pressure cooker pinto beans
44 122

Pressure Cooker Pinto Beans



Pressure cookers are one of those appliances you either have and use all the time or really have no clue about. I, for one, used to be in the later category. I had been given one a long time ago and although I always heard about how indispensable a pressure cooker can be -- especially for cooking foods like meats and beans quickly with tender, succulent results -- I always came up with endless excuses to avoid figuring out how to use mine. I found my pressure cooker so totally intimidating in fact, that it sat untouched in my closet for years before being gifted to a friend.

What finally convinced me to change my stubborn ways were beans. For whatever reason, anytime I tasted super creamy beans and inquired as to how they had been prepared, the answer was always: in a pressure cooker. So when an appliance company sent me a new pressure cooker to test out two years ago, I was determined to make the most of it. I started, of course, with pressure cooker pinto beans.

Chloe is an obsessive bean eater, but with the requisite eight-plus hours of soaking and simmering to make most beans fresh, cooking them used to be a real challenge for me. The pressure cooker did away with all that. My friend Nilva grew up using a pressure cooker daily, and she gave me a crash course in how to use one. Much to my surprise, it couldn't have been easier. I just dumped in all of my ingredients, locked the lid, and 40 minutes later, with a whistle as loud as a freight train and a beautiful geyser of steam billowing from the spout, my beans were done and tasted as superior as the best ones I had ever had.

Improvising off of a black bean recipe my husband started using to make black beans in the pressure cooker for the kids, came up with this simple pinto bean recipe. You can almost always find it in abundance in our refrigerator. It has become one of my daughter's comfort foods and the pressure cooker I once feared has become a treasured kitchen tool of mine for effortless, quick meals.

Pressure Cooker Pinto Beans

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 40 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
Pressure cookers are one of those appliances you either have and use all the time or really have no clue about. I, for one, used to be in the later category. I had been given one a long time ago and although I always heard about how indispensable a...


  • 1 pound dry pinto beans
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro stems, tied together with butcher's twine
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. 1. Combine all the ingredients in a pressure cooker and, following the manufacturer’s directions, cover and lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.
  2. 2. Allow the steam to release completely (again, following manufacturer’s directions) before opening the pressure cooker lid.
Pressure Cooker Pinto Beans

Nutrition Information

Related Recipes


  1. Pingback: 60 EASY Pressure Cooker Recipes | Instant Pot Resources

  2. Char skid

    November 3, 2016 at 5:23 am

    Also do you use the giggles on the top when pressuring beans?

  3. Char skid

    November 3, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Do beans have more gas in them cooked in the pre assure cooker with out pre soaking ?

  4. Shanna

    August 26, 2016 at 3:06 am

    We have an old school pressure cooker given to me by a friend. We tried to cook pinto beans in it for the first time last night. Left the beans on for 45 min and they weren’t soft enough. Added more water and put on for 30 min more. Still not soft enough. Any idea what we might have done wrong. Burner was set to med high then to high later on. 😕

    • K8

      November 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Could be old beans. Sometimes, if they are not fresh they simply won’t cook. Other idea is that you put something into the liquid that caused them to toughen up during cooking. To avoid this cook them well in just water and only add other ingredients when you’re done cooking the beans to your desired texture

  5. sstanley

    April 26, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I can’t wait to go to my moms and try this on her pressure cooker but does that picture have corn in it? I didn’t see corn in the recipe? I am curious now

    • C. McCord

      April 26, 2016 at 11:10 am

      I hope you like it when you make it! The recipe is just for the beans, in the photo I served it on top of a mixture of corn and sauteed bell peppers!

  6. betty

    April 5, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Making this yummy recipe today in my InstantPot electric pressure cooker. I love this device – it makes pressure cooking so very, very easy. (I don’t get anything for talking about this appliance — I just love it, is all.)

  7. John Watson

    February 9, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Thank you!
    Just eyeballed a lb +/- of pinto and filled halfway with water. High heat to pressure seal, reduced to low heat keeping light steam for 60 min, turned off heat and left it alone for 20-30 min. Added bacon grease and seasoning stirred against side of pot mashing most and behold; quick no
    soak tender delicious refrained beans.

  8. Carol bishop

    December 26, 2015 at 8:36 am


  9. Kev

    November 8, 2015 at 7:34 am

    What is the max amount of beans in a 6qt electric pressure cooker?

  10. Kitty McLaughlin

    September 25, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    just finished this receipt on my electric pressure cooker. Put it on my highest setting which is chicken /meat setting for 40 minutes are you are right perfect pinto beans

  11. Pingback: Pinto Beans with Fresh Tomato Relish

  12. vicki

    February 18, 2015 at 11:37 am

    How many quarts I your pressure cooker? And can I put ham bone in while too?

    • C. McCord

      February 19, 2015 at 8:54 am

      I have a 6 quart pressure cooker. I think it would be fine to put a ham bone in there! Would add so much flavor!

