Learn how to cook perfectly tender pinto beans in the Instant Pot with this step-by-step recipe. No pre-soak needed.
Skip the canned pinto beans and cook your pinto beans in the pressure cooker in less than an hour. Serve as a side dish, a base for the main dish, tacos, soups, chilis, and more.
In general, 1 cup of dried beans yields about 2 ½ cups of cooked beans. Use these beans.
How to cook pinto beans in the Instant Pot
Detailed ingredient measurements, instructions, and notes can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Here is a summary:
1. Rinse and drain: In a mesh sieve, thoroughly rinse the dried beans in cool running water for a couple of minutes. Drain well.
2. Combine ingredients: Add the rinsed pinto beans, water, and salt. Stir well.
3. Pressure Cook: Close the Instant Pot lid, set the valve on “sealing”, and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Once completed, turn off the Instant Pot and wait 10 minutes to naturally release the pressure.
Quick-release any remaining pressure and remove the lid.
4. Check if done: Check for doneness by inserting a fork into one of the beans. If it's tender and mashes easily, it's ready.
5. Drain: Carefully drain the beans.
Store in the fridge: Store any remaining leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave.
Store in the freezer: Divide beans into servings and store each in a freezer-safe container. Add frozen beans directly in recipes like soups and chiles. For recipes that require thawed bean, thaw overnight in the fridge.
Tips and suggestions for the best Instant Pot pinto beans
Avoid using older beans: Older dried beans take longer to cook because they lose moisture as they sit. If you do use older beans, it could take much longer to cook.
Check the bulk section: Check to see if there's a bulk section in your local grocery store where you can pick up the desired amount at a cheaper price.
Skip the salt: for a low-sodium option, omit the salt when cooking and add it when using the beans in other recipes.
Vegetable broth: try using vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor.
Commonly asked questions
Can I double the recipe? Yes, this recipe can be doubled if using a larger Instant Pot. Double the ingredients but the same cook time.
Do you need to pre-soak the pinto beans? Unless you prefer, it's not necessary to soak the beans beforehand. However, soaking them will help reduce the cooking time.
How long do they last in the fridge? Cooked beans last 3 days in the fridge when stored in a sealed container.
Can you freeze cooked beans? Yes. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How do you quick-release pressure? Quick-release by carefully turning the steam valve to the “Venting” position. The pin will drop when the steam has completely released and the lid can be opened
What size Instant Pot did you use? I’ve tested this recipe on both my Instant Pot Duo Mini 3-Quart and Instant Pot DUO 6-Quart with great results. However, you may need to tweak how long you cook the eggs based on preference, the size, model, and brand of your pressure cooker.
How to serve
Prepared beans can be used in a variety of ways and make a tasty addition to meals throughout the week. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy them:
- Enjoy as a side dish to any meal
- Add to chili and soups
- Serve with brown rice or quinoa
- Add to a vegan power bowl or burrito bowl
- Add as a topping to cauliflower tacos, potato tacos, or nachos
More Instant Pot recipes
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Instant Pot Cabbage
- How to Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Carrots
- Instant Pot Beets
If you tried this Instant Pot pinto beans recipe or any other recipe, be sure to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. Follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more delicious recipes.
- 1 cup dried pinto beans
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 bay leaf
- In a mesh sieve, thoroughly rinse the dried beans in cool running water. Drain well.
- In the stainless steel insert, add the rinsed beans, water, bay leaf and salt.
- Close the pressure cooker lid, set the valve on “sealing”, and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Once completed, turn off the Instant Pot and allow the pressure to release naturally before removing lid.
- Carefully drain the pinto beans and move into a bowl. Season, if needed.
- Double recipe: If doubling the recipe, double the quantity of beans and water but use the same cook time.
- To store: Let the beans cool completely before storing in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 days.
- To freeze: Cook a bigger batch and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.