Delicious instant pot kidney beans
How to cook kidney beans in the instant pot. These kidney beans come out flavorful, tender and delicious every time. Directions for soaking, quick soak and no soaking included. Great to have on hand to quickly add plant based protein to any dish.
❤️ Why you’l love these beans
Cooking your own beans from scratch is a lot cheaper than using a can of beans. Having a big pot of beans on hand is extremely convenient. I love making kidney beans in the instant pot because they’re:
- full of plant based protein and fiber
- great to meal prep
🧂 Ingredients and substitutions
You can make these instant pot beans as simple or as flavorful as you’d like. You could just use water and dry kidney beans.
- Red kidney beans – Dark red or light red will work well for this recipe.
- Vegetable broth – Broth gives the beans more flavor than water, but you can also use water.
- Seasonings – Use whatever seasonings you love! Garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cumin, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, bay leaves, bell pepper are all good choices.
👩🍳 Expert tips
- For best results, make sure the kidney beans are completely covered with liquid when cooking. If you’re cooking from dried, you want to triple the amount of liquid.
- You want to make sure there is at least 2 inches of liquid above the top of the kidney beans if they haven’t been soaked and about 1 inch above the beans if they have been soaked.
- Take the “keep warm” setting off of the instant pot when the cooking time is done and it’s naturally releasing pressure. This will prevent the beans from getting too mushy.
- This recipe results in a lot of liquid, but that is what is needed to make sure the beans cook evenly.
- The cooking liquid will thicken up over night once the starches in the broth have a chance to thicken up and cool down in the fridge.
- Make sure to sift through the dry beans to get out any small pebbles or sticks, before soaking and cooking.
💨 If beans make you gassy
- Always soak your beans. This helps cut down on the starches that some people find hard to digest.
- Rinse your beans after soaking and after cooking.
- Some people need to build up a tolerance for the fiber in beans. It takes your microbiome a little bit of time to develop more of the good bacteria that breaks down this fiber. Eat ⅓ cup of beans a day for a month to help build them up.
Here is an outline of how to cook kidney beans in the instant pot. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full instructions.
- Either quick soak, soak overnight or don’t soak the kidney beans
- Add the beans to the instant pot with 3.5 cups of water or vegetable broth. Add any seasonings you’d like. I love adding onion and garlic and a bay leaf.
- Cooking time varies depending on if they’ve had an overnight soak or not soaked at all.
- Manual pressure cook on high pressure for 20 minutes if you’re using unsoaked beans.
- Cook for 6 minutes if they have been soaked.
- Natural release the pressure for 20 minutes, then quick release the pressure valve to release the remaining pressure.
Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and instructions!
❄️ Storing tips
Fridge – these beans will last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.
Freezer – these beans freeze amazingly well. Add them to a freezer friendly bag and they will freeze for up to six months. Make sure to not add too much broth to the bag, or it will expand and may burst the bag.
🍛 Serving suggestions
These kidney beans go amazingly well in many different dishes such as a minestrone soup, bean chili, kidney bean curry (also called rajma masala). They’re a great source of plant based protein and they contain a lot less chemicals and preservatives than canned beans.
They also go great in red beans and white rice, red bean burgers and refried beans.
If beans make you gassy, here are some things you can do:
If you have hard beans it’s usually because you have old beans, have hard water, or didn’t completely cover the beans in liquid when pressure cooking.
Try adding ½ teaspoon of baking soda and cooking them longer to help the beans soften.
Soaking the beans before hand breaks down certain compounds in the beans that make it harder for people to digest.
Soaked beans are generally easier to digest and won’t make you as gassy. They will still cook fine if they’re not soaked, but the cook time will be much longer.
Soaked beans also come out more evenly textured and cooked. They tend to split less.
It’s not recommended to cook kidney beans in a slow cooker since they contain a toxin that can only be destroyed when they’ve been boiled for at least 10 minutes (if they haven’t been soaked) at 212 degrees.
You won’t get the temperature hot enough if they’ve only been slow cooked. Pressure cooking the beans in an electric pressure cooker will get to the right temperature needed and will result in tender beans.
When pressure cooking beans, adding salt doesn’t harden them at all. They cook just fine. When cooking them on the stove, adding the salt too soon can prevent the beans from getting as soft.
One cup of dried beans makes three cups of beans when cooked.
🥘 More bean recipes
If you loved this recipe, leave a 5 ⭐️ rating on the recipe card and comment below!
How to cook kidney beans in the instant pot
- 1 cup kidney beans
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 small yellow onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ teaspoon salt (if you're using water and not broth)
Quick soaking instructions
- Rinse the kidney beans and place them in the instant pot – covered with 2 inches of water. Set to sauté on high and bring the beans to a boil for five minutes then turn off the heat. Let them sit for one hour after boiling.
- Strain the beans after quick soaking. Add them back to the instant pot with water or vegetable broth, onions, garlic cloves and (optional) salt. Make sure the beans are completely covered with liquid. Add the lid and set to seal. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Let it slow release for 15 minutes then quick release.1 cup kidney beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, 1 small yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add the beans to a large bowl and cover with 3 cups of water. Soak for about 8 hours.
- Strain the beans after soaking. Add beans back to the instant pot and add water or vegetable broth, onions, garlic cloves and (optional) salt. Make sure the beans are completely covered with liquid. Add the lid and set to seal. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Let it slow release for 15 minutes then quick release.1 cup kidney beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, 1 small yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon salt
- Rinse the beans. Add the beans to the instant pot and add water or vegetable broth, onions, garlic cloves and (optional) salt. Make sure the beans are completely covered with liquid. Add the lid and set to seal. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Let it slow release for 15 minutes then quick release.1 cup kidney beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, 1 small yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon salt
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
B. Lori Fournier
This is a wonderful guide to prepare these beans for your recipes. It’s great to have different options for cooking depending on your time and schedule.