Fast Pinto Beans In The Instant Pot
This Pinto Beans recipe is the best because it is both delicious and fast, thanks to the Instant Pot. Youll love the richness of the beans and the delightful spice. If you use the no soaking method, these beans can take only 30 minutes to cook.
However, traditional cooks often soak their beans before cooking them, since soaking helps to reduce the phytic acid in legumes. If you decide that you do want to soak your beans overnight, your cook time the next day will only be 15 minutes!
What If My Beans Are Still Hard
Occasionally, you might open your pressure cooker and find that your beans are still a little crunchy or not cooked quite as much as you like. This is fine! The cooking times I give in the recipe are just general guidelines, but know that there can be quite a lot of variability in the beans themselves. Your beans might take a little longer to cook than expected depending on their age, their type, or even the type of water you use .
If your beans aren’t quite done, here’s what to do: Put the lid back on the pressure cooker and make sure the release valve is set back to “sealing.” Cook at high pressure for another 5 to 10 minutes . The pot will quickly come back up to pressure because the contents are already hot. Check your beans after the extra cooking time and continue cooking for longer if needed.
How To Cook Pinto Beans In A Pressure Cooker
This post shows how to cook pinto beans in a pressure cooker. In 15 minutes, you can have rich, tender, creamy, ready-to-enjoy beans all soupy in a nutritious cooking broth. Pressure cookers reduce cooking time and fuel energyfor cooking beans, theyre awesome tools!
Cooked from scratch, dried beans have unmatched flavor and textureand cooking beans in the Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker happens fast!
Theres more than one way to go about pressure cooking beans from scratch, some faster than others. You can put the washed beans in the pot, cover with water and cook them like that, or you can soak the beans beforehand. Then, either way, after cooking, you can opt to turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, or you can quick-release the pressure.
Whichever way you cook your beans, be sure to budget the time for the pressure to come up and begin the actual pressure cooking, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your pressure cooker.
So, including the time it takes to come to pressure, you can have tender pinto beans in about 15 minutes. Thats with soaked beans and pressure naturally released. Unsoaked dried beans, the pressure quick-released, yield tender pinto beans in about 35 minutes.
The deep-down with pressure cooking beans is you save time and you get superior quality beans. Dried beanskeep them in your pantry. And give your pressure cooker a big hug!
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What Is The Ratio Of Beans To Water In The Instant Pot
When cooking beans in the Instant Pot, youll use 2 1/2 cups of water for every 1 cup of dry beans. Ive tried using less than that, but since beans expand as they cook, the ones that arent fully submerged in liquid will cook unevenly.
You can definitely use more water, if you want to, but its not necessary for pinto beans. Since this recipe calls for seasoning, you wont want to dilute the flavor any more, either.
If youre interested in cooking other legumes, check out my other Instant Pot tutorials:
New to using the Instant Pot? Check out my Instant Pot Tutorial video to learn almost everything you need to know about your electric pressure cooker in just 3 minutes.
How To Make Pressure Cooker Pinto Beans
It is very easy to make pinto beans from scratch and it is really cheap because you buy dried pinto beans in big bags.
Start with finely chopping the onion and mincing the garlic. Set your Instant Pot to Sauté on high.
When the pot is warm add oil before adding the onion and garlic.
Sauté and stir the onion mixture for about 3 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Then add the cumin, hot sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Stir for a couple of seconds.
Add water and stir it through. Wash the pinto beans in a colander or mesh strainer and put them in the Instant Pot.
Now add the soy sauce and black pepper.
Press the Cancel button on your pressure cooker. Close the lid and secure it, set the valve to the sealing position.
Select Pressure cooker or Manual button and cook on High Pressure for 50-60 minutes.
When the cooking time is done let the pressure cooker naturally release for 15 minutes. Release any remaining pressure.
Open Instant Pot and stir. Serve immediately.
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How Do You Make Beans In The Instant Pot
- Rinse and drain the beans. You have the option of soaking the beans overnight, which will cut the cooking time in half .
- Put the beans in your multi-cooker with the garlic, shallot, bay leaf and bacon .
- Pour in 6 cups of water, and season the beans with a teaspoon of fine sea salt .
- Cook on high pressure until the beans are tender, then add a splash of apple cider vinegar, which will brighten up the flavors. Season with more salt to taste.
How Long Does It Take To Cook Beans In The Instant Pot
When it comes to actually cooking your beans in the instant pot, the time varies by bean type. Chickpeas, for example, can take upwards of 40 minutes to cook, whereas lentils take less than 10.
