Here’s how to use your Instant Pot to make white navy beans – a simple and quick method for cooking dried navy beans beans in a pressure cooker in around an hour! No soaking required.
What are White Beans?
“White beans” can refer to a couple different beans: Navy beans, Great Northern beans, Cannellini beans, or Baby Lima beans. They’re all white beans and to be honest, they kinda look the same. I even know people who use the white beans interchangeably for recipes. So what’s the difference?
White Navy Beans: also called pea beans, the white Navy beans are small, oval-shaped, and quicker to cook. As they get creamy when cooked, they’re perfect for mashing, pureeing in dips, and thickening soups, stews, and more.
Great Northern Beans: larger than Navy Beans but smaller than Cannellini beans, medium-sized Great Northern beans are known for their mild, nutty flavour and firm flesh. They hold their shape better than the smaller white Navy bean.
Cannellini Beans: they are the largest of the white beans family, also called White Kidney Beans. Their flavour profile is nutty and earthy, and cannellini beans keep their shape best out of all of them.
Baby Lima Beans: also called butterbeans, they have a distinctive flat-oval shape with a mild earthiness flavour and a creamy, buttery texture.
For today’s Instant Pot recipe, I’ll be using white navy beans. I have not tested the other white with the other beans.
Why use the Instant Pot to Cook Navy Beans?
With the Instant Pot, you can go from dried beans to tender cooked beans in around an hour. No soaking required!
Just like my Instant Pot chickpea recipe, I don’t soak my beans beforehand. While some people like to soak their beans overnight because they find it easier to digest, I personally do not feel a difference.
However, I will preface this with a disclaimer that not soaking the beans beforehand will cause more beans to have their skin split. It doesn’t affect the flavour of the navy beans but it’s just not the prettiest. If having the beans look whole and pretty is a main concern (ie dinner party guests!), you can soak the beans overnight and and pressure cook it for half the time.
Natural Pressure Release or Quick Release beans?
I prefer to natural pressure release my navy beans when cooking in the Instant Pot. It keeps the beans from splitting even further and it doesn’t over cook in the IP so it means I don’t have to run to the pot right away when meal prepping and just get to it when I get to it.
What You’ll Need to Cook Navy Beans in the Instant Pot
- dried navy beans: 1 cup dried beans = 3 cups of cooked beans.
- water or stock: I prefer using stock as it makes the beans more flavourful. I like using Better Than Bouillon.
- olive oil: this keeps it from getting too foamy if you end up quick releasing.
How to make Instant Pot Navy Beans
Rinse your dried navy beans and combine all the ingredients into the Instant Pot.
Press manual on your Instant Pot and set the timer for 25 minutes. It can take up to 15-20 minutes to pressure up. When done, natural pressure release or quick release after 10-15 minutes.
How To Storage Your Beans cooked from Dried
Cooked navy beans can be used right away, or cooled and stored in their cooking liquid. They will keep for up to a week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag or mason jar.
Notes on Making Dried Navy Beans in the Instant Pot
If your beans come out too firm, the age of your dried beans can be a factor. Dry beans are best used within two years of harvest. See if pressure cooking them for another 1-2 minutes helps.
I have the Duo Plus 9 in 1 Instant Pot and this is the only Instant Pot model the recipe has been tested in.
Recipes than Uses White Beans
- Chicken Chili Soup (Slow Cooker + Instant Pot)
- Instant Pot Spicy Beef and Rice
- Tuscan White Bean, Kale, Pancetta, and Polenta Soup
- Tuscan Bean Salad
- White Bean Hummus
Instant Pot White Navy Beans (No Soak)
- Rinse your dried navy beans and combine all the ingredients into the Instant Pot.
- Press manual on your Instant Pot and set the timer for 25 minutes. It can take up to 15-20 minutes to pressure up. When done, natural pressure release or quick release after 10-15 minutes.
Nutrition Per Serving
More Instant Pot Recipes You May Like
- Instant Pot Korean Inspired Ragu
- Instant Pot Chicken Tinga
- Instant Pot Coconut Thai Curry Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
- Spicy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Meal Prep (inspired by the chicken burrito bowls from Chipotle)
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I do use My 6 quart and 8 quart Insta pot regularly. Yum.
Always a super healthy and economical way to make beans. Love the fact they are cooked much faster this way. I love cooking them in my pressure cooker.
