy beans today. They are not the same as black beans. Found out the water to beans ratio was way off. Apparently black soy beans don’t absorb as much! Other than an excess of liquid, they came out great. Thanks!

  38. says: Tiffany

    The bacon grease works great and adds some extra rich flavor. I used about 2 lbs. of beans (1 lb. of pintos and a half lb. each of red and black beans that I had left over) and I filled the IP to about 2/3. It did not overflow the IP but it did take FOREVER to NR so I just released the last of the pressure after an hour and a half :O I used two small cans of beef broth in place of some of the water and that adds even more flavor. I was skeptical of not chopping the onion smaller, but I found out why the recipe didn’t call for it, because it pretty much disintegrated. I also added a lb. of pre-diced ham and it also largely disintegrated but added TONS of flavor. I cooked them on high pressure for 40 minutes but I still would have preferred them softer so next time I’ll cook them for 50 minutes. Next time I probably won’t mix bean types because of the difference in cooking times (it was the pintos that weren’t quite done). I made them on a dreary, rainy day and they were DELICIOUS! Great comfort food.

    1. says: Elizabeth

      Homemade cornbread to go with them. They are so much better than canned. You know everything in them. Maybe not as convenient, but if you know you are going to need them you can still make them ahead.

  39. says: Greg

    I have a bit of difficulty with recipes expressed in only pounds. We don’t have a scale in our kitchen, but we do have a measuring cup — something I think is the case in many kitchens. Some extra googling gives a ratio of about 3 cups of beans per pound, so that’s what I went with. They are cooling now, and we’ll see how they come out of the Instant Pot. But a cup equivalent in the ingredients would be welcome!

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.