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How To Make Delicious And Inexpensive Beans In Your Instant Pot

instant pot beans

Up until a couple of years ago, I only ever bought canned beans. Even though I knew it would be cheaper for me to buy dry beans and cook them at home, I could never bring myself to do it. I knew cooking dry beans was relatively simple, but it takes so long that I just didn’t have the time to do it!

But once I got my hands on my first Instant Pot, cooking beans from scratch was definitely something I was looking forward to trying! Not only did my black beans taste delicious, but it only took around a half hour to make them, with no pre-soaking required! I had finally found a way to make beans from scratch in a reasonable amount of time, and today I’ll be showing you how you can do it too! :-)

I also want to mention that all of this information and much, much more is available in my eBook Everything Instant Pot! It’s a great resource for Instant Pot users of every skill level, and I’m sure you’ll find yourself referencing it as often as I do! You can buy it in my shop, or get it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!

Related: This Is The Perfect Time To Try These 7 Useful & Delicious Recipes

Should I Pre-Soak My Beans?

Before we get to the actual cooking of the beans, I wanted to address the question of whether or not you should pre-soak your dry beans. Soaking beans before cooking them does help them cook a bit faster, but I find it unnecessary. Pressure cooking beans is already much faster than traditional cooking methods, so I don’t really feel the need to speed the process up any more than that.

Another reason why some people like to soak their beans before cooking is because they believe it helps eliminate their gas-inducing effects. So regardless of your reasons, if you personally prefer to soak your beans before pressure cooking them, you can find the adjusted cook times for pre-soaked beans near the end of this post. :-)

How To Cook Dry Beans In A Pressure Cooker

Start by putting your desired amount of beans (or legumes) into the inner pot. Then add enough cooking liquid to cover them by about an inch. (You can always cook them in plain water, but I like to use broth or stock. It’s an easy way to add more flavor to your finished beans!)

Add any spices or aromatic ingredients you want to use to the pot, like minced garlic, diced onions, or dry herbs. Then put the lid on the pot, and cook on High pressure for the recommended amount of time (see below for cook times!) Keep in mind that if you are cooking a lot of beans, it may take a while for the pot to come up to full pressure.

Once the timer goes off, allow for 10 minutes of Natural Release, then Quick Release any remaining pressure. You’ll have perfectly cooked beans or legumes that are ready to use however you see fit! :-)

Cook Times For Instant Pot Beans

Below you’ll find two tables with cook times for making beans in your Instant Pot. Use the first table if you’ll be cooking dry beans, and refer to the second table if you’ll be cooking pre-soaked beans.

Cook Times For Dry Beans & Legumes
Black beans 25 minutes
Chickpeas 40 minutes
Great Northern beans 25 minutes
Kidney beans (red) 25 minutes
Kidney beans (white) 35 minutes
Lentils (green or brown) 10 minutes
Lentils (red, split) 6 minutes
Lentils (yellow, split) 20 minutes
Navy beans 25 minutes
Pinto beans 25 minutes
Peas 8 minutes
Cook Times For Pre-Soaked Beans
Black beans 8 minutes
Chickpeas 15 minutes
Great Northern beans 8 minutes
Kidney beans (red) 8 minutes
Kidney beans (white) 12 minutes
Navy beans 8 minutes
Pinto beans 8 minutes

3 Bonus Tips For Instant Pot Beans!

#1 – Don’t Overfill Your Pot

When cooking beans, to avoid filling your pot more than halfway. There are a couple of reasons for this—first, beans expand quite a bit as they cook. And second, they tend to produce quite a bit of foam during cooking. The higher the foam gets, the more likely it is to shoot out of the release valve. So don’t overfill if you want to avoid cleaning up a foamy mess!

#2 – Don’t Quick Release Immediately

Due to the foaming issue I described above, it’s not a good idea to Quick Release right after cooking. That’s why I recommend allowing 10 minutes of Natural Release before using Quick Release, so the foam has time to subside a bit. It’s much less messy that way!

