No Soak Secret to Instant Pot Beans


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We love our Instant Pot for its ability to quickly and easily cook dried beans with no pre-soaking! We all know dried beans are way cheaper than canned, but they take forever to cook. Not anymore!

I’ve got the secret for making the best pot of beans in your Instant Pot – and you don’t even have to soak them first.

Instant Pot and dried beans in bowls on a counter

How to Cook Dried Beans in the Instant Pot

Cooking dried beans can be tricky. Sometimes they turn out hard and undercooked. Other times they crack and get too mushy.

Cooking beans in the Instant Pot gets consistent results if you know which beans to use, how much water to add, and the perfect number of minutes. The pressure cooker function takes out the guesswork of the timing and gets you perfectly cooked beans every time.

It doesn’t matter if you cook soaked beans or un-soaked beans in the Instant Pot – learn the tricks to get them both just right!

One of the things I love the most about my Instant Pot is the ability to cook un-soaked dried beans relatively quickly. My Instant Pot pressure cooker has transformed the way I cook dried beans. I never remember to soak beans the night before and the ability to simply omit that step is so lovely!

I definitely prefer not doing an overnight soak but will give you tips for cooking both soaked and unsoaked dried beans in this post.

Pot of bean stew from dried beans in the Instant Pot

What Kind of Beans are Best for Pressure Cooker

We eat a lot of beans here at SimplifyLiveLove. They are frugal and I always have them in my pantry.

Keeping stocked on pantry essentials helps me cook from scratch. If I have rice and dried beans on hand that means I almost always have something to cook in a pinch.

Our favorite types of beans to stock in the pantry are black or turtle beans, red kidney beans, white beans, and pinto beans. I buy them in bulk and store them in 5 gallon buckets. All of these varieties cook up well in the Instant Pot.

assortment of dried beans such as black beans, blackeyed peas, green split peas and kidney beans

Why Dried Beans are Better than Canned

Beans are quite healthy. They add necessary protein to your diet, are high in amino acids, rich in polyphenols, and are lower in calories and fat than other protein sources.

I prefer to cook my own dried beans instead of using canned beans for a number of reasons. Have you ever read the nutrition and ingredients label on a can of beans? It might surprise you what gets added. If I make my own pressure cooker beans, I have all the control over our diet.

Canned beans from the store are convenient, but they are also full of sodium. Making your own is especially helpful for people who need control over their salt intake.

Dried beans are also cheaper than canned beans. A one pound bag of dry beans usually costs under $2 and yields 12 servings. One 15-ounce can of beans costs the same, but only yields 3 1/2 servings.

Finally, I like cooking my own dried beans over canned because of the shear variety of bean types you can buy. Some types of beans are so beautiful with different speckling and colors.

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black beans in water boiling in pressure cooker

How Much Water For Dried Beans in Instant Pot 

Now that you know what types of beans to cook in the Instant Pot, the second part of the secret is how much water to use.

The water to bean ratio for cooking dried beans in the instant pot is 4 cups water to 1 cup beans. One pound of dried beans is two cups, so you need 8 cups of water to cook one pound of dried beans in the pressure cooker.

Should I Add Salt to Beans in the Pressure Cooker?

In addition to the beans, I add a good quality oil (I use olive oil or grapeseed oil most often) and salt. I prefer to cook with unrefined salt as regular ole table salt has been bleached and has a lot of additives that I’d rather avoid.

My favorite type of salt is Redmond’s REAL Salt from Utah. I love its pretty colors, nice taste, and other healthy qualities. There are so many different types of salt. We only use refined table salt for crafts.

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Time Chart for Dried Beans in the Instant Pot

I primarily cook three different types of beans: pinto beans, black beans, and kidney beans. I’m sharing this handy chart of cooking times for nine different types of beans because I do have several varieties in my pantry. Soak them, or don’t soak them. That’s your call. 

Once you have your beans and the ratio of beans to water, you are almost done. The last key to cooking beans in a pressure cooker is the timing.

Add 4 cups of cooking liquid to the Instant Pot for 1 cup of beans. Seal the lid on the Instant Pot and close the steam valve. Choose Pressure Cook and set the time.

time chart for cooking dried beans in the instant pot (1)
Note: All times are in minutes. 🙂

There’s a range of minutes in this chart because the cooking time varies depending on my end goal for the beans. If I plan to use them in another recipe, I choose the lower number because they will continue cooking in the next dish. The lower end of the cooking time results in firmer beans, but I’m ok with that because I plan to cook them a little longer.

For instance, if I’m using instant pot black beans in my taco meat, I’ll cook them for around 22 minutes instead of 27.

If I’m not putting them in another recipe, I will cook them for longer in the Instant Pot so they come out more tender instead of al dente. I cook pinto beans for 28 minutes, for instance, instead of 25 if I’m making refried beans.

chili made from dried beans in bowl with tortilla chips

What to Make with Cooked Beans?

Like I said, beans are a staple at my house and I almost always have a container of cooked beans in my fridge ready for some purpose.

bowl of cooked dried white beans

Can I Use Soaked Beans to Cook in the Instant Pot?

If you have your act together and want to soak your beans before cooking in the Instant Pot, that’s fine. They will cook even faster.

Pro Tip: If you think unsoaked beans make you too gassy, add a bit of baking soda to the soaking water.

