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Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Bacon

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Instant Pot Pinto Beans are fast and easy to make at home! Bacon, onion and a handful of spices infuse all the right flavors into this pot of pinto beans, making it incredibly tasty yet versatile enough to go perfectly with just about anything.

If you like this recipe, check out our Instant Pot 15 bean soup or our Instant Pot Lentil soup.

Close up photo of pinto beans made in the Instant Pot.

This Instant Pot Pinto Beans recipe can cook while you prep the main course and it doesn’t need any babysitting. The Instant Pot does all the work, cuts down on the cooking time, and best of all, frees up stovetop space!

Instant Pot Pinto Beans are:

  • gluten-free and grain-free
  • nutritious and a great source of protein and fiber
  • low-effort and so, so good!

How Long do Pinto Beans take to Cook?

Typically, when cooked over the stove top, pinto beans take at least over an hour (and sometimes several hours) to get them perfectly tender and full of flavor.

However, the Instant Pot is a major win here because it’s such a huge TIMESAVER. The beans cook on high pressure in the Instant Pot for 45 minutes tops!

A little more time is necessary to sauté the bacon and release pressure from the Instant Pot, but this pinto beans recipe is still extra efficient when compared to the stovetop method.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Pinto Beans

To make our Instant Pot Pinto Beans, gather the following ingredients:

  • Bacon. Where do we begin? Bacon equates to flavor and heartiness and savory, salty goodness that just works with pinto beans.
  • Onion. Chopped onion will add the perfectly mild amount of aromatic to the beans.
  • Chicken Broth. Using chicken broth adds a yummy depth of flavor.
  • Water. We use half the amount of water as we do chicken broth, that way the beans still have enough liquid to cook.
  • Dry pinto beans. Use about 1 pound of dry pinto beans.
  • Bay leaf. Another favorite add-in of ours, especially anytime something is brothy or will cook for a while.
  • Salt and pepper. Always!
  • Garlic powder. A little bit adds a whole lot of deliciousness.
  • Cumin. This incredible spice gives the beans a touch of smokiness.
Ingredients used to make Instant Pot pinto beans.

Our Instant Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

Making these Instant Pot pinto beans is a breeze! Here’s a quick look at just how simple the process is:

  1. Sauté the bacon and onion: With the Instant Pot set to sauté, add the bacon and cook until it is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Then add the onion, cook until soft.
  2. Cook the beans: Add the chicken broth and water to the pot, scraping the bottom of the pot with a spoon to release any stuck bits. Add the beans, bay leaf, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and pepper. Secure the lid and slide the valve into the sealed position. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
  3. Serve the pinto beans: After the pressure releases naturally, release the remaining pressure manually. Open the lid, remove the bay leaf and serve the beans (with or without the cooking broth, it’s up to you!).
A collage of six photos showing how to make Instant Pot pinto beans.

What is the ratio of beans to water in an instant pot?

We’ve found that the perfect ratio of beans to water in the Instant Pot is 6 cups of liquid (combined water and broth) to 2 cups of dried pinto beans. This will give you the best consistency and the beans will turn out tender but not mushy.

Freshly cooked pinto beans in an Instant Pot.

Do pinto beans have to be soaked before cooking?

No, you do not have to soak the beans before making them in the Instant Pot. Just make sure to rinse the pinto beans and pick out any pebbles or dirt before starting. You can place the dried beans in a colander to easily rinse them.

Two bowls of instant pot pinto beans with some corn chips.

These Instant Pot pinto beans with bacon are a delicious (and nutritious) side dish that will turn any main course into a homestyle meal. If you’re looking for serving ideas, may we suggest our Pork and Beef Meatloaf, our Sage Brown Butter Skillet Cornbread, or this Sausage and Rice Skillet Dinner?

Pop leftovers into the fridge to enjoy the next day, or divide these up for meal planning throughout the week. This Instant Pot pinto beans recipe makes a dish that is truly versatile, which means a pot of flavorful beans will go with almost any meal!

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

  • Instant Pot Hot Fudge Cake: Moist and so, so good, this cake is like a cross between a pudding cake and a fudge cake. It makes its own hot fudge sauce while it cooks in the Instant Pot! Which means ice cream is definitely a must when serving. 😉
  • Instant Pot Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup: This is a comfort food soup that you’ll need seconds (or thirds) of. Hearty and filled to the brim with mushrooms and vegetables, this healthy soup has a beautiful earthy note from the mushrooms and wild rice.
  • Instant Pot Black Beans: We love making a pot of Instant Pot Black Beans to kick off the week! They are extra affordable and convenient to make in the Instant Pot, plus you’ll have one side dish ready to go for Taco Tuesday!

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Close up photo of pinto beans made in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

The Instant Pot makes it fast and easy to make homemade pinto beans. This side dish is extremely versatile and goes well with just about anything.


  • 5 to 6 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound dry pinto beans (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté. Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook until soft. 
  2. Add the chicken broth and water to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to make sure there are no cooked-on bits.
  3. Add the beans, bay leaf, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and pepper. 
  4. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is in the sealed position. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. 
  5. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. After 15  minutes release the rest of the pressure manually then open the lid. 
  6. Remove the bay leaf and serve the beans. 
  7. You can serve the beans with the cooking broth or drain the broth. To drain the broth, strain the beans through a sieve or scoop them with a slotted spoon. 


Rinse the pinto beans and pick out any pebbles or dirt before starting. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 705mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

I think the Instant Pot is maybe the best way to make beans -- much, much faster than the traditional way. And with your recipe, the beans certainly retain all their traditional flavor! Such a good recipe -- thanks.

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

I agree, John this is one of the most frequent things I do with a pressure cooker.

Jeff the Chef @ Make It Like a Man!

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

I like the way you've flavored these beans!

Dahn Boquist

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Thanks Jeff ;)


Monday 1st of March 2021

I love my IP :-) This is definitely on my list to try....can't resist anything involved with BACON :-) angiesrecipes

Dahn Boquist

Monday 1st of March 2021

Bacon definitely makes it amazing :)

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