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.
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)