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A bowl of cooked red kidney beans, with uncooked red kidney beans in the background

Instant Pot Kidney Beans

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups of beans 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 1 pound Red Kidney beans, sorted and rinsed (about 2 cups of beans)
  • 8 cups water for soaking 
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt for soaking
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (for cooking the beans)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (optional)
  • 1 small to medium onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Sort and rinse the kidney beans: Sort the kidney beans, discarding any stones, dirt, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then do an overnight or a quick soak.
  2. Overnight soak: Cover the kidney beans with 8 cups of water, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of salt. Leave the beans to soak at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and discard the soaking liquid.
  3. OR: Pressure Quick Soak for 1 minute with a 30 minute rest: Put the kidney beans and 8 cups of water in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of salt. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute (“Manual”, “Pressure Cook”, or "Pressure Cook - Custom" mode in an Instant Pot). Let the beans soak in the pot for 30 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid.
  4. Everything in the pot: Put the soaked beans in an Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker). Pour in the 6 cups of water, then stir in 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, the onion halves, and the bay leaves.
  5. Pressure cook the beans for 15 minutes with a quick pressure release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, or for 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. (In an Instant Pot, use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode set for 15 minutes). Quick release the pressure in the pot.
  6. Serve: Remove the pressure cooker lid – open it away from you to protect yourself from the hot steam. Discard the onion and bay leaves. Ladle the beans into bowls and serve, or store for later.
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Red Kidney Beans, Pressure Cooker Red Kidney Beans