Ready to use in your favorite Mexican style recipe, or to just eat plain, these Instant Pot pinto beans are a game changer, with no soaking and a much quicker cook time. 

Image of cooked pinto beans made from dried beans using an instant pot.
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I’m just in love with my Instant Pot! All right, maybe that’s a little over the top, but every day I find new things to love about cooking with my pressure cooker.

Mostly, I love the speediness. When you can take something like dry, hard beans and have them ready to eat in about an hour, I find that truly kind of amazing, don’t you?

And it’s all pretty much hands-off time, so you can be working on other aspects of your dinner, or just taking a break with a cup of coffee and a good book (my preference, for sure!). 

The ultimate question is: How do pinto beans taste when they’ve been pressure cooked in an Instant Pot? Delicious! Much more tasty and economical than canned beans.

Image of cooked pinto beans in an instant pot with a wooden spoon on a wooden background.

About these Instant Pot Pinto Beans

An important thing to remember is that dry beans absorb a lot of water. I use 6 cups of water with 1 pound of pinto beans. The beans don’t absorb all 6 cups of the water. You’ll have lots of nice bean broth, which you can eat with the beans. I like to let the beans sit in the cooking liquid while they cool a bit so they can absorb a little more of that delicious broth. 

Season the beans liberally with chopped onion, a bay leaf or two, salt and pepper. Put the lid on securely, select Pressure Cook, set the cooking time for 50 minutes, and let the pinto beans cook. When the cooking time is up, natural release for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. That’s it! In just over an hour, you have perfectly cooked pinto beans, firm but not crunchy. 

I like to use these cooked pinto beans in a variety of recipes. You can make them into refried beans, add them to your favorite chili with ground beef or turkey, make soup or vegetarian stuffed peppers (coming soon!), or use them in a taco salad. One of my favorite pinto bean dishes is frijoles borrachos, or “drunken beans”.

Instant Pot pinto beans are delicious just plain, too. I had a bowl of cooked pinto beans on the counter cooling and my mom and I kept sneaking a taste because they’re kind of addicting. 

Image of dry pinto beans in a white rectangular dish.

Do you need to soak the beans before they are cooked in a pressure cooker?

As I mention above, you don’t need to presoak the beans. However, if you pre-soak the beans for 4-6 hours in water (4 times the volume of the beans), the cooking time will be reduced.

If you have time to presoak the beans, as you can see, the cooking time is cut drastically. Soak or no soak? Decide which way works best in your schedule. 

Or maybe slow cooking works best for you, I get that! Check out how to make slow cooker pinto beans.

Close up image of dry pinto beans.

 How do you cook dried beans in an Instant Pot?

You can cook any type of dried beans in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Water and beans are all you need, seasoning is optional. Check the cookbook that comes with your Instant Pot for guidelines on how long to cook each type of bean. Easy, easy, easy! I love to make Black Bean Soup in my Instant Pot. 

Image of Instant Pot pinto beans in a small bowl garnished with cilantro. A blue and white checkered cloth is in the background.

How to make this recipe your own

  • Add seasonings, like garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and/or cayenne.
  • Spice it up a little with a can of green chiles. 
  • Make them plain. I would definitely add a little salt though. 
  • Add chopped bacon to the Instant Pot and cook it with the beans. 
  • Try different varieties of beans.
Image of pressure cooked pinto beans in a small bowl on a wooden background. A fork and a blue and white checkered cloth are also pictured.

Reheating and Storage Tips

Cooked pinto beans will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, ready to use in the recipe of your choosing.

For longer storage, freeze pinto beans in freezer containers with their juice, or in freezer bags if they’re drained, for up to 6 months. If you’re adding beans to chili or soups, you can toss them in without thawing. If you’re adding the pinto beans to salads, thaw overnight in the refrigerator for best results. 

More Instant Pot Basics

Do you really love your Instant Pot? If you’re still on the fence, try some of these game changing basic recipes, and watch out! You may find yourself falling in love. 


