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Instant Pot Cannellini Beans (Marcella Beans)

Instant Pot Cannellini Beans. Pressure cooker dried beans are a killer application of my Instant Pot. Dried cannellini beans are so much better than canned, and pressure cook in about an hour.

I’ve posted a few recipes with Cannellini beans, Italy’s famous white bean. It’s the bean that makes Tuscan bean soup, and I love it with tomatoes and pancetta. But I’ve never done just straight up Cannellini beans, like I would for make ahead beans or as a simple bean side dish. Today we’re going to fix that. (Does it have anything to do with finding a bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella beans in my pantry? Who can possibly say?)

A bowl of cannellini beans with a sprig of rosemary on top and a spoon on the side
Instant Pot Cannellini Beans (Marcella Beans)
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🥫Ingredients

This is a simple dried bean recipe, so the ingredients list is pretty basic

  • Dried Cannellini beans (Marcella beans are particularly good)
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • A few cloves of garlic

See recipe card for quantities.

🥘 Substitutions

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.

Don’t have cannellini beans? Great Northern beans are similar, though not as creamy, and cook with these same instructions.

🛠 Equipment

A 6-quart pressure cooker. Pressure cooker dried beans are one of the reasons I became a pressure cooker convert, and love my Instant Pot. 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.)

📏Scaling

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 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

  • 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.
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🔪Recipe

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A bowl of cannellini beans with a sprig of rosemary on top and a spoon on the side

Instant Pot Cannellini Beans (Marcella Beans)


  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups cooked beans 1x

Description

Instant Pot Cannellini Beans. Pressure cooker dried beans are a killer application of my Instant Pot. Dried cannellini beans are so much better than canned, and pressure cook in about an hour.


Ingredients

Scale

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans (aka Marcella beans), sorted and rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled

Instructions

  1. Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the cranberry beans, removing broken beans, stones, and any other non-bean material. Put the beans in a strainer, rinse the beans, and set them aside to drain.
  2. Everything in the pot: Pour the beans into an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Stir in 8 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt, then add the rosemary sprig and unpeeled cloves of garlic
  3. Pressure Cook for 35 minutes with a quick release: Pressure cook on high pressure for 35 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or 30 minutes in a stovetop PC. Quick release the pressure in the pot.
  4. Serve or Save: Remove the rosemary and garlic cloves and discard. Serve the beans as-is in their broth, freeze in their broth for later, or drain and use them as directed in another recipe.

Notes

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.

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

Keywords: Instant Pot Cannellini Beans (Marcella Beans), Pressure Cooker Cannellini Beans (Marcella Beans)

☃️ Storage

A 2-cup container of cooked cannellini 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.

Instant Pot Cranberry Beans
Instant Pot Cannellini Beans and Greens (Coming Soon)
Instant Pot Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes and Pancetta
Instant Pot Good Mother Stallard Beans
Pressure Cooker Umbrian Lentils and Sausage
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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