Hearty, flavorful and nutritious, these Instant Pot white beans with rosemary, garlic and olive oil are the perfect example of healthy Mediterranean cuisine. Learn how to make this delicious dish inspired by Italian and Greek recipes and enjoy it as a main or side dish for dinner, lunch or breakfast. Gluten-free, vegan-friendly. Weight Watchers: 7 Smart Points (green) or 6 points without olive oil.
The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world and it heavily features foods like beans and lentils, lots of vegetables, herbs and heart-healthy olive oil. Today’s recipe for Instant Pot white beans is something you would commonly find in Mediterranean and Italian cooking: slowly braised with aromatic rosemary or other herbs and garlic and finished with a little olive oil. It’s easy, affordable and super healthy.
WHY COOK WHITE BEANS IN INSTANT POT
This applies to all beans, which benefit from Instant Pot cooking in the following ways:
- Pressure-cooking helps to break down the sugars in the beans quickly, making them easier to digest and less gas-inducing.
- A long soak and adding some baking soda also helps to reduce the gassy effects of all beans and lentils.
- Cooking the beans in the Instant Pot takes a fraction of the time of stovetop cooking, speeding up your meal prep or dinner making.
- Pressure cooking locks in and retains more nutrients in the foods, and some argue more flavor.
HOW TO MAKE BRAISED MEDITERRANEAN BEANS
Our recipe uses pre-soaked dried white beans and you can use any variety: cannellini, Great Northern, Haricot, Navy. White beans have a nutty, earthy flavour with tender flesh. The beans are braised in vegetable stock infused with garlic, rosemary and onion. Once cooked, they release a bit of starch which adds thickness and creaminess to the broth. This recipe is very easy, however, there are a few steps involved.
Soaking white beans
Pre-soaking the beans overnight with a little added bicarb soda (optional) will rehydrate the dried beans and will soften the fibres, making them easier to digest. Pre-soaked white beans take less time to cook and by using the Instant Pot, you’re looking at about 34-40 minutes from start to finish. You will need 8-12 hours for soaking, so do it overnight or in the morning if you plan to cook these at dinner time.
PS. Adding bicarb/baking soda to soaking beans helps to degas them even more but it is optional.
Once the beans are cooked, together with herbs, onions and garlic, which infuse a lot of flavor into this dish, the next step is to turn the cooking liquid into a creamy and thick stew-like sauce. There is a very simple trick to do this! Remove rosemary sprigs and onion from the dish. Scoop a cup of the cooked beans AND liquid and add to a blender or a food processor. Whiz a few times until smooth and return to the beans. This will thicken the broth nicely.
Finish the dish by drizzling good quality olive oil over the top. The finished beans can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days and in the freezer for 3 months.
WHAT TO SERVE WHITE BEANS WITH
These rustic beans can be eaten as a stew with a side of crusty bread or crostini as a main dish or you can have them as a side dish with extra protein like lamb, fish or chicken or some pasta or rice. A side of green vegetables or a salad will complete this meal.
Oftentimes, braised beans are served on some toasted bread for breakfast. You can add a fried egg on top or some lovely cherry tomatoes.
MORE MEDITERRANEAN RECIPES FOR INSTANT POT
- Egg Bites With Herbs & Feta
- Tomato Barley Risotto With Marinated Feta
- Broccoli Soup With Gremolata
- Italian Fish From Frozen With Capers, Olives & Cherry Tomatoes
- Chickpeas With Salsa Verde & Roasted Peppers
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