Learn how to make the BEST Instant Pot pinto beans. They require no soaking, are made with Mexican-inspired seasonings, and cook perfectly. This budget-friendly recipe is great for meal prep and vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free diets.
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If you read my post on Instant Pot Artichokes, then you know that I’ve been attempting to find the best uses for the Instant Pot. So many people rave about this kitchen tool, but my first few experiences with it were a little lackluster if I’m being honest.
But over the past couple of months, I’ve started to see the merits of it. After all, the artichokes I made in there turned out just perfect! Shortly after that, I used the Instant Pot to make black beans. And OMG. They were uhhhh-mazing!
Seriously, making beans in the Instant Pot is a game-changer. They come out really tender and evenly cooked and take a little less time than cooking them on the stove. I also added lots of yummy Mexican seasonings to these Instant Pot pinto beans and the flavor was incredible.
Plus, who doesn’t love a budget-friendly recipe? Just a pound of dry beans yields three cans worth (~2 cups each) of cooked beans. AND they freeze well! Come on now…it’s almost too good to be true.
How to Make Instant Pot Pinto Beans
Here’s a preview of this easy recipe! For the full ingredients list and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card. Be sure to check out the expert tips section too.
- Rinse the dry beans and discard any shriveled or broken pieces.
- Place the dry beans in the Instant Pot with water and/or broth and seasonings.
- Secure the lid on the Instant Pot, set the timer, and let it come to pressure. After the beans are finished cooking, let the pressure naturally release for up to 20 minutes before turning the nozzle and manually releasing the rest (if any).
- Enjoy the beans right away or freeze/store for later!
Expert Tips and FAQ
- Cooking time: My Instant Pot pinto beans were perfect with 45 minutes of cooking time and 20 minutes of natural pressure release. However, remember to account for the amount of time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. The entire recipe took a little under 90 minutes for me, which is comparable to what cooking beans on the stove takes.
- Factors to consider: The size of your Instant Pot, the type of beans and their age, and geographic location/weather can make a difference in cooking time when using a pressure cooker. Older beans need a longer cooking time.
- Instant Pot size: I use this 6 quart Instant Pot. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid you use and the cooking time if you are using a different size.
- Seasonings: For maximum flavor, use vegetable broth or a mix of water and broth for your cooking liquid. To make your beans spicier, consider adding a diced jalapeno or some dried cayenne pepper. If you want to make plain beans to use in soups or recipes that already call for seasonings, omit the spices from this recipe.
- Beans: I purchased dry beans from the bulk section of my local foods co-op. You can also find dry pinto beans at Whole Foods, most large grocery stores, Mexican grocery stores, or online.
What is the ratio of beans to water in the Instant Pot?
Use 2 and ½ cups of liquid for every cup of dry beans when cooking them in an Instant Pot. If the recipe calls for one pound of dry beans (~2 cups), use at least 5 cups of liquid. You can use broth or water or a mixture of both.
How many cups of cooked beans does one pound of dried beans yield?
One pound of dried beans makes between 5 and 6 cups cooked beans. A 15-ounce can of beans contains about 1 and ¾ cup to 2 cups of cooked beans. So, you can usually get about 3 cans worth of beans from a pound.
Can you freeze cooked beans?
Instant Pot pinto beans freeze very well. I recommend storing them in silicone bags, like Stasher bags, or freezer-safe reusable containers. Divide them into 2 cup portions before freezing, since most recipes call for a can of beans. Of course, you can freeze them in different portions instead, but it can be difficult to break off beans from a frozen chunk if you need smaller amounts.
Let the beans cool before storing. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked beans to containers without excess liquid, but don’t worry if a little of the cooking liquid gets in there. Canned beans also contain some of this liquid.
Ways to Use Instant Pot Pinto Beans
Enjoy these delicious beans on their own with a side of brown rice and my Chipotle-Inspired Fajita Veggies. You can also use them in tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, or bowls. Replace the black beans in my Sweet Potato Black Bean Meal Prep Bowls with these pinto beans for a fun twist.
More Bean Recipes
If you can’t get enough of these Instant Pot pinto beans (I don’t blame you!!), check out my other easy recipes for preparing beans. You’ll love the Slow Cooker Black Beans with Scallions, Stovetop Cooked Kidney Beans, BBQ Lentils with Shredded Carrots, and Chili Roasted Black Eyed Peas.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- 1 pound dry pinto beans
- 4 cups vegetable broth - can sub fully or partially with water
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Rinse the beans and discard any shriveled or broken pieces.
- Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot and stir. Secure the lid, plug in the pot, and turn on the "pressure cook" setting. Set the timer for 45 minutes. The Instant Pot will take several minutes to come to pressure before it starts the 45 minute timer.
- When the timer goes off after 45 minutes of cooking, let it naturally release pressure for 15 to 20 minutes. This is a key step for making sure the beans soften and get fully cooked. After 15 to 20 minutes, manually release the rest of the pressure. Remove the lid, and enjoy! See notes for storage/freezing instructions.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- I use a 6 quart Instant Pot. You may need to adjust the cooking time if you use a different size. The age of the beans can also make a difference in cooking time; older beans take longer to cook. Weather and geographic location can affect pressure cooking too.
- Store cooked beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Let the beans cool before storing. You can also freeze beans in reusable bags or containers for up to 3 months. I like to freeze them in 2 cup portions, since a standard can of beans is ~1 and ¾ to 2 cups. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked beans to storage containers, so that you don’t include too much liquid. However, it’s totally fine to store them in some liquid if you want. They may get softer and/or creamier the longer they sit in liquid though.
Happy bean eating! 😉 – Lizzie
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