This delicious recipe for Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans is easy to make with pantry ingredients. You’ll love this plant-based recipe that’s so tasty and can be used in all your favorite Mexican recipes.
This post has been updated from the original posted June 7, 2020
If you love Restaurant Style Mexican Pinto Beans as much as we do, you’re going to want to make this delicious recipe right now! They’re tasty, versatile, wholesome, satisfying and so easy to make!
Mexican style seasonings make these taste like an Authentic Mexican Beans Recipe, and making them in the instant pot means they’re ready in no time! Win-win in my book!
Ingredients and Substitutions
The photo on the left includes fresh onions, garlic, red peppers and jalapenos. The photo on the right produces the same delicious mexican style beans with only ingredients from the pantry. I’ve included directions for either. You can decide, based on what you have.
Make it a Pantry Recipe
Sometimes, having fresh ingredients on hand isn’t possible. If you don’t have bell peppers or jalapenos, no worries. You can replace them with some salsa. Trust me, these beans will be delicious, either way. If you’re going with jarred salsa, look for an organic brand that is in glass and doesn’t have added oil or sweeteners.
PRO TIP: Stock your pantry so that it’s easy to pull together a nutritious dinner at all times. I’ve been filling my pantry with staples from Thrive Market. They have a great selection of healthy foods and household items from top selling organic brands at wholesale prices.
Do you have to soak dried beans in advance of cooking?
Good question. Although soaking beans for at least 6 hours, or overnight will shorten the cooking time, you can definitely make these without the lengthy soak. One way is to do a “quick” soak. Cover the beans with boiling water and soak for however long you can. For me, this usually means for as long as it takes me to pull the rest of the recipe together. If you don’t soak the beans at all, add to the cooking time, as directed in the recipe card. NO PROBLEM.
How to make Instant Pot Pinto Beans
Get your ingredients ready in advance. It will make every other step so much easier! Start by softening the onion. The instant pot has a saute function that heats up quickly.
Once onions are soft, stir in the diced red peppers and jalapenos. Using the instant pot to saute the veggies means no extra pans to clean! If you’ve opted to skip the fresh veggies and use jarred salsa, you can skip this step.
Fresh garlic gives these beans an authentic flavor. I use a garlic press or a microplane grater to mince the garlic with no fuss.
If you’ve opted to go the “salsa” route, you’ll start here. Otherwise, stir in the tomato sauce and then hit the “cancel” button on your instant pot to turn off the saute function.
Drain the dried bean, rinse and then add them to the pot along with water and the spices. Stir well and add the bay leaves. Lock the lid in place. Make sure the valve is set to seal. Set instant pot to manual and adjust the time to 25 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally. This will take about 25 minutes. If you’re not ready to serve the beans, just leave them in the pot, still sealed. I have left them as long as two hours with the lid sealed. They were warm and delicious when I opened the lid.
Can you make these on the stove top?
YES. I included directions with times in the recipe card for a stove top version. It’s essentially the same recipe with additional time added. Don’t let lack of an instant pot to stop you from making these delicious beans.
What to serve with Homemade Mexican Style Beans:
Although soaking beans for at least 6 hours, or overnight will shorten the cooking time, you can use a “quick soak” method or skip the soaking all together if you don’t have time/forgot.
Cover the beans with boiling water and soak for however long you can. If you don’t soak the beans at all, add to the cooking time, as directed in the recipe card. NO PROBLEM.
Pinto beans have a neutral flavor, making them perfect for adding your favorite spices. I like to include Mexican spices like cumin, oregano and chili powder. You can also add a blend, like no-salt taco seasoning which makes them super tasty.
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Instant Pot Mexican Beans
- 2 cups dried pinto beans soaked 6 hours or overnight*
- 1 medium onion or 2 small, diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 red pepper diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 2 jalapenos seeds and membranes removed, minced
- 3 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 Tablespoon chili powder*
- OPTIONAL: for a bit of heat add in ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups water
- Turn instant Pot on to "Saute" function. Add onions plus 1-2 Tablespoons water and saute until beginning to soften (approximately 3 minutes), then add in red pepper and jalapenos, continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Hit "cancel" on the instant pot. Stir iIn the garlic and tomato sauce, mix well. Stir in the spices.
- Drain beans, rinse well and add the drained beans to the pot along with water and bay leaves. Mix well and then lock the lid in place. Make sure the valve is set to seal. Set instant pot to manual and adjust the time to 25 minutes.
- When the time is up, allow the instant pot to naturally release the pressure. This will take 15-20 minutes. Make sure to manually release any additional pressure before unlocking the lid.
- Discard the bay leaves, and serve warm.
- OPTIONAL GARNISH: sliced jalapenos, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, avocado slices.
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