Instant Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

4.45 from 287 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Ready to use in your favorite Mexican style recipe, or to just eat plain, these Instant Pot pinto beans are a game changer, with no soaking and a much quicker cook time. 
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  • Rinse beans and pick out any stones, pebbles, or non-bean materials. If desired, soak in water overnight to reduce cook time, but this is not necessary.
  • Put beans into Instant Pot. Add water, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Stir. Secure lid, turn valve to seal.
  • Set pressure cooker to "pressure cook" or "manual" (depending on model), high pressure, for 50 minutes for dry beans (15 minutes for soaked beans). Let pressure release naturally (in other words, leave it alone) for 15 minutes.
  • Quick release any remaining pressure by turning valve to “vent.” Remove lid.
  • Carefully remove bay leaf. Beans can be drained, or you can scoop beans out with a slotted spoon, or enjoy them with the cooking broth. It’s delicious!
  • Serve, garnished with chopped cilantro, if desired.


  • Makes about 5 cups after liquid is drained.
  • Want to keep it basic? This recipe will work just fine with water and beans, but I recommend adding salt at the very least. 
  • Want to kick it up a notch? Try cooking with chicken broth instead of water, and/or adding 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.  
  • For another twist, try adding a can of diced green chiles.
  • To use as “refried” beans: Drain beans, reserving liquid. Blend with an immersion blender or a potato masher, adding liquid as needed.



Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 162kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 246mg, Potassium: 649mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.45 from 287 votes (246 ratings without comment)

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  1. Alex P says:

    5 stars
    After 50 minutes and 23 mins of keep warm was not quite done so gave it 15 and 15 more and was just right tenderness wise

    Added a 14oz Hillshire Farm kielbasa and a heaping spoonful of minced garlic

    Was alright fresh out of pot, but way better later out of fridge with lunch

    Will do again

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Shary says:

    I just tried this for 50 mins and my beans were still crunchy. So I’m putting them on for yet another fifty mins. Im sure its sealed because I cooked in the pot last night and it was fine. So we shall see

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hmm, yeah, it shouldn’t take that long. Are your beans super old?

  3. Lawrence says:

    While I didn’t add the onion, I cooked the recipe as instructed. My result was an incredibly soft bean–almost no mashing needed for refried!

    I am using these beans in a chili recipe, and I have to be careful stirring to not mash the beans….kind of like folding in meringue!

    I’ll try 25 minutes and 15 minutes resting next time. If needed, I can always cook some more.

    Thank you for the recipe.


    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Yes, if you’re using them in a chili, you could definitely undercook them a little as they’ll continue cooking in the chili.

  4. Heather G says:

    5 stars
    I just finished cooking my pinto beans with this method and it worked a charm! The beans came out nice and tender without being too mushy. The only change from the instructions was I used my Power Pot (pressure cooker) because that is what I have. I set the pressure to 70psi.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked them! Thanks for sharing what type of pressure cooker you have!

  5. Mark says:

    1 star
    Soaked pinto beans need no more than 5 mins high pressure and quick release. Otherwise you have bean slop.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thanks for the feedback. We tested it and our beans needed 15 minutes, but it can vary based on the age of the beans.

      1. Net says:

        5 stars
        Followed your cooking instructions and added minded garlic, a whole onion and salt. Perfect and better than presoaking and boiling them on the stove for hours!

        1. Rachel Gurk says:

          So glad you enjoyed!

    2. J says:

      I make beans weekly in my Ip, soaked. Ashtrays 15-18 depending if I’m retrying. Maybe Mark is higher altitude?
      Ckd out this recipe b. No time to soak. Did 60 based on reviews & got perfect medium soft.

  6. Carol H says:

    2 stars
    Had to repeat the process 3 or 4 times lost track. The beans are still not tender. Used 6 cups of water which diluted the flavor too watery. Seal was in place. Used dried packaged beans.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Could it be that your beans were really old? If the beans are old, they can take longer to cook and stay tough. You shouldn’t have to cook them 3-4 times the length indicated in the recipe.

