(GUIDE) How To Cook Navy Beans In Pressure Cooker?

Pressure cooking is a quick and efficient method for preparing a variety of meals, including beans. Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, are small white beans that are commonly used in a variety of dishes such as soups, stews, and salads. Cooking navy beans in a pressure cooker can significantly reduce the cooking time compared to traditional stovetop methods, while still producing tender and flavorful beans.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to cook navy beans in a pressure cooker. We will cover the preparation process, the basics of pressure cooking, optimal cook times, techniques, troubleshooting tips, and even explore different variations and flavoring options for your navy beans.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Navy Beans In Pressure Cooker

The exact cooking time will depend on several factors, including the size and age of the beans, as well as the specific pressure cooker you are using. However, as a general guideline, you can cook navy beans in a pressure cooker for approximately 20-25 minutes on high pressure, followed by a natural release. This will yield perfectly cooked navy beans with a tender texture.


Before cooking navy beans in a pressure cooker, it’s important to properly prepare them. Follow these steps for optimal results:

  1. Sort and rinse: Start by sorting through the navy beans and removing any debris, damaged beans, or stones. Place the beans in a colander and rinse them thoroughly under cold water.

  2. Soaking method (optional): While not necessary, soaking the navy beans can help reduce the cooking time and make them easier to digest. There are two methods to choose from:

    • Overnight soak: Place the sorted and rinsed beans in a large bowl or pot. Cover them with several inches of cold water and let them soak overnight (approximately 8 hours). Drain and rinse the beans before cooking.

    • Quick soak: If you don’t have time for an overnight soak, you can use the quick soak method. Place the sorted and rinsed beans in a large pot. Cover them with several inches of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let them soak for 1 hour. Drain and rinse before cooking.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Navy Beans

Understanding the basics of pressure cooking is crucial for successful bean preparation. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Liquid: Adequate liquid is required to produce steam and create the necessary pressure inside the cooker. For every cup of navy beans, use approximately three cups of liquid. This can be water, broth, or a combination of both.

  • Pressure release methods: There are two methods for releasing the pressure in a pressure cooker – natural release and quick release.

    • Natural release: This method involves allowing the pressure to release on its own, without any intervention. This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the recipe and pressure cooker.

    • Quick release: This method involves manually releasing the pressure using the pressure cooker’s valve. Be cautious when performing a quick release as the hot steam can cause burns. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pressure cooker.

  • Cooking time adjustments: Cooking times may vary depending on factors such as altitude, the age of beans, and personal preference. If your beans are not cooked to your desired tenderness after the recommended cooking time, you can always return them to the pressure cooker and cook for an additional few minutes.

  • Salt: It is recommended to add salt after the beans have finished cooking. Adding salt before can sometimes result in tougher beans.

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Cook Times For Navy Beans In Pressure Cooker

As mentioned earlier, the ideal cooking time for navy beans in a pressure cooker falls between 20-25 minutes on high pressure, followed by a natural release. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly depending on your specific preferences and the condition of the beans.

It’s best to start with the suggested cooking time and adjust accordingly to achieve your desired level of tenderness. If you prefer firmer beans, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes. Conversely, if you like your beans on the softer side, increase the cooking time by a few minutes.

How To Cook Navy Beans In Pressure Cooker

Now that you are familiar with the basics, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of cooking navy beans in a pressure cooker:

  1. Combine the pre-soaked navy beans and the desired amount of liquid in the pressure cooker. The liquid should be approximately three times the volume of beans.

  2. Close the pressure cooker lid securely, ensuring it is properly sealed.

  3. Set the pressure cooker to high pressure and adjust the cooking time to 20-25 minutes. The exact time will depend on your preferences and the specific pressure cooker model.

  4. Start the pressure cooker, and it will begin building pressure. Once the desired pressure is reached, the cooking time countdown will begin.

  5. After the cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally. This can take between 10 to 20 minutes.

  6. Once the pressure has fully released, carefully open the lid. Your navy beans should be tender and ready to be used in your desired recipe.

Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Navy Beans

While the basic method outlined above will yield delicious navy beans, there are a few additional techniques you can employ to further enhance the texture and flavor of your beans:

  1. Sautéing: Before adding the pre-soaked beans and liquid to the pressure cooker, consider sautéing some aromatics such as onions, garlic, or celery in a small amount of oil. This step can add depth and complexity to the bean’s flavor.

