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Instant Pot

Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan

4-6 Servings

FAST: 2 hours
Slow: 7 to 7½ hours 20 minutes active

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These flavorful, creamy beans are comforting and rich, and vegetarian, too. We like to include a chunk of Parmesan rind with the beans as they cook; it infuses the dish with rich, complex flavor. If you don’t have a piece of rind, don’t worry—the shaved cheese at the end adds plenty of savoriness. We prefer cannellini beans, but smaller white beans such as navy and great northern work, too. Smaller beans require the same soaking, but set the cooking time for only 12 minutes if pressure cooking or 6 to 6½ hours if slow cooking. Serve the beans as a side to simply cooked chicken, pork or lamb, or make them into a meal by offering a salad and crusty bread alongside.

4-6

Servings

Tip

Don't prep the basil in advance or it will wilt and discolor. Since it's added at the very end, prep it after the beans are done cooking, while they rest for 10 minutes.

FAST: 2 hours
Slow: 7 to 7½ hours

20 minutes active

Ingredients

  • 1

    pound (2½ cups) dried cannellini beans (see note), rinsed and drained

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions

Pardon the interruption

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Reviews
Courtney G.
May 23, 2022
Delicious!
This recipe was super easy to make and took no time at all. It was delicious! I will definitely make it agin!
Laura K.
June 3, 2022
Awesome Recipe
This is a terrific recipe as is and can be modified to suit your tastes. Leftover ham is an excellent addition as is chopped fennel.
SHIH-TAO C.

If we don’t have an instant cooker but a slower cooker, can we use can beans instead and start the steps from sautéing the vegetables?

Janelle C.

This is a great question. Would you post it in our Q&A Forum for Milk Street Insiders and Digital subscribers? It's currently free for all to use and we're sure others would love to hear the answer to this one.

https://www.177milkstreet.com/discussion/

Best,
The Milk Street Team

SHIH-TAO C.

Hello Guys, I tried to make it with canned beans. Guess what? I only skipped the part to cook dry beans and followed the rest of the instructions. It turned out amazingly delicious. If you are also going to use canned beans instead, you can use this as reference.

About the flavor, I wouldn’t expect it to be so rich and special. It smells like you cook bones for hours in order to make nice deep soup. I am not sure but I guess the secrets flavor is actually from Parmesan rind.

Try it, you won’t regret.

SHIH-TAO C.

Hello Guys, I tried to make it with canned beans. Guess what? I only skipped the part to cook dry beans and followed the rest of the instructions. It turned out amazingly delicious. If you are also going to use canned beans instead, you can use this as reference.

About the flavor, I wouldn’t expect it to be so rich and special. It smells like you cook bones for hours in order to make nice deep soup. I am not sure but I guess the secrets flavor is actually from Parmesan rind.

Try it, you won’t regret.

Aimee U.

I would love to make this recipe...but don’t have a Instant Pot...my tiny kitchen can’t handle another appliance! Could you post directions for a version with a slow-cooker? Or possibly stovetop/oven directions?

Janelle C.

This is a great question. Would you post it in our Q&A Forum for Milk Street Insiders and Digital subscribers? It's currently free for all to use and we're sure others would love to hear the answer to this one.
https://www.177milkstreet.com/discussion/

Best,
The Milk Street Team

SHIH-TAO C.

Hey, i used slow cooker and stovetop and it turned out great. You can try it!

Emily H.

Shih-Tao - I'm interested in your experiment with this recipe in your slow cooker. When you used your slow cooker, did you begin the recipe on the stovetop starting at the "Select More/High Saute" point, and then transfer the sauteed ingredients to the slow cooker and follow the SLOW directions from there? Thanks.

Archie A.

Very delicious! I used larger white beans and had to increase cooking time and water a little bit. I thought it was too liquidy so I cooked some of it off, which was a mistake. Leave some liquid in there, otherwise it can get a little dry (again, I used larger beans which I wouldn't do again).

Robin R.

I posted the no-instapot problem in the forum and this was the very fast reply I got. I didn't see it so I attempted the recipe stovetop with the onions, etc. and then added 5 cans of drained beans and 3 cups of water to the slow cooker. To bland/watery for me? I'll try the following directions next time:

I would recommend this recipe as a substitute for the Instant Pot Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes and Parmesan. You can either soak and pre-cook dried Cannellini beans or use canned Cannellini beans. In Step 1, substitute fennel seeds for the fresh fennel and eliminate the sage. Then, if using, add the Parmesan rind when you add the tomatoes and cooked beans in Step 2. You can skip Step 3 (making the sage oil). Then stir in half of the basil and top with shaved Parmesan and the remaining basil. There is also a slow cooking version of the recipe (click the "slow" tab) that you can also use if you've got a slow cooker. If your slow cooker doesn't have a sauté feature, you can start the recipe on the stovetop and then transfer to the slow cooker once you've added the water and beans and brought them to a simmer. Hope this helps! Best, Lynn C.

Jenna G.

I easily tweaked this recipe by adding three cups of low sodium chicken broth in place of water. I also cooked it over the stove top in an enamel pot. I used canned beans. I served it with buttery parm bread that I broiled to a golden brown! Most excellent dinner for 4.

Luba B.

This was so good! The best bean recipe! Thank you!
I followed the recipe and didn’t substitute anything.

Melanie O.

Should the beans have been soaked prior to pressure cooking? I did the pressure cooker pre-soak/cook, then followed the cooking and release times. The beans were still crunchy, so I pressure cooked for 5 more minutes with 5-minute natural realease. They were STILL crunchy, so I have just put them for another 5 minutes cook plus 5 minutes release, and they are still a tad crunchy. I'm using dry canellini beans like the recipe calls for amd using the right amount of liquid.

Lynn C.

Hi Melanie -

The pre-cook is designed to replace an overnight soak so all the beans should need is the 5 minute precook, 16 minutes under pressure, then 20 minutes of natural pressure release. The beans also need to sit for about 15 minutes after cooking and pressure release. We do this to allow the liquid to thicken a bit but there will also be some carryover cooking of the beans during this time as well since the cooker will still be quite hot.

Best,
The Milk Street Team