Learn how to quickly take a bag of pinto beans from dry to perfectly cooked in the Instant Pot without presoaking! Great in soups, chili, burritos or tacos (as refried beans), and of course baked beans.
Do you have a bag or two of dried beans in your pantry? How long have they been there staring at you? Did you push them to the back of the cupboard because you don’t even know how to cook the dang things!? Well my Friend, today is the day! Today you are going to see how very simple it is to cook beans from dry to perfectly cooked without soaking them overnight. I mean who thinks ahead that far anyway, right?
What are Beans?
Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you…..well, you know the tune. They are actually quite amazing.
Beans are a healthy addition to your meals. They are filled with plant-based protein, fiber, and vitamins. In addition, beans are an inexpensive pantry staple that is shelf stable.
Beans are one of the oldest cultivated plants. They have been around for roughly 10,000 years. Ancient people knew they were easy to grow and preserve for years to come. Beans have actually been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, left there as food for their souls in the afterlife.
The people from our past cooked their beans over an open fire. Throughout history, times and cooking methods have changed. Cooking beans moved from a fire ring, to an indoor hearth, then to a wood cookstove. After that we upgraded drastically to propane, natural gas, and electric ranges. Some cooked their beans in a pot, some used their stove-top pressure cookers. Those methods work, but the next level of convenience is by far using the Instant Pot.
Why would you buy dried beans when you can purchase them in a can?
- Dry beans will keep in storage on a shelf for a long time.
- Dry beans do not contain preservative ingredients that you find in a can.
- They are simple to cook, using basic ingredients that you have in your kitchen.
- Once you taste them, you will be sold! They are tender, creamy, and delicious.
Other ways to use dry beans:
- Store on the shelf in the dry form.
- Make at the beginning of the week and store in your fridge for 5-7 days.
- Cook beans in the Instant Pot and freeze (up to 6 months) for convenience down the road.
- Stove-top pressure can. I know that we are cooking the beans in the Instant Pot here, but please remember that you cannot safely pressure can in an Instant Pot. You will need a stove-top canner for this method. Beans are a fantastic addition to store cooked and ready to use on your shelf. For instructions on how to safely do this I highly recommend checking this out.
Instant Pot (I am using an 8 quart Instant Pot)
Organic Dried Beans
How to make Easy Instant Pot Pinto Beans:
- First off, sort your bean. You will find beans that have split, some chaff, and last but not least – rocks. Yes, it is true. They are actually allowed to put a certain percentage of pebbles into the bags of beans to add weight. Not to worry though, dry beans are still WAY cheaper than buying them in a can and there is really not that many to fret about.
- Secondly, rinse your beans well. I generally put the beans into a pot in the sink (like the Instant Pot – no need to dirty any more dishes! Note: Not the whole Instant Pot either, just the insert.), cover them with water and let them sit a couple of minutes. This allows the dirt to soak up some water and makes it easier to scrub it off. I stick my hand into the bean and swish them around to remove everything. Drain and repeat if necessary, or proceed to the next step.
- Add filtered water to the beans, or go wild and add some Homemade Bone Broth to make them extra flavorful and nutritious.
- Add in any spices.
- Put the lid onto the Instant Pot in the sealing position. Set it to HIGH pressure and adjust the time and let them cook.
- Let the pressure naturally release for at least 15 minutes. Release all of the pressure before you open the lid.
Are all beans the same?
- No. Some beans that you buy are a lot older. They tend to be extremely dry and never seem to cook all the way – even in the Instant Pot. It’s best to stick these beans in the compost pile and start with another bag.
- Beans come in different varieties and sizes. When cooking beans I generally stick larger beans together (pinto, kidney, great northern, etc) and smaller varieties (black beans, navy beans, etc) together. For instance, if I am making chili, I will cook the pinto and kidney beans together in my Instant Pot. If I release the pressure and find that they are still a little tough, I can put the lid back on and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Most grocery stores carry popular bean varieties such as black, red, pinto, great northern, kidney, navy, and cannellini. If you are lucky you can find some small lima beans (also known as butter beans), or an heirloom variety like good mother stallard.
How do I know how much dried beans to cook for a recipe?
- First of all, let me start by saying that 1 pound of dried beans is equal to roughly 2 cups of measured beans. Therefore, if you purchase beans in bulk, you can weigh them on a kitchen scale or measure out 2 cups per pound.
- Dried beans will triple in volume when cooked. Amazing right! So that means that 1 pound (or 2 cups) of dried beans, will finish with 6 cups of cooked beans! Note: This is also important to know so you do not overfill your Instant Pot.
- 6 cups of cooked beans is equivalent to about 3 – 15 ounce cans of beans.
- In this post, I am using 2 pounds of dried beans you will see in the picture at the top. This is equal to about 12 cups of cooked bean. I am using an 8 quart Instant Pot. Note: The recipe is written for 1 pound.
- I always cook extra when I am making beans to store in my freezer to use later.
More recipes from scratch that you will love:
The Best Homemade Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth
Pin It For Later
Easy Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- 1 pound (roughly 2 cups) dried organic pinto beans
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 onion, diced or onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic or garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- Sort beans of any particles or pebble and rinse thoroughly.
- Add beans and filtered water to the Instant Pot.
- Set the pressure to high and the time to 40 minutes.
- Allow to naturally release the pressure for at least 15 minutes before venting and opening the lid.
Do NOT overfill your Instant Pot.
I have an 8 quart Instant Pot and I cook 2 pounds (or 4 cups) of dried beans and find it fits well.
If your beans are too old, they will never fully cook. Compost them and start over with different beans.
If you find that your beans are still a little tough, you can replace the lid and cook for a couple more minutes until they are to your liking.
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