One of the easiest and best foods you can cook in the Instant Pot is beans: tender and perfect every time! Here’s how to make easy, no-soaking required Instant Pot dry beans. Use whatever beans you have on hand: black beans, pinto beans, white beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lima beans. This step-by-step recipe will give you the very best results with minimal effort.

How to Make Instant Pot Dry Beans
Black beans made in the Instant Pot! Perfectly tender every time.
  • Dry beans are cheap, costing just $2-3 per 1 pound bag.
  • They’re easy to find in any grocery store; no speciality store needed to find this nutritious food.
  • A fantastic plant-based protein option with complex carbs and fiber (keeping you full for longer).
  • A fantastic meal prep food. Make a batch of beans on the weekend and use them to make a variety of nourishing, inexpensive meals throughout the week.
  • Beans are super easy to make, particularly in the Instant Pot or slow cooker (how to make crock-pot dry beans).
  • Home-cooked beans taste so much better than most store-bought beans. Trust me, there’s a huge difference!

Ingredients Needed to Make Instant Pot Beans

  • Instant Pot Pressure Cooker (6 or 8 Quart)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 pound dried beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion
  • salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups water

What kind of dry beans can you cook and for how long?

With this recipe, you can make a variety of different dry beans in your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. The type of bean will determine the cooking time. Here are the best varieties to cook and the appropriate cooking times for each bean type.

BEAN COOKING TIMES

  • Black Beans: Cook for 30 minutes
  • Pinto Beans: Cook for 30 minutes
  • Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas): Cook for 40 minutes
  • Kidney Beans: Cook for 35 minutes
  • Navy Beans: Cook for 25 minutes
  • Great Northern Beans: Cook for 25 minutes
  • Lima Beans: Cook for 25 minutes
  • Black Eyed Peas: Cook for 15 minutes, with a 15 minute natural release (then manually release remaining pressure)
Different types of beans: black beans, chickpeas, and pinto beans on a counter next to an Instant Pot.
Make a variety of different beans in the Instant Pot, just adjust the cooking time according to your choice.

How Many Pounds of Beans Should You Cook?

I recommend cooking 1 lb of dried beans in the Instant Pot, particularly if you have a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot. The problem with cooking more beans is that you’ll likely go over the fill line within the pot liner, which can cause the pressure cooker to overflow and fail.


DRY TO COOKED BEAN RATIOS

  • 1 pound of dried beans = 2-3 cups of dried beans
  • 2 cups dried beans = 6-7 cups cooked beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked beans = 1 -15 ounce can of beans

Step by Step Instructions

Rinsing off dry black beans off in a colander at the sink with running water.
Always rinse off the beans first, under fresh water in a colander. And pick out any undesirables: stones, etc.

Step 1: Rinse Beans

Rinse the beans of choice under fresh water (such as: black beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, lima beans, etc.) and pick out any undesirables (stones, etc.). To do this easily, place the dry beans in a colander and rinse with cold water, running your hands through the beans to find any stones, etc.

Pouring dried black beans from the colander into an Instant Pot.
No need to soak the beans first. Simply rinse and add to the Instant Pot.

Step 2: Add Beans to the Instant Pot

Add the dry beans to the Instant Pot. I use a 6 quart Instant Pot (like this). An 8 quart Instant Pot also works well for cooking dried beans as you’ll need room for both the water and beans and don’t want to go over the fill line.

Step 3: Add Water and Seasonings

Add the white or yellow onion (keep the halved onion intact, no need to chop), bay leaves, garlic cloves, olive oil (prevents foam from forming at the top), salt (I use 1 tablespoon for 8 cups water and 1 lb of beans, but this will be based on your taste). 

A finger pressing the pressure cook setting on the front of the Instant Pot.
Cook according to the bean type. Then use a natural release, allowing the pressure to release naturally from the pot.

Step 4: Cook for 15-40 Minutes Depending on Type of Bean

Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and set the Instant Pot to Manual, High Pressure for the designated time according the bean used (see below for specific cooking times, anywhere from 15-40 minutes depending on the type of bean). The valve on top should be set to Sealed

Cooking Time Note: 

The Instant Pot does take some time to come to pressure and begin pressure cooking. Once the warm up is complete, the timer on the pot will begin counting down based on the set cooking time. Warm up can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

If the water added is super cold, it may take longer for pressure to build so adding warm water can speed this up, allowing the Instant Pot to reach pressure faster.

Opening the lid of the Instant Pot after cooking the beans.
Allow the pressure to naturally release from the pot on its own. This will give you the best results!

Step 5: Let Pressure Release Naturally

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. If you’re short on time, you can do a 15 minute natural pressure release, then a quick release. But the best results are always with a longer natural release.

How to Use a Natural Pressure Release

With a quick release, you’ll release pressure from the Instant Pot valve, moving the valve on top of the Instant Pot from sealed to open, after the cooking time is complete. With a natural release, you’ll allow the pressure to naturally release from the Instant Pot. For beans, I recommend always using a natural release, unless stated (like with the black eyed peas) to keep the beans soft and intact. If you’re new to using an Instant Pot, see my 16 must-know Instant Pot tips here.

Bowl filled with black beans after cooking in the Instant Pot.
Look at those soft, tender beans! Ready to be used in so many different ways.

Step 6: Remove Aromatics and Enjoy

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.  

How to Store

Cooked beans are a great food to meal prep in advance and use throughout the week to make easy meals: on salads, to make tacos or burrito bowls, or add to soup.

