I’ll be honest, the main reason we bought an instant pot was for beans. I know, you can make anything in an instant pot, but all I wanted was to be able to take dry beans from the pantry and have them on the table as quickly as possible. We’ve tried making our own canned beans using a pressure canner, but it’s not quite the same as dry, shelf-stable beans to dinner in under an hour.
Great Northern Beans are a staple in soups and stews, and they’re the main ingredient in my easy cassoulet. If you use canned beans, they’re flavorless. But simple great northern beans cooked in homemade bone broth adds a richness that’s hard to get any other way.
Some recipes will tell you to add the salt and seasonings after cooking the beans. I disagree.
It’s true that adding salt before cooking beans can toughen them. The problem is, if you want the salt to incorporate into the beans and have them on the table in a reasonable amount of time, you need to put it in at the beginning. You can skip the salt if the beans are going to be used in another dish, like a soup, and they’re going to simmer for at least another hour along with salt and spices.
I start by adding in aromatic herbs like parsley, marjoram, thyme, and a little sage. The spice mix will depend on how they’re going to be used.
After the spices, pour in 4 cups of liquid for every cup of dry, unsoaked beans. If you’re using soaked beans, you can use 3 cups of liquid per cup of soaked beans.
Add in the great northern beans, and make sure that the pot is not more than halfway full. Beans can froth during pressure cooking, and an overfilled pot can be a hazard.
I generally start my great northern beans in the instant pot first thing in the morning. That way I can allow the pot to manually depressurize. When I go to incorporate them into dinner in the evening, they’re perfectly cooked and ready to go.
Sometimes things don’t get planned that far in advance. If you’re going to quickly depressurize your instant pot, be sure to give them another 3-4 minutes at high-pressure cook time to make sure they’re done.
For a no-soak recipe, cook the beans for 32 to 35 minutes at high pressure. If you soaked your beans ahead of time, you can reduce the liquid slightly, and reduce the cook time to 20 to 22 minutes at high pressure.
Quick and easy instructions for cooking great northern beans in an instant pot. With or without soaking. If you're going to manually depressurize the pot, add an extra 3-4 minutes of cook time to ensure that the beans are fully cooked.
Quick and easy instructions for cooking great northern beans in an instant pot. With or without soaking.
If you're going to manually depressurize the pot, add an extra 3-4 minutes of cook time to ensure that the beans are fully cooked.