Why Didn't I Think Of That? - Part 4

#3 – Freeze Can-Sized Portions

It’s easy to use your pressure cooker beans in recipes that call for canned beans! Just measure out 15-ounce portions of cooked beans into paper or plastic cups. Place the cups of beans in your freezer until they are frozen solid. Then peel away the cups, and you’ll have perfectly portioned beans that are ready to use in your favorite recipes!

What’s your favorite kind of bean, or favorite bean recipe?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • This has been such a $ saver for our family. I just got a 2 lb bag of dried beans for the same price as 2 cans of cooked beans. one pound of beans = 4 cans. The way prices are creeping up (and in some cases soaring), thank you Jillee for helping us all.

  • Hi Jillee,

    Thank you so much for the times for the Pre-soak. I have IBS and I have to soak mine with a tablespoon of Baking Soda. that is what takes the gas out of the bean. But My question is what is the time for Pre Soaked White Lima bean and Black-eyed peas? We ( my son and I ) have been eating those two for a long time.
    I would greatly appreciate the times for these in the instant pot. Also, does the time change for an instant pot mini duo?

    • Hi Sheri, I soak any beans (doesn’t matter what kind) a minimum of 8 hours. Or just let them soak overnight. Cover the beans with about 2-3 inches of cool water and let them soak at room temperature. If it is warm in the kitchen, then you can put them in the fridge.

      • Hi Jillee,
        How long would I cook the white lima beans and Black-eyed peas in my mini Instant pot duo? I noticed that you have different times on your pre-soak times. Many thanks!

      • Cook lima beans for 14 minutes, or 10 minutes if they’ve been soaked. Cook black-eyed peas 16 minutes, or 6 minutes if they’ve been soaked. :-)

  • I’m from Tennessee, where we make pots of Soup Beans (pinto beans), made with chunks of side meat (pork). I would assume you would just add it with the beans? Would you need to cut the pork into small cubes?

    • I would cut the pork into cubes, and then add a little oil the Instant Pot and press the sauté button. When the Instant Pot is hot, add the meat and brown it for a few minutes, or until browned. Then add the beans and cooking liquid and cook normally. Browning the meat will add a lot of flavor! :-)

  • I’d like to recommend rinsing and examining the beans prior to adding to your pot. Sometimes there are bits of pebbles, dirt or debris in the bags.

  • Ever tried adding a tablespoon of oil to the beans before cooking them? I figure they may be about the same as rice. With rice the directions says to add oil to help with the foaming. Wouldnt that work for beans too?

    • Hi Theresa! I would definitely suggest purchasing my Everything Instant Pot eBook – there’s a link to it in the third paragraph of this post. :-) The eBook has everything you need to know about an Instant Pot, including a page all about beans that you could print out.

      If you’re looking for something free, then try the printable here: https://jillee.co/2LNWOoM It has cooking times for all sorts of foods, not just beans!

  • I was just told to add herbs and spices at the end of cooking. If added at the beginning, they would lose their flavor. Can you explain this? Thanks!

    • With the quick cook time, I don’t think this would be necessary. Even on the stovetop I add mine at the beginning so the flavors incorporate throughout. Parsley might be an exception.

    • If you were making a soup, for example, and added parsley at the beginning of the process – your soup may end up with a subtle flavor of parsley throughout the soup. If, however, you added the parsley right at the end – your soup would have little specks of fresh flavor from the parsley. So I wouldn’t say that they “lose” they flavor, it’s just that the flavor gets dispersed throughout the dish, making it a more subtle flavor that’s harder to notice. :-)

      While this is a general rule-of-thumb for more delicate herbs like parsley and cilantro, I would never add hearty spices like red pepper flakes or nutmeg at the end of cooking – they actually need to be cooked and have their flavor disperse throughout the dish.

      When it comes down to it, it’s really up to you! Add a little at the beginning and a little at the end, and adjust from there :-)

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