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

Instant Pot Red Kidney Beans

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


  • 1 pound Red Kidney beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt (for soaking)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (for cooking the beans)
  • 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 6 cups of water, and sprinkle with 1 ½ 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 6 cups of water in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Sprinkle with 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot for 1 minute), then quick release the pressure. Let the beans soak in the pot for 30 minutes, then 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 ½ teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, the onion halves, and 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