This easy, no-soak recipe for Mexican-style Instant Pot pinto beans will have your beans on the table in less than an hour, tasting just as good as the slow-cooked version you grew up with.
You’re probably used to cooking frijoles de la olla for hours on the stove-top, or even using a slow-cooker for making Crock-Pot frijoles de la olla (one of the all-time most popular recipes on this blog). With just a handful of simple ingredients and the no-soak method, these Mexican-style Instant Pot pinto beans will be on the table in no time.
While the slow-cooked beans are great, most of us don’t always have the time to wait to feed our families. Enter the glorious invention known as the Instant Pot.
What is an Instant Pot?
In the simplest terms, an Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. It has multiple functions to allow you to use one device as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker and warmer (sometimes more functions if you have a fancier model).
The model pictured in this post is the Instant Pot Duo SV 6-quart capacity and I purchased it at Costco.
The inner pot is made of stainless steel and is dishwasher safe, along with the lid and most of the other components.
The reason I love my Instant Pot over a stovetop pressure cooker is that its microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration for consistent results, and I don’t need to watch it while it’s cooking. The version I have in my kitchen has 10 safety mechanisms to keep you and your food safe. I feel perfectly comfortable turning it on and walking away to do other things while my food is cooking.
Key ingredients to make Instant Pot pinto beans
Aside from the actual list of ingredients, here are some tips to ensure you choose the best produce.
Beans: Make sure you rinse and sort your pinto beans to remove any dirt, dust or debris that may have made its way into the bag during packaging.
White Onion: Choose onions that are heavy for their size, firm, and free from bruises. If you won’t be using your onions right away, store them in a bowl on your countertop. Don’t store them inside a bag, as they need ventilation to stay fresh.
Fresh Garlic: Garlic bulbs should be firm, plump and compact with unbroken skin. Avoid bulbs with green sprouts (which are a sign they’re old) and damp or soft spots. If it’s heavy for its size, it will be flavorful.
Ancho chile: I prefer to use ground ancho in this recipe because it gives the broth a nice, rich color. You can also substitute a dried ancho chile with the stem torn off if you don’t have ground chile.
Mexican Oregano: Similar to the European oregano you know, the Mexican version is less sweet and has an earthy and almost citrus-like taste. It’s available in most Latin grocery stores and can also be ordered online from Rancho Gordo.
How to serve pinto beans
The best part of this recipe, aside from having a new way to cook your beans quickly without any compromise to the taste, is that you’ll also get some savory bean broth out of it as well! This is especially great if you want to blend the beans and broth together to make a soup.
As pictured here, pinto beans can be eaten alone or as a side, and are very tasty with a little crumbled queso fresco on top. You can eat them with tortillas on the side for dipping in the bean broth as a side or simple snack, or as an accompaniment to meats or a larger meal.Print
How to make Instant Pot pinto beans Mexican-style with an easy no-soak method that will have your beans on the table in under an hour.
- 2 cups pinto beans, rinsed
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile
- 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 4–5 cloves of garlic
- 2 fat slices (1/4-inch thick, each) of white onion
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, added after cooking
- Put all ingredients in the Instant Pot and press the Pressure Cook button on high for 35 minutes.
- When Instant Pot turns off, let it sit to depressurize for about 15-20 minutes, then use a towel to manually release steam until the valve drops. Be careful not to burn your hands with the steam.
- Once the valve drops, open the Instant Pot lid by twisting and lifting away from you to allow any remaining steam to escape. Set lid aside.
- Press the Sauté button and cook for another 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until beans are creamy and tender.
- Turn off Instant Pot and ladle to serve.
These beans can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
You can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth to make this recipe vegetarian-friendly.
Keywords: pinto beans
If you like this recipe, you might also like my guide on how to doctor canned refried beans.2