with Cannellini & Mint Bean Salad Recipe (lesson 4)

pressure cooker bean salad with quick-soaked beans
Minty, zingy and nutritious.  This bean salad can be ready in less than 20 minutes from dry beans using the most useful and least known method to prepare them- you get the benefits of overnight soaking without the wait!

You can prepare dry beans in the pressure cooker three different ways,  each with benefits and drawbacks:

  • Soaking or long-soak – The traditional, and my most recommended method to prepare beans for cooking, removes most of the indigestible sugars (which can cause gas), re-hydrates the beans evenly so they are as plump and beautiful as they were when they were fresh. However,  this method needs  you to plan ahead – anywhere from 4-12 hours depending on the bean!
  • Quick-soak, speed-soak, or twice-cooking – A happy medium between long and no-soak methods.  It also removes the indigestible sugars and only requires, at most, an additional 10 minutes prior to beginning your bean recipe. However, the faster re-hydration of the beans may cause the skins to crack or separate rendering them slightly less attractive than their long-soaked counterparts.
  • No-soak – The fastest and easiest way to cook beans on the planet!  You just rinse the beans and begin the recipe by throwing the beans in with the other ingredients. However, this method does not remove the indigestible sugars and the quick re-hydration could cause the beans to break apart and split rendering them highly unattractive. Also, I have never gotten even results using this method.  Some beans are perfectly cooked, while some a crunchy and some have melted into a creamy mass. Only use this method for bean soups or spreads, though I do not recommend it at all!

Some bean varieties like lentils and split-peas can cook quickly on their own, have a low concentration of indigestible sugars, and do not need soaking prior to cooking (see the Cooking Time Chart).

Quick-Soaking Beans in the Pressure Cooker

Quick-soaking is a method of re-hydrating beans quickly by briefly pre-cooking them.  Once you have quick-soaked them, you can follow recipe directions, and cooking times for soaked, or pre-soaked, beans.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Give the beans a quick rinse in a colander, by swishing them around and running water through them – this is a great time to remove any broken beans or debris.
  2. Put the beans in the pressure cooker. For each cup of rinsed beans, add four of water and 1 teaspoon of salt -this will help keep the skins intact.
  3. Bring the contents to a boil without the pressure cooking lid.
  4. Then, quickly close and lock the pressure cooker lid and pressure cook for 2 minutes at high pressure (for both stovetop and electric pressure cookers).
  5. Open the pressure cooker using the Slow Normal release – open the valve very slowly or if it can only go full-blast in short spurts.  I foam begins to exit the valve stop spurting and wait 30 seconds before you begin releasing pressure (this will give the foam time fall back down into the cooking liquid).
  6. Drain and rinse the beans under cold running water, again.
  7. Proceed with recipe that requires pre-soaked beans.
There are special considerations for electric pressure cookers (which will need to be opened by releasing vapor), and  first-generation weight modified valves and jigglers (which need to release vapor through their valves during cooking).  Beans tend to foam inside the pressure cooker and it is usually not a problem until the valve is open to expel vapor.  The foam could spurt out of the valve creating an obstruction. Most manufacturers recommend adding a spoon of oil in the pressure cooker while cooking to avoid this.  For electrics, you only need to add oil during the quick-soak because for cooking you will use the natural release.  For the first-generation pressure cookers that I mentioned earlier, you will need to add oil every time you cook or pre-cook beans in the pressure cooker. If you’re not sure what kind of valve your cooker has, just add the oil to be on the safe side.

I will provide more details for the long and no-soak methods in a future article dedicated solely to cooking beans in the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger none 2 min. & 6-8 min High(2) Slow Normal & 10-Min. Natural

