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Instant Pot Pinto Beans

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Our family loves beans. All kinds of beans. Served in a lot of different ways. Quite often I take the quick way out and buy them in the can but this year I want to start cooking them myself more often. And since I got an Instant Pot cooking beans has gotten a whole lot easier and more convenient.

This recipe is similar to the one in the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes 2nd Edition that came with my Instant Pot but I’ve made some tweaks so wanted to save it here.

One of the changes makes the preparation of this recipe even simpler. Instead of sauteing the onions, herbs, and spices before cooking the beans in this recipe you can just throw all the ingredients in and cook. I recently read a post on another blog where the author said they had tried sauteing prior to pressure cooking verses skipping the saute step and just pressure cooking and gotten the same results so I tried skipping the sauteing on this recipe and she’s right. I didn’t notice a difference in taste. I gotta say I love tips like these that make food prep easier.

I’ve also combined the instructions for pre-cooking the beans (instead of soaking since I usually forget anyway) with the instructions for cooking the beans into a single recipe. If you prefer to soak your beans instead just skip down to step 6 of the recipe.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans

Instant Pot Pinto Beans

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Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2 cups dry pinto beans
  • ½ cup onions, chopped
  • ½ tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika or chipotle powder
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 10 cups water



Pre-cook the beans as follows using the Instant Pot. (Alternately you can use your preferred pre-soak method.)


Sort and rinse beans before adding to the bowl of the Instant Pot.


Add 8 cups of water.


Close and lock the lid and set the Instant Pot on manual mode for 3 minutes. (Make sure the release valve is set on "Sealing".)


Once the 3 minutes of cook time are over let the pot go into "keep warm" mode and wait 10 minutes before carefully releasing the pressure. (The entire pre-cook process should take around 30 minutes.)


Gently strain and rinse the beans (discarding the liquid).


Return the beans to the bowl and add the remaining 2 cups of water and the other ingredients.


Stir gently.


Close and lock the lid and set the pot for manual mode for 10 minutes.


Once the 10 minutes are over push the "Cancel" button and leave the pot sealed until the pressure comes down on its own. (It should take around 25 minutes for the pressure to come down.)


Stir the beans once more before serving.


Modifications: Try swapping your favorite herb for the cilantro. You can also use this recipe to make "refried" beans: after the beans are done cooking mash them to the desired consistency and serve!

Tips: I chop the onions and cilantro and assemble the rest of the ingredients while the beans are pre-cooking to save time.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans

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