Instant Pot Whipple Beans

Instant Pot Whipple Beans. Dried beans from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, home cooked in under an hour thanks to pressure cooking.

Rancho Gordo is expanding their bean club! If you’re interested, sign up for the waitlist here: Rancho Gordo Bean Club. (Not sponsored, I’m just a fan of Rancho Gordo beans.)

When I got the bag of heirloom Whipple beans in my Rancho Gordo bean club box, I had to make them. I mean, who can resist a name like Whipple Beans?

Whipple beans come from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and got their name from the Whipple family. Again, how could I not make Whipple beans from Willamette (rhymes with dammit)?

A bowl of cooked whipple beans, with uncooked beans and bay leaves in the background
Instant Pot Whipple Beans

Uncooked Whipple beans are purple beans speckled with white. They have a round shape that reminds me of cranberry beans, just with a darker color.


Where to find Whipple beans

I got my Whipple beans through Rancho Gordo. They’re expensive, but very high quality beans. They are a heirloom bean, and kind of hard to find – my google searching turned up a lot of places that sell seeds so you can grow your own Whipple beans, but I couldn’t find any sources for dried beans. Keep an eye out at Rancho Gordo, make a trip to the Pacific Northwest or…grow your own?

Pressure cook all the beans

Of course, I’m using my (not so) secret weapon, and pressure cooking my beans. Bean cooking is one of the reasons I became a pressure cooking fanatic – it’s amazing how quick and easy bean cooking is with a pressure cooker.


This is a simple dried bean recipe, so the ingredients list is pretty basic

  • Dried Whipple beans
  • Onion
  • Bay leaf

See recipe card for quantities.

🥘 Substitutions

Whipple beans are kind of hard to find; I’d substitute cranberry beans or scarlet runner beans, or maybe pinto beans – but those are different recipes.

Don’t have onions or bay leaf? You can substitute a pinch of dried thyme for the bay leaf (or skip it), or a few unpeeled garlic cloves for the onion (or skip it).

🛠 Equipment

A 6-quart pressure cooker. Pressure cooker dried beans are one of the key reasons I became a pressure cooker convert. Try them – you’ll never go back to canned beans. (OK, maybe you will, for convenience – but see the Storage section for tips)


This recipe scales down easily – cut everything in half if you don’t need as many beans, or have a 3-quart pressure cooker. Scaling up runs into space issues; if you have an 8-quart pressure cooker, you can double this recipe, but it’s too much to fit in a 6-quart pressure cooker.

🤨 Soaking whipple beans?

I get the “to soak, or not to soak?” question all the the time.

I don’t soak my whipple beans in this basic recipe. They don’t need an overnight soak, and cook to tenderness with 35 minutes at high pressure.

That doesn’t mean you can’t soak the beans. They turn out fine, though the bean broth isn’t quite as full bodied. Soaked beans cook much quicker, 18 minutes at high pressure. I use that when I’m cooking the beans with other ingredients, where the shorter cooking time keeps me from overcooking the whole dish just to get the beans tender.

💡Tips and Tricks

  • Salt your bean water! “Salt toughens beans” is a myth. Salting before cooking helps season the beans all the way through as they cook.
  • If your beans are still tough when the cooking time is over, especially any “floaters” at the top of the pot, give the beans a stir, lock the lid, and pressure cook for another five minutes. Older beans take longer to cook, and if the beans have been sitting in the shelf at your store for a while, they may need extra time.
  • Simmer to thicken: If you have the time, and want thicker bean broth, simmer the beans for 20 minutes after pressure cooking. I set my Instant Pot to Sauté mode adjusted to low, set the timer to 20 minutes, and leave the lid off to let the broth evaporate.



A bowl of cooked whipple beans, with uncooked beans and bay leaves in the background

Instant Pot Whipple Beans

  • Author:
    Mike Vrobel

  • Total Time:
    1 hour 10 minutes

  • Yield:
    6 cups of beans

  • Diet:


Instant Pot Whipple Beans. Dried beans from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, home cooked in under an hour thanks to pressure cooking.


  • 1 pound dried Whipple beans (aka Whipple Bush beans), sorted and rinsed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the Whipple beans, removing broken beans, stones, and any other non-bean material. Put the beans in a strainer, rinse the beans, and set them aside to drain.
  2. Everything in the pot: Pour the beans into an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Stir in 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt, then add the rosemary sprig and peeled cloves of garlic
  3. Pressure Cook for 35 minutes with a Natural Release: Pressure cook on high pressure for 35 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or 30 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally; you can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes if you’re in a hurry.
  4. Serve or Save: Remove the onion and bay leaves and discard. Serve the beans as-is in their broth, freeze in their broth for later (see Storage for freezing details), or drain and use them as directed in another recipe.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Whipple Beans, Pressure Cooker Whipple Beans

☃️ Storage

A 2-cup container of beans, with cooking liquid, replaces a 15-ounce can of beans from the grocery store. They’ll last in the refrigerator for a few days, and freeze for up to 6 months. I always make extra beans, and freeze the leftovers for use in other recipes. Freezer beans are ready to use with about 5 minutes in the microwave, and are so much better than canned.

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My Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipe Index

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