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Everything you’ve wanted to know about Cranberry Beans. This How to Cook: Cranberry Beans guide features instructions on using a slow cooker, pressure cooker, Instant Pot, and stovetop for cooking cranberry beans plus there are a few delicious recipes to try as well.
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Cranberry beans have a mild nutty flavor and are much more delicate and sweeter compared to pinto beans. They get their name from the cranberry colored spots that are iconic on these light cream colored beans.
Cranberry beans are a rich source of iron, dietary fiber, and protein. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals too making them a nutrient-dense food. Cranberry beans are cholesterol free, low fat, and low in sodium. Cranberry beans are the perfect bean to add to soups, salads, casseroles, and stews.
Cranberry Beans are also known as Borlotti Beans and are common in Greek and Portuguese cooking.
How to Cook Cranberry Beans
Slow Cooker Cranberry Beans
Sort and rinse 1 cup of Cranberry Beans (no need to pre-soak the beans). Place in a 6-8 quart slow cooker and add 5 cups of water or stock. Cover and cook on low for 10 – 12 hours (or high 5 – 6 hours) Make sure to keep beans completely covered with liquid during cooking. If level is low, add additional water and reduce the cooking temperature. Makes approximately 3 cups cooked beans.
Note: Reduce cooking time by half if using pre-soaked beans. Soak beans overnight, drain water, add fresh water to cover beans by about 2 inches and cook on low for 5 – 6 hours or high 3 – 4 hours.
Pressure Cooker Cranberry Beans (Instant Pot Cranberry Beans)
Sort and rinse 1 cup of Cranberry Beans (no need to pre-soak the beans). Place in pressure cooker and add 5 cups of water or stock. Secure lid, set pressure to high and begin heating on high heat. When steam begins a steady flow from the release valve, reduce heat to medium and let cook for 25 – 30 minutes. When cooking time has completed, turn heat off and allow pressure to decrease naturally for 15 minutes. Carefully remove lid and drain liquid from beans. Makes approximately 3 cups cooked beans.
To use an Instant Pot, follow above instructions, but use the Manual setting for 25-30 minutes. Let the pressure decrease naturally.
Stovetop Cranberry Beans
Sort and rinse 1 cup of Cranberry Beans (no need to pre-soak the beans). Place in a large size pot and add 4 cups of water or stock. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until tender (at least 90 minutes). Make sure to keep beans completely covered with liquid during cooking. If level is low, add additional water and slightly reduce the cooking temperature. Makes approximately 3 cups cooked beans.
- Don’t fill the pots more than halfway full of dried beans and the liquid as they needs room to expand.
- No need to pre-soak beans, but if you have time to pre-soak then your cooking time will be dramatically decreased.
- Cooking times are considered a minimum. Older beans tend to take longer to cook, so if beans aren’t done in the time frame given, just keep cooking and checking often for doneness.
- Cooked beans can store up to 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.
Check out these delicious recipes using Cranberry Beans:
Cranberry Bean Pepper Tacos
Fall Minestrone Soup
Red Snapper with Onions & Cranberry Beans
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Jennifer flanagan says
Looking forward to getting Recipes from you.
Mrs. Helen M. Calligan says
what seasoning to put in the cranberry beans
Wendy O'Neal says
I usually just keep it simple. Salt, pepper, a little garlic powder. Enjoy! w-
It depends on what I am serving them with. Fennel, garlic, red pepper flakes and basil if my main dish is pork. Sage, rosemary and thyme if roasted chicken. They are also very good in risotto with Italuan sausage for a main dish.
What do you mean by “sort” when you say to “sort and rinse”?
Wendy O'Neal says
Sort out any sticks and rocks from the bag of beans. Then rinse the beans in cool water to wash off any dirt. w-
David Aldred says
Thanks for the advice. I just soaked a load of organic cranberry beans overnight and now it’s time to cook them!
Also, it might be a good idea to tell your readers that cranberry beans are also called borlotti beans – in fact here in England and over in mainland Europe, we never call them cranberry beans. Oh, and they’re not the same as pinto beans.
Wendy O'Neal says
Thanks. I didn’t know that. w-
They have a nutty flavor and are creamier than pinto beans.
Megan @ Meg's Meal Planning says
I have never heard of Cranberry beans before. Do you get them at you regular grocery store?
Wendy O'Neal says
Yes, I get them at my regular grocery store. Or sometimes I order from Amazon. w-
I have only found them dried. Amazon, Walmart, AJs, Trader Joe’s. Bob’s Red Mill is generally cleaner and not as old as the Walmart brand.
I grow my own every year. Shell them and put them in freezer bags, then cook them whenever you want a pot of beans. I also like to add a couple of handfuls to my green beans. Gives then a much better flavor. My favorite beans!