And then theres the soak factor. If youve soaked your chickpeas, they only take about 10, whereas soaked black beans take about 5. So reallyits bean dependent!
To make it easy for you, Ive put together a free printable cooking chart that outlines the various cooking times for 11 of the most common beans . And weve even included the different times for soaking vs. not soaking!
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More Instant Pot Recipes
If you like Instant Pot pinto beans, you will also love these easy Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Refried Beans turn your pinto beans into refried beans! Once you try making refried beans from scratch, youll never want to eat ones from the can!
- Instant Pot Lentils And Brown Rice this hearty simple dish is so easy in the Instant Pot! Just dump rice and lentils in the pot and press the button!
- Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts this classic Southern snack is so addictive! This is an authentic Southern recipe for boiled peanuts made super easy in the Instant Pot!
- Instant Pot Collard Greens perfectly cooked and tender, Instant Pot is perfect for cooking them!
- Instant Pot Cornbread this cornbread is so moist, tender and perfect! Yes, you cook it in the Instant Pot!
Should I Salt The Beans Before Cooking
Salt or no salt is another heavily debated topic when it comes to cooking dry beans. Some argue that salting the beans while cooking will prevent the beans from softening. But salting is just the right way to go. Dont believe me? Check out this article on Serious Eats, where Kenji went into in-depth experiment and shared what he had learned.
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Directions For Perfect Instant Pot Pinto Beans :
How Long Do Pinto Beans Take To Cook
Typically, when cooked over the stove top, pinto beans take at least over an hour to get them perfectly tender and full of flavor.
However, the Instant Pot is a major win here because its such a huge TIMESAVER. The beans cook on high pressure in the Instant Pot for 45 minutes tops!
A little more time is necessary to sauté the bacon and release pressure from the Instant Pot, but this pinto beans recipe is still extra efficient when compared to the stovetop method.
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How To Pressure Cook Soaked Pinto Beans
Not everyone has time to soak their beans in advance, but if you like to, heres what you need to know.
Benefits of Soaking Beans:
- They might be easier to digest. Soaking beans in water for 8 hours or more, may help to remove some of the anti-nutrients, like phytates, and indigestible sugars that naturally occur in beans. This may help them to digest better, and reduce gas and bloating later.
- The beans will cook faster. A brief moment of prep work the night before can shave off 2/3 of the cooking time.
- Pre-soaked beans tend to hold their shape better. Soaked beans dont burst as much during the cooking process.
To soak beans, youll simply cover the dry beans in 2 to 3 inches of water and place the bowl in the fridge to soak for 8-12 hours. You can do this in the morning before you go to work, and then they will be ready to cook in time for dinner.
Drain the soaking water and rinse the beans well. Pour the drained beans into the Instant Pot, and cover them with fresh water and the seasonings in the recipe below.
Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes, then let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.
Move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure, then when the floating valve drops, its safe to open the lid. The beans will still be sitting in a significant amount of liquid, so I like to use a slotted spoon for serving them.
Ultimate Instant Pot Pinto Beans
But aside from all the monetary and health benefits, these beans just taste really, really good. A few easy aromatics give these Instant Pot pinto beans loads of flavor, including:
- garlic & shallot: a whole head of garlic and a whole shallot impart an incredible flavor
- bay leaf: a bay leaf gives the beans a subtle herby depth
- bacon: BACON! This is optional, but two strips of bacon infuse the beans with a rich, smoky flavor
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How To Use Them
I love that these instant pot pinto beans can be eaten as is, or used in other recipes! Here are some of my favorite ways to use them.
Add a bit of cilantro, and eat them as is. You can strain them, or serve them with the liquid. I love them with a scoop of cottage cheese, as well.
Use them in enchiladas. Some of my favorites are these Easy Enchiladas or these Garlic, Bean and Chicken Enchiladas, using the pinto beans in place of the cannellini beans.
These beans are perfect for topping Navajo Tacos!
They are great in most chili recipes, like this Crock Pot Chili. If the recipe calls for another kind of bean, I will often use pinto beans.
These pinto beans are perfect for Refried Beans!
What Is The Ratio Of Beans To Water
In the Instant Pot, the ratio of beans to water that I use most often is 4:1 . This works out to be 4 cups water for every 8 ounces of beans.
This allows for plenty of liquid, which turns into a flavorful broth as the beans cook.
You can use a little bit less water if you like. The amount of water doesnt have to be exact. A good rule of thumb is to make sure there is about 2 inches of water above the dried beans.
