Pressure cooker, Side dish
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Instant Pot Cranberry Beans

A bowl of cranberry beans, with a head of garlic and another bowl of dried cranberry beans in the background
Instant Pot Cranberry Beans

Instant Pot Cranberry Beans. Dried cranberry beans are so much better than canned, and pressure cooking has them ready in about an hour.

I’ve made recipes that include cranberry beans before, but here is a simple “beans and nothing but the beans” recipe. Later this week I’m using cranberry beans in a more complex recipe, so I figured I should cover the bean basics first.

Cranberry beans go by a few different names. They’re cargamanto beans in Columbia, where they originated, and are called borlotti beans in Italy. (Italy also calls them Saluggia beans – but only if they are from Saluggia in Northern Italy.) Wherever they’re from, they are a small, tan bean, with wine-red speckles, that turns completely brown when cooked. I get my cranberry beans from Rancho Gordo (yes, again). I am willing – no, happy – to pay extra for high quality beans. But, don’t let that stop you from getting them at your local grocery; as long as they haven’t been sitting on the shelf for years, they’ll cook up fine with these instructions.

Where to find cranberry beans

I get most of my beans online, through Rancho Gordo. They’re expensive, but very high quality beans. Your local grocery store may carry cranberry beans, and your local “healthy” grocery store almost certainly does. And, the other place I find them is at my local Italian specialty store – borlotti beans are a big part of Italian cooking, so they always have them in stock.

Pressure cook all the beans

Of course, I’m using my (not so) secret weapon, and pressure cooking my beans. Bean cooking is one of the reasons I became a pressure cooking fanatic – it’s amazing how quick and easy bean cooking is with a pressure cooker.

And, because I know I’ll get asked: I don’t soak my cranberry beans. They cook quickly enough that they don’t need the soak. I sort through them to discard any stones or broken beans, rinse them, and they’re ready to cook. (That said, if you want to soak, see the Notes section of the recipe for instructions.)

Recipe: Instant Pot Cranberry Beans

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A bowl of cranberry beans, with a head of garlic and another bowl of dried cranberry beans in the background

Instant Pot Cranberry Beans

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups cooked beans 1x


Instant Pot Cranberry Beans. Dried cranberry beans are so much better than canned, especially when pressure cooking has them ready in about an hour.


  • 1 pound dried cranberry beans (aka borlotti beans), sorted and rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 sprig Rosemary (or a bay leaf)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled


  1. Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the cranberry beans, removing broken beans, stones, and any other non-bean material. Put the beans in a strainer, rinse the beans, and set them aside to drain.
  2. Everything in the pot: Pour the beans into an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Stir in 8 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt, then add the rosemary sprig and peeled cloves of garlic
  3. Pressure Cook for 40 minutes with a quick release: Pressure cook on high pressure for 40 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or 35 minutes in a stovetop PC. Quick release the pressure in the pot.
  4. Serve or Save: Remove the rosemary and garlic cloves and discard. Serve the beans as-is in their broth, freeze in their broth for later (see notes for freezing details), or drain and use them as directed in another recipe.


Soaking the beans: I don’t soak my beans, but if you want to, go right ahead. After sorting the beans, cover them with water overnight, then drain and rinse. Continue with the “everything in the pot” step, but only pressure cook soaked cranberry beans for 20 minutes with a quick release.

Simmer to thicken: If you have the time, and want thicker bean liquid, simmer the beans for 20 minutes after pressure cooking. I set my Instant Pot to Sauté mode adjusted to low, set the timer to 20 minutes, and leave the lid off. I stir the beans occasionally

Storing for later: I love freezer beans. They’re so much better than canned, and ready to go in about 5 minutes with a microwave. Store the beans in their cooking liquid in 2-cup containers, and when a recipe calls for a can of beans, I pull one out of the freezer. They’ll last for about 6 months in the freezer.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Cranberry Beans, Pressure Cooker Cranberry Beans

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Side dish


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

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