Store a batch of beans in the fridge or freezer, in an airtight container. Store the cooked beans in some of the cooking liquid. This will keep the beans moist and fresh for longer.

Black bean soup cooked using dried black beans in the Instant Pot in gray bowls with cilantro and green onions on top.
Add different spices, veggies, or broth to season the beans before cooking. This is a delicious Instant Pot black bean soup.

Seasoning and Flavor Ideas

The best part about making beans at home, from-scratch, is that you can flavor them to your liking! I usually stick with just the basics: onion, bay leaf, garlic, and salt. If you’re in a pinch, you could even just do salt and beans (and water). Avoid acidic ingredients as they prolong the cooking time: lemon, vinegar, etc. Here are a few ideas for flavoring a pot of beans…

  • Use Broth: Instead of water, use broth! Like chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Add Salt: This is a given, but please add salt! I know some folks suggest that adding salt to the beans while they cook will prevent them from breaking down, but with the Instant Pot I haven’t found this to be true. Salt adds so much flavor.
  • Add Veggies: For black beans or pinto beans, adding some chopped carrots, celery, peppers, onion, and garlic will give you delicious beans that you can eat straight from the Instant Pot. I add veggies and spices to make Instant Pot black soup with dried black beans.
  • Add Spices: For black or pinto beans, I love to add cumin, chili powder, and (after cooking) fresh cilantro (lots of fresh cilantro). This is great for beans you’ll enjoy in tacos, burritos, etc.

Avoid Hard Beans With These Tips

  • Use a Natural Pressure Release: By using the cook times recommended in this recipe and a natural pressure release after the cooking time is done, you should easily avoid dreaded hard beans.
  • Use Fresh Beans: Another reason people end up with hard cooked beans is because their dry beans are too old. Buy the freshest dry beans possible, and don’t store them for years upon years in your pantry. Doing so will help you achieve perfectly tender beans every time.

7 Can’t-Miss Tips For Making Perfect Beans Every Time

  • You don’t need to pre-soak beans when cooking beans in the Instant Pot.
  • If you want to pre-soak your beans (for 8-12 hours) before cooking, decrease the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.
  • Never overfill your Instant Pot. Check the fill line inside your Instant Pot to make sure you don’t go over this line.
  • Store beans in the cooking liquid. Drain the liquid from the beans, using a colander, before cooking with or serving.
  • 1 pound of dried beans = 2-3 cups of dried beans, 2 cups dried beans = 6-7 cups cooked beans, 1 1/2 cups cooked beans = 1 -15 ounce can of beans
  • It’s best to let the Instant Pot naturally release in pressure before opening the lid. If you must perform a quick release, wait for 15 minutes, allowing some pressure to naturally release. Then perform a quick release with the remaining pressure.
  • Use Instant Pot beans in your favorite recipes, store in the fridge, or freeze for later.
How to Make Instant Pot Dry Beans
4.85 from 33 votes

Easy Instant Pot Dry Beans (No Soak, Any Variety)

The easiest and best 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). Use any variety of beans. See the notes for cooking times for each bean type.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Natural Pressure Release30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course How To, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1 pound beans (5 “cans” worth of cooked beans)
Calories 335 kcal
Cost: $5

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried beans any variety: black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, etc.
  • 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

  • Rinse the beans in a colander under fresh water, and pick out any undesirables (stones, etc.)
    Rinsing off dry black beans off in a colander at the sink with running water.
  • Add the beans to the Instant Pot.
    Pouring dried black beans from the colander into an Instant Pot.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients: onion, oil, garlic cloves, bay leaves, salt, and water. If you want to add any other seasonings (spices) or chopped veggies (carrots, celery) now is the time to do this.
    Pouring water from a clear glass measuring cup into an Instant Pot.
  • 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). See cooking times in the notes below for other types. The valve on top should be set to Sealed
    A finger pressing the pressure cook setting on the front of the Instant Pot.
  • 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.
    Opening the lid of the Instant Pot after cooking the beans.
  • Remove the aromatics (bay leaves, onions, garlic). Drain and rinse the beans, if desired. Or, store or serve the beans with some of the liquid. If you're storing the beans in the fridge (or freezer), I recommend storing the beans in some of the liquid to keep them fresh. 
    How to Make Instant Pot Dry Beans

Video

Notes

Bean Cooking Times:
  • Black Beans: Cook for 30 minutes
  • Pinto Beans: Cook for 30 minutes
  • Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas): Cook for 40 minutes
  • Kidney Beans: Cook for 35 minutes
  • Navy Beans: Cook for 25 minutes
  • Great Northern Beans: Cook for 25 minutes
  • Lima Beans: Cook for 25 minutes
  • Black Eyed Peas: Cook for 15 minutes, with a 15 minute natural release (then manually release remaining pressure)
For beans, I recommend always using a natural release, unless stated (like with the black eyed peas) to keep the beans soft and intact.
How to determine the amount of water in the Instant Pot when cooking beans…
  • Use 8 cups of water per 1 lb of beans if you plan to use the beans in recipes like soups, casseroles, or stuffed peppers; not on their own and plan to store them in the fridge or freezer.
  • Use 6 cups of water per 1 lb of beans if you plan to use the beans on their own (like burrito bowls or refried beans) and want the beans to take on more of the seasonings you add. Less water means the juice will be thicker, starchier, and more flavorful and the beans will be as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 20gFat: 3gSodium: 496mgPotassium: 1248mgFiber: 13gSugar: 2gVitamin C: 4.9mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 6.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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10 Ways to Use Home-Cooked Beans

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155 Comments

  1. 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!

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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. 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

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