    2. Kimberly says:

      5 stars
      This was one of the first recipes I tried in my new Instant Pot Max. I have been cooking pinto beans for decades using the soak-all-night and simmer-for-hours method. Being new with using the Instant Pot, I was nervous about making changes, so I followed your recipe exactly – didn’t even change the cooking time for my altitude of 6640 feet, and they turned out perfectly! One note though, in your recipe description before the actual recipe, you say that if the beans are soaked, the cooking time will be 7 – 9 minutes, then in the recipe, it says 15 minutes. I would like the option to soak the beans to reduce the cooking time, but would like to know which cooking time I should use.

      1. Rachel Gurk says:

        Thank you for pointing that out! It should be 15.

  7. Jon' H says:

    5 stars
    Came here looking for the timing to make a pot of beans without soaking last night.

    I used the 1# dried pinto beans, 6 cups of water (equivalent of 2 c bouillon was part of this), frozen onions, can of Rotel, Knorr chicken bouillon, garlic powder, smidge of cumin, cayenne, dash of oregano, sliced smoked sausage, and a bay leaf. Taste for s/p once done.

    Forgot that I had fresh jalapenos that could’ve used.  I did not drain the beans.  The broth is very good.

    DON’T forget to seal the pot.  I made the rookie error that I’m always worried about and still manage to forget so had a NoPR error.  Which meant the beans had been steaming w no pressure for 50 min.  I put the lid back in the sealing position for 30 min and let it naturally release for 15. 

    Will definitely use this again! I tried to mess them up and they were still quite good. =D

    1. Jon' H says:

      Edit: 2 tsp of chicken bouillon to make the equivalent of 2 cups of broth.

    2. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thanks for the detailed comment! Agree that the broth is one of the best parts!

  8. Nikki says:

    3 stars
    I had to repeat the process three times. Beans were still hard after the first two 50 minute rounds. Very odd… After the third round, they were great! Amazing flavor as I added two árbol chilies, 1/2 tsp cumin, 3 pressed cloves of garlic, 1Tbs caldo de pollo, 2 bay leaves, onion, cilantro, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and some bacon grease. Just disappointed that they still took 2.5 hours to cook.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hmm, that doesn’t sound right! Was your rubber ring firmly in place? If you have an older Instant Pot, was the valve turned to “seal?” Sometimes the beans do take slightly longer (especially if the beans are really old), but they shouldn’t take 2.5 hours if they’re properly under pressure.

  9. Annette Story Leuthauser says:

    5 stars
    Very good I did use way more of each spice, especially cumin. Cumin is a big flavor in ALL Mexican food!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I always end up doing the same, but I like people to be able to add more spice rather than have it too spicy for some palates right off the bat. Glad you liked the recipe!

      1. Dot says:

        4 stars
        In a large IP, I used 3 cups beans (not soaked) & 10 cups water. Cooked for 50 min on high pressure, then 15 min on keep warm, with a natural release. Then left uncovered on sauté for 10 min, adding salt and lard to desired taste. These came out very similar to my usual pot of beans that slow boil for 3.5 hours. (Not quite as pretty for light brown color, but the beans were actually softer through the middle, so a good trade-off.)
        I will make these again, & try 45 min so not quite so soft. We like these with fried potatoes, chili verde, and, of course, homemade whole wheat flour tortillas.

        1. Rachel Gurk says:

          Thanks for leaving a review! I bet they’re so good with potatoes, chili verde, and homemade tortillas. YUM!

  10. Laura Jones says:

    1 star
    My beans were mush. I even tried again reducing the time to 35 minutes and some were mush and some were firm. I will never cook pinto beans in an instant pot again. 2 ruined batches. I will cook them the old school way!!! The way I have been doing it for 30 years

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      They were? Did you soak them or used canned beans? Mine have never ever been mushy this way. Was the rubber ring securely in place?