February 19, 2020

by Alyssa

The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Beans in the Instant Pot

Brought to you in partnership with Bob's Red Mill

How to cook beans in the Instant Pot. The ultimate guide for cooking beans in the pressure cooker, including different types, soaking vs not soaking & more!

Cooking Beans from Scratch

One of the reasons I got my Instant Pot was so that I could start cooking beans from scratch. Even though cooking beans on the stove is actually quite easy, for some reason I just have this mental barrier to it. I have a cupboard full of dried beans that inevitably end up just using the precious space I actually do have in my pantry.

Until I got an Instant Pot!

Now I'm a bean cooking machine and I freaking love it! It's easy, it's fast and I gotta say it's way better all around!

How to Cook Beans From Scratch

What Types of Beans Can You Cook in an Instant Pot?

That's a great question! And the answer is most. There's really only one type of bean I wouldn't bother cooking in the Instant Pot and that's red lentils. Red lentils are super delicate, cook very quickly on the stove already and you'll end up spending more time cooking them in your pressure cooker.

All other beans are fair game!

If you're wondering where to get dried beans, my friends at Bob's Red Mill are always my go-to! Their beans are super high quality and they have an amazing selection to choose from. Just check out the bean section on their site to see what I'm talking about!

Do You Have To Soak Beans?

Do You Have to Soak Beans?

Another good question! And my answer is…it depends.

A lot of people say that soaking your beans beforehand will help make them easier to digest. There are studies that show it does, others that say it doesn't make a difference at all. So I guess my point here is that it depends on your body.

If you find that beans are hard to digest, or that they give you gas/cause bloat, then you should probably soak them. If not, then you might be fine not soaking!

HOWEVER… when it comes to cooking, that's where the real benefit of soaking your beans lies. When you soak your beans, your cooking time is cut by at least 75% (if not more). So if you're in a rush, then for sure soak your beans!

note: If you do soak your beans, soak them overnight! (10 – 12 hours)

Black Beans in the Instant Pot

How Long Does It Take To Cook Beans in the Instant Pot?

When it comes to actually cooking your beans in the instant pot, the time varies by bean type. Chickpeas, for example, can take upwards of 40 minutes to cook, whereas lentils take less than 10.

And then there's the soak factor. If you've soaked your chickpeas, they only take about 10, whereas soaked black beans take about 5. So really…it's bean dependent!

To make it easy for you, I've put together a free printable cooking chart that outlines the various cooking times for 11 of the most common beans (and all beans that Bob's Red Mill sells too!). And we've even included the different times for soaking vs. not soaking!

How to Cook Lentils in the Instant Pot

How to Cook Beans in the Instant Pot

Once you've got your timetable picked out and you know how long your bean is going to take, it's time to get cooking.

All you need to do to cook beans in the instant pot is add them into your pot, followed by 2 – 3x that amount of water. So if you're using 1 cup of dried beans (unsoaked), you'd follow that with about 2 – 3 cups of water.

Basically, you want the beans to be fully submerged or else they won't cook evenly.

From there, just pop on your lid, make sure your vent is sealed, choose your time and TURN OFF the keep warm setting! I've found this to be a really helpful trick to avoid mushy beans as the keep warm setting continues to cook them.

Once your Instant Pot has come to pressure, let it do its thing until the timer runs out. Then let the pressure naturally release – we've also included those times in the free guide – and you're done.

See how simple? It's seriously a game-changer!

How to Make Instant Pot Black Beans

Cooking Times for Beans in the Instant Pot

Now I know not all of you will want to download that guide – even though you should because it's easy to read – so I wanted to include the cooking times or you here. Here are the top 7 most common beans, their cooking times and also a recipe to try!

Adzuki Beans

  • Soaked: 4 – 6 minutes
  • Dry: 15 – 20 minutes
  • How to use them: Adzuki Bean Dip

Black Beans

Cannellini Beans

How to Cook Chickpeas in the Instant Pot

Chickpeas

Kidney Beans

Lentils (green, brown, black)

Pinto Beans

  • Soaked: 6 – 9 minutes
  • Dry: 30 – 35 minutes
  • How to use them: Mexican Pinto Beans from Skinnytaste

Click to Download ‣‣ How To Cook Beans in the Instant Pot Guide

Guide to Cooking Beans in Instant Pot

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. The link for the bean cooking cookbook does not work. Also the type in this section is a VERY light grey,,,, should be fixed I think. Thank you for offering the book and the info on bean cooking,,, I just hope you can get your web page working so you don’t have to e mail same to folks who write of the problem. I wonder how many folks DID NOT write you but wanted the “book” and are potential “lost” followers.!!!!!!!!!

  2. used the link to get a copy of your guide for cooking beans, but it never came. Can you e-mail a copy please. thx

  3. You included that the ratio water to one cup of unsoaked beans is 2-3 cups water. Maybe I missed it but what is the water ratio to soaked beans?

    • Thanks for catching that Liz! 🙂 You will need 2 cups of water for each cup of soaked beans and about 3 cups of water for each cup of unsoaked beans

  4. You mention turning off the keep warm button for beans. I’m not sure if I have an older model of instant pot. But if I turn off keep warm button it cancels the program. Do I wait till cooking time is over and THEN stop keep warm? Sorry, I’m new to all this

    • you might have to experiment with your Instant Pot a bit. IP changes things with every model and we found it necessary to turn off the keep warm button to avoid mushy beans with our model but maybe that isn’t the case with yours 🙂 After your beans are cooked and the IP has depressurized see if your beans need to keep warm a little longer or if you need to continue by turning off the machine.