Warm Cannellini Bean Salad - pressure cooker recipe
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: ⅙th
  • Calories: 72.1
  • TOTAL Fat: 0.3g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 12.6g
  • Sugar Carbs: 0.0g
  • Sodium: 528.1mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 4.1g
  • Protein: 4.9g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe will yield two cups or about 20oz or 450g of cooked beans - a small side dish. To make more, simply double the recipe. Just make sure that the beans and water in the cooker do not exceed the "half capacity" of the cooker.
  • 1 cup (200g) dried cannellini beans
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sprig Fresh Mint, or 1 teaspoon dry
To quick-soak beans:
  1. Rinse the dried beans, and then place them in the pressure cooker with 4 cups (1lt) of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Make sure that the beans and water do not exceed half of the total capacity of the pressure cooker. Some pressure cookers have this clearly marked (read more about pressure cooker capacity).
  2. Before putting on the lid, bring the contents to a boil un-covered.
  3. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  4. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 2 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure (with the model I'm using, the pressure cooker has reached pressure when the indicator lifts to display two red lines), lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 2 minutes pressure cooking time.
  5. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure very slowly. If the pressure release speed cannot be regulated by your cooker's valve, simply release pressure in short bursts. If anything other than steam comes out of the valve, stop and count to 10 before releasing the pressure slowly (or in small bursts), again.
  6. Strain the beans and rinse well under cold water. Give the pressure cooker interior a quick rinse.
To make the recipe:
  1. Put the beans, four cups or 1 lt. of fresh water back into the pressure cooker. Then add the smashed garlic and Bay leaf.
  2. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker, again.
  3. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 8 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 6 minutes pressure cooking time.
  4. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and open when the pressure indicator has gone down (20 to 30 minutes).
  5. Open the pressure cooker and give the beans a final rinse and strain.
  6. Taste a bean before dressing it with additional vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper
  7. Sprinkle with fresh mint leaves before serving.

Try the next Beginner Basics Lesson:  Ligurian Chicken – Braise and Glaze or view the entire Beginner Basics Course outline!

Now that you can quickly soak beans, you can try..



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  1. When I lived in Costa Rica my host family used a pressure cooker to make the black beans that are a staple in their culture. I’ve never used one, but love that it makes cooking beans so much easier. Beautiful photo!

  2. I adore my pressure cooker. Those beans look perfectly cooked! I made a batch of black beans just yesterday in my PC.

  3. Thank you SweetPotatoSoul and BrannyBoilsOver or your nice comments!


  4. Great post.

    Have you ever found that the beans actually start cooking during the quick presoak? And then they get overcooked?

    I usually quick soak one hour in advance, and then drain and cook.

    I don’t add salt because I have had some tough bean issues but I think that I am going do your method and see how the beans turn out.

  5. Hii Veggie Queen!

    So far, no. I have not noticed that the beans are overcooked. I have not quick-soaked ALL bean varieties so it could vary with bean density and size. Will keep this in mind and watch for this with bean dishes!



  6. For the quick soak,you specify bringing the beans to pressure – should we assume that you mean high pressure? I ask because some pressure cooker manuals are not exactly clear on the cooking of beans.

    1. Ciao Mike, if no pressure is indicated high pressure is assumed (also in books and magazines). I’m trying to be more diligent about specifically mentioning the pressure level in the newer recipes.

      Have fun!



    2. Mike asked the question above about Pressure. It would depend on the type of Pressure Cooker you have, Mike. I have both a 10 lb. which is a 6 qt. cooker, and a 15 lb. which is a
      16 qt. Cooker/Canner. You can find the allotted times for both presoaking and cooking times elsewhere on this site. Actually, I don’t know why you would want to presoak them, when you can just wash them, throw them into your Pressure Cooker with the correct amount of water and seasonings, cook them for the allotted time and presto, (no pun intended) you’ve got the best beans you ever wrapped a jaw around. That’s slap your Mama cooking, as the old saying goes. It’s just my opinion, but when you presoak beans, then pour off the water, you’ve poured off most of the flavor and nutrients with the water. If you want to keep down the gas, add just a pinch of baking soda. Not two pinches, just one. Either that, or be willing to back up to the gas tank on your car every morning and put the gas companies out of business. Gotta love it! (Don’t forget when cooking beans, NEVER fill cooker over 1/2 full. I always place a slotted shield I have over the top of my beans before closing the lid to prevent any loose skins from floating up to clog up the steam vents of my cooker. Just a little something extra for safety’s sake. Remember, you never start counting time until your rocker begins to rock, at which time, you immediately start your timer, turn your heat down to either simmer or low, whichever is the lowest setting your stove has. Adjust heat as needed, just enough to keep rocker GENTLY rocking. I cook my Butter Beans twenty five minutes without presoaking. Recipe below. I always cook my beans in my larger cooker which is a 15 lb. cooker. Twenty five minutes works great for me. Eat with fresh Cornbread soaked into the juice and get ready for some good redneck, down-home Country eating. I’ll have to put my recipe for good Country Cornbread on this site later. love to all, Buddy Simmons