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Ingredients For Cooking Pinto Beans In Instant Pot
- Pinto Beans: Use fresh dry pinto beans although beans have a relatively long shelf life, older beans with varying dryness may take a much longer cooking time to be softened. Sometimes the dry pinto beans can get so old & stale that they wont cook properly even after long cooking time. So best to use fresh dry beans if possible.
- Ground Cumin: We like to freshly ground our cumin seeds with a Mortar and Pestle, as the flavor & aroma come out more intense and fresh. However, you can use store-bought ground cumin seeds.
- Jalapeno: You can keep the jalapeno seeds to make the dish spicier. This dish is mildly spicy without the seeds.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes: Its critical to use a high quality can of fire-roasted tomatoes as it is one of the stars of the dish. You can also roast your own tomatoes over fire if you like.
- Bacon: Use bacon with some smoky flavor & aroma to maximize the depths of flavors for this Mexican pinto beans recipe. It pairs well with the pinto beans.
- Regular Soy Sauce: Adding regular soy sauce will add another layer of umami flavor.
- Unsalted Chicken Stock Different brands or even different boxes of the same brand of salted chicken stock can differ in levels of sodium, so we prefer to develop recipes using unsalted chicken stock for more control & consistency on the dishs flavor profile. Best if you can make your own chicken stock .
Instant Pot Bone Broth Recipes
If you have been with me for a while, you know that I love to make bone broth. And I will be honest with you, I was skeptical about making bone broth in the Instant Pot. I was worried that the high pressure would diminish the nutritional benefits of bone broth.
But after I spoke with the customer service folks at Instant Pot, I learned that to guarantee that my bone broth would come out rich and gelatinous, I should set my Instant Pot pressure to low, not high.
And they were right! Be sure to watch the videos below to learn more tips on how to guarantee that the bone broth in your Instant Pot comes out great every time! I have you covered with Instant Pot recipes for:
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Serve Your Pinto Beans With Cornbread
You can serve your Instant Pot Pinto Beans with a Tex-Mex kick as a side dish, wrapped in a corn tortilla, or poured over cornbread. In the following video, I show you how to make a whole grain, sweet buttermilk cornbread in a cast-iron skillet.
Does Cooking With Salt Affect Beans
In my experience, beans tend to be affected by salt more when you pressure cook them, as opposed to cooking them on the stove top.
However, when testing pinto beans in the Instant Pot, theres not a huge difference in adding salt or not. The beans turned out to be about the same tenderness either way, using the same cooking time.
Thats why the recipe below does call for salt, because the resulting beans turn out much more flavorful that way. My 4-year-old daughter told me they taste better than the pinto beans at Chipotle!
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How To Make Instantpot Pressure Cooker Pinto Beans Step By Step
Step 1: Gather and prepare all ingredients.
Step 2: Rinse dry pinto beans. Add the pound of beans to a 6-8 quart instant pot.
Uncooked pinto beans
Pour in water to cover the beans by 1-2 inches . Add bay leaves if using.
Step 3: Cook on high pressure for 30-35 minutes.
Setting pressure cooker to HIGH pressure for 30 minutes
Step 4: Let the pressure release naturally. If the beans arent done to you liking, just reseal the pot and cook for another 5-10 minutes. The hot pan should come to pressure quickly.
Cooked pinto beans
Step 5: Salt cooked beans to taste. Remove bay leaves, if used, before serving.
Cooked pinto beans
Instant Pot Pinto Beans Water Ratio
The ratio of beans to water that I like to use is 1 lb of pinto beans to 6 cups water. When you put the dry pinto beans and water in the Instant Pot, it might seem like its too much water, but because pinto beans expand when they cook they actually absorb most of the water. When the beans are done cooking, just drain whatever water is left.
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How To Store Them
If you dont eat the beans right away or want to meal prep, you can store them in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or for up to 6 months in the fridge.
Before you store them, let them cool completely. When they are cool, place them into a sealed airtight container. Seal the container and place in the fridge. They are safe to store for 4 to 5 days.
You can reheat them on the stovetop over medium low heat or in the microwave.
To freeze the beans, place the cooked and cooled beans in a freezer bag making sure to remove all of the excess air before sealing. I like to portion mine out into 1-2 cup portions so I can quickly grab some to add to recipes.
You can freeze the beans for up to 6 months. If you are adding them to a recipe, you can drop them in frozen and cook along with the rest of your dish. If you are using them as a side dish, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can then reheat them on the stovetop over medium high heat or in the microwave.