Instant Pot White Beans (Great Northern, Fast, No Soaking!)

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Bowl of perfectly cooked white beans made in the Instant Pot

With an Instant Pot and less than 1 hour, you can make perfectly cooked Great Northern white beans every time! Let us show you how.

Spoon and bowl of Great Northern white beans

Instant Pot White Beans

The Instant Pot is our preferred method for cooking Great Northern (white) beans because it’s quick & easy (no soaking required!) and yields perfectly tender beans!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ratio = 1 part Great Northern (white) beans : 3 ½ parts water
  • Cook Time = 30-32 minutes
  • Release = 15 minute natural release, then release any remaining pressure

They go well in stews, soups, white chili, and salads, or as a sub for some of the cashews in vegan alfredo sauce

Pouring water over Great Northern Beans in an Instant Pot
Wooden spoon in an Instant Pot with cooked white 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!

Vintage spoon in a bowl of Instant Pot Great Northern white beans

Instant Pot White Beans (Great Northern, Fast, No Soaking!)

A quick & simple method for making PERFECT white beans in the Instant Pot every time! Just 1 ingredient and 1 pot required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of Instant Pot White Beans
4 from 18 votes
Prep Time 23 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 55 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


  • 1 cup white beans (Great Northern // see notes for cannellini or white kidney beans)
  • 3 ½ cups water (or vegetable broth for more flavor)


  • Add white beans and water (or vegetable broth) to the Instant Pot and stir to prevent sticking. Pressure cook on high for 30-32 minutes (30 minutes for more firm, 32 for more tender // 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, soups, white chili, or salads, or as a sub for some of the cashews in vegan alfredo sauce. 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.


*If using cannellini (white kidney) beans, we suggest soaking them for 6-8 hours, draining the water, and adding the soaked beans to the Instant Pot with ~3 cups (710 ml) fresh water. Then pressure cook on high for 5-7 minutes (5 for more firm beans, 7 for more buttery) and natural release for 15 minutes as specified in instruction 2.
*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).

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 three-quarter-cup serving Calories: 185 Carbohydrates: 33.3 g Protein: 12.9 g Fat: 0.5 g Saturated Fat: 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 8 mg Potassium: 745 mg Fiber: 8.4 g Sugar: 0.5 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 119.48 mg Iron: 4.91 mg

Reader Interactions

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My Rating:

  1. Liz says

    Does this make enough beans to be equivalent to 1 can? The Vegan White Bean Pot Pie Soup recipe calls for 3 cans of white beans but says you can use this recipe to make your own from scratch so I’m curious how many cups of dry beans would I use?

  2. Eleanor says

    Soaked my beans about 24 hours with salt and also added a teaspoon of salt per cup to pressure cooker water. Turned out perfect.

  3. Emilia says

    came out overcooked. I did 30 min with unsoaked white northern beans. I let it naturally release as I wasn’t home to release after 15 min, not sure how that affects timing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry that happened, Emilia! Usually it has more to do with the cook time, but if it was an especially long release time, that could have made a difference.

  4. Elizabeth says

    Winner! I had some large, unidentified, flat white beans (not kidney shaped, so I don’t *think* they were cannellini). I soaked them overnight before I found your recipe and followed the cannellini instructions. Came out quite soft, but not mush – just how I like them!

    I put them in your Creamy Italian White Bean Skillet Meal (I like the descriptiveness of this title!) and it was a double win – so yum. My sweetheart and I literally fought over who got the last serving. We split it :-)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth! We’re so glad you both enjoyed the skillet meal. That sounds like a very amicable decision 🙃

  5. Kristin says

    I had great northern beans, not presoaked. 30 minutes at high pressure turned them to mush. Not sure what went wrong.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry that happened, Kristin! We’re not sure either. Most readers have had success with this one, but a few haven’t! We’ll do some troubleshooting and see if we can figure out what might be causing the difference.

  6. Jackie says

    Someone else here who had some dry beans and wanted to make the Creamy Italian White Bean Skillet Meal! I had half a pound of Cassoulet beans, which are similar to Great Northerns. They cooked up well using these instructions. I soaked for about 5 hours first. Maybe it’s me, or maybe it’s my Instant Pot, but Instant Pot beans always turn out better for me with at least a little presoaking.

  7. Michael says

    So far I have made pinto beans, black eyed peas and white beans in my insta pot and they have turned out great. Everything they say about the insta pot is spot on , I enjoy using it and also have done taco soup and a pulled pork.