      1. Mike, as a sidebar, not knowing what size Pressure Cooker you have, it might be a good idea to do the Microwave method of Presoaking I gave below first, then AFTER soaking, put them into your Pressure Cooker to see how full one pound of beans will be in your Pressure Cooker AFTER soaking. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT) You do NOT want to fill your Pressure Cooker over half full when cooking beans or anything else that might swell up, for that matter. You DO NOT want those vent holes in the top of the lid to be stopped up. Uh! Uh! Bad Business! Take my word for it, you would regret it! Let Me explain why I say this. My above advice is still good, but something needs to be explained here. Butter Beans, after soaking, doubles in size or more, so it would be best to presoak a lb.of dried Butter Beans first (I would do them in the Microwave the way I show below, don’t pour the water out, pour beans and water straight into your cooker with your seasonings, add water as needed. You need to wind up with about 6 cups water to 1 lb. of beans. After you have added water, beans and seasonings, close the lid, bring her up to steam until the rocker begins to rock, turn heat down to lowest setting right then, adjust heat as needed to barely keep rocker gently rocking until allotted time has expired. Start timer as soon as rocker begins to rock. Good eating! The reason for this advice is that if one pound of Butter Beans would prove to swell up and take up too much room inside your Pressure Cooker, by presoaking them ahead of time to see how much they swell and pouring them into your cooker, you know if you can safely cook a whole pound at one time or not. Hope this helps.

  7. Great post laura! I’ll have to pass this on to my readers. One more reason everyone needs a pressure cooker!

    1. Thanks Sally… keep spreading pressure cooker goodness!!



  8. Last night I read with much interest about the various ways to prepare beans for the pressure cooker. For the most part I have used Beano to take
    care of the gas problem. So I did the long soak method with pinto beans overnight and proceeded today to make soup. Guess what? No
    gas! Thanks!

  9. Is it true that one *must* use at least a 5-quart pressure cooker if one wants to cook beans and legumes? Apparently I didn’t read the buying instructions close enough since I ended up buying a 4-quart PC, thinking it would be enough for a household of one… and since the main reason I decided to buy a PC was to minimize the cooking time for beans and legumes it’s no surprise I’m really quite disappointed and kind of frustrated. Can’t I just lessen the amount of beans in the recipe to make it ok for my 4-quart?

    1. Ellen,

      You can cook beans in any size pressure cooker as long as the amount of beans and their cooking liquid do not exceed half of the cooker’s capacity (that’s 2 quarts or 8 cups, for you).

      Since wiring this tutorial I’ve been playing with the ratios of beans and their cooking liquid. I’ve gotten great results from using 1 cup dry beans (measured that have been soaked overnight) and cooking them with 1 1/2 cups of water. With this ratio, the beans are perfectly cooked and the resulting cooking liquid is a luscious flavorful bean stock. HOWEVER, the beans are a tad- more.. uhm.. gassy.

      Using my new soaked-bean to water ratio means that your 4 quart pressure cooker can cook up to 2 cups of dry beans (that’s about a 1 pound bag) that have been soaked overnight without fear of going over the half-way mark.

      Now, when you put it all in your cooker it will look like WAAAY too little water for the beans – that one cup of dry beans will now be about 2 cups of soaked beans – but remember, once beans are soaked they do not absorb as much of the cooking liquid.

      Enjoy your pressure cooker, and welcome!



  10. I am an Alabama Redneck and I like the stronger taste you get when you do not presoak dried Lima Beans if cooking them in a pressure cooker. I have two Pressure cookers, both bought new, a 6 qt Presto (wish I’d bought an 8 qt., and a 16 qt. Presto Pressure Cooker/Canner which I dearly love.) I always cook Butter Beans in my 16 qt Cooker because I cook more than 1 lb at a time. I LOVE Butter Beans. I’m a Redneck What can I say? I’m also into canning so I make more than we can eat so I will have some left over to can. Smart, Huh?

