Instant Pot Pinto Beans


    • 1 pound dry pinto beans (about 2 cups)

    • 6 cups water

    • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about ½ cup)

    • 1 bay leaf

    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Rinse beans and pick out any stones, pebbles, or non-bean materials.

  • 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. 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.


  • 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.