Instant Pot Fiasco Beans

Instant Pot Fiasco Beans Recipe

Not the most attractive recipe, but never mind that! What this pot of beans lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavor and simplicity. Seriously! This recipe is for all of you with a new Instant Pot, but I'll also include the conventional version where you slow cook these beans in a low temperature oven. Both are incredible, but I have to say, I was astonished by the flavor and texture of the beans cooked in the Instant Pot, and the broth had so much body!

Instant Pot Fiasco Beans

Here's the scoop. I'm still putting my new Instant Pot through its first paces (here's a starter guide I pulled together), and decided to attempt to adapt one of my favorite bean recipes. If you've heard of fagioli al fiasco, you know where we're headed - I included a version in my last book. Traditionally this is a Tuscan way of slow cooking beans, overnight in the embers of a fire place - beans, garlic, chile flakes, olive oil, and rosemary. Not much else. Unfortunately there's no wood-fired oven in my house, so years ago, I adapted a version to slow cook in a dutch oven for a few hours in a low-temperature oven. It's one of my favorite bean recipes. And now, taking things a step further, we're going to do a riff on that version for the Instant Pot (or whatever electric pressure cooker you have). The fragrant broth is freckled with olive oil and develops an incredible amount of flavor - even more so when cooked under pressure.

Instant Pot Fiasco Beans

There are a couple details worth noting. We're going to pressure cook pre-soaked beans here, and then stir in kale after the beans are cooked, to make this more of a super healthful (and delicious!) one-dish meal. The residual heat from the pressure cooker will cook down the kale. You can serve the beans just like that, stew-like, perhaps with a thread of olive oil drizzled on top. Or, you can load up your bowls with whatever toppings you have. Pictured here: chopped scallions and cilantro, quick pickled red onions, a squeeze of lemon juice, dusting of cheese. If none of these are your jam, a simple, spicy chile oil might hit the spot. I love bean stews with a strong kick of chile oil.

Please let me know what you think here! This is my first attempt at writing a recipe for the IP, and I want to do a good job of communicating instructions (so many buttons!). Also - there are many different models, and I want the recipes to cross over devices, etc. This one seems pretty straight forward - ingredients in the pot, pressure cook, stir in kale, serve with any toppings you like.

Instant Pot Fiasco Beans (Fagioli al Fiasco)

I love this with all sorts of toppings, but I also enjoy it topped with a simple tangle of arugula on top, alongside a slab of well-toasted bread rubbed with a bit of olive oil and garlic. The best kind of simple food. Also, for fun, play around with the red pepper flakes here. The standard ones are delicious, but I've also experimented with others (like Aleppo or Greek chiles), and they really lend their own personality! For a vegan version, simply skip the grated cheese.

1 pound / 433 g dried borlotti (cranberry) or cannellini beans, soaked overnight, drained

6 cups / 1.5 L water
1/3 cup olive oil
5 medium cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
5 medium sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
scant 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4-5 big handfuls of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces

for serving (any / all of the following): herbs, scallions, lemon wedges, grated cheese, quick pickled red onions

For the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker: Place the beans, water, olive oil, garlic, sage, and red pepper flakes in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, turn the lever in the back to "seal". Pressure cook on high for 22 minutes. When finished, allow to natural release for ten minutes, and then carefully finish with quick release. Gently, stir in the salt and kale, it will collapse in a minute or two. Transfer the beans to a large serving bowl. Serve each bowl with any of the suggested toppings you like.

Conventional: Preaheat oven to 225F / 110C, with a rack in the bottom. Place the beans in a large ovenproof casserole or pot. Add the water, olive oil, garlic, sage, and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer on the stove top. Remove from the heat, cover, leaving a tiny crack, then transfer to the oven.

Bake for two hours, or until the beans are plump and tender. Along the way you want the beans to gently bubble and simmer. Check on them after a few minutes, and if you need to adjust your oven up to 250F / 120C. Stir in the salt after 90 minutes and finish baking. When you remove the beans from the oven, stir in the kale. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8.

Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 25 min


I send an email roughly once a week, sharing new recipes and cooking inspiration. - xo heidi


Sounds delicious. We are making this tomorrow. Great recipe, as a long time IP user the directions were clear and simple. Can't wait for more IP recipes.


