The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Beans in the Instant Pot
February 19, 2019

by Alyssa Rimmer

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. 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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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” 🙂

  4. 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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