Now that our introduction to the pressure cooker has really sparked your interest in the Instant Pot, we want to go a little bit further and break out the beans. We’ve been sharing more recipes and videos using this handy, silver and black, budget-saving appliance and we hope that this Instant Pot Cooking Guide for Beans will be your next step in creating a better relationship between the two of you.
Why did we choose beans for this cooking guide? There are so many reasons to love beans and we want you to bring more of them into your daily diet. Dr. Greger suggests three, ½ cup servings per day—whatever your level is now, consider adding more. Not only are beans high in fiber, protein, and nutrients, but they’re also very low in fat. And cheap, too!
If you’re ready to visit the Land of Legumes, Beans, and Peas along with your Instant Pot, let’s get started!
Glad you asked! Using a pressure cooker for beans not only saves you hours of cooking and cleaning, but also helps you to prep food ahead of time for easier meal decisions and better health. If you’ve got beans made, you’ll use them. If you don’t, you probably won’t.
If you have dried beans on hand, you just throw them into the instant pot with some water and they’ll be done in less than 2 hours. All you have to clean is the lid and the insert and nothing else. You’ll have a bounty of beans that will last you at least a few days. Even if you add in soaking time, cooking legumes in the pressure cooker instead of on the stovetop (or having to drive and go shopping for pre-packaged, canned beans) is quicker and much less frustrating.
From standard pinto beans to delicate red lentils, whatever your bean or lentil of choice, you can make it in the pressure cooker. Here are a few of our favorites:
We thought we’d make it super easy for you with this hand-painted Instant Pot Bean Cooking Chart to download as a free PDF! This way, you can print it out (in color or black or white) and stick it on your fridge or inside a cabinet door for easy access and a cute reminder to prep your beans during the week. Cool beans!
Make sure to tag us #worldofvegan and @vegan on Instagram with your Instant Pot Bean Cooking Time Table fridge photos! We’d love to see them!
The process sounds more complicated than it really is. Once you make the beans, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t tried making them like this in the first place. Here are simple, step-by-step directions for making your beans:
See? Wasn’t that much easier than you thought it would be?
Absolutely. There’s nothing wrong with having a canned bean backup in your pantry, but homemade beans definitely have the advantage. Here’s why:
There are a couple of ways to think about this. You can either add your dried beans to the pot and pour water over the beans until the water reaches a few inches over the top of the level of the beans. Then, when your beans are done, you can either keep the liquid for storing your beans in later (totally optional) or drain the water from the beans before storing.
Another option is to specifically add the amount of water you wish for a desired effect. For each pound of dried beans, add this much water:
Which way do you think you’ll try with your beans?
It’s better to err on the side of less rather than more when it comes to beans. Because the pot needs room for liquid to boil and beans to grow, you should only fill your pressure cooker halfway at most. To be on the safe side, only add a maximum of 2 pounds of dry beans to your pot.
Pre-packaged dry beans are usually sold in one pound bags, which makes the perfect amount. If you’re able to buy from the bulk bins (yay for less plastic waste!), grab a pound or two for your next bean bake.
There are definitely two separate sides to this question. Some people swear by soaking your beans beforehand, while others say that it simply makes no difference. Either way, the Instant Pot has you covered and gives cooking time for both soaked and unsoaked beans.
If you’re interested in trying the soaking process, here are a few tips that might help:
You can easily add more flavor to your beans! Both before and after cooking. Here are a few of our favorite flavor enhancing suggestions:
Great question! This seems to be a stumbling block when it comes to making recipes when you only have homemade beans on hand. But, not to worry!
Most cans of beans include 1¾ cups of beans and ¼ cup of aquafaba or bean liquid. If a recipe calls for a 15 ounce can of beans, you’ll need a little less than 2 cups cooked beans or, if you haven’t made any beans yet, ½ cup dried.
An approximate ratio is: 2 cups dry = 6 cups cooked
Besides all of the bean recipes we have to share, there are also really quick and simple ways to serve your cooked beans. If you have any other awesome ideas, we’d love to know and add them to the list! Make sure to drop them in the comments below.
Cooked beans can last around 5 days in the refrigerator in a covered container. If you have any leftover cooking liquid from the pressure cooker, feel free to pour it in along with the beans before sealing. It’s not necessary, but it may help to keep your beans from drying out so quickly.
If you have way too many beans and just can’t bear to eat another bite, consider freezing them. Just place them in a freezer safe bag or container and they will keep for up to 3 months. To thaw, simply place in the fridge overnight or on the countertop for a several hours. Reheating is easy – you can either throw them in the microwave for a minute or two, heat them in the oven (perfect when making roasted savory or sweet chickpeas!) for around 10 minutes or give them a quick pan fry over medium heat until desired temperature.
Instant Pot Beans Cooking Guide written by Gina House (aka Gina Beana), Instant Pot Cooking Table for Beans Art by Gina House, and photos by JJ Steele, copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved. Article edited by Amanda Meth. This post is not sponsored—we wish! We just sincerely love this cooking tool and want to share it with the world! Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which helps support our work at World of Vegan.
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Another tip: after soaking the beans (especially kidney beans and soy), you can remove much of the peels (if you want) (the hard digestible part) by squeezing them strongly with the hands for a couple of minutes, then rinse them. Good exercise and they’re good as fertiliser.