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How to Cook Pinto Beans in a Pressure Cooker | Letty's Kitchen
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4.39 from 49 votes

How to Cook Pinto Beans in a Pressure Cooker

The pressure cooker or Instant Pot is your tool for perfectly tender pinto beans, ready for your next meal. This recipe makes about 4 ½ cups cooked beans and 3 cups delicious broth. (Serving size 1/2 cup.) Time estimate below is for soaked, natural pressure released. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 mins
soaking time4 hrs
Total Time15 mins
Course: Component
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: Instant Pot, pressure cooker, pinto beans
Servings: 9 (1/2 cup) servings.
Calories: 194kcal


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans about 2 ¼ cups
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin or avocado olive oil

Optional aromatic seasonings:

  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 or 2 dried red chiles like ancho or guajillo chies
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, and more to taste


  • Rinse and pick over the beans, looking for little stones that might be masquerading as beans.
  • (If you soak your beans, put them in a bowl amply covered with water. Let soak at least 4 hours.)
  • Soak or unsoaked, put the rinsed beans into the pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Especially with the Instant Pot, add the olive oil to prevent foaming. If you wish, add onion, garlic, dried chiles, and a spring of fresh parsley, cilantro, or epazote. Cover with hot water—3 inches above the level of the beans.
  • Bring the pot to pressure and cook for the allotted time, depending on whether the beans were soaked or not, and whether the pressure is “quick-released” or left to come down naturally. (see notes)
  • Season to taste with more salt.
  • Test a bean to make sure it’s tender to your liking. If the beans need to cook more, bring to pressure again for a minute or so. Quick release.
  • You’re there—perfectly cooked pinto beans for you next recipe.


  • Once the cooker is up to pressure, soaked pinto beans, pressure released naturally, take about 3 minutes to cook.
  • Once the cooker is up to pressure, soaked pinto beans, pressure quick-released, take 4-6 minutes to cook.
  • Once the cooker is up to pressure, beans not soaked and pressure quick-released, take 20 to 25 minutes to cook.
  • To quick release in the Instant Pot, turn the dial from Sealed to Vent. In a regular stovetop pressure cooker, quick-release the pressure by running water over the top.
  • Cooking times can vary a few minutes either way, depending on your pressure cooker, the size of the beans, and the age of the dried beans.
  • If the beans are not quite done, bring the cooker back up to pressure for another minute or two. With the beans still very hot, it doesn’t take much time.


Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 721mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2.6mg