Easy Breezy Pressure Cooker Beans for Greater Health & Longevity

Recipe by Katie Mae

Makes 6 cups | Ready in 15–30 minutes, not including soak time | Stores 1 week in fridge


2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight
2 strips kombu seaweed (optional)
3 large garlic cloves, peeled (optional)


  1. Drain the beans from the soak water and add them to the pressure cooker. Cover with 2 cups of water, or more if you want to have liquid left after cooking.You can add a couple strips of kombu if you want to make the beans a little easier to digest. Add the garlic cloves (or other aromatics or spices) if you want to add more flavor.
  2. Lock the lid in place, and close the steam valve.
  3. Turn the setting to manual and adjust the time, between 5–15 minutes, depending on the type of bean. Use the Pressure Cooker Beans Time Table (shown below) to determine the time.Note, sometimes ranges are listed. I recommend starting with the high-end of the range because I’d rather them be a little extra creamy and broken down than undercooked. Beans that are older, take longer to cook.
  4. Wait for the cooker come to pressure and cook the beans. When the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally. The beans should be tender, and just starting to break down. If they’re not, then put the lid back on, close the valve, and steam them for 5 minutes.

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Aside from beans being one of the best sources of protein in the plant-based diet, they’re also one of the keystones to the diet and lifestyle of the longest-living populations across the world!

It’s been almost a decade now, that National Geographic journalist, Dan Buettner, has been studying the “Blue Zones” which is a term used to identify the communities that have the largest amount of people living to centenarians (living to over 100 years old).

In his research, he identified the lifestyle factors shared by these communities so that we could learn from them, make adjustments to our lifestyle, and cultivate a long, healthy and joyful life for ourselves.

One of the cornerstone pieces was that each Blue Zone ate a whole food, plant-based diet. Buettner clarifies that there was one specific food group that was key to every single Blue Zone diet, and that was legumes, aka lentils, peas and BEANS!

So of course, it makes sense that we want to include more beans in our diet. They can be so creamy and delicious, once you get comfortable making them, they are sure to become a cornerstone of your diet as well.

In this recipe, I’ll explain how to use the Instant Pot to make legumes in less than half (sometimes even a 1/4 of the time!!!) compared to using the stove top.

This is another dish that I highly recommend making in large batches. 2 cups of dry beans makes about 6 cups of cooked beans.

If I’m not eating with anyone else this will last me about 6 meals, which I’ll usually spread over 3 to 4 days. If you’re cooking for more than one, or you want to freeze some you probably want to double this recipe.

The awesome thing is that there’s an incredible variety of beans available. There are several common varieties in the grocery stores, but there are even more heirloom varieties, from black chickpeas to tiger beans, so do not hesitate to try a new bean!

I used to think creamy butter beans were my FAVORITE bean, but after a little more exploring, I can’t pick just one favorite! It’s a very good problem to have. 😉


  1. Phadia Adams

    Katie, does the Kombu take care of the gas issue?

    1. KatieMae

      The kombu will certainly help with the gas, although the effectiveness will vary person to person. I’ve found that as I’ve added more legumes into my diet (three times per day now), that I actually have less gas. Of course, this may not be causal since most gas is caused by air in the digestive tract. When we eat fast and don’t chew our food well, it leads to more air in our digestive tract. Due to the light, fibrous nature of plant foods vs animal and processed foods, a plant-based diet requires us to chew our food more. All that being said, cooking your beans kombu will help with this issue. 🙂

  2. Jeri

    Does this recipe apply for all types of beans (not just black beans) in the instant pot…two cups liquid to 2 cups soaked beans?

  3. theculinarygym

    Hi Jeri. In general, this should work for all beans. However, after pressure cooking, occasionally I find that the beans closest to the top are not as cooked (and may be slightly undercooked) compared to the rest of the beans. If you experience this, I suggest adding more water next time and/or making sure that you give the pressure cooker a good shake once or twice during the cooking process, which will mix the beans up so they cook more evenly. Hope this helps!

  4. Jeri

    Thank you! Does this account for more beans (there is about 21/2 cups or so) after you soak them?

  5. theculinarygym

    I’m not clear what you’re asking, but as I said, you can always add more liquid and just drain off any extra (or save it for soup to cook other veggies in). It’s a trial-and error process, but a little too much water is probably better than not enough.

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