I finally joined in on the Instant Pot craze this Christmas when my family gifted me an 8 quart Instant Pot. Let’s just say, I am “In Love” with how quickly I can cook all the things… Boiled eggs – 5 minutes, frozen chicken breast – 30 minutes, dried pinto beans with bacon – 1 1/2 hours!!!!
If you are a beginner instant pot user this recipe is a good one to start with. I started with the 5 minute boiled eggs, which by the way, peel so beautifully I squeal with delight on the inside every time I peel one. Then I moved on to the chicken breast and dried beans.
Dried beans are really economical. They cost pennies to make. Beans are a great substitute for meat or another source of protein you can easily add to so many meals.
They may seem intimidating if you have never made them before, but I promise you will love the flavor and the cost of using dried instead of canned beans. The instant pot takes out the hardest and longest step of soaking the beans. Before I had the instant pot I constantly forgot to soak my beans overnight! This wasn’t the end of the world, but definitely added more time to cooking and extra steps to get the perfect beans.
Instant Pot Pinto Beans are so versatile. They really don’t have much flavor, but can easily become the most flavorful dish on the table with just a few seasonings. This recipe is very basic, classic flavors. You can add garlic, jalapeños, sausage, liquid smoke, cajun seasoning, and so much more to change up the flavors!
While you don’t have to soak the beans overnight, you do have to wash them before cooking. Look for little stones in the beans. Most of the time they float to the top, but I always check thoroughly so no one breaks a tooth!
The bouillon gives a rich flavor to the pinto beans. I usually use vegetable bouillon, but you can substitute chicken or beef bouillon. This is not an ad, but I LOVE Better Than Bouillon in any recipe the calls for bouillon. I don’t know if I will ever be able to go back to regular, ol’ powdered bouillon. The flavors are so rich and deep it takes your dish to a whole other level.
The final part of this recipe that I need to explain is the time and pressure. Normally, when the timer dings you depressurize the instant pot by turning the release valve at the top. DON’T do that this time. After your beans cook for 45 minutes on high pressure, leave the instant pot alone. Allow it to switch automatically to the Keep Warm setting and let the timer reach 30 minutes. It will naturally depressurize during that time. And this will allow the beans to continue to cook.
Tips for Instant Pot Pinto Beans:
TIP 1: Freeze leftover beans. Don’t be afraid to make more than what you will use for the meal you are making the beans for. You can easily portion the beans into freezer bags to use for later meals. They still taste amazing!
TIP 2: Bacon. All you need is two or three strips of bacon and your beans will have a rich smokey flavor! Toss them in the pot uncooked. A simple way to take your beans over the top.
TIP 3: Meat Substitute You can substitute beans for ground beef in just about any recipe. These pinto beans make a delicious taco!
TIP 4: Refried Beans Canned refried beans are full of fat and sodium. You can quickly turn these pinto beans into refried beans on the stovetop. Add 1/4 cup of water to 2 cups of cooked pinto beans and smash with a potato masher in a skillet. Add in some taco seasoning or cumin to bump up the flavors. (You can add more water if the beans are too thick)
Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- 1 lb dried pinto beans
- 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon
- 3 strips bacon
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 5 cups water
- salt to taste
- Rinse beans and remove rocks
- Add beans, bouillon, bacon, pepper, & water to instant pot
- Close instant pot lid and set to high pressure for 45 minutes.
- When timer beeps do not depressurize. Allow instant pot to automatically switch to Keep Warm and depressurize on its own. Leave for 30 minutes.
- Add salt to taste. *This will vary due to the saltiness of the bacon
This recipe for instant pot pinto beans is a great recipe to start with when you have a new instant pot. Not to mention a classic and delicious recipe that costs pennies.
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