  8. Nicole says

    I have been using MB for years and she never fails me! I had to make a quick batch of white beans in a pinch. I used dry Great Northern. My beans came out perfectly. I cooked for 32 minutes to prepare them for another MB recipe, Creamy Italian White Bean Skillet Meal, which also smells amazing so far. They were not mushy at all, in fact they had more texture than I was going for, which is fine. Thank you! :)

  9. Karen says

    This recipe was spot on perfect! This is the 4th Instant Pot recipe for staple items (beans, grains) I’ve used from this author and they are my go-to for instant pot cooking. Thanks for sharing!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Karen. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  10. Chris Day says

    As an IP newbie, I really appreciated this simple way to make beans. They turned out perfect without soaking. Thank you!

  11. Sarah says

    I soaked my cannellini beans for 6 hrs and pressure cooked for 6 minutes with a 15 minute natural release per to the note. My beans turned into mush and I can’t serve them :(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sarah, we’re so sorry that was your experience! We’ll revisit the note and see if we can make improvements. Would you mind sharing what type of beans you were using?

      • JD says

        Looks like “cannellini” is the fourth word in her post. Doh!
        FWIW – When I pressure cook my red kidney beans following the same recipe I too get mushy beans only good for “refried” beans.

  12. Shanon says

    Yummy! I especially liked the tang from the balsamic vinegar. I was short on white beans so I substituted red kidney beans for one of the cans.

  13. Phil says

    I believe using the words, “Steam or Pressure Cook” would be more clear. Maybe that is a difference in model labeling? If that’s the case, ALL the words used on all models should be incorporated into recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback, Phil. Our understanding is that the “steam” function uses low pressure, so we wouldn’t recommend that for this recipe. If you have an older model of Instant Pot, the pressure cook button could also be called “manual”. Hope that helps!

  14. Paula says

    Made these with beef rib meat and cajun spice (It’s Carnival time here in the south) and they cam out great! We added garlic peppers and carrots. Thanks for these recipes!!!

    PC in Houston

  15. Diana says

    Super easy. Just followed the recipe and it worked well. I was putting my beans in the crockpot for a chili after there were cooked by this method, so I only cooked them for 30 minutes. Relatively fresh package of beans, didn’t pre-soak, added veggie bullion to the water. Came out perfectly.

  16. Morgan says

    Made this according to the recipe – plus soaking a few hours ahead of time as my beans were older (following instructions in the comments).

    My beans came out so mushy they had no texture at all. I’ve had very little success using MB Instant Pot bean recipes which is strange because all of the baking recipes are great! Heads up for my fellow MB lovers that this one is off.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Morgan, sorry that happened! This recipe doesn’t require soaking. So if you soaked them, they will cook in much less time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! So sorry this happened, Nicole. Is it possible your instant pot wasn’t set to high pressure? We’re here to help trouble-shoot if you tell us more about your experience. Thanks for sharing!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Nicole, in our experience, that can mean one of two things: 1) some of the beans are old, or 2) the water wasn’t covering them fully. If the beans are old, soaking can help. Hope that’s helpful!

      • Hannon says

        I had a similar result last night!? My pressure cooker was set to high pressure cook for 30 minutes and the result were still hard beans and a lot of water?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Hannon, sorry to hear that! Having water leftover is normal and you can drain it out. With less water, the beans at the top cook unevenly. As for the beans being hard, is it possible they are old or you have hard water? We’d suggest increasing the cook time by 5-10 minutes to see if that helps!

  17. Suzan says

    I’m wondering if a double recipe will work in the InstaPot. With 7 cups of water and 2 cups of beans would the cooking time need to be increased?
    Thank you, Suzan

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Suzan, if you have a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot, that should be fine! Just make sure not to fill past the 1/2 line (which for a 6-quart is about 12 cups). There’s no need to increase the cook time, it will just take longer to pressurize and to release pressure. Hope that helps!

      • Nikki says

        Followed the recipe exactly and the beans came out perfectly! I used organic veggie broth – no salt added, and it gave the beans a little extra flavor. These beans turned out way better than canned beans (and a lot less sodium too). Would highly recommend!

  18. Barbara says

    Thankyou so much. I’ve never cooked my beans yet in the pressure cooker. Only meats so far. I so needed a guide . I’m from SE Louisiana and we just went through Hurricane Ida. Cooking everything on the grill, Still without power, so I’m tryin my hand at this.😁 I will be adding my sausage and trinity (onions, bell pepper, celery ) what we call it in the south.and Cajun them up a bit. So Thankyou so much. I will let y’all know how they turned out.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tracey, we haven’t experimented with making them in a slow cooker, so we’re not sure! Perhaps 4-6 hours on low?