  5. Hi Aylissa,

    I really like your presentation on your Youtube account. I just purchased the Instant Pot Pro/Air Fryer (not the WiFi) . I’m learning how to prepare healthier meals. I want to do prep work on the weekend and ease into the week of cooking dinner for my family. We don’t eat fast foods, however we eat carbs. I’m 58 and my twin sons are 11… they’re lean and full of energy. During the Pandemic I’ve put on the +19 lbs. I’d really appreciate the Free guide to cooking bean in the Instant Pot.

    I look forward to getting your healthy meal plans. I want to experiment for about a week with basics so I don’t get frustrated.
    Cheers
    Laurie

    • I just sent that guide to you via email! I hope you enjoy your Instant Pot, Laurie and we look forward to seeing more of you in our SQ community 🙂

  6. I just saw your helpful instant pot guide. Excellent. I do not know to to get to your blog. Can you please send me the guide for how long to cook each type of bean please.

  7. Hi….. can you send me the Free Guide to Cooking Beans in the Instant Pot too? I did sign up but did not receive the Guide.
    Thanks!
    Nancy

  8. I haven’t received the Free Guide to Cooking Beans in the Instant Pot despite signing up for it. It hasn’t been emailed to me. Can you help with this? Thanks,
    Yves Poirier

  9. I haven’t received the Free Guide to Cooking Beans in the Instant Pot despite signing up for it. It hasn’t been emailed to me. Can you help with this? Thanks, Judy Bauman

    • Hi Chari. We’ve had a bunch of difficulty with this link so I will let you know if we’re able to fix it in the future. Sorry about that.

  10. Hi Loved you video on beans in the instant pot but one problem.
    I signed up to get the complete bean cooking chart but it never showed up in y email?
    I even tried more than one email and connecting from different countries by VPN.
    Thanks

  11. I have tried 3 time to dwnld the Ultimate Guide to Cooking Beans in the Instant Pot.
    It is not working.
    Thanks
    Toni

    • Hi Toni! Weird! Usually it takes a couple of minutes to show up in your inbox. Maybe check junk or spam messages?

  12. Hi Alyssa! I loved the YouTube video and enjoyed reading this blog post. I am having the same issue that another commenter had. I put in my name and email address for the PDF file, and it indicates that my email address is accepted, then nothing. I tried a couple of different email addresses, so I don’t believe it is a spam filter issue. Please help if you can. Best, Bryan

      • I attempted to send an email and the response I received is below. Would it be possible to simply email me the pdf to the address on this comment?

        Your message wasn’t delivered to [email protected] because the address couldn’t be found, or is unable to receive mail.

        The response was:

        550 5.1.1 The email account that you tried to reach does not exist. Please try double-checking the recipient’s email address for typos or unnecessary spaces.

        • Weird! We’ve notified the team and you should be receiving an email from us shortly! Thanks for letting us know!

          • I wanted to let you know that it has been two weeks and I have not received any email communication from the team regarding the Bean Cooking Guide that we discussed. I can’t imagine I am the only one having these difficulties, and I would have thought it would have been corrected by now.
            Best, Bry

  13. Navy Beans are the go to bean for Boston Baked beans, a staple for many people. They didn’t make your list, which came at the price of one’s email. Great Northern didn’t make the cut either and is a very popular and often found bean at the grocery store. In fact, in my area, those two varieties are often the only beans available for making “sugar beans” or baked beans, Consider adding them to your list. I would imagine pinto is the closest in cooking times, but this will be unknown to a beginner. Otherwise, it’s nice to have a list which considers times both soaked and unsoaked.

  14. I cook beans (all kinds) a lot so I’m looking forward to the faster cook times. I’m wondering, tho, what if I want lots of juice in my beans? We are big into cornbread & beans but there needs to be plenty of juice. How can I cook beans with extra bean juice? Thx for your help!

  15. Tried 3-5 times to download the cooking beans in the instant pot…. not working…. added my name to the email list 5 times… still nothing….

    It tells me im ready to go… then nothing shows up on thepage. Nothing to click on, no indication of where to go to download. It was a complete bust.
    Please fix. Definitely interested in the cooking list. Please email it to me at [email protected]

  16. Hi, I want to make my beans by soaking them overnight and then use the instant pot to cook them. I am having trouble finding how much water to soak the beans in initially. Then when I cook them, how much water to use to cook the soaked beans. Your instructions for the amount of cooking water is for water to dry beans. Any idea how much water to use for soaked beans? I hate to waste a bunch of water.

  17. Hi Alyssa! Thank you so much for your website and videos! Your video on cooking beans was EXCELLENT!
    Plant based instant pot recipes is exactly what I am looking for! I’m looking forward to trying them! Keep up the GREAT job!

  18. Thanks for sharing this info on the dry beans. I am wondering how beans generally freeze once they have been in the instapot? Would you recommend doing that for the extras? Have you found cooked beans that are frozen to “dry” out?

    • I think you can freeze beans! I haven’t personally tested it with beans alone, but whenever I freeze a soup that has beans in it, they’re totally fine! I’d say that if you are reheating and they seem a little dry, just add a splash of water to make them almost “saucy” 🙂

  19. Hey is anyone else having trouble trying to get them guide. Every time I click the link it does nothing. Is this on my end? Thanks!

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