butter beans

A Guide to Cooking Butter Beans in an Instant Pot (Plus a Great Recipe!)

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butter beans

If you love beans, you’re going to love this easy recipe for butter beans (aka lima beans)!! If you have an instant pot (and if you don’t there’s alternative istructions for a slow cooker below).

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Today, we’re diving headfirst into the world of butter beans – those creamy, dreamy legumes that have the power to turn any dish into a masterpiece. But here’s the twist – we’re not doing the traditional stovetop boogie. Nope, we’re throwing these butter beans into the Instant Pot and letting the pressure-cooking magic unfold. So, strap in, folks, because we’re about to embark on a wild ride through the land of beans and Instant Pot wonders.

First things first, let’s talk about butter beans. These little nuggets of joy are like the cool, laid-back cousins of the bean family. They’re big, they’re buttery, and they’re just waiting to steal the spotlight. Now, I’m not one for sticking to the ordinary, and that’s why we’re ditching the old-school simmering methods and opting for the Instant Pot.

A Guide to Cooking Butter Beans in an Instant Pot (Plus a Great Recipe!) Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Durigon
A Guide to Cooking Butter Beans in an Instant Pot (Plus a Great Recipe!)

Picture this: You, an Instant Pot, and a bag of butter beans. It’s a trio destined for greatness! 😉 But hold on… why the Instant Pot, you ask? Well, the Instant Pot is like the superhero of the kitchen – I love mine!! It takes the mundane and turns it into a spectacle of efficiency and flavor. And let’s be real, who doesn’t want their butter beans to be the talk of the town?

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Butter beans in an Instant Pot? What exactly am I signing up for?” Fear not, my friend, because we’re about to take a whimsical journey where pressure-cooking prowess meets your quirky kitchen vibes.

First up, prep time. Now, I’m all about efficiency, and the Instant Pot is on the same wavelength. No need for overnight soaking – we’re skipping that step and jumping straight to the good stuff. Dump your butter beans (plus a few other flavour-boosting ingredients) into the Instant Pot and voilà! We’ve just shaved hours off the traditional bean-soaking saga. Time is of the essence, and we’re not wasting a second.

butter beans
A Guide to Cooking Butter Beans in an Instant Pot (Plus a Great Recipe!)

What We Will Need For This Recipe for Butter Beans:

  • bacon 
  • onion 
  • dried oregano
  • celery 
  • garlic 
  • dry butter bean (rinsed)
  • boullion paste (Chicken Better Than Bouillon®) or two cubes chicken boullion
  • tomato paste
  • chicken broth

Now, let’s talk flavors. Butter beans, in their natural state, are like a blank canvas waiting for your culinary brushstrokes. Are you feeling spicy today? Throw in some chili powder. Craving a Mediterranean vibe? Olive oil and herbs are your partners in crime. The beauty of the Instant Pot is that it transforms these simple beans into a canvas of flavors in record time. It’s like a flavor explosion without the drama – quick, efficient, and downright delicious (the recipe below is just one example of how you can change it up!!)

How to Change This Recipe for Butter Beans (and Make it Your Own!!):

  • exchange the oregano for curry powder and add 1 can of coconut milk
  • leave out the carrots and tomato paste and it will be a blank slate
  • add in greens (spinach/kale/swiss chard) as well as cooked ground beef to make a really hearty meal.

As the Instant Pot works its pressure-cooking magic, the aroma that fills your kitchen is nothing short of amazing. It’s the scent of beans breaking free from the shackles of slow-cooking monotony. You’re not just cooking butter beans; you’re conducting a symphony of flavors that’ll have your taste buds doing a happy dance.

And just like that, in the blink of an eye (well, more like the beep of an Instant Pot timer), your butter beans are ready to steal the show. Tender, flavorful, and bursting with personality – that’s the Instant Pot effect. It’s like the culinary equivalent of turning water into wine, but with beans.

Here are Some Other Recipes That are Bean-Rich:

Now, here’s the beauty of this Instant Pot adventure: you can use your butter beans as a side dish, a main course, or even use it as a stew or soup. The possibilities are as vast as the ideas swirling in your imagination. These beans are versatile, and they’re ready to play whatever role you cast them in.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  • Rinse the dry butter beans well.
  • Sauté onion, celery, carrots and garlic, in a skillet in olive oil or butter until tender.
  • Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker along with the bacon, butter beans, oregano, tomato paste, salt, and chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  • Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours or until the beans are tender.
  • Serve hot.

Cooking butter beans in an Instant Pot isn’t just a time-saving hack – it’s a culinary escapade. It’s a journey where efficiency meets quirkiness, where flavors come to life in the blink of an eye, and where your Instant Pot becomes the unsung hero of your kitchen tales. So, the next time you’re pondering how to elevate your butter bean game, ditch the stovetop drama and let the Instant Pot lead you on a whimsical adventure.

A Guide to Cooking Butter Beans in an Instant Pot (Plus a Great Recipe!) Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Durigon

If you want to make the most of your kitchen budget, you’re going to want to learn how to easily cook dry beans. My blog post gives you step-by-step direction on making this delicious, healthy and budget friendly dish ! #beans #legumes #healthy #easyrecipe #nowaste #nutritious #unprocessyourfood #eathealthy

♬ original sound – Suzie Durigon
butter beans

Flavourful Instant Pot Butter Beans

These Butter Beans (also known as large Lima Beans or Gigantico Beans) are filling, creamy and smoky from the bacon – and even more flavorful from the tomato paste and herbs. These will be on rotation
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1/2 pkg bacon chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic pressed or minced
  • 1 pound dry butter beans large lima beans (rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons boullion paste (Chicken Better Than Bouillon®) or two cubes chicken boullion
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 7-8 cups chicken broth


  • Get all of the ingredients together.
  • Turn the instant pot on to the Sauté setting. When the pot is hot add the bacon, onion, garlic, celery, carrot and oregano; cook for 10 minute, stirring using a wooden spoon.
  • Stir and cook until the onion starts to turn translucent and the bacon begins to brown.
  • Pour in the chicken brothplus the chicken bouillon and stir it together. Make sure to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot with the wooden spoon.
  • Add the beans and then stir.
  • Turn the instant pot off (press cancel) and then push the Pressure Cook button, and then the +/- button or dial to choose 45 minutes and wait for the pot to come to pressure.
  • After the pressure cook time has finished, let the pot sit undisturbed for 15 minutes then turn off the pot. Turn the steam release knob to the Venting position to release the remaining pressure/steam.
  • Once finished, taste for salt (add more if needed).


Note: If you prefer a texture that is more smooth, mash some of the beans with a fork or potato masher before serving. You can also add some chopped fresh herbs for added flavor and freshness (see above for other alternatives).
Also, if beans aren’t tender enough (sometimes old beans take longer), just put the lid back on and cook them for 5 more minutes under pressure, and a 10 to 15 minute natural release.