Instant Pot Fiasco Beans Recipe

What this pot of Instant Pot beans lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavor, simplicity, and deliciousness! A take on Italian fagioli al fiasco.

Instant Pot Fiasco Beans

Not the most attractive recipe, but never mind that! What this pot of Instant Pot 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.

Alternative method: If you want to know how to cook these beans in an oven.

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Instant Pot Fiasco Beans (Fagioli al Fiasco)

4.27 from 30 votes

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. If you forgot to soak your beans, one of your fellow readers (thank you Caroline!) noted success with "high pressure for 30 minutes and then natural release for about 30-45."

  • 1 pound / 433 g dried borlotti (cranberry) or cannellini beans, soaked overnight, drained
  • 6 cups / 1.5 L water
  • 1/4 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:
  1. 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 shake or tap the pressure cooker, and THEN carefully open away from you. 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.


For reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
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Recipe Rating


I was looking for a beans Instant Pot recipe on your site, and stumbled about this on. It sounded so good, I cooked it right away. And I’m glad, I did. So simple and flavorful ! I used Peruvian beans, my favorite. Unsoaked, 30 min on high. Than added the torn kale, and cooked another 2 min on high. Natural release. Also added 1 link ( 4 oz ) Salvadorian chorizo,( they completely break up during cooking ) just, because I love the flavor of pork with the beans …5 stars


My Mom got me started on cranberry beans years ago, she said they lend a better taste than regular ol’ pinto beans, and that they do! Although traditionally we just use the beans, salt, and a ham bone/ham hock with pieces of meat on it with extra water to get extra broth because the cornbread soaks it up and it tastes so good… I am willing to try this and I just have a package of cured ham for flavor. I also love the addition of garlic and olive oil. I don’t have fresh sage or kale but I have onions. I’m gonna use what I have at hand and have a pan of cornbread handy. Can’t wait to try this recipe and kinda tweak it to make it unique. 🙂

Ramp season is coming, and I’m screaming beans, fried potatoes, cornbread, sauteed ramps, and a gallon of sweet tea.


just an FYI – you state using an electric pressure cooker. However, a stovetop pressure cooker will work just as well. Maybe shorten the cooking time a bit, since they cook at 15psi instead of 11-12psi like the electrics. Otherwise, completely interchangeable.5 stars


    Thanks Lainey!

    Heidi Swanson

Hi Heidi,

I just made the Fiasco Beans recipe in the Instant Pot and added a leftover parmesan rind to the pot. It made the broth smell and taste lovely, makes a nice addition to your already great recipe!5 stars


    Yes! Great add.

    Heidi Swanson

Absolutely delicious and I love the variety of toppings. Even my non-vegtarian husband loved this. Was very entertained by the translation of the title to English. Obviously, Fagioli Al Fiasco refers to the original cooking method of cooking in a flask in wood fire embers but so many people are afraid to cook beans in their new pressure cooker they anticipate a Fiasco. 5 stars

Anne Furth Snelgrove

Tried this recipe tonight. I love brothy beans, so I enjoyed it, but I was surprised that more liquid hadn’t been absorbed. Additionally, the beans shed a lot of their casing into the final product. Are these signs of old beans? Seasoning was on the mild side so I added both garlic and onion powder, more salt, and chopped raw onion which added a nice zingy crunch. Topped with a little relish of fresh garden tomatoes. Thank you!4 stars


Found it a little watery–took about out about 2.5 cups of liquid afterwards and then mashed up some of the beans to give the soup more body. Also added parmesan rind per another reader’s suggestion. After cooking, added lemon zest, Better Than Bouillon no-chicken base, and some nutritional yeast for more flavor.3 stars


Hi Heidi, to me the great about the Instant Pot ( finally bought myself one during the Christmas sales) is not having to soak the beans. My first recipe was stock and then the Smitten Kitchen baked chickpeas for “Nile nachos” ( you need to make these if you haven’t yet!) Although I can’t get the cumin flavor out of the ring ( I bought extras), a fantastic recipe. I adapted this recipe for the instant pot ( I’m trying 24 minutes, the chickpeas took 24), but I see some people have chosen longer. I will check and add more time if needed. Thanks for the inspiration!


Made these with a beautiful bag of Marcella’s from Rancho Gordo. Didn’t soak, as RG’s are super fresh. Ended up needing ~32 minutes with only a few minutes of natural relief. Added a vegetarian Parmesan rind during cooking. Topped with the kale, some tomato, spring onions, cilantro and a dash of apple cider vinegar for some acid. We loved them.4 stars


    Sounds great Emily – love the addition of the Parmesan rind!

    Heidi Swanson

Love this so much – it’s unbelievably simple, hearty, flavourful and the most miraculous Instant Pot meal!5 stars


So good. I’ve made it twice. Don’t even have an Instant Pot. Used cheapo Great Northern white beans from grocery store. Incredible flavor! Thank you.


I really want to try this recipe, I adore my new Instant Pot! But for some reason, I can’t do sage… To me it tastes like soap or something. What would you suggest I replace it with? Maybe a couple laurel leaves and some oregano?

HS: Yes! Or a bit of thyme…


This is the inaugural recipe that I made in my Instant Pot and it’s fantastic. I made it with soaked dried Rancho Gordo beans, which came out tender and creamy. I would add less oil next time, probably 1/4 cup. Heidi, thanks for the Instant Pot resource page and original recipes. I watched two videos on the Instant Pot structure and water test.

HS: Thanks for the nice note Grace! Happy you enjoyed them 🙂


Any chance I could cut back on the Olive Oil? I know it helps with foaming. I would like to use less.

HS: Sure thing Becca! I think you could go down to 2 tablespoons and still get some of the texturally, broth-dappled benefits. And if you want to go even lower, you could test 1T. after that, and then 1 teaspoons or none…see how it goes? Hope that makes sense.

Becca ODonnell

These turned out so beautifully and I wholeheartedly agree on the ‘body’ of the broth–it was creamy and lovely. An easy, filling, wholesome weeknight meal to tuck into. All those extra toppings (we went for dill/parsley, diced red onion, fresh parm, and big squeezes of meyer lemon) finished it off just perfectly!
Thanks again for your Instant Pot recipes, Heidi. It’s so lovely to have some trusted vegetarian/vegan recipes from a recipe writer I adore so much!

HS: You’re very welcome Krista!

Krista Leben

I made this in a stovetop pressure cooker and it turned out great! I don’t own an Instant Pot but I’ll try some of your new recipes in my regular pressure cooker. I followed this recipe exactly but do I need to alter the other ones?


These are delicious. I’m always looking for new bean and new Instant Pot recipes. Thank you. I added lemon wedges and parmesan and it was perfect. I did not soak my beans, so I cooked them for 30 minutes and let them natural release for about 30-45 minutes.

HS: Thanks for the comment Caroline! And for the unsoaked timing note 🙂


I made this for dinner tonight following the stovetop/oven method. I loved the overall flavor, but it was a tad too soupy for me. Not sure if I should reduce the amount of liquid to begin with, or if I should amp up the heat next time?

Try either of those strategies. Leftovers will also def. thicken up.


Can’t wait to give it a go!


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

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

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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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!


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

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

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


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 :)!


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


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.


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.


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