By Kansas Living on July 26, 2021

How to Cook Dried Beans in Your Instant Pot

No Pre-Soaking or Planning Ahead Required

Here’s the fastest, easiest way to cook dried beans with total success using your 6-quart electric pressure cooker. 

How to Make Instant Pot Beans 

  • Sort through the dried beans making sure there are no broken, shriveled beans and no stones or debris. 
  • Using the sauté setting on a 6-quart Instant Pot, bring 8 cups of water or broth to a boil. 
  • Add the sorted, dried beans to the boiling liquid, giving them a quick stir.
  • Lock the Instant Pot lid into place, choosing the high-pressure setting. 
  • Set the Instant Pot timer for the directed time, depending on the type of beans you are cooking, bringing the Instant Pot to full pressure. *See cooking times below for various bean varieties. 
  • When the Instant Pot timer sounds, be sure to perform a natural release, which means you allow the pressure in the pot to come down on its own, naturally. 
  • When all the pressure has naturally released itself from the Instant Pot (which typically takes about 20 minutes when cooking 1 lb. of beans), unlock the lid and give the beans a gentle stir. Drain any excess cooking liquid, then season the beans with salt and pepper. 
  • Store the beans in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. Beans can be stored in a bit of the cooking liquid, if preferred, to keep them moist, tender and flavorful. 

Instant Pot Cooking Times for Beans 

*All cooking times noted below are for unsoaked beans cooked in an electric pressure cooker under high pressure with a natural pressure release following.

  • Black beans - 30 minutes 
  • Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) - 40 minutes 
  • Black Eyed Peas - 17 minutes 
  • Kidney beans - 35 minutes
  • Pinto beans - 25 minutes 
  • Cranberry beans - 25 minutes 
  • Great Northern beans - 35 minutes 
  • Navy beans - 25 minutes 

Tips for Cooking and Using Instant Pot Beans 

Yay! Cooking dried beans in an electric pressure cooker means you no longer have to plan ahead since there’s no pre-soaking required. 

Beans typically have very little flavor, especially if they are cooked in water. This is actually good since the beans will then take on the flavors of the ingredients incorporated in your dish. 

You can be creative with beans, adding them to various dishes to increase fiber and protein. Stir them into salads, pastas, quesadillas, rice, soups, curries and stews - the sky is the limit! 

One pound of dried beans makes about 6 cups of cooked beans or 10 servings. 

Never fill the Instant Pot more than half full with dried beans and the cooking liquid. 

When cooking dried beans in the Instant Pot (or any brand of electric pressure cooker) the bean to liquid ratio is typically 1 part beans to 3 parts water. As a good rule of thumb, I try to make sure the dried beans in my Instant Pot are covered by broth that comes one inch above the beans. 

Cooked beans are fantastic for stretching a food budget. Adding beans to cooked ground meats and vegetables helps make multiple meals. Consider adding beans to sloppy joes, enchilada filling, taco meat, skillet meals and casseroles. 

Freezing cooked beans in 2-3 cup portions is helpful since this is what an average recipe calls for. 

Don’t forget to make your own bean dips! Refried bean dip and hummus are both delicious appetizers and nutritious snacks. 

Substitute freshly cooked beans in any recipe that calls for canned beans. 

Dried beans triple in quantity as they cook. If your recipe calls for 3 cups of cooked beans, you’ll need to cook 1 cup of dried beans. I find it easier to cook dried beans by the pound since this is how they are usually packaged, freezing the leftovers for later.

When adding frozen cooked beans to soups and stews, there’s no need to thaw them. Stir the beans in frozen, letting the simmering liquids quickly defrost them.