  2. Pre-cooking aromatics: For a more intense flavor, you can also pre-cook certain aromatics such as bacon, ham, or sausage. Simply cook the aromatics in the pressure cooker for a few minutes before adding the beans and liquid.

  3. Flavoring options: Navy beans pair well with a range of herbs and spices. Consider adding a bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, cumin, or smoked paprika to infuse your beans with additional flavor. However, it is recommended to add salt after the beans have finished cooking to prevent tougher beans.

  4. Liquid reduction: If you prefer a thicker sauce or broth with your navy beans, you can reduce the cooking liquid after the beans have finished cooking. Simply simmer the liquid on the sauté setting of your pressure cooker until it reaches your desired consistency.


Sometimes, despite careful planning, issues may arise during the pressure cooking process. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help overcome common problems:

  1. Undercooked beans: If your navy beans are still undercooked after the recommended cook time, simply return them to the pressure cooker with additional liquid and cook for a few more minutes until they reach the desired tenderness. Be sure to bring the pressure cooker back up to full pressure before starting the additional cook time.

  2. Overcooked beans: If your navy beans are overcooked and too mushy, reduce the cooking time during your next batch. Start by decreasing the cooking time by 1-2 minutes and adjust further as needed.

  3. Burnt beans: A common issue when pressure cooking is burning or scorching on the bottom of the cooker. To prevent this, ensure you have enough liquid in the cooker and monitor heat levels. If you notice any burning, stop the cooking process, release the pressure, and carefully examine your cooker for any debris or food particles that may have accumulated.

  4. Soaking woes: If you forgot to soak your navy beans overnight and are short on time, don’t fret. You can still cook unsoaked navy beans in a pressure cooker, but you will need to increase the cooking time. Cook unsoaked navy beans for about 30-35 minutes on high pressure, followed by a natural release.

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Variations And Flavoring Options

To add variety to your navy bean dishes, consider experimenting with different flavoring options and variations. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Mediterranean-inspired: Add chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and herbs like oregano and parsley for a vibrant and fresh flavor. Serve with a drizzle of lemon juice for a tangy twist.

  2. Southwest-style: Spice up your navy beans with cumin, chili powder, diced green chilies, and a touch of smoked paprika. Serve them alongside grilled chicken or as a filling for burritos or tacos.

  3. Creamy and cheesy: Turn your navy beans into a rich and creamy dish by adding cream or coconut milk, grated cheese, and a hint of nutmeg. This variation works well as a side dish or as a base for creamy soups.

  4. Smoky and savory: Enhance the flavor of your navy beans by adding smoked ham hocks, bacon, or smoked turkey. Simmer the beans with the smoky meat for a robust and satisfying meal.

  5. Vegan-friendly: For a vegan or vegetarian option, replace the meat with vegetable broth, and add a combination of roasted vegetables such as carrots, celery, and bell peppers. Season with thyme and rosemary for a savory vegan rendition.

Feel free to combine different herbs, spices, and flavor profiles to create your own unique navy bean dishes. The versatility of navy beans allows them to adapt to various cuisines and recipes, making them a staple in many kitchens.


Cooking navy beans in a pressure cooker is a time-saving and efficient method that produces tender and flavorful results. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can easily prepare perfectly cooked navy beans in your pressure cooker. Remember to sort and rinse your beans, soak them if desired, and adjust cooking times to achieve your preferred level of tenderness. Experiment with different flavoring options and variations to create delicious navy bean dishes that suit your taste buds. The possibilities are endless with the versatile navy bean as your culinary canvas.


Can I Cook Dry Navy Beans In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, you can absolutely cook dry navy beans in a pressure cooker. Pressure cooking is a great way to quickly cook beans without the need for soaking.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Navy Beans In A Pressure Cooker?

The cooking time for navy beans in a pressure cooker can vary depending on the quantity and the pressure cooker model. Generally, it takes 25-30 minutes to cook navy beans.

Do I Need To Soak The Beans Before Cooking Them In A Pressure Cooker?

No, soaking beans is not necessary when using a pressure cooker. The high pressure and steam created in the pressure cooker will help cook the beans quickly and thoroughly.

Can I Add Flavorings To The Beans While Cooking Them In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, you can add your desired seasonings or herbs to the beans while they are cooking in the pressure cooker. This will infuse the beans with extra flavor.

How Do I Know When The Navy Beans Are Fully Cooked In The Pressure Cooker?

The beans are fully cooked when they are soft and can easily be mashed with a fork. You can also taste a few beans to ensure they are fully cooked and tender.