    I know all the arguments that you hear from different people, both pro and con, but I just wash my beans straight out of the package well, put them into my large 16 qt PC with salt, a little Black Pepper, 3 tbsp Butter ( I always add about 2 tbsp oil, as well) I add 6 cups of water so I will have plenty of soup to eat with my cornbread which I also make and have waiting. add a few chunks of Ham and close the lid. (I also place the canning rack that goes in the bottom for canning jars over the top of the beans to stop any split beans from rising to the top to stop up the vents in the lid)

    Turn the heat up high until 15 lbs pressure is almost reached, then turn heat down to simmer when my rocker starts to rock. That’s when I begin to count off the time which will be 25 minutes because I want my beans to be WELL done. Remember, to start counting time when rocker begins to rock.

    1. Another way to presoak Butter Beans, (if that’s what you want to do) without a Pressure Cooker, is to wash beans well, place beans in a LARGE bowl with a LOT of water ( when I say a lot, I mean a LOT. You can always pour off some of it, if you have to, but if I poured off anything, it would be some of the water on the stove instead of the water containing nutrients) into a Microwave, cook on High for about twenty minutes, then after removing from microwave, whatever is left of the water and beans, I pour straight into a pot of water and seasonings I have already started on medium high heat on the stove at the same time I put the beans into the Microwave. It saves a lot of time, having the beans already hot. Why let them cool off then have to heat them up again to finish cooking them? The beans have already swelled and released their nutrients (hope I spelled that right) into the water in the bowl. So why pour it out, you’ve pouring out the good stuff? That what makes Beans taste so good. Call me strange, but Hey, what can I say? I’m a Redneck! I love real Country Cooking.

      The Beans will have soaked up most or all of the water you used in the microwave, so I always put a large pot on the stove with 6 cups of water, 3 tbsp Butter, a little pepper, a couple tbsp oil and a few chunks of ham for seasoning at the same time I start presoaking in the Microwave. Cook for about 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours until beans are very soft. YOU HAVE TO KEEP A CLOSE WATCH ON YOUR FOOD AND STIR OFTEN TO PREVENT BURNING!. Turn heat down about halfway toward end of cooking cycle to prevent scorching. This was the method I had to use before I purchased my first pressure cooker. Now, I use my Pressure cookers for almost everything I cook and I am amazed at what you can do with these wonderful pieces of equipment. Thanks for this great blog. May God bless everyone. This is for 1 pound of Butter Beans. This recipe makes the best Butter Beans you ever wrapped your lips around but using a Pressure Cooker is absolutely the way to go!

  11. I have a recipe for Butter Bean, Portabello Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup. It is DDDivine! I decided to soak the beans over night (as called for in the recipe) and the following morning, then I looked in the bowl, a bunch of the “skins” from the Butter Beans were floating around in the water. I’d never seen that before so I tried to remove them so they wouldn’t clog up the pressure cooker. With each skin that I took off, the bean split in two I was able to remove all but about 3-5 skins.

    I set up the pressure cooker, added two bay leaves and a 3″ strip of Kombu and started it up. I left the room for a bit and when I returned, the pressure cooker was really struggling and liquid had come out through the over flow spout and onto the lid of the cooker. I immediately turned the heat off and tried to dry off the lid (liquid kept coming out). I thought for sure the pot was building up pressure in preparation and getting read to blow.

    Later, when I opened the lid, many of the beans had turned to mush and he rest weren’t cooked enough to eat. As a last resort, I decided to cook them on the stove until they were all done.

    What did I do wrong? Should I have omitted the soaking over night process and just (pressure) cooked them? This was my second pound of beans, the others were used for the soup (yum!) and I’ve saved the rest of the beans and froze them for another day.

    We have a 10 qt. Pro Selections, Gas – Electric Vitro-Induction, inox 18-10, Planksteel, Fagor Made in Spain. Took all of that off the bottom of the cooker can you tell? Had to fill it with water to figure out how many quarts it was! We had it for so long I’d forgotten. It can only be used on a cook surface of some kind, it doesn’t have a plug. There are only two of us so this is a bit large and I’d like to have a 6 or 4 qt. version. Someday!

    Thank you, in advance, for all your help.

