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Instant Pot Cannellini Beans and Greens

Instant Pot Cannellini Beans and Greens. Garlicky beans and greens from my pressure cooker, a great Italian-inspired side dish.

What did I do on my summer vacation? I ate and drank my way around New York’s Finger Lakes wine region. One of the best things I had were the garlicky Utica Greens and Beans from Union Block Italian Bistro in Penn Yan.

A gratin dish of beans, greens, and cherry peppers, topped with a toasted bread crumb crust, with more cherry peppers in the background
Instant Pot Cannellini Beans and Greens

This is a follow-up to Tuesday’s simple Cannellini bean recipe, adding a bit more pizzaz to a simple side dish of beans. If you want more details about cooking dried cannellini beans, check out that post.

If you like this recipe, check out my Cranberry Bean Gratin, with Italian Borlotti beans. Or, if you’re looking for a simpler side dish of beans and broth, without the “bake the beans to crisp up the bread crumb crust, try these Cannellini beans with tomatoes and pancetta.

Jump to:


  • dried Cannellini beans
  • olive oil
  • pancetta
  • garlic (lots of garlic)
  • kale
  • pickled cherry peppers
  • Panko bread crumbs

See recipe card for quantities.

🥘 Substitutions

If you can’t find Cannellini beans, you can substitute great northern beans.

To make this a vegetarian recipe, skip the pancetta. There’s enough going on that you won’t miss it.

The pickled cherry peppers add a bite of heat to this dish. Use banana peppers to cut the heat back, or leave them out if you don’t want any hint of spicy.

Any tough, leafy green, like collards or mustard greens, can substitute for the kale

Regular bread crumbs can replace the Panko bread crumbs, but I like the extra crunch of Panko style crumbs.

If you want to skip the bread crumbs and the baking step entirely, you can, and serve this as a soupy side dish. (But I like the extra crunch of the bread crumb topping).

For a vegetarian/vegan version of the recipe, skip the pancetta.

🛠 Equipment

A 6-quart pressure cooker. Pressure cooker dried beans are one of the key reasons I became a pressure cooker convert.

A 2-quart oven safe baking dish, or individual serving sized gratin dishes.


This recipe doubles easily in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Cut all the ingredients in half and this recipe will fit in a 3-quart pressure cooker.

🤨 Soaking cannellini beans?

I get the “to soak, or not to soak?” question all the the time. I don’t soak my cannellini beans in this basic recipe. They don’t need an overnight soak, and cook to tenderness with 35 minutes at high pressure.

That doesn’t mean you can’t soak the beans. They turn out fine, though the bean broth isn’t quite as full bodied. Soaked beans cook much quicker, 12 minutes at high pressure. I use that when I’m cooking the beans with other ingredients, where the shorter cooking time keeps me from overcooking the whole dish just to get the beans tender.

💡Tips and Tricks

  • I use both an Instant Pot (to pressure cook the beans) and a frypan (to sauté everything) in the instructions. You can make this recipe entirely in your Instant Pot by cleaning the pot liner out and switching to sauté mode when it comes to the Sauté step. I just find it easier to work with a frypan, especially for wilting the kale and pouring into the gratin dishes.
  • See my Instant Pot Cannellini Beans recipe for more bean cooking details.


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A gratin dish of beans, greens, and cherry peppers, topped with a toasted bread crumb crust, with more cherry peppers in the background

Instant Pot Cannellini Beans and Greens

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups of beans and greens 1x


Instant Pot Cannellini Beans and Greens. Garlicky beans and greens from my pressure cooker, a great Italian-inspired side dish.




  • 8 ounces dried Cannellini beans, aka Marcella beans
  • 1 clove garlic, unpeeled
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or a bay leaf)
  • 4 cups water


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 4 ounces kale, stems removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup reserved bean broth
  • Cooked beans from above (about 3 cups)
  • More reserved bean broth as needed
  • 8 ounces jarred hot cherry peppers, drained and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs


  1. Pressure cook the beans for 35 minutes with a quick release: Sort and rinse the cannellini beans, removing broken beans, stones, and any other non-bean material. Add the beans, water, salt, and rosemary to an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Lock the lid and pressure cook on high pressure (Manual or Pressure cook Mode in an Instant Pot) for 35 minutes, then quick release the pressure in the pot. Drain the beans, saving both the beans and their liquid for later.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: Set the oven to 350°F to preheat. Put the olive oil and pancetta in a large frypan, set the pan over medium heat, and cook until the pancetta starts to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for 1 minute, or until you smell garlic. Stir in the kale, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, and pour in ½ cup of the bean liquid. Simmer until the kale starts to wilt, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sliced cherry peppers and reserved beans, and keep stirring until the beans are covered with oil and pancetta fat.
  3. Fill the gratin dish: Pour the frypan of beans and aromatics into a 2-quart baking dish, then add the reserved bean liquid until it comes ¾ of the way up the beans. Toss the panko bread crumbs with the olive oil, then spread the bread crumbs over the top of the baking dish in an even layer.
  4. Bake the gratin: Slide the baking dish into the oven and bake until the bread crumbs start to brown on the top, about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


Individual servings: Instead of pouring everything into one big baking dish, spread the beans across a bunch of smaller oven-safe gratin dishes, then spread the panko across the top each dish. Put the dishes on a rimmed baking sheet, then continue with the “bake the gratin” step, baking until the bread crumbs are browning, about 30 minutes.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Instant Pot Cannellini Beans and Greens, Pressure Cooker Cannellini Beans and Greens

☃️ Storage

Make ahead: You can pressure cook the beans ahead of time. Store them in their liquid in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw the beans, and in the “Sauté” step, sauté until the beans are heated through before putting them into the baking dish.

Leftovers: This recipe freezes well, in 2-cup containers, for up to 6 months. The bread crumb crust will get soggy, but still taste good.

Instant Pot Cannellini Beans
Instant Pot Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes and Pancetta
Pressure Cooker Tuscan Bean Soup
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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