Instant Pot Lima Beans (Fast, Tender, Perfect!)

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Vintage spoon in a bowl of perfect Instant Pot lima beans

With an Instant Pot and 30 minutes (after soaking), you can make perfectly cooked baby lima beans every time! Let us show you how.

Spoon and bowl of baby white lima beans

Instant Pot Lima Beans

The Instant Pot is our preferred method for cooking lima beans because it’s quick, easy, and yields perfectly tender beans!

While most beans don’t need to be soaked before cooking in the Instant Pot, we highly recommend soaking lima beans. We tested not soaking them, but the center of the beans wouldn’t fully cook.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Soak the beans for at least 6-8 hours, then drain
  • Ratio = 1 part baby lima beans : 3 parts water
  • Cook Time = 7 minutes
  • Release = 15 minute natural release, then release any remaining pressure

Baby lima beans have a mild, creamy, buttery flavor and texture, making them incredibly versatile and delicious. They can be enjoyed in stews, soupssalads, and more. And they’re even delicious by the spoonful!

Soaking baby lima beans in water to make them perfectly tender
Pouring water into a pot of soaked baby lima beans

Did you find this helpful? If so, be sure to check out our Instant Pot Cooking Times Guide for perfectly cooked grains and beans every time!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Instant Pot of cooked baby lima beans

Instant Pot Lima Beans (Fast, Tender, Perfect!)

How to cook lima beans in the Instant Pot! Our easy technique yields perfectly tender lima beans perfect for salads, soups, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of cooked baby lima beans
3.6 from 5 votes
Prep Time 6 hours 23 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 (3/4-cup servings)
Course Helpful How-to, Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baby lima beans (white, not green)
  • 3 cups water (or vegetable broth for more flavor)

Instructions

  • Add lima beans to a bowl and cover with cool water by about 3 inches (ensuring they’re well submerged). Soak overnight, or for at least 6-8 hours at room temperature.
  • Drain lima beans, then add to the Instant Pot. Add water and stir to prevent sticking. Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes (it will take about 8 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize before cooking begins).
  • Once the timer goes off, allow to naturally release for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove lid once steam has fully escaped and strain off any excess cooking liquid.
  • Enjoy immediately in stews, soupssalads, and more. Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop, adding a little water, as needed, to prevent sticking.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Total time includes active cook time, release time, and the time it takes for the Instant Pot to heat up (~8 minutes).
*Prep time does not include soaking beans.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 three-quarter-cup serving Calories: 169 Carbohydrates: 31.7 g Protein: 10.4 g Fat: 0.5 g Saturated Fat: 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.21 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 7 mg Potassium: 709 mg Fiber: 10.4 g Sugar: 4.2 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 40.91 mg Iron: 3.13 mg

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Kristen says

    Hi! We had the same issue as Donna and Sonia, we used a 3:1 ratio for water to soaked beans and ended up with just mush and shells. Soaked the beans overnight, as the recipe recommends, and followed all the other steps as outlined. Any ideas to what we did wrong, or what we could do differently in the future? Sounds like other people (Nancy and Angela) are having better success with a 2:1 ratio?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that, Kristen! We’re thinking the age of the beans and hardness of the water (which will vary by location) may be leading to differences. We’d suggest reducing the cook time to 5 minutes next time to see if that helps.

  2. Donna says

    This was the very first time I used my instant pot. I have to say that your directions were not clear enough. I ended up with a big pot of mush. It would’ve been helpful if you would’ve clarified that the 3 to 1 ratio is strictly for soaking. I read the booklet for a second time and had to remove some of the water before starting the cook cycle. In the future, please emphasize how much water to put in the pot for cooking. Thank you.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Donna, sorry for any confusion here. The 3:1 ratio is for the water:soaked lima beans, so it sounds like you followed the recipe correctly, but then removed some of the water? As for there being water leftover, that’s the nature of the Instant Pot. It won’t all get absorbed and needs to be strained off at the end of cooking. If you reduce the amount of water, the beans are prone to cooking unevenly because they won’t be fully submerged throughout the cooking process. Hope that helps for future Instant Pot recipes!

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Oh no! Sorry to hear that happened, Sonia. How long did you soak the beans? We’re wondering if it may have been too long.

  3. Nancy Johnson-Cramer says

    Bulk Butter Beans:
    I needed a full 15 minutes to cook with 2 cups of beans soaked overnight using 3 cups of broth and 1 cup of water. I make bulk foods for freezer storage. I put in a metal pan insert with holes in the bottom on a rack so beans are really steamed and nutrients kept. This avoids that burn message that my pot frequently gets.

    thank you for your post.

  4. Liz says

    Hi Dana,

    How would you recommend cooking Jumbo Lima beans in an instant pot? Do you know how much (if any) extra time we would need to add?

    Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Liz, we haven’t experimented with jumbo lima beans, but would estimate maybe an additional 5 minutes? Let us know how it goes!

    • Tessa says

      Lesson learned🙄I read really quickly and found the lima beans not soft at all. Because I didn’t soak. Yes.🗣️ Told us so… We only have “lima beans” by the way. Are borlitti beans the ones you call big lima’s?
      How can I support you because i use this site a lot and don’t want to get everything “for free”

      • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

        Aw, sorry to hear they didn’t turn out, Tessa. We think borlitti beans are a different variety and we haven’t tried them. Your ratings and review are helpful – thanks so much for asking!

        • Tessa says

          Update:
          I put them back for 5 minutes on high and they turned out perfect!!!! Maybe the fact that I rinsed them with hot water wasn’t a great idea either.
          I meant moneywise😬patreon or so..

  5. Angela says

    Hi,
    I started soaking two cups of beans before I realized the 3:1 ratio is for one cup. I put four cups of water in the soaking pot. I’ll keep and eye on them.
    With that in mind, is the pressure cook time still seven minutes?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Angela, just make sure your Instant Pot can handle that volume. According to the manufacturer, with foods that expand, it’s best not to fill past the “1/2” line. As for timing, yes, 7 minutes will work even with a larger batch. Hope that helps!

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