    1. Ciao TestaRosa!

      You didn’t mention how much water you added but it sounds like you left the room while the cooker was building pressure, and the cooker went into over-pressure. This creates a fast boil inside the pressure cooker that would turn the beans to mush and make lots of foam that would then try to spray out of the valve.

      In additon to fill levels, you need to be very aware about how the cooker reaches and looses pressure. Be sure to take the valve out and clean all around it as it will undoubtedly be covered in copious bean pulp! And carefully supervise the cooker while it’s reaching pressure so you can turn down the heat in time.



      1. Thank you for commenting Laura!

        As far as the amount of water goes, I put in 6 C. which is the same amount I use for all beans (1 lb). I get your message about watching the pressure cooker, and I guess I had the heat on too high for too long.

        But my real question was about leaving the skins on vs off and why did the beans split in half? Should I just have left them on and gone ahead with the process or would that have caused the loose skins to get up into the valve?

        I did as you suggested and cleaned out the valve. Luckily, it was clear!

        Thanks again Laura,


        1. Yes, you were right to remove the skins – it’s normal for the un-skinned beans to split in half. Likely those beans were scratched during packaging or transport so when you hydrated the beans their skins popped off.

          Personally, I remove any damaged, discolored or misshapen bean before pressure cooking . You don’t want a bad bean to ruin the whole batch!



  12. Hi Laura,

    I noticed that instruction #5 under quick soaking, and one of the photographs, shows the cold-water-on-the-lid method of quickly reducing pressure. I think you now recommend against this method, so you might want to edit this page.

    Love this site — one of my most frequently used bookmarks!


    1. Thanks Stuart! We plans to do a big overhauls of this section this summer so I’m looking forward to seeing your thoughts as all of the lessons are updated. As you noticed, I already changed the directions but the photos are not that easy to change! : (



  13. Hi Laura,

    Maybe a silly question, but when doing a quick-soak, what button would I press on my instant pot to bring the beans to a boil with the lid off?

    We just received the instant pot as a gift, and we’re very excited novices.

    1. Press “Saute'” – that’s a good question!!



  14. I quick-soaked a cup of dried chickpeas in my Instant Pot, then cooked them according to the timing chart here. After the initial pressure cook the chickpeas were still hard, so I cooked them 10 minutes longer at high pressure.

    After that they were very inconsistently cooked, some perfect and some still crunchy.

    Any ideas on how to fix this? Should I do a longer quick soak?

    1. Chickpeas will look a little hard after quick-soaking so that’s normal. The next step would have been to pressure cook them using the “soaked chickpea cooking time” as noted in our chart (http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooking-times/) which for your Instant Pot would be 15 minutes + Natural Release. Not 10 minutes.

      In short: Yup, you under-cooked them and that’s why they were still hard and un-even. : )



      P.S. Don’t hurry the pressure release – the chickpeas are still cooking in the remaining heat during this time as well. That’s why the cooking chart also includes a recommended pressure release (in this case, Natural) for each item.

      1. Thanks for the reply. Sorry, I was unclear in my initial post. I quick soaked the chickpeas, then pressure cooked for 15 minutes on high pressure as in the cooking times chart.

        After that they were still hard, so I cooked them an additional 10 minutes on high pressure. Then some were cooked well and some were still hard.

      2. It’s not so much the cooking time I’m concerned with, that’s easy enough to adjust and experiment.

        I’m wondering how to fix the inconsistent done-ness so I don’t have half the chickpeas cooked and half still hard.

        1. The best way to get even cooking is to do the long soak. You can soak for 12, 24 and even 48 hours – constantly changing the water, of course. If that doesn’t do it I would look into whether the water you are using is affecting the beans somehow (mineral-rich water can hinder cooking) or if the beans are simply from an old batch.



  15. Hi Laura, I noticed that when boiling beans in an open pot, the foam develops within the first few minutes after “simmer” is reached, and does not build up further after that. So, as an added safety measure to ensure foam doesn’t clog my pressure cooker vents, I now bring my beans to a gentle boil without the lid and skim off the foam for the first minute or two. Then I add a splosh of oil to calm the waters during cooking, and only then do I close the lid, vent the air and steam, and finally turn up the heat to reach valve-closure and then pressure. I find that with this approach, there is never any foamy residue in the pot and no risk of foam clogging the vents.

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