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5 from 2 votes

Flageolets beans, à la française

2 ways: My mother's recipe or in the Instant Pot (approved by French mom ;))
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword flageolet recipe, Flageolets Beans à la Française, french flageolets, instant pot flageolets
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Soaking time (If not using Instant Pot) 12 hours
Servings 6


  • 1 lb dried flageolets beans
  • 7-8 pearl onions, peeled but whole*
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (and/or rosemary)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole garlic cloves peeled
  • A few sprigs of fresh Italian parsley for garnish
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (for Instant Pot recipe)


  • Soak the flageolets beans in cold water (at room temperature) for 12-16  hours.
  • Drain and rinse the beans. Put in a large pot. Add the onions, thyme, garlic and bay leaf.
  • Add enough water to cover the beans (the water level should be about 2 inches above the beans).
  • Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and let gently simmer for about 1 hour, until the beans are tender. (Add some hot water throughout if there isn't enough).
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • With scissors, cut some Italian parsley leaves over the beans, mix lightly, and serve.
  • Note: This is one of those dishes that's even better the next day. You can keep refrigerated and reheat over low heat or even in the microwave. We usually make enough for a couple of meals, have them with pan-fried leg of lamb steaks one night, and with chicken or fish the next day.


  • Place dry beans (unsoaked), bay leaf, thyme & rosemary, garlic cloves, pearl onions, salt & olive oil in the Instant Pot and add 8 cups of water.
  • Enter 45 min on Manual High Pressure, and then go with Natural release (wait til the pressure is off completely on its own - the whole process took 1h 45 min). They will have a soft and creamy texture.
  • Drain some of the cooking water, remove herbs.
  • Adjust seasoning, garnish with fresh parsley.


Age: I started to give those to Pablo around 8-9 months. They make pretty good finger foods (as all beans) when baby is mastering that pincer grasp, but they are very soft and easy to gum down.
*If you don't have pearl onions on hand, you could use a couple of shallots, or simply a small onion, quartered, for flavor. Remove it before serving.
**This same recipe works well with Cannellini beans, if you don't have flageolets.
***Can be refrigerated for 3-4 days, or frozen.