White Beans with Greens and Lemon

By September 6, 2014

A vegetarian recipe by Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, The Veggie Queen.  Jill is a vegetarian, vegan and pressure cooking expert.  This recipe is a simple and easy one-pot vegan meal. You can find more recipes on Jill’s website: http://theveggiequeen.com


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup white beans, soaked overnight or quick soak
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ to ¾ cup homemade vegetable stock or water
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large bunch greens such as kale, chard or spinach, chopped to equal 3~4 cups
  • 1 organic Meyer or other lemon, zested, then juiced to equal 1-2 tablespoons juice
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Meyer lemon or plain
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
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13 Responses to “White Beans with Greens and Lemon”

  1. Joe Bawden says:

    Hi Jill, with the white bean recipe can I add any other vegetable to the recipe/ my wife suggested pumpkin but I do not want to mess around with the meal just in case something goes wrong. I have done this meal before and found it great.


    Jill, The Veggie Queen Reply:

    I just received your message so I am answering.

    Once you make the recipe, you can add anything you like. If you are going to add pumpkin or other winter squash, add it at the 2nd stage when you add the greens. Should turn out just fine.
    Happy to hear that you like the recipe.


  2. Debbie says:

    I just want to tell you that this is one of my favorite bean recipes! No complaints—love my Instant Pot and this recipe!!


  3. Susan says:

    Thanks for the suggestions.


  4. Joolz says:

    All I can suggest, Susan is that maybe you did not have the pressure cooker set up with the valve closed on your second attempt. It sounds like the pot never came tp pressure.


    susan Reply:

    Could be.


  5. susan says:

    Thanks, Jill.

    I just bought the beans, but don’t know if they sat in the store for too long.

    When the 7 minutes were over, I squished one of the beans and mistakenly thought they were done.

    Not sure what happened with the 2nd pressure.

    I do have VERY hard water, so maybe that is the problem. But, since I used broth in the recipe, and only used water to soak them, would that still cause a problem?


  6. Susan,

    It sounds like there are 2 issues, the first of which is the beans. I give the time of 7 minutes but not all white beans will actually cook in that time. I have had some that were falling apart at 7 minutes and others that needed 9 minutes. Older beans need more time. Always check to see if the beans are cooked before serving.
    Regarding the greens, it is very unusual for the pot to come to pressure a 2nd time and have no steam come out when you do the quick release.
    I am not sure what to tell you. My best suggestion is for you to cook the white beans separately and see how long they take you: age of beans and hard water both cause you to cook beans longer. You might also want to cook greens for 2 minutes and see how they turn out.
    I am sure that with more cooking, you will fall in love with the Instant Pot. Try my recipes for Steel Cut Oats or Black Beans in the booklet.


    Judy Wilmont Reply:

    30 minutes for dry white beans is not nearly long enough. I ended up cooking the for 90 minutes.


    Jill, The Veggie Queen Reply:


    I cook beans quite often and have not yet had a bean that required 90 minutes of pressure cooking to get cooked from dry.

    The beans could be old but most white beans will be cooked in 30 minutes at pressure with a natural release.
    Sorry to hear that your beans had other plans.

    Each batch of beans is different so maybe next time you will have different results.

    I still recommend presoaking in some manner for the best bean results.


  7. susan says:

    What did I do wrong? This was my first time using the Instant Pot (other than the test run with water, which they suggest in the instruction book, and which I did). I followed your recipe, exactly, and the beans were undercooked and the greens (chard) were barely cooked. I used ½ cup broth for the beans and there was a bit of liquid (not much) left at the bottom of the pot, so I assume it was not that I used too little liquid. Did I need to increase the time from the 7 minutes in your recipe? Could it be that salt in the broth inhibited the cooking? I used Pacific brand organic broth. I had soaked my beans (organic great northern beans) overnight. When I did the quick release at the end, no steam came out.


    Faye Reply:

    Hi Susan
    I have needed longer cooking periods also for artichokes, beets, etc as I have been exploring my new pressure cooker as a vegetarian. There is a handy list in the “Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes” booklet that came with my machine that lists how long to cook all kinds of things. They list 20 types of beans/legumes with cooking times for both soaked and dry for each type. Lima beans say dry 20-25 min, soaked 10-15 min. It is suggested in the booklet to let the cooker cool off and naturally decompress to give the beans even more time to cook over and above the suggested cooking times. I followed the suggested 25 min for soaked chickpeas earlier today letting it decompress naturally and they were just barely done. I let them sit in “warming mode” that the machine goes into, I guess until its unplugged, for an hour after that “by accident” and they became melt in your mouth fabulous. I am trying this recipe now and am grateful for your comments and questions. I am going to cook my soaked beans for 20 min!


    Jeannie Reply:

    Whenever you cook dried beans don’t salt until the beans are done. I’m not certain whether using broth with salt would have the same results, but salt added to water of even beans soaked overnight will cause the beans to remain hard and can take as long as an hour and a half to cook, and still be hard. The key is no salt. My Instant Pot cooks beans in 30 minutes. I would suggest using water and if you want the broth, add it after the beans are done.


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