Sometimes we feel like pressure cookers were invented just so we can have perfectly tender and creamy beans almost immediately. While your Instant Pot is terrific for doing a myriad of things in minutes, they really do excel at beans. Honestly, think of how many recipes you could whip up if you didn’t have to wait 12 hours for your dried beans to come back to life.–Meg Dow
*Can I quick soak beans in my Instant Pot?
If you have the time, you should soak your beans overnight—you’ll end up with creamier beans that don’t split as easily. But sometimes you need beans immediately, no questions asked. The beauty and convenience of an Instant Pot is that you can closely mimic the results of an overnight soak in about 1 minute. Refer to your instruction manual for specifics and remember to account for this time in your final cook time.
Instant Pot Beans
- Instant Pot or pressure cooker
- 2 cups dry Anasazi or pinto beans, picked over and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) unsalted butter
- 1 cup white or yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups store-bought or homemade low sodium chicken or low sodium beef stock
- 1 tablespoon diced jalapeño
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Soak the beans in 4 cups (946 ml) of water for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain the beans once soaked.
- Set the Instant Pot or pressure cooker to sauté mode. Add the butter, onion, and garlic. Sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the stock, jalapeño, bay leaf, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and the drained beans.
- Secure the lid and turn the valve to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Manually release the pressure by carefully moving the valve to venting. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This recipe for Instant Pot beans results in a very tasty, mildly spicy, pot of beans. I made them in my Instant Pot, and it’s a very easy recipe to follow. The sauté function on my Instant Pot tends to get quite hot so I added the garlic about halfway through the onion cooking time to prevent it from getting burned. The result for us was a great side dish to accompany some grilled flank steak and rice as a dinner.
This recipe yielded perfectly cooked creamy beans with lots of character. They were garlic-y, spicy, and had an earthy undertone. Use Mexican oregano if you can find it.
Although I loved the overall flavor, I found the beans too salty, so next time I will add just 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Using a pressure cooker opens up many possibilities for weeknight dinners, including these Instant Pot beans. In my kitchen, once I closed the lid of my Instant Pot, I got rice started. In 30 minutes rice and beans were on the dinner table.
These were some good beans. Really good. I’m still getting used to my Instant Pot and had no trouble with this recipe. I will be putting these into the rotation as a reliable IP dish. I used pintos because I don’t currently have any Anasazi beans in my pantry, but I look forward to preparing some this way.
The timing was just right to get the Instant Pot beans firm but tender. Three minutes sautéing was the right amount of time to soften the onions, and the 30 minutes under pressure completed the task.
The pot liquor is delicious. There is not a huge amount of it but enough to bathe the beans. The photo appears to show the beans in a soup bowl with a fair amount of liquid. Ours were served on a plate and were moist but not immersed in liquid.
We had these alongside some skin-on bone-in chicken thighs I’d coated in chili crisp and convection roasted, baked sweet potatoes, a warm cabbage and bacon salad over arugula from a Mark Bittman recipe, and bread. They were especially excellent up against the chicken and sweet potato.
I looked forward to testing this recipe since I am still experimenting with cooking in the Instant Pot. I am delighted to say that this recipe not only worked but resulted in totally delicious Instant Pot beans.
We all went back for seconds—including my usually “not a bean fan” kids. These are different from the beans with a red chile type flavor that we usually get in Mexican restaurants in the Midwest. The beans are soft and creamy with a soupy broth and subtle Mexican flavors of onion, garlic, and oregano.
I was surprised the recipe calls for both fresh garlic and garlic salt. I suggest using fresh ingredients (2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic) and omitting the garlic salt. Then adjust the amount of kosher salt you add based on the saltiness of your broth. I used Mexican oregano in place of Mediterranean bringing a hint of lemon and a bit more spiciness to the bean pot that we really loved. The small amount of jalapeño was almost undetectable so if you like some pepper heat just dice up and add that whole jalapeño.
We served the beans in a bowl with homemade beef burritos smothered in a red enchilada sauce and a couple of cold Dos Equis beers.
These Instant Pot beans were flavorful and a great alternative to baked beans with a burger or in place of refried beans with Mexican food. I used pinto beans that I soaked overnight and most of the next day. I don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker so I prepared them on my stove.
I followed the directions using my homemade chicken stock. I simmered all the ingredients for 2 hours until almost all of the liquid was absorbed and the beans were perfectly tender. The beans were savory with just a bit of spiciness. If you like things with more of a kick you might want to add more jalapeño or a bit of cayenne.
I served it with turkey burgers (I used the leftover chili adobo cream from the wild salmon taco recipe on the burgers, delicious!) and a green salad. This recipe makes a lot and the beans were just as good at room temperature so I’ll be making them again when cook-out season returns.
Just enough heat, enough salt, enough spiced nuance. Some might say enough umami, but I’m still not really sure what that means. Just yum. As the beans slowly cooked in my slow cooker, on high for 4 hours, the aromas were just wonderful, and reflected the potential goodness of things to come. It was amazing how fragrant the combination of just a few essential ingredients could be.
The timing was perfect for a slightly al dente finish. This preparation came together easily, could certainly stand alone as a starter, a lunch main, a lovely side dish or base for a grilled protein. In a future preparation, I may go hog wild and add some diced carrots, maybe a bit of celery, or leftover greens from last night’s dinner.
This could easily be a vegan dish, with vegetable broth for the stock and oil for the butter. All in all, pretty terrific served with a green salad and some sourdough bread. I drizzled with some good quality olive oil just before service.