Wonderful, simple, perfect little recipe! I love making beans in my Instant Pot, and I rarely soak them (though I’m thinking about trying with kidney beans as an experiment). Great notes on the age of the beans and trouble-shooting too.
I literally jumped up and put on an insta pot of these beans while still in the midst of reading your post. Such a good reminder how quick and easy they are to make. My head is swimming with ideas for dinner tonight. THANK YOU!
Another great reason to love the Instant pot! So glad it takes the soaking piece out of it – another time saver! Thanks so much for all of the great tips!
Can this recipe be also used for:pinto,black beans, and red beans?
I’ve personally only tried it with black eye beans and pinto only and it worked :)
Excellent base recipe for navy beans. I had to add my own twist as far as seasonings (smoked turkey tails, fenugreek, Badia Complete, Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle and freshly ground black pepper) and veggies (carrots, celery, onions, orange peppers, fresh garlic, and a few leftover string beans thrown in). I had to add a bit more time, 5 minutes but 20 minutes was a great start. Thanks for sharing!!
So glad you enjoyed!!
This sounds like a soup and it sounds yummy ,do you know if I would be able to use chicken bouillon instead of water?
I followed this recipe to a T but they are still hard beans. I am experienced owner/ user of my Instant pot. Pot worked as it should. I am going to add more time to mine and see how they turn out. If it fails guess I’m heading to the store.
Hi Christine – do you know how old your beans are? Older beans take longer to cook.
Followed to a T but my beans burned and stuck to the bottom and are still hard. I’m cooking longer but the fact that they are burned I doubt they will be very good 😑. The beans were bought today so they are not old.
What size Instant Pot are you using? There’s enough liquid in this recipe that nothing should have burnt. There should also be enough liquid leftover every time for you to store your beans.
Is this a 3 quart recipe or a 6 quart recipe?
This recipe was tested in a 6qt.
Mine came out great ! Very easy recipe
So happy to hear! :)
I’m trying to replicate a small white bean & barley cold salad and would like to have the beans stay semi firm and not mushy. I assume I will cut the cooking time some as well as the NPR time OR have I possibly selected the wrong small white bean for this task? I selected dry small (size of elongated pea) navy beans.
I could definitely decrease the cooking time, especially as they’re smaller beans as well. You can always simmer them afterwards if they’re not cooked through yet :)
I tried out your recipe tonight, but added a small package of country ham chips…WOWWWW!! Soooo good! Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m new at using the Instant Pot, & these turned out so well that this has boosted my confidence to try more new recipes in it! :)
I am so happy to hear it turned out well for you!! Hopefully you’re able to find more easy instant pot recipes you love here on the blog as well!
TY. So much info so quickly. No beating around the bush!!CP
I had to cook mine an extra 20 minutes. Added ham. Tasted so good!
Here’s a hint from my great-grandmother… if your beans are “old” or the last batch came out tough, add one teaspoon baking soda per Pound of beans while cooking to help with softening. Does not affect flavor. Cheers!
I added a whole link of sliced Burtons sausage and covered the bottom of the pot with baby carrots and had to cook it for 35 minutes. no seasoning or oil because of the sausage. After a 15 minute natural release I added one tablespoon of Fiesta Garlic salt seasoning. It is just delicious.
PERFECT! Letting the beans cool naturally in IP is the winning trick! They turned out tender but not mushy, not broken. Husband (verified exec chef) had never used the IP and had so much fun! Lol! Seriously, perfect! Froze with the liquid, and never going back to canned. (Unless it’s an “emergency!”) 😉 Thank you!
So glad you enjoyed this, Nance!
Hi I’m making navy beans using your recipe right now so I’m hoping you will see my question asap lol can I use chicken bouillon instead of plain water?please see my comment or anyone ?thanks
You are more than welcome to use broth instead of plain water for more flavour as mentioned in the post!
I included all ingredients + chicken base (Better than Bullion is the best) w/water instead of stock. They turned out perfectly tender, without falling apart, and quite flavorful! Thanks so much for the easy recipe for no soak navy beans.
So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe Mariah. Thanks for leaving a review :)
I grew up on navy beans cooked with ham. I am trying to eat healthier this recipe came very close . I will definitely use it again.
I followed your exactly and these are THE best navy beans ever!
SO happy to hear!!