  13. Janice Brandenburg

    November 18, 2014 at 11:18 am

    How do I cook soup beans in a electric pressure cooker? Do I use plain ole oil or lard?

  14. Wilson

    July 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    When I first bought my pressure cooker I didn’t know which one to buy. I didn’t even know where to begin. I had to use reviews. But now I’m glad I bought one and have been experimenting with recipes. I will be giving this a try!

  15. Angela

    February 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I have an electric pressure cooker should I allow the steam to release naturally or open the release valve manually?

  16. Alisa

    February 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    When pressure cooking I seek out recipes but follow the cooking instructions that came with my pressure cooker. My cooker suggests soaking certain beans (pintos being one). Cook them for 7 minutes after allowing the pressure to build up. Perfect every time.

  17. Christine

    January 29, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    On the pressure cooker pinto beans. Do u soak they over night.?.?.?.

    • Catherine McCord

      January 30, 2014 at 12:36 am


      • Char skid

        November 3, 2016 at 5:16 am

        Do the beans have more gas in them cooked in the pressure cooker with out soaking ?

  18. Lynda Garland

    November 7, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I have an electric pressure cooker and the manual said 2-3 minutes for pinto beans. Now I’m wondering which time is right.

    • catherine

      November 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Mine is a stove top one. I don’t know the specifics of your pressure cooker. Maybe try a small batch according to their directions and see how it works?

  19. Micatite

    October 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Do you know if this recipe would, with quantities appropriately scaled down to fit, work in a microwave pressure cooker?

  20. Gojira

    May 17, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Ended up with a burnt mess on bottom, some perfect beans, and some that were still under-cooked. Trying to salvage what wasn’t burned to my pressure cooker. I think I just may not be meant to use a pressure cooker. I’ve had no luck with the one I own.

    • Evvy

      July 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      To quote another recipe:

      “Cooking time begins when the pressure regulator begins to rock. Reduce the heat to medium low or low, maintaining a slow, steady rocking motion and cook 50 minutes. If the pressure regulator is allowed to rock vigorously, excess steam will escape. Therefore, too much liquid will evaporate and food may scorch. Never leave a pressure cooker unattended at high heat settings. It could boil dry, overheat, and cause damage to the pressure cooker and stove top.”

  21. Lori B.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Just last week I purchased a pressure cooker. I was terrified of it. Now after using it several times, I fell like a moron for never using one in the first place!! My neighbor is from Venezuela and said that she uses one almost every day!! NOW almost any meal I make in a pot I use the pressure cooker for. Especially when you are making something and start to realize that it is taking too long and the kids are starving. Lock down the lid and get it going! It has a fast forward button!

  22. Susan

    February 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I made these (though I forgot to add the onions!) and they were delicious. Pressure cooker beans are so creamy and yummy. I doubled the recipe and froze leftovers in 2-cup portions so that I can pull them out to use as I would a can of beans. Just last night I made them into refried beans for quesadillas!

  23. Heather hill

    February 5, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I used my great grandmother’s Presto pressure cooker to make these beans. They were fantastic. Thank you for the recipe. Maybe I’ll find more ways to use this old pot.

  24. Kate

    January 30, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I have always been terrified of the pressure cooker, but I just might give this a try. 40 minute beans can’t really be topped.

  25. Amy

    January 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Would this work with black eyed peas?

  26. Terri Anton

    January 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    They work great for quick artichokes too. Try that in the spring!

    • Alexandr

      February 4, 2014 at 1:59 am

      Oh please do Breakfast and Brunch! I can’t fry one more egg lol!I would also like to vote for Slow Cooker busaece there is probably low carb recipes in there that will be good for the hubby and last vote is for Desserts busaece that’s fun!

  27. Kelly

    January 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I love my pressure cooker! I use it all the time. Don’t know why everyone doesn’t use one, with everyone short on time, but wanting to eat health. Thanks for the bean recipe!

    Love your book & site!

  28. Aprille

    January 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

    No pre soaking required with a pressure cooker? Are the beans gassy?

    • Alisa

      February 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      I’ve done it both ways, prefer pre-soaking which makes the beans more easily digestible.

    • Raachel

      January 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      I’m wondering the same thing Aprille.

  29. Cool

    January 24, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I am looking for a pressure cooker to buy. I feel a little overwhelmed. What do recommend?

    • Sandra G

      October 12, 2013 at 8:35 am

      I use an electric pressure cooker..LOVE IT
      I have a Wolfgang Puck from shopping network…
      ALWAYS looking for more ways to use it..IT IS A LIFESAVER when you forgot to defrost your meat and need dinner on the table quick!

    • catherine

      January 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      This is the pressure cooker that I use!

  30. Lara

    January 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

    This is great! I just got a pressure cooker and I am so excited to try this recipe. Keep bringing on the pressure cooker recipes please!!!