Pressure Cooking dried beans

Using your Instant Pot makes cooking nutritious and economical dried beans and legumes a snap.

Cooking dried beans with a Pressure Cooker

When it comes to cooking dried beans, nothing beats a pressure cooker – it reduces your cooking time from an hour or more to mere minutes.  We love our Instant Pots – yes we have 3 – for this reason (and many others too).
While a lot of recipes say there is no difference in flavour or quality if you use canned beans, I personally prefer the flavour and texture of beans cooked from scratch.  Aside from that, you don't need to store all those cans in your pantry. Dried beans are cheap, take up little space and have a very long shelf life.  You can keep a stock of different kinds and cook them as needed.
This recipe is for 1/2 cup dry and makes about 2 cups cooked.  Just change the proportions as you need.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Instant Pot
Keyword beans, dried beans
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Soak time 10 hours
Total Time 15 minutes



  • 1/2 cup dried beans chick peas, kidney beans, pigeon peas, black beans, etc.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp salt for soaking

Pressure cooking

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt for cooking



  • Soak the beans overnight in salted water (use roughly 1.5 tbsp to 3 cups water).  Don’t worry too much about the soaking time, I find as little as 4 hours is okay. 

Pressure cooking

  • When you’re ready to cook, drain the water and rinse the beans. Soaking makes them expand to about twice the original volume.
    beans after soaking overnight
  • Place beans in your Instant Pot.  Add 3 cups of water and the 2 tsp salt.
  • Set to high pressure and select cooking time
  • Lookup the pressure cooking time for whatever variety of beans you're making. The Instant Pot recipe book includes a handy guide or you can look up the timing online. The cooking time for different types vary widely, so this is important. For chick peas I've soaked overnight, I find 10 minutes on high pressure is just right for making hummus. Kidney beans take a bit less – only 7 or 8 minutes. Black beans take a bit longer than most even though they're pretty small. If you open up the pot and find them a little under-cooked, you can just put them back on pressure for a few more minutes until they're cooked to your liking.
  • When the time is up, your Instant Pot will beep to let you know.   It will need to depressurize before you can open it.   Per the manual, you can let it cool down until the lid releases naturally (about 20 minutes) or you can use the quick method and manually release the steam.   I don’t see much difference, but some say the beans are more likely to split if you use the quick method.  
  • Use them right away or store them in the fridge for few weeks in some of the cooking liquid.   You can add beans to so many soups, stews, salads, and spreads. 
    cooked red kidney beans


Notes: Store cooked beans in the refrigerator along with enough cooking liquid to cover.  They’ll keep for about 2 weeks.  I like to toss a few in salads, soups, stews for texture and taste.  
In a pinch, you can also cook beans in your Instant Pot without soaking them – just extend the pressure time accordingly. The handy table in your Instant Pot recipe book will tell you. The cook time is still impressively short vs cooking them in a regular pot of boiling water.
The exact measurements are not that critical to getting a good result.  Just be sure to use enough water for the quantity of beans you’re cooking – a minimum of 3:1 water to beans ratio.  
By the way, there’s nothing wrong with canned beans so . . . 1/2 cup dried =~ 1 15 oz can of cooked.  For more conversions, check out