Instant pot pinto beans have got to be the quickest (and most convenient) way to cook pinto beans at home.
Pinto beans are delicious and an inexpensive way to get a meal on the table. They’re versatile, and can be a full meal on their own or used as part of tacos, soups, stews, cold bean salads or refried bean dip.
A single pound of dry beans costs about $1, and makes about 6 cups of cooked beans. That’s enough to supply my bean loving family of 4 all week long. And the best part is, I know I have a quick meal waiting in reserve pre-cooked. This is by far my favorite budget instant pot recipe.
While pinto beans are delicious and inexpensive, traditional stovetop cooking takes FOREVER!
A slow-simmering pot of beans can take about two and a half hours to cook, with you checking on it and stirring it every few minutes. We have an old school pressure cooker that we use for pressure canning, but cooking beans in a traditional pressure cooker aren’t hands-free. You need to be in the kitchen to adjust the heat by hand.
I was skeptical about the instant pot because I really didn’t want another kitchen gadget. Then a friend told me she makes beans in hers several times a week, completely hands-free. With an instant pot, you can cook beans start to finish, almost completely hands-off, in less than an hour.
No more watching them. No more stuck on burned beans at the bottom of the pot. And in the summertime, no more hot steamy kitchen. I’ll often combine this recipe with my instant pot chicken thighs recipe, and make beans and chicken at the same time with no extra work.
This recipe yields rich flavorful beans that are a far cry from plain watery canned beans. Trust me on this one. Once you have homemade (with almost no work) you’ll never go back to canned.
This recipe will yield 6 cups of cooked pinto beans with no pre-soaking. If you’ve planned ahead and soaked your beans overnight, you can skip this extra 4 cups of water. Overnight soaked beans only need about a quart of liquid, while dry un-soaked beans need two quarts (8 cups).
If your beans are presoaked, they only require 28-30 minutes of pressure cook time rather than the full 35 minutes for unsoaked pinto beans.
A note on salt…most recipes for beans have you add 2 full teaspoons of salt per pound of beans. I found this makes them quite salty, and I prefer 1 teaspoon. Adjust to your own tastes.
- 1 pound pinto beans 2 cups
- 1 large onion chopped (optional)
- 4 cups broth or stock
- 4 cups water*
- 1 tablespoon cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules or powder
- 1 teaspoon salt**
- Add all ingredients directly into your instant pot and stir to distribute the seasoning.
- Seal the instant pot lid and set the steam valve to sealed.
- Set the pot to pressure cook for 35 minutes at high pressure.
- The pot should take about 10 minutes to come up to temperature before beginning the pressure cooking cycle.
- Allow the beans to cook for 35 minutes at high pressure. When the cycle ends, allow the pot to cool for at 15-20 minutes (natural depressurization) before switching the steam vent over to "venting." Allow all the steam to vent before opening.
- Open the pot, being careful to tilt the lid away from you as you lift it to direct the steam away from you.
- Use a slotted spoon to serve the beans, leaving the cooking liquid behind.
*If you've planned ahead and soaked your beans overnight, you can skip this extra 4 cups of water. Overnight soaked beans only need about a quart of liquid, while dry un-soaked beans need two quarts (8 cups). If your beans are presoaked, they only require 28-30 minutes of pressure cook time.
**Most recipes for beans have you add 2 full teaspoons of salt per pound of beans. I found this makes them quite salty, and I prefer 1 teaspoon. Adjust to your own tastes.
MORE EASY INSTANT POT RECIPES
Looking for more easy instant pot recipes?
- Instant Pot Great Northern Beans
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes