Soft, flavorful Instant Pot Pinto Beans, proving that the most simple of recipes can be the most delicious and heartwarming!
There's just somethin' about a scoop of hot, starchy, tender pinto beans. They are so simple, yet with the right toppings and sides can be the most satisfying dinner ever.
This recipe for Instant Pot Pinto Beans has become a new favorite in our home. I made it 4 times in 2 weeks and then again for a big nacho party family get together.
Never do I ever leave these parties with leftover beans or Squacho Cheese Sauce. It gets devoured by adults and kids alike.
I've been perfecting these beans for some time and they are finally ready to drop a mic in your kitchen.
Are you excited? Cuz I'm excited!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT PINTO BEANS
- In less than 5 minutes you can have the beans, spices, and aromatics in the pot and cooking
- Soooo creamy, flavorful, and addictive without any added fat – no lard here my friends!
- Keep it simple or dress them up, they can wow the crowds either way
- Aside from scooping out the aromatics and adding salt, the beans are 100% done after the natural pressure release is complete. No straining or pureeing required
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT PINTO BEANS
- Add all of the ingredients to the pot; cook
- When cooking is complete, remove the onion, bay leaves, and jalapenos
- Stir well, add salt to taste, and let sit for about 10 minutes to thicken
TIPS FOR THE BEST PRESSURE COOKER PINTO BEANS
- Don't use old beans. If beans have not been properly stored in an airtight container and have been hangin' out in your pantry for longer than 6 months, there's a chance they won't cook up to plump and tender. Look for beans that have not shriveled or cracked.
- For creamy, starchy, no drain beans, add minimal water. I found 4 cups per pound to be the sweet spot. This allowed the beans to soak up all flavor from the aromatics and seasonings and after sitting for about 10 minutes, the extra liquid from the pot transformed into a thick luxurious sauce that coated the beans perfectly.
- Add salt after the beans are cooked. Adding salt while cooking can prevent the beans from becoming plump and hydrated to the max.
- My kids run at the sight of onions or chiles in their beans. I solved this problem by adding a halved onion and jalapeno. This gave the beans FLAVOR without having to chop the extra vegetables.
HOW TO STORE PINTO BEANS
Dried beans need to be stored in an air-tight container in a cool dark place. They can easily stay good for 12 months and likely much longer
Cooked beans can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for 5 days or freeze them flat in freezer safe bags for up to 6 months (maybe longer)
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PINTO BEANS
In this post all about Instant Pot Dried Beans we discussed the many health benefits of beans. Pinto beans are exceptional!
A 1/2 cup of beans contains 7 grams of protein, less than a half gram of sugar, and are loaded with fiber which makes them very filling and satisfying.
They are an excellent source of vital nutrients for vegans and vegetarians, but there's a catch . . .
PROTEIN IN PINTO BEANS
While beans are a great source of protein, they aren't considered to be a “complete protein”. Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs. These amino acids are not produced by the body and have to be consumed in our food.
The solution for Vegans and Vegetarians is to combine pinto beans with whole grains and seeds. Problem solved!
SOAKING PINTO BEANS
Some feel like soaking beans helps to decrease the abdominal bloating and gas that accompany beans. To do this, soak for at least 12 hours, drain, rinse, cook for 20 minutes at High Pressure with a Natural Pressure Release.
QUICK SOAK BEANS
If you didn't plan ahead, but you would still like to ease any potential belly discomfort, you can use the pressure cooker to do a quick soak. Place one pound of beans into the pressure cooker with 6 cups of water. Cook at high pressure for 2 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans and put them back in the pot for a cook time of 20 minutes.
MORE PINTO BEAN RECIPES
- A bowl of hot beans topped with sour cream, cotija cheese, avocados, and salsa. Throw a Poached Egg on top if you're feeling fancy
- Tamale Filling
- Bean and cheese quesadilla, roll up, or taquito
- Very simple Huevos Rancheros
I hope you love this wonderfully simple and basic Instant Pot recipe for Pinto Beans. It's one of those recipes you'll make again and again and love it each and every time.
TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT PINTO BEANSPrint
Instant Pot Pinto Beans
Quick, easy, satisfying Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 80 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 1 small onion, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 4 ounce can mild green chiles (or a jalapeno cut in half, remove seeds for less spice)
- 4 cups water
- 1 – 3 teaspoons salt
- Add all of the ingredients except the salt to the pressure cooker pot; lightly stir.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release.
- Remove and discard onion, bay leaves, and jalapenos (if you used whole jalapenos).
- Add 1 teaspoon salt, taste and add up to another 2 teaspoons if desired.
- Serve hot.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Always add salt after the beans are cooked for proper bean hydration
- Cook 35 minutes for firm, 40 minutes for soft with bite, 45 for very soft
- The recipe can be safely doubled, and possibly even tripled in an 8 quart pot. Make sure beans and water do not pass the halfway mark in the pot
Keywords: Instant Pot pinto beans, mexican pinto beans , mexican food
Are you using dried beans? I’ve never cooked with dry beans before. Would I use dry beans for the 2 min/10min and then cook for 20 mins? Sorry for the dumb questions.
Karly, Yes, I use dried beans. Sorry, it wasn’t more specific in the recipe card! I fixed that now
I’m confused about the 20 minute cooking time listed in the quick soak section. Why does it say 20 minutes for a quick soak cook time? Shouldn’t it say that for the 12 hour soak and 35-45 minutes for the quick soak method?
Jessica, the 20 minute cook time comes after the “Cook at high pressure for 2 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes” part. That 2 minutes is achieving what you would get in a 24-hour soak. Does that make sense?
Yes! Thank you for replying!
I have made this recipe several times and each time it was delicious. It is seasoned just right.
John, Aren’t they delicious? This and a bag of chips can happily be a meal for me :). Thanks for letting me know!
Worked perfectly, did for 40 minutes, added some oregano and one jalapeno, otherwise followed directions. Cooked perfectly not too soft, and not too much liquid either. I have another recipe similar but it uses 6 cups of liquid and that make them pretty soupy–so I like how these turned out better. Thanks
Frances, I’m so glad you liked them! They’re my favorite bean dish because they’re creamy and not too watered down.
i saw a recipe for pinto beans but not one for Northern beans. would you use the same recipe for the northerns as you would for the pintos?
Christy, I would use this one as your guide (because they’re incredible too 🙂 )https://tidbits-marci.com/instant-pot-white-beans-with-cilantro-and-lime/
Absolutely love this. I finely chopped the onion and didn’t remove it at the end. I found I needed to cook it for an hour 55 mins for the soft texture that I like. Had it with coriander and sour cream – delicious!
I’m glad you loved them! Your comment reminded me it’s been too long since I’ve had them. I added it to my menu for next week!
I cooked these on Friday night and they were/are delicious! Perfect texture and consistency! Thank you so much for all the tried and true instructions so I could look like a hero to the fam! 😉 (Also blended with hand blender for refried beans! Delicious!)
Corrie, Making people look like Master Chefs is the ultimate goal;). I’m so glad you liked them, they are a regular around here!