Dry pinto beans cook up perfectly tender in a deliciously seasoned sauce in about an hour! These saucy Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans are a fantastic side dish option for a variety of entrees.
Did you get an Instant Pot for Christmas? I actually got mine a couple of weeks before the holiday and after staring at the box for several weeks, I finally put it to work. I have to add my voice to the crowd of IP fanatics and say that I’m loving it! I’ve had many crazy busy days recently and it has allowed me to create some really tasty dinners I’d have never been able to pull off otherwise.
After several weeks of research and recipe testing I’m happy to be sharing my very first Instant Pot recipe with you today!
I’ve written a separate post detailing the information I’ve absorbed over the past several weeks. Hop on over to Instant Pot Tips for Beginners for a condensed set of basics to help you get started.
I’ve discovered through trial and error that some recipes make more sense than others to be prepared with the pressure cooking method. One of the most exciting results for me was cooking dry beans. I was stunned at how quickly they became tender, with just the perfect bite. And, it is so easy! This recipe has been tested three times with a wonderful result each time.
Soaking Dry Beans
No matter what method you use to cook dry beans, I recommend soaking them overnight or for at least 6 hours prior to cooking. I use my Instant Pot insert and cover the beans by at least a couple of inches with cool water. After soaking, pour off the water and rinse them well with fresh, cool water.
Even though the Instant Pot is capable of adequately softening the beans without this step, there are more reasons to soak beans besides ensuring a tender result. The soaking process will remove any dirt or debris and begin to break down the sugars on the outer surface of the beans. This makes them more easily digestible and is believed to aid in your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients.
The first step is to sauté the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic in some vegetable oil.
Next, in go the dry pinto beans that have been soaked, rinsed, and drained.
Important note – don’t be tempted to double this recipe. You should never fill your Instant Pot more than half way when cooking items that expand, like dry beans.
The remaining ingredients are added to the Instant Pot. Chicken or vegetable broth, tomato sauce, yellow mustard, chili powder, cumin, oregano, fresh ground black pepper, and a couple of bay leaves.
That’s it! Give it a stir, lock the lid in place and set it to MANUAL for 25 minutes.
Kitchen Tip – When calculating the total time it will take to prepare an Instant Pot recipe, you’ll need to include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to pressurize, typically 10 to 15 minutes, and for the natural release period after cooking which can take from 10 to 20 minutes.
I was going for saucy beans but if you’d like a thicker consistency it’s easy to control the texture by modifying the amount of liquid added. See the Notes section on the recipe card below for more information.
Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans
- 1 pound dry pinto beans
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup diced white or yellow onion
- 1 good sized bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used red)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 to 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, see recipe note below
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 dried bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Place beans in the Instant Pot insert and add enough water to cover by 2- to 3-inches. Allow to soak overnight or for at least 6 hours. After the soaking time, drain off and discard the soaking water and rinse the beans with fresh cool water, draining well. Set aside.
- Add oil to the Instant Pot and press the SAUTE button. When display reads “Hot” add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until onion and bell pepper are beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute then press CANCEL.
- Add soaked beans, broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, yellow mustard, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and the bay leaves. Stir well to combine. Lock the lid in place, and turn the vent at the top to the SEALED position. Set Instant Pot to MANUAL and cook for 25 minutes.
- When time is up, allow the steam pressure to naturally release which should take 15 to 20 minutes. After the natural release, move vent on top to the RELEASE position to allow any remaining pressure to release before removing the lid. Taste and season with salt as desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
This was delicious, a really easy way to make a healthy bean meal. I didn’t have bell peppers or tomato sauce but I subbed in half a can of diced tomatoes. Served mine with some rice and veg on the side. I’ll be having this again for sure!
Valerie these are amazing! I have made Mexican chili beans before but this recipe is the best I have made. I didn’t soak my beans overnight (so i cooked them for an extra 20 min) as I made these on a whim for breakfast with over easy eggs and pork tamales . Can’t wait to try your other recipes!
Could I put a ham bone in thus without altering the rest of the recipe?
I haven’t tried it but I think it should work fine.
VERY very good. Side of corn bread or homemade corn tortillas, sour cream or avocado crema – all you need, dig in! I didn’t have tomato sauce so used tomato paste and extra stock, still turned out amazing. I imagine this would be fantastic over rice, cheesy grits, or in a big bread bowl with tons of cheese!! We’re already planning huevos rancheros for breakfast in the morning. 🙂 Thank you for posting, great find!!
OMG! Made this recipe yesterday and it came out great. I soaked the beans overnight in a separate bowl. Wasn’t sure how I would use them and I found your site in a search. Followed the recipe to a ‘T’ except I used a green bell pepper and used a teaspoon of dried jalapeno (didn’t have a jalapeno on hand). We served this over brown rice and a creamy vegan cheese sauce (out of this world!) topped with chopped cilantro and diced tomatoes. Yum! Definitely a keeper. Thank you for sharing a great recipe.
This is the best recipe, and it was my first time making beans in the instapot. My husband absolutely loved them. Thank you!! I would do nothing to change this recipe, they were perfect!
This recipe is fantastic!! I only changed the beans, couldn’t find pinto so used black beans.
It’s good to know it works well with black beans. Thanks, Tammie!
These beans are fantastic… I see no reason to make them any other way from now on. I used BADIA Pinto Bean seasoning so I skipped the chili powder, cumin & salt because it’s already in there, but everything else was the same. I used 3 1/4 cups of broth and the sauce was perfect. Thank you for sharing… it’s a keeper!
i made these as per the recipe but used only 1 T of chili powder to reduce the spicy and they were amazing! thanks for a delicious recipe- they were saucy and the beans held their shape, not mushy.
I followed the recipe exactly and the beans were fantastic with just the right sauciness.
Great recipe, I used the recipe (mostly) with a few modifications … I added a can of Rotel, and subbed some canned chipotle peppers in sauce along with a few tablespoons of tomato paste in lieu of the jalapenos and tomato sauce, which I didn’t have on hand. Since my preferred brand of chili powder is pretty heavy on chipotle, I also cut the chili powder in half, but added a little extra cumin (maybe another teaspoon)
WOWSA! Great spice and flavor! Excellent with sliced link sausage!
I am trying the rapid cook method on the beans. I put the beans in the pressure cooker and boiled for ten minutes then drain and followed your recipe. As beans I cooked in the pressure cooker in the past were too soft I plan to make refrid beans. Will let you know how theycome out.