Instant Pot Pinto Beans

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Making Instant Pot Pinto Beans from dried beans is about as close to instant as it gets. You don’t even need to soak the beans before pressure cooking them. If you are like me, you have a few bags of dried beans in the pantry. Well, get them out and cook them tonight. You’ll thank me tomorrow.

Jump to Recipe

Once you see how simple it is to make pinto beans in the Instant Pot, you will be a believer. And, these beans will become a regular meal in your household.

Pinto Beans are high in plant-based proteins, and full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Yet, they are low in fat and calories. One serving of dry pinto beans contains:

  • Calories: 245kcal
  • Carbs: 45 grams
  • Fiber: 15 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 407 mg
  • Thiamine: 28% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Iron: 20% of the DV

For those seeking healthier meal options, beans are an ideal solution. Swap out a higher fat, animal-based dinner once a week. And swap it for one that is primarily plant-based, like beans.

Presoaked Beans in the Instant Pot

Although you do not need to soak the beans ahead of cooking, I usually do a quick soak method right in the Instant Pot. It’s easy (nothing extra to clean!) and just takes an hour. While the beans are soaking, I get the rest of the ingredients together.

My Instant Pot Quick Soak method: Add pinto beans and 6 cups of water to the Instant Pot. Press the “saute” button until the screen shows “more.” There are three setting to the saute mode: less, normal, and more.

Bring the beans and water to a boil (it takes less than 5 minutes in my pot). Then press “cancel” and rest the lid on the top of the pot for an hour.

Presoaked Pinto Beans Instant Pot

How to Cook Pinto Beans in the Instant Pot

This Pinto Beans recipe is so easy to prepare! It takes just a few easy steps:

Saute the bacon until the fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, peppers, garlic, and spices. Saute for a few minutes, until the onions are transluscent.

Chicken broth and ingredients

Pour in the broth to deglaze the pot, then add the water. Secure the lid, seal the pot, and set the pressure cycle.

Dried Pinto Beans and Chicken Broth

After the pressure cycle is done and the pressure has been released from the pot, add lime juice and cilantro just before serving.

Easy Bean DInner

Some ideas for pinto bean toppings are Cotija cheese, crushed tortilla chips, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, salsa, and sour cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these pinto beans without an Instant Pot?

Yes. Soak the beans overnight or use the quick soak method. Follow steps 2-3 in the recipe directions below, using a large stockpot instead of the Instant Pot. Simmer the pinto beans on the stovetop for 4-5 hours.

Do I need to soak the pinto beans?

No, you can pressure cook these dry beans. I prefer to do a quick soak in the Instant Pot (see notes in recipe) because the beans are more likely to stay whole. I have had the beans split when I pressure cooked them without soaking. It is just cosmetic and does not affect the taste.

Can I make this pinto beans recipe vegan or vegetarian?

You can by using oil to saute the onions and garlic and vegetable stock.

Pinto beans and ham hocks in the Instant Pot. Can I use smoked ham hocks instead of the bacon?

Yes, you can substitute ham hock or salt pork for the bacon in this recipe.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans

New to Instant Pot Cooking?

If you are new to Instant Pot cooking, read this first. It covers the basics of how to safely use the Instant Pot. For tips and hacks on how to use your Instant Pot, I have this article.

Best Pinto Beans – Instant Pot Recipe

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Instant Pot Pinto Beans

Get ready for the best pinto beans, made right in the Instant Pot. They are a flavorful and easy one-pot meal, perfect for a weeknight or the weekend.

The dried pinto beans do not need to be presoaked. Soaking them before pressure cooking lessens the chance of the beans separating, though that is purely cosmetic. See *recipe notes* for instructions on how to quick soak the beans right in the Instant Pot.

Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Easy Dinner, gluten-free, Instant Pot, Make Ahead, One Pot Meal
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 252 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried beans
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, membranes and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cups chicken broth, hot
  • 3 cups water, hot
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Set pressure cooker to sauté, add the bacon. Sauté bacon until the fat has rendered, about 3 minutes.

  2. Add onions, jalapeño, garlic, and spices and sauce with bacon until the onions are translucent. Preheat the broth and water (I use a microwave) to speed up the cooking time. Press cancel, add lid, seal pressure lever, and set machine on high pressure for 25 minutes for presoaked beans and 45 minutes for dried, non-soaked beans.

  3. Allow pressure cooker to naturally release for 10 minutes, then initiate a quick release. To thicken the beans, cook on sauté with lid off until desired thickness, stirring occasionally. 

  4. Add lime juice and cilantro before serving. Top with favorite garnishes and serve.

Recipe Notes

My Instant Pot Quick Soak Method: Add 6 cups of water to the Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot on “Saute” then select “More” (usually that means pressing the saute button twice until the screen shows the word “More”), add the beans, and bring to a boil. This should only take 5 minutes. Stir the beans. Press Cancel and let the lid simply rest on top of the Instant Pot. Let soak 60 minutes. Drain beans and rinse pot. 

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Pinto Beans
Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)
Calories 252 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 7mg2%
Sodium 703mg31%
Potassium 897mg26%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 127IU3%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Pinto Beans

Variations for this recipe

  • Pinto Beans with Ham Hocks. Add a smoked ham hock to the Instant Pot, and pressure cook it with the beans.
  • Pinto Beans with Salt Pork. Instead of bacon, use diced salt pork in its place.

Get more simple, easy meals! Here are a few of my favorites: https://www.thefeatherednester.com/instant-pot-beef-stew/ https://www.thefeatherednester.com/instant-pot-chicken-posole/ https://www.thefeatherednester.com/lasagna-low-sodium-gluten-free/

Now, go make something special!

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