Making Pinto Beans in the pressure cooker is the quickest, easiest and the BEST way to make them. The taste and flavor of these beans is just like the canned ones, I promise!
Mexican food is one of our favorite dinners! One of the most important ingredient in these meals is Pinto beans. Whether these are cooked and enjoyed as is or processed further to make refried beans; these are found in almost ALL Vegetarian Mexican meals.
As we need them so often in various forms, it is a great idea to make them at once and freeze any leftover. Making them in the Instant Pot is my favorite way to make a batch that lasts atleast two meals. Plus, this method needs no pre-soaking of the beans and has just a handful of ingredients.
Why make Pinto Beans in the Instant Pot?
One pot recipes are always winners. This recipe is just like that. I make the beans and enjoy them as-is with a side of brown rice. If you need them as filling for quesadilla or tacos, just use the immersion blender to blend it to a grainy texture. It makes a perfect filling for all Mexican dishes.
I used to make the beans using a pressure cooker for the longest time. This method needs the beans to be soaked overnight. More often than not I forget to soak the beans and then I have to change the plans to make the beans.
The Instant Pot needs no soaking and about 40 minutes of cooking time. So I start with the beans and then while they cook, I get everything else ready for the meal. That way I can have it all sorted in about an hour. This makes it my favorite method to make the beans.
How to make beans in the Instant Pot?
As I mentioned above, the method to make beans in the Instant Pot is as easy as 1-2-3. Add all the ingredients to the pot, add water/ stock and cook. To add some flavor I have also added onion, garlic, taco seasoning and jalapeños; but all that is completely optional. They impart a brilliant flavor to the beans and I strongly recommend adding them.
This method is for beans that have not been soaked. Some people do prefer to soak the beans overnight and then use them. I do the same if I have enough time at hand. So the cooking time will depend how soft you like the beans and whether or not you have soaked them.
The timing I use for these beans as well as black beans is here:
- Very soft beans: 40-42 minutes
- Soft beans: 35-36 minutes
- Firm beans: 28-30 minutes
- Soaked overnight: 18 minutes
Using and storing the Beans
Once you have the beans made, it is super quick to whip up any dish. The way I enjoy them is to serve them with a side of rice or quinoa and some salad for a complete meal.
The leftover I either freeze as-is or in the refried beans form. To make that I drain the beans (reserve the liquid), process using an immersion blender or regular blender adding back liquid as required and transferring the purée to a silicone tray. I freeze the tray and store the cubes in a freezer bag. This way it is easier to thaw just a couple of cubes for a meal.
There are plenty of recipes that need beans. Here are some of my favorites:
The recipe I have here is for Pinto beans. However, the same can be used for black beans or kidney beans too. The beans are equally firm and so the time required for them is same.
I have added onion, garlic and jalapeño that I like to keep in the beans. If you would just like to flavor the beans, leave them as big pieces that you can fish out after the beans are cooked. Adding seasoning to the beans after they cook is an option too, but adding salt before works well.
Love a different kind of seasoning for the beans? Skip the taco seasoning and add that. I sometimes like to add adobe sauce or smoked paprika for flavor. The beans made using that are great for grilling recipes like grilled tacos etc. Some people actually like to add some liquid smoke. I have not tried that but I hear it is great option.
Dry Pinto Beans 1 ½ cups
Onion ½ medium, diced
Garlic 1-2 cloves, minced
Jalapeño 1 tsp, minced
Olive Oil 2 tsp
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Taco Seasoning 1 ½ tsp
Salt 1 ½ tsp
Water 6 cups
Cilantro and sliced jalapeños to top
Set the mode of the Instant Pot to 'Sauté'. Once the display reads 'Hot' add Olive Oil.
Add garlic and onion and mix. Let them cook for a couple of minutes. Add the dry pinto beans and water. Stir.
Next, add the jalapeños, cumin powder, taco seasoning and salt. Stir everything well.
Press 'Cancel' and then press 'Pressure Cook'. Set mode to normal and time to 35 minutes.
Once the cooking is complete and the pressure releases naturally, open the Instant Pot.
Drain the beans using a colander and transfer to a bowl. Serve topped with sliced jalapeños and cilantro.