How to cook beans on the Instant Pot?

Hi guys! Back here today with another cooking post! Today’s post is going to be published a bit later than usual (I usually post around 2pm both on Wednesday and Saturday), but this week has been particularly busy and today I had no time to even take a break at the job (which is when I write the articles).

I recently acquired an Instant Pot as a treat myself gift after successfully finishing a master’s degree and having a stable job, and because evenings after working are usually a bit tiring, this seemed like a great option to add to our kitchen. So, I bought myself one and I quickly realized I should have done it waaaay sooner. I’m an instant pot baby which means I don’t know all the tricks & tips & options & what not’s of it, but today I want to share one use that I find just amazing and that makes my life so. much. easier. And that thing is… BEANS !

I will post different posts on this topic, as one single article made a very very long one with too much information. Today I am focusing on one of my favorite bean and one of the most versatile ones (even though, all of them are) and I will cover some of the basics and then give you an example of a dish. So, what’s the dish? It’s a curry lentil based dish!

Before we get started with that, let’s understand a bit the basics :

Clarification: When I talk about “cooking time”, I’m strictly talking about the moment the timer starts until the moment the timer is at 0:00.

Basics of cooking beans on the IP

This basics section is for someone who already has some knowledge on what the buttons of the IP do, on the general “vocabulary” around it, and just overall, some very basic knowledge of it. If you don’t know this, you can still get through the article and learn a bit on it, but I’d strongly suggest doing a lecture of the instructions that come with your IP.

To soak or not to soak?

When it comes to beans, there is the school of “soaking them up” and the school of “I always forget to do it, so I just won’t”. There are pros and cons for each option, and I will proudly tell you guys that I’m more of the latter. I always, always, always forget to soak them up. When I want to eat food, I want to eat it at the spot, and unless I plan ahead my meals (which I rarely do), I always cook my beans (on the instant pot, obviously), without soaking them up. However, I know soaking them up has a lot of benefits, mostly digestive ones, so if that’s the way you do your beans, keep it up!

does it still take forever to cook beans on the ip?

Short answer: No, it does not.

Long answer: In general it doesn’t because the instant pot usually cuts down the cooking time when it comes to “long period cooking things”, but it also depends on the type of bean: Lentils are the fastest from my own experience, and I’d say black beans take the longest. Either way, cooking time has never been more than 30 minutes.

Bean of the day: Lentils!

I’m a huge fan of lentils. Always have been. Not always in its usual shape & form, but always of the taste. My grandma used to make me this lentil soup out of a lentil stew (I hated the stew, loved the soup, don’t mind my 5 year old self), and so I’d eat tons and tons of that soup. She’d make this once a week and I’d just love it. I then grew to love lentils in any shape and form and now I just find myself eating lentils so much. Plus, lentils are just any vegetarian’s best friend (vegetarian or not though, you should eat your lentils, they do wonders to your body!).

I will guide you through my basic go-to lentil cooking with the Instant Pot. I make this at least twice a month, and I make a lot: It makes a very good and strong flavored lentil base for any of my meal prep: I eat it either in its normal result, mashed, or even more soupy (I do some extra cooking if the latter). Like this, you end up with three different lentil outcomes and very delicious ones.

Difficulty: 1/5Prep time : 5 minutes
If you soak your beans, it’s way longer (8-12 hours of soaking)
Type : Meal prep base, curry based, high on proteinPressure time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Release time: 5 minutes NR then QR

4 servings

Serve with: Rice (Rice recipe here)

  • 2 1/2 cups of lentils (Green lentils)
  • 1 onion
  • 6-7 leaves of chinese cabbage or any other sort of vegetable you have in your fridge. Last time it was mushrooms, and other times it was bak choy, carrots or eggplant.
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk, … As you want. If you are making the curry flavor, coconut milk is the best.

Basic flavor seasoning (“basic” for me) :

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder or 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Curry flavor seasoning :

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder or 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of curry dahl spice mix
  1. Set IP on “Sauté” and add the olive oil. Once it’s hot and the olive oil starts to sizzle, add the onion (chopped). Cook for 1-2 minutes
  2. Add the vegetable you’ve chosen and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add all the seasoning you’ve chosen and mix well.
  4. Cook for 2 more minutes
  5. Turn off sauté function and add all the cups of liquid (water or veggie broth and the milk of your choice).
  6. Close lid of IP, put the vent to “pressure” and then select “pressure cooker”. Set timer to 10 minutes (If you like them more “chewy”, set timer to 8 minutes).
  7. Once timer goes to 0, leave for a couple of minutes and then 5 minute NR, then QR.

The batch I made was good for a total of 4 generous meals. It was two days of meal prep and a full dinner for my boyfriend and me. It was overall really yummy and we loved it. Plus it really is a good post-workout meal, at least as far as my knowledge of my body goes.

What’s your favorite bean ? What bean-dish would you like to see featured here? I loved lentils but I’m even crazier for chickpeas! (So next article, and spoiler alert, it will most likely be on chickpeas 😉 )

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