To soak your beans, put them in a bowl full of water and let them soak overnight. Add a sprinkle of baking soda if you want. You do not have to refrigerate them. Just leave them out on the counter at room temperature to soak overnight.

If you forget to soak them overnight, but still want to soak your beans, you can do what’s called a quick soak. To do a quick soak, put whichever type of beans you want to cook in a large stock pot, cover them with cold water, bring them to boil over medium-high heat, and boil them hard for 1-2 minutes.

What Can I Make with the Bean Broth?

Waste not, want not, right? As your beans cook in water, you’re also left behind with bean broth. You can actually use this starchy bean broth for several things. I save my bean broth and use it as extra liquid in my instant pot chili. I also use it in place of water when I’m making taco meat. You can use bean broth instead of any stock or as a thickener for soups!

How Long do Cooked Beans Last?

Store cooked, dried beans in the refrigerator for three to four days in an airtight container.

Can I Freeze Cooked Beans?

I love to make a big batch of beans and then freeze them in portions of 2 cups cooked beans in Souper Cubes. Frozen beans will keep about six months.

I highly recommend Souper Cubes if freezer cooking is for you! The are such an easy and convenient way to store frozen food.

how to cook soaked or unsoaked dried beans in the instant pot

Why Does My Instant Pot Foam and Boil Over?

Make sure you do not overfill your pressure cooker when cooking beans, or it will foam and boil over.

While the oil helps reduce foaming, one pound of beans (2 cups) is the maximum you can cook in a 6 quart Instant Pot. I know, that saddens me too, but it’s not worth the mess to cook more. 🙁 Use high pressure and a full natural pressure release for best results.

That said, I cook a big batch of beans (4 cups of beans) successfully in my 8 qt. Pressure cooker. I highly recommend the 8 qt Instant Pot if you have a large family or like to cook a lot at a time.

How Long do Dried Beans Last?

If your beans won’t soften no matter what you do, it might be the fault of your beans and not your cooking method. While beans are considered non-perishable, they do undergo some changes which make them harder to cook the older they are.

If you’ve had dry beans in your pantry for several years, make sure to add a couple extra minutes to the cooking time. Newer, more tender beans will cook faster.

More easy Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Want to Make

Yield: 12 - 1/2 cup servings of cooked beans

How to Cook Dried Beans in the Instant Pot Printable Recipe

assortment of dried beans such as black beans, blackeyed peas, green split peas and kidney beans

An easy way to cook dried beans in the instant pot. No pre-soaking required!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  1. Add ingredients to instant pot.
  2. Seal the lid and cook on high pressure for the time specified in the chart.
  3. Use a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes. You can naturally release the pressure longer if you want.
  4. Manually release remaining pressure.
  5. Carefully open the lid away from you.
  6. Enjoy!


If you have a larger instant pot, add 4 cups of water per 1 cup of dried beans.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information is not always correct.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram tagging @simplifylivelove! I love to see your photos!

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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    1. I have several more in the works!! Glad you like them, Deb. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. –Michelle

  1. I cook four cups of dried pintos, black beans, kidney beans, great northern, separately or a mixture of all in my duo60 7 in 1 instant pot without ever a problem. Along with hammock, onion, garlic, and the liquid. Never had foamy stuff either. But thank you for the tips!

  2. Why did some of my great northern beans break up? Was it my immediate quick release? I didn’t want them to overcook because I’m cooking them a little in the recipe I’m making. I thought a longer release would cook them too much at 25 minutes. At 25 minutes they were perfect for a little more cooking, but some were all broken up. Not too attractive. Thank you. I just subscribed. Your recipes sound delicious!

    1. If you’re cooking them longer anyway after the instant pot pressure cooking, I would try undercooking by 3-5 minutes and then doing the natural release. Maybe that would help? Good luck!

      1. Good idea! Thank you. We copied a dish we had at a very good Italian restaurant last week. Scallops sauteed and served with escarole and white beans (and serious garlic). The beans were cooked perfectly, and since they got mixed up with the escarole, you didn’t notice all the broken ones. It was just the two of us, so appearance wasn’t that important.

  3. I’ve been told that adding salt during the cooking process will keep the beans from softening. Is that not true in the instant pot?

  4. Table salt isn’t bleached. If you go to the Morton salt plant at The Great Salt Lake you can pick up white salt from the shore of the lake. Not sure where all the rumors about salt originate except maybe the from pink and Celtic salt mongers. It’s ALL seasalt even when buried under soil.

  5. this isnt correct. the perfect black beans come from high 35min, natural release for 20 and then 3 cups of water for 2 cups black beans. this ratio is way off and does not make a frustrating process any easier!

  6. Great information! I do my beans without soaking because I love the idea that I can still make homemade beans even if I forget to soak them over night.

  7. Thanks for the tips! This is my first time cooking beans in the Instant Pot!
    I need to make a clarification on the Real Salt. It does not come from Great Salt Lake. It is mined from underground salt deposits near Redmond, Utah. The minerals from underground give it the colors!

  8. I have a small bean. About the size of 1/2 a Navy bean. Will liquid and or cooking time need to be altered?

    1. You do not have to use salt – but you may need to increase the cooking time slightly as salt is supposed to help them cook a little bit faster.