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Instant Pot Pinto Beans

Instant Pot Pinto Beans are a super easy and much faster way to cook dry pinto beans, and they’re great for meal prepping. Plus, there’s no soaking required, and you’ll save a few pennies too!

Dry beans cooked to perfection in just over an hour without having to soak them overnight? That’s exactly what you get when you cook your pinto beans in the Instant Pot, and then you can use them in all your favorite recipes!

If you haven’t yet tried cooking dry beans in your Instant Pot, you definitely should! It’s actually one of the things I do most with mine (check out my recipes for Instant Pot Black Beans and Instant Pot Chickpeas).

Sure, canned beans are great to have (and I always keep some of them around too), but I just love the texture and taste of home-cooked beans so much better. I can cook them exactly how I like them (just slightly firm), and so can you!

Also, they freeze exceptionally well, so if you don’t need those beans you just cooked for tonight’s dinner – or if you just want to stock up – portion them out, put them in freezer bags, and freeze them to use another time.

Plus, dry beans are usually less expensive than canned beans, so you can also save a little money by cooking dry beans!

Right now at my local store, a one-pound bag of dry pinto beans is $1.25 and a 15.5-ounce can of pinto beans is $1. Once cooked, the pound of dry beans will give you the equivalent of three cans of beans. That’s $1.75 saved (hey, every little bit helps)!

bowl of cooked pinto beans

Ingredients you need:

  • Dry pinto beans
  • Water

Equipment you need:

  • Instant pot (6 or 8-quart)

How to make Instant Pot Pinto Beans:

three images showing the steps to make instant pot pinto beans
three images showing the steps to make instant pot pinto beans

Tips & Tidbits:

  • The fresher the beans, the easier they will be to cook. Dry beans last a long time in the pantry, but the older they are, the longer they may take to cook.
  • When cooking beans in the Instant Pot, never fill the pot more than halfway full to avoid overflow. The beans will expand during cooking, and you need to allow room. This is why you need to use either a 6 or 8-quart Instant Pot (do not use a 3-quart Instant Pot).
  • Soaking the beans is not required. However, if you would like to soak them overnight first, discard the soaking liquid and use fresh water to cook the beans, and reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes (the 20-minutes of natural pressure release stays the same).
  • If you experience digestive issues when eating beans, soaking the beans before cooking can help reduce the gassiness.
  • There is some debate about whether adding salt to the cooking water prevents beans from cooking properly. I’ve cooked my beans with and without salt and never noticed a major difference. Add salt if you’d like!
  • The easiest and best way to freeze cooked beans is to allow them to cool, divide them into portions of 1¾ cups each (which is about how much is in a can of beans) or a quantity you commonly use, place them in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze.
  • Unless you plan to use them all at once, don’t freeze the whole batch in a big bag because – trust me – it will be a nightmare trying to take out (more like chisel off) just the quantity you need for a recipe.
  • This recipe should give you beans that are slightly firm and not mushy. If you like you beans cooked more or less, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
bowl of cooked pinto beans

Some of my favorite uses for pinto beans are in chili, vegetarian tacos, burritos. I often use them interchangeably with black beans. Of course, my most favorite way to use them is for baked beans (recipe coming soon!).

I hope you try this recipe for Instant Pot Pinto Beans and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Instant Pot Pinto Beans

Instant Pot Pinto Beans are a super easy and much faster way to cook dry pinto beans, and they're great for meal prepping. Plus, there's no soaking required, and you'll save a few pennies too!
5 from 1 vote
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Natural Release: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings: 10 (about ½ cup each; recipe makes about 5 cups total)
Estimated Calories: 80

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry pinto beans, rinsed and any small stones/debris removed
  • 6 cups cold water

Instructions

  • Place the pinto beans and the water in a 6 or 8-quart Instant Pot (do not use a 3-quart Instant Pot for this recipe). Put on the lid and turn the steam release valve to "sealing."
  • Press Manual (or Pressure Cook), select high pressure, and set the cooking time to 25 minutes. Note: It will take the Instant Pot approximately 18 to 20 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking time will begin to count down.
  • When the cooking time is complete, turn off the Instant Pot and let the pressure natural-release for 20 minutes.
  • After the 20 minutes has elapsed, quick-release any remaining pressure in the Instant Pot (please be careful as HOT steam will be released).
  • Drain the beans, rinse them with cold water, and then spread them out on a large baking sheet or tray and allow to cool completely.
  • You can use your cooked beans immediately, refrigerate them and use within a few days, or freeze for longer-term storage.

Notes

  • One pound of dry pinto beans, once cooked, will give you the equivalent of three 15.5 to 16-ounce cans of pinto beans (about 1¾ cups each). 
  • To freeze: Once cooled, portion out your beans as desired, place them in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze. Don’t freeze the whole batch in a large bag because it will be very difficult to just remove the portion you will need for a recipe later on.  
  • Soaking is not required. However, you can soak the beans overnight if you prefer. If you soak the beans, discard the soaking liquid and use fresh water to cook the beans, and reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes. The 20-minute natural pressure release stays the same. 
  • You can add salt to the cooking water if you’d like. 
  • This recipe should give you beans that are slightly firm and not mushy. If you prefer your beans cooked more or less, adjust the cooking time accordingly.  
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Recipe Rating




Emmy

Saturday 11th of December 2021

Follow instructions exactly and they came out perfectly. Thank you!

Michelle

Sunday 12th of December 2021

You're welcome, Emmy! Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe!