Talking ‘bout big beans…again! It’s time to cook Instant Pot Scarlet Runner Beans.
Scarlet Runner Beans are huge black beans with streaks of brick red color. They have big flavor, too - a creamy, almost meaty flavor. I soak these beans before cooking; I don’t trust large beans to pressure cook evenly. (I don’t soak smaller beans before I pressure cook them, like black beans. Kidney beans are the tipping point where the size makes me soak them before cooking.)
I’m a simple beans in broth kind of guy, and these beans are fantastic served straight up. (I got these beans from Rancho Gordo, and I followed his suggestion to cook them with “slightly too much garlic”.) They are great in salads, adding a meaty texture. Or, I freeze them in 2-quart containers to replace canned beans, and use them where I would use kidney beans. (The big beans are particularly impressive in quick chili).
This is a simple dried bean recipe, so the ingredients list is pretty basic
- Dried Scarlet Runner beans
- Bay leaves
Don’t have rosemary or garlic? You can substitute a bay leaf for the rosemary (or skip it), or a peeled onion for the garlic (or skip it). And, as I said above, Rancho Gordo’s Marcella beans are my favorite variety of cannellini beans, but they’re not the only cannellini bean out there - dried beans from any source with good turnover will work.
A 6-quart pressure cooker. Pressure cooker dried beans are one of the reasons I became a pressure cooker convert. Try them - you’ll never go back to canned beans. (OK, maybe you will, for convenience - but see the Storage section for tips on make ahead freezer beans.)
This recipe scales down easily - cut everything in half if you don’t need as many beans, or have a 3-quart pressure cooker. Scaling up runs into space issues; if you have an 8-quart pressure cooker, you can double this recipe, but it’s too much to fit in a 6-quart pressure cooker.
🤨 Soaking Scarlet Runner beans
Scarlet Runner beans are so big that they need a soak to cook evenly in a pressure cooker. I do an overnight soak - when I remember - and a quick soak when I don’t remember. (Which, unfortunately, is most of the time. I’m an enthusiastic home cook, but not that good at planning ahead.)
💡Tips and Tricks
- Salt your bean water! “Salt toughens beans” is a myth. Salting before cooking helps season the beans all the way through as they cook.
- If your beans are still tough when the cooking time is over, especially any “floaters” at the top of the pot, give the beans a stir, lock the lid, and pressure cook for another five minutes. Older beans take longer to cook, and if the beans have been sitting in the shelf at your store for a while, they may need extra time.
- 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 to let the broth evaporate.
- Leave the garlic unpeeled for this recipe, or it will melt into the bean broth. I want big garlic flavor, but that's too much, even for me.
Instant Pot Scarlet Runner Beans. Big beans pressure cooked in under an hour (after an overnight soak), with a big creamy, meaty flavor.
- 1 pound dried Scarlet Runner Beans, sorted and rinsed
- 8 cups of water for soaking (see instructions)
- 5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 2 bay leaves
- Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the beans, discarding any stones, dirt, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then do an overnight or quick soak.
- Overnight soak: Cover the beans with water, with the water level at least an inch above the beans. Leave the beans to soak at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- OR: Pressure Quick Soak for 1 minute with a 1 hour rest: Put the beans and 8 cups of water in the pressure cooker pot. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot for 1 minute), then let the beans sit for 1 hour.
- Pressure Cook for 20 minutes with a Quick Pressure Release: Drain the beans, discarding the soaking liquid. Put the beans in the pressure cooker, add 5 cups of water, sprinkle with the teaspoon of salt, then add the garlic cloves and bay leaves. Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 20 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, or for 16 minutes in a stovetop pressure cooker. (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) Quick release the pressure
- Serve: Discard the bay leaves and any garlic cloves you can find. (The garlic tends to dissolve under pressure - that’s OK.) To use as a side dish, serve the beans with their broth; to add to another recipe, drain the beans. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Instant Pot Scarlet Runner Beans, Pressure Cooker Scarlet Runner Beans
A 2-cup container of beans, with cooking liquid, replaces a 15-ounce can of beans from the grocery store. They’ll last in the refrigerator for a few days, and freeze for up to 6 months. I always make extra beans, and freeze the leftovers for use in other recipes. Freezer beans are ready to use with about 5 minutes in the microwave, and are so much better than canned.
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