Simple, cheap, and tasty! Great as a stand-alone meal, side, or ingredient. Great for a meat free night! Feeling like an overachiever? Serve with Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, Restaurant Style Salsa!
I don’t consider myself a snob in many areas, but when it comes to beans, I’m as snobby as they come. I don’t do canned refried beans. Nope, no way. I blame it on my mom. She makes the most delicious beans. Growing up, beans were a staple in our home. We would eat them as bean soup the first night with the fixins. And at least one of these is not your normal “fixin”, you sweet thing.
I’m about to admit something that I haven’t admitted to anyone else since I married my husband nearly 11 years ago. We would add the usual cheese to our beans, my dad would go a little too crazy in my opinion and add cottage cheese . . . but the other thing we added? Kosher dill pickle slices and I am not kidding you right now. And of course a tortilla used for a spoon on the side.
For many years I wondered where the beans and pickle concept started. My mom recently told me that she ate homemade pinto beans with pickles and a homemade roll at her elementary school growing up. Sounds a little different than what I’m seeing served at my kid’s elementary school these days. Anywho, a tradition was born that now I’m passing along to my kiddos.
Like my mom, I always make a big ol’ batch of beans. I typically freeze half – either in one large freezer bag for a subsequent meal with some leftovers, or smaller batches to pull out when a recipe calls for a can of beans or when I want to make just a few burritos. Most of the time I have beans in my fridge ready to make burritos, tostadas or to add to a salad or other recipe. They are never wasted in this house.
Beans are an excellent plant based protein. In addition to protein, they provide fiber, iron, folate, magnesium and potassium. They are super low in cost and high in nutrients. Some people find the thought of preparing dry beans daunting, but I’m here to tell ya, it’s super easy.
You always want to make sure there are no rocks mixed with your beans, I’ve caught a few in my day. We often joke about how thoroughly my grandma would sort her beans to ensure there were no rocks. She seemed to caress each one individually prior to putting it in the pot to soak. My mom always soaked our beans the night before. I will do this when I remember, which is not often. My preferred method (due to poor preparation on my part) is to boil them a couple minutes and let them sit for an hour and voila, it’s as if you soaked them overnight. Dreamy little trick.
I have experimented with boiling them on the stove for several hours vs preparing them in the Instant Pot. My preference for taste and texture is the classic stove boil, but in a pinch, I use my Instant Pot and still get a delicious product. I’ve included both versions below.
- 8 cups water
- 1 lb beans
- 2 cups chopped onion (1 medium onion)
- 3 tsp season salt (I like Lawry’s)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 slices bacon (optional)
- Inspect beans for rocks and rinse with water. Soak in a large pot in 6-8 cups of cold water overnight. Drain and rinse beans. OR Quick soak: sort and rinse beans, add 6-8 cups of hot water to beans in a large pot. Bring to a rapid boil, boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hours. Drain water and rinse beans.
- Add 8 cups of water to drained and rinsed beans.
- Add chopped onion, Lawry’s salt, minced garlic. Simmer gently, covered with lid until desired tenderness is reached. I like to simmer for about 4 hrs.
- Note, if using bacon, add the whole slice and discard before serving.
- Inspect beans for rocks and rinse with water. Place all ingredients in Instant Pot and stir.
- Place Instant Pot on manual mode, high pressure, set for 45 minutes.
- Let pressure natural release (this might take about 20 minutes).
*there will be less liquid for the finished product compared to the stove top method. If you want more liquid, add another cup or two of water when you add the ingredients to the Instant Pot. You may want to add a bit more salt in this instance as well
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 478mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 16gProtein: 9g