Pinto Beans in One Hour

All, Instant Pot

I don’t know how many times, usually on a Sunday morning, when I had planned to fix a mess of beans and then realized that I had forgotten to put them in to soak the night before. So now they have to cook half the day instead of just a few hours. And now that the family is smaller, a whole pot would mean filling up the freezer in addition to the fridge.

So how about fixing a smaller batch in the Instant Pot in an hour starting with beans right out of the bag? Wow! Really?

Yep, here’s how. And, of course, you can just as easily fix a whole pot if you want. But if you really need only a couple of servings, you can even cut this recipe in half!


1 cup dried pintos, right out of the bag, picked over and rinsed.

2 tablespoons oil or lard or a couple of chopped pieces of bacon

** Easy clean-up trick: use scissors or kitchen shears to cut bacon slices into pieces right over the pot. Same with onion and garlic.**

½ medium onion, cut into dice.
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced.

2 1/2 cups of water.

2 teaspoons salt, more later if needed.

2 tablespoons diced salt pork, unless you used bacon instead of oil or lard.


Prep time: 10 minutes – Cooking time: 1 hour – About six servings.

Pick over the beans to eliminate any little rocks or petrified beans. Rinse under running water in a colander.
Put the Instant Pot on Sauté, and add the oil, lard, or bacon pieces. When hot, add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and turn the pot off. The garlic will sauté while the pot cools off a little.
Stir in the water, beans, salt, and meat, if used. Close the pot and put it in the High Pressure setting for 60 minutes.

After releasing the pressure, check the beans for taste, and add more salt if necessary. You may also want to reduce the moisture by putting the setting back on Sauté to simmer the beans, or perhaps try two cups of water next time. Results vary depending on maybe where the beans came from and other variations in your ingredients.
Here’s another option for you: I took out half of the beans and most of the juice to have some pot beans on hand, and made the rest into refried beans, right in the same pot. After spooning out half of the beans, I put the pot on the Sauté setting, added lard, and used a manual potato masher to mash most of the beans. I stirred the beans, cooking the beans and adding more lard as needed for the proper consistency and flavor. Of course you can use something other than lard or bacon drippings, but that’s your option.
Now I have both kinds of pintos in a little over an hour, and only one pot to clean!

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