Instant Pot Pinto Beans

Roasted pinto beans in a metal bowl

Maybe you’re surprised to see me publishing an article about how to make beans.

It’s true, this is not actually a major recipe with complicated instructions and lots of steps to work through.

Roasted pinto beans in a metal bowl

But, lately I’ve been getting lots of requests asking me to get back to the basics. Plenty of you out there are just looking for some guidance on how to prepare simple stuff like quinoa, farro, carrots, and so forth.

Fair enough! I understand that in many cases, you’ve got your own meal ideas and you’d just like some help figuring out side dishes and ingredients within a dish.

I can definitely lend you a hand with this. In fact, I’m flattered that you would ask.

The Best Way to Prepare Pinto Beans

So, let’s talk about pinto beans. This is another super simple guide that you can print out and add to your recipe book. Mastery over individual staple ingredients like beans helps build the foundation of a great cook.

These pinto bean instructions will get you beans that are creamy, soft, and juicy. And you can use pinto beans in so many different ways. They’re a great addition to soups, salads, and to any chicken recipe as a side dish.

instant pot dried pinto beans to combine with chili powder and chicken stock for various instant pot beans recipes

What are Pinto Beans?

The pinto bean is a common and tasty bean variety that’s rich in protein, dietary fiber, folate, phosphorus, and manganese.

Pinto in Spanish means spotted. In this case, that refers to the dark speckling on the beans’ lighter background color. The name will be familiar to equestrians — pinto horses share the same name and the similar spotted coloring pattern.

Pinto beans are the most commonly cultivated bean crop in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States. You’ll find them embedded in the culinary traditions of those regions, including in their famous refried form. Refried pinto beans make up a common filling in burritos so you can feel free to use those for this Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowl recipe.

However, pinto beans are a delicious and easy to prepare legume, and they don’t need re-frying to serve as a great dish or ingredient.

Can I Buy Canned Pinto Beans?

Yes, you… can (questionable pun intended). But this Instant Pot pinto bean recipe is less expensive than canned beans. You can buy bags of dried beans at really great prices.

Another benefit of preparing dried beans yourself? It means that you get to skip all the preservatives that come in the canned versions.

Can I Freeze Pinto Beans?

Yup, you can prepare pinto beans then freeze them for later use. They’re okay in a freezer for up to two months.

If you do choose to freeze them, they’ll be ready when you need them. Pull them out of the freezer when you’d like to quickly combine them with some rice and veggies for a full and healthy meal.

Do I Need to Pre-Soak Pinto Beans?

No, you do not have to pre-soak pinto beans to make this Instant Pot pinto beans recipe. You only need 45 minutes in total to produce perfectly cooked beans.

Will the Beans Fall Apart?

Your pinto beans should not be falling apart into pieces. And I promise that this will not happen if you stick with the steps below.

Can I double the recipe? Can I halve this recipe?

Sure. Here’s a quick little summary table to show you how easy this is going to be.

Pinto beans Water Cooking time
2 lb of pinto beans 10 cups of water 45 minutes on High Pressure
1 lb of pinto beans 5 cups of water 45 minutes on High Pressure
½ lb of pinto beans 2.5 cups of water 45 minutes on High Pressure

Just make sure you don't over fill your pressure cooker. So cook 2lb only if you have 8-quart Instant Pot.

If you check out some other pinto bean recipes you’ll see a few different cooking times recommended. But if your pintos are cooked for too long, you will end up with mushy or crumbly beans.

So, stick with my recipe steps, including the exact cook time. I’ve tried this recipe repeatedly, re-testing the cooking duration several times to be sure. I can now confidently say that 45 minutes is the ideal length of time for pinto beans.

Pinto Bean Recipe Ideas: How to Use Cooked Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a high-protein, high-fiber powerhouse. They’re easy to cook and they taste delicious as a side or as a main ingredient in various dishes.

Consider including pinto beans in your:

  • soups
  • stews
  • chilis
  • dips
  • burritos

The best texture and flavors from pinto beans are found when they’re cooked from their dried form. Once you’ve tried cooking them yourself you’ll notice the clear difference between home-cooked versus canned.

How to Make Pinto Beans

Gather up all of your ingredients:

pressure cooker Instant Pot pinto beans recipe for short cook time without pre-soaking

In your Instant Pot, combine the pinto beans and the bouillon vegetable base.

soak instant pot pinto beans in the instant pot for an easy cooking process

Pour in the water.

beans in instant pot pressure cooker, total time 1 hr or less without pre-soaking beans

Lock the lid into place. Select the High Pressure setting and set the timer to 45 minutes.

Once the cooking cycle is done, allow for a natural pressure release to occur over ten minutes.

Serve the beans warm.

How to serve?

You can serve as is 🙂

If you need more ideas, check out What To Serve With Pinto Beans for 15 delicious side dishes.

And that’s it for this easy recipe. As I mentioned in the introduction, this is really just about getting you comfortable with a great new ingredient. Once you see how easy it is to prepare pinto beans and other beans in the Instant Pot, it’s up to you whether or not it becomes a regular part of your cooking routine.

But I think that if you weren’t previously used to cooking with pinto beans, you’ll be glad that you gave them a chance.

The Instant Pot is terrific for all sorts of beans and bean dishes. Ready to tackle your next legume? Check out my Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas recipe.

Please note that for this recipe any substitute for pinto beans will work as well, but the cooking time may change a little bit.

Instant Pot Bean Recipes

Instant Pot Lima Beans

Instant Pot White Beans

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas

Instant Pot Black Beans

Instant Pot Pinto Beans

An excellent recipe to enjoy pinto beans as a side dish…
4.89 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bullion vegetable base, pinto beans
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes
Servings: 16
Author: Corrie


  • 1 lb dry pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Better than Bullion vegetable base
  • 5 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Add the pinto beans, water and Better than Bouillon vegetable base to the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 45 minutes.
  • When cooking time ends, allow a natural release for 10 minutes.
  • Once done, do a quick pressure release.
  • open the lid, serve and enjoy!


Sodium: 4mg Calcium: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @corriecooksblog or tag #corriecooks!


7 thoughts on “Instant Pot Pinto Beans

    1. Almost all of my recipes can be halved for 2 people. Many of them freeze well, so if you make a bigger batch, you can freeze some for later.

  1. I cooked 1 lb of unsoaked pintos as directed and they came out perfect. I’ll freeze some of them for future use. Do you freeze them in their juice, or drained? Next time I’m going to add a smoked ham hock. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

  2. I have made 2 batches of pinto beans, 1 was 4 cups dried unsoaked beans and 10 cups of water beans fell apart. Cooked for 30.mins. 2nd batch was 2 cups of unsoaked beans with 5 cups of water, cooked for 27 mins. Beans didnt fall apart slightly tough. Do you recommend cooking on low pressure for a longer time???

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