The fiasco beans sound delicious. I am wondering if ciutting back on the oil and doing all the cooking on the stovetop would work well enough to proceed that way. Thank you for any advice that you can give.


Heidi, I'm delighted that you'll be adding Instant Pot recipes to your site. I just bought one, mainly to encourage me to add more legumes to our meal plan. And abracadabra, here's a recipe to get me started! I was momentarily taken aback by the recipe's title, however, thinking, "Yikes, Heidi had a disaster with her new pot!" (I've been reading all kinds of warnings about foaming issues with beans). But back to the recipe: do you have any tips about the amount, type or prep of the kale and a kind of cheese to use? Thank you. Now I have a reason to unpack that box :)

HS: Hi Carol - any varietal, really. I was looking for lacinato, but came across a curlier varietal, and ended up using that! On the cheese front, a nice pecorino would be good. Or freshly grated Parmesan...or, on a completely different front, a crumble of feta? I think you could take the cheese in a number of directions and not go wrong. Have at it! xx


Absolutely love the bean serving bowl! Any chance that is/or will be in your Quitokeeto shop? Always enjoy your recipes and thoughtful commentary.

HS: Hi Jane - thanks for the nice note. That was a vintage/ flea market find. :) Keep your eyes peeled, I find some of my personal faves at yard sales :)!


Quick question - are the sage leaves dried or fresh? Thanks!

HS: Hi Elle, quite honestly, either. I just use whatever I have.


I love my Instant Pot and can't wait for more recipes from you! For Instant Pot instructions, I would say "Press Manual then up or down buttons to 22. NPR 10 minutes."

Morgan Balavage

Slow cooked beans are one of my top winter faves, too. Thanks for the IP adaptation!

A number of the IP recipes I’ve seen say you don’t need to persoak your beans. Do you find the beans do better in the Instant Pot with a presoak? Or do you think this would work without the presoak? Thanks!


Heidi, I am a longtime admirer in Honolulu. I have an Instant Pot which I plan to use more frequently and this recipe is the PERFECT way to start. I notice that after the reference to kale in the intro you don't mention it as an ingredient in the recipe. All the best and will look forward to more Instant Pot masterpieces. Steve

HS: Thanks Steve - yes! Just after you take the lid off the IP. Stir in the kale.


I don't have an IP but I have a stovetop pressure cooker. I make your rasam recipe from Near and Far by cooking the chana dal for 12 mins and after natural release, add it (with the cooking liquid) to the sauce. It's fantastic.


Hi Heidi-I just got an Instant Pot too and Melissa Clark's book. I am glad another trusted chef, such as yourself will be posting recipes! I have also been amazed at how wonderful beans come out in the Instant Pot! They are somehow very distinct individually, very flavorful and tender with such a lovely broth. And SO fast!

Marcia Lusk

Heidi I can't wait to see what else you'll do with the Instant Pot. I dug out some of my old Lorna Sass cookbooks because so much of what's out there for the pot is meat centric and or uses a lot of prepared foods as add-ins. Maybe it's a personal hangup but I tend to want finished meals from this thing and not just a simple pot of beans or grains.


Just made these beans. They are excellent - creamy but still with plenty of structure and full of flavor. It was dead easy. I topped it with some pesto for the first serving but have now just tossed in some frozen chopped kale to cook with the residual heat for leftovers. I’ll probably top with a fried egg as suggested. Thank so so much for the IP recipe.


Hi Heidi: I’m a longtime fan of yours from NYC. I made this recipe last night. It was delicious. I used my Breville multi function pressure, slow, steamer cooker and had to follow it is instructions for how much water to use which was slightly different then the IP. I added Swiss Chard and since I’m the daughter of a southerner I added a smoked hamhock. Next time to help me move closer to a healthier version I will make it without the hock and olive oil. This is my new go to recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

HS: Thanks for the note Rhoda! Yes! Try it without the hamhock, I don't think you'll miss it. If you love that smoked taste, you could source a smoky chile flake. Or put in a tablespoon of the adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers. But, try it as written to start with and then go from there! :) Curious about how the Breville differs?!

rhoda dunn

Pinto beans would be fine to use as well? I have a ton in my pantry I would like to use and I don't want to risk any sort of issue with a different varietal of bean? Thanks!

HS: Hi Courtney, I suspect they'll do well, using the same instructions....

Courtney Fossatti

Can't wait to give it a go!


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