How to Cook Pinto Beans in An Instant Pot?

How to Cook Pinto Beans in An Instant Pot

Cooking Mexican beans in an instant pot, pressure cooker, or slow cooker will make your life so much easier.

This effectively means lesser cooking time, no-hassle cooked pinto beans, and avoiding the high sodium content of canned pinto beans. In short, this method for cooking beans is a win-win!

Pinto beans are delicious and nutrient-dense beans popular in Mexican and South American cuisine. Anasazi beans also belong to this family.

You can easily identify them. They look slightly off-white with speckles when uncooked. However, when cooked, the beans turned into a reddish-brown tint.

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Pinto Beans Flavor Profile & Nutrition

They are popular globally, and people love to cook pinto beans every now and then as they are so easy to cook in an instant pot.

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The beans are creamy in texture and have a little nutty and sweet flavor. You can serve it as breakfast or sides or even as mains in burritos, tacos, and chili among others.

And why do we love these beans? These beans are high in carbs, protein, calcium, and fiber while being gluten-free.

They are also high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, potassium, iron, and magnesium.

Instant Pot Recipe for Cooking Pinto Beans


If you don’t want to get technical or delve deep into the science of cooking, here is a quick recipe to make instant pot pinto beans that you can always refer to when cooking these in about an hour.

However, do read on to find out more tips, tricks, and trivia for cooking tender pinto beans.

Well, of course, there are two versions: the soaked and no-soak instant pot pinto beans recipe.

But for the sake of convenience and quick-cooking, we’re talking about the no-soak pinto bean recipe with zero prep time. More on both methods later.

This is one of the most popular instant pot recipes. You can obviously adjust the quantities in your pressure cooker pinto beans recipe key by taking the same ratios as we use below.


  • 1 cup of pinto beans
  • Three times vegetable stock or chicken broth or 24 oz water
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle


  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 1 dried red chili like ancho or guajillo chiles (or chili powder)
  • Fresh parsley, bay leaf, epazote, cilantro to taste
  • Fine sea salt


Step 1: Rinse and pick over the dry pinto beans. Always use rinsed beans.

Step 2: Stir the beans and water (or broth) into the instant pot to keep them from sticking. Drizzle olive oil to avoid foaming.

Step 3: Cook for 20-30 minutes on the highest pressure in a cooker. Or saute the onion and garlic first if using optional ingredients too.

Step 4: Allow for a 15-minute natural release when the timer goes off, then remove any remaining pressure.

Step 5: Once the steam has completely dissipated, remove the cover.

Step 6: Season with salt and pepper and check if beans are tender enough. If not, pressure cook for some more time. If they turn out okay, drain the excess cooking liquid.

Recipe Notes

  • Soups, mashed beans, chili, bowls, tacos, baked beans, side dishes, and more can be made right away with these instant pot pinto beans!
  • You can store the leftover beans in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a week or freeze them for a couple of months.
  • Reheat by placing it over mild heat, adding a splash of oil or butter as required to keep it from burning at the bottom of the container.
  • Cooking time varies for both soaked and unsoaked beans. More on that later.
  • Cooking time might also vary by a few minutes based on the size of the beans, the age of the dried beans, whether or not you use quick pressure release, and how soft you want your cooked beans.

Why Skip Canned Beans for Instant Pot Beans?

You can always buy canned beans. But cooking your own tender Mexican pinto beans in the instant pot pressure cooker is always better.

Firstly, we can cut down on the hours required to cook these beans in a regular pot. And secondly, we can avoid the following perils of canned products:

Do You Need to Soak Beans Before Pressure Cooking?

As we discussed above, giving these beans an overnight soak can help speed up the process of Instant pot cooking even further. But that means preparing dry pinto beans in advance.

Pressure cooking time will vary in both methods.

Feel free to use unsoaked beans in case you need tender pinto beans as soon as possible. Here is everything you need to know about cooking these soaked beans:

How to Cook Soaked Beans

You should rinse and soak the beans overnight to help them reduce cooking time for instant pot pinto beans. You need to use the set pressure cooker differently for each.

  • Soaked beans are often better and easily digestible and hence healthier. They have already soaked water which will lead to reduced cooking time.
  • Use the same steps as unsoaked beans. However, time will differ in this case.
  • Overnight soaked pinto beans take 3 to 5 minutes to cook after the cooker reaches high pressure (this is using pressure naturally release dish method).
  • The same beans, if you use the pressure quick release feature in your instant pot, take 4-6 minutes to cook after the cooker reaches pressure. 

What to Make With Instant Pot Pinto Beans?

These can be used in many ways and are great for meal prep in advance. Of course, you can also relish it plain if you want.

But it can make an excellent side dish cuisine. You can also use a stick blender or an immersion blender to make a puree out of these beans to use as a base gravy. You can also mash them with a potato masher or slotted spoon.

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What to do with extra beans? Use your quick pressure-cooked or instant pot pinto beans in the following ways for awesome, delicious, and healthy meals.

  • Make breakfast or dinner burrito bowls by adding salsa, guacamole, queso fresco, and cilantro to these perfectly cooked pinto beans.
  • Use the leftover water (the bean liquid) in soups and stews.
  • Use these soft beans with tortilla wraps, taco wraps, or in your version of chili recipes. Or you can create a delicious dish with refried beans.

Final Words

Many of our favorite quick dinners start with a pot of tasty Mexican beans.

Furthermore, with the Instant Pot, pinto beans move from dry beans to properly cooked in under an hour (or just over an hour).

Just follow the recipe above to make scrumptious, creamy, and perfectly healthy instant pot cooked beans that you can eat as is, as a side dish, or add to other ingredients for a nutritious yet tasty meal.

Stay tuned for other recipes.

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