Instant Pot Pinto Beans

Oi Gente!!

This tasty Instant Pot Pinto Beans recipe is packed full of flavorful veggies and spices. It’s highly customizable – you can keep it vegan, you can make it meaty with bacon or smoked sausages, and you can even adapt the spices based on what you and your family like best! Better yet, this pinto bean recipe makes a large batch so it’s perfect for feeding a crowd, meal planning, or simply freezing for later.

Serve these yummy beans with Brazilian white rice and plantains for a Brazilian style mid-week meal, or as a side dish to your favorite homemade tacos.

Instant pot pinto beans in a bowl

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Why I love this Instant Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

There’s not much that says Brazilian home cooking quite like a bowl of beans. It’s true, meus amigos. Our love for these hearty little legumes runs way deep, and no matter the type, you’ll always find a bowl full of beans, right there at the center of the Brazilian table.

Beans are delicious, yes, but they’re great for so many more reasons. They’re are easy to make, protein-packed and budget friendly! They also freeze wonderfully, are great for meal planning and are a pretty diverse side dish. Seriously, beans are the best!

This recipe for feijão Carioca, ahem pinto beans, is actually my mom’s!

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile and there are numerous ways to prepare it. You can change up the veggie mix, the spice mix or you can add meat, like smoked sausage and/or bacon (sort of like in this Brazilian Black Beans Recipe). It’s sooooooo good and indulgent!!

I hope you love my mom’s pinto beans recipe as much as I do!

Bom Apetite!

Love beans? Check out our Best Bean Recipes including Brazilian Black Beans Recipe and Vegan Black Beans .

Instant pot pinto beans ingredients

Instant Pot Pinto Beans Ingredients & Variation Notes

This recipe is super delicious as it is, but, here are some substitution and variations recommendations, so you can switch things up when needed: 

  • Dry pinto beans
  • Dry bay leaves
  • Olive oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Onion
  • Brazilian sofrito – or loads of garlic.
  • Tomatoes – when I don’t have tomatoes, I just use about a half of a Tablespoon of tomato paste instead.
  • Orange bell pepper – any color except for the green bell pepper will work.
  • Green onions – I love using green onions in the sauté mix, and as a garnish. But, if I don’t have any at home, I just use more of the regular onion, and garnish with some freshly minced cilantro or parsley.
  • Smoked paprika, ground cumin, black pepper – Sometimes I also add chili powder and dried chillies to make the recipe spicier. Works great for taco night!

Do You Have to Soak Beans?

When it comes to cooking beans from scratch, one of the questions I get asked the most is whether or not you should soak them. The short answer is no, you don’t have to. But, I strongly recommend you do.

Soaking the beans does a lot more than you think. Soaking helps degas the beans, reduces the overall cooking time, and it promotes even cooking (even when you are using an Instant Pot).

For more details on why to soak and how to soak beans check out this How to Cook Dry Beans Guide.

How to Cook Pinto Beans in a Pressure Cooker

  1. Decide if you want to soak your beans or not. If so, soak for at least 30 minutes, then drain the soaking water and rinse the beans.
  2. Add your pinto beans to the Instant Pot with the bay leaf and if you plan on adding sausage, add it at this point.
  3. Cover the beans with water and close the pot.
  4. Cook according to directions and let the pressure cooker do a natural release.
  5. Open the pot to season it.

Seasoning Note: The biggest secret to cooking delicious beans (or really anything!) in the Instant Pot is not just what seasonings you add to your recipe, but when and how to add them. In this recipe, we season the beans in this order, to strategically layer in the flavors so that they develop properly.

Tips for How to Season Pinto Beans

To be more time efficient prepare the veggies and seasonings while the beans are cooking.

When Your Instant Pot is finished cooking and is doing the 10 minute natural release, start cooking the veggies on the stove.

Start off by cooking the bacon (if using) and then add in the veggies as directed, sautéing until soft and smelling like magic.

When the beans have finished cooking and finished with the natural release, you can open the lid. Add in the spices, the vinegar, and the salt and pepper.

Then, pour in the sauteed veggies from your pan. Give it a stir and cook on sauté mode uncovered for about 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

For more ideas on how to season beans, check out How to Cook Dry Beans guide.

What to serve with Pinto Beans

Other Instant Pot Recipes to Try


4.98 from 34 votes

Instant Pot Pinto Beans

This tasty Instant Pot Pinto Beans recipe is packed full of flavorful veggies and spices. It's easy to make, highly customizable, and great for meal planning! Make it a Brazilian style mid-week meal and serve 'em with Brazilian rice and plantains!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Soaking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Author: Aline Shaw


  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 small orange or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 4 green onions minced (white and green parts) use some of the green for garnish!!
  • 2 Tbsp Brazilian sofrito or 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt


Cooking the Beans:

  • Pick, wash, then soak* the beans in cold water for 30 mins.
  • After 30 minutes, drain all the water, and soak in new cold water for another 30 mins.
  • Drain beans, wash them well, then add them an instant pot, or pressure cooker. Add the bay leaves**, and the 5 cups of water.
  • Close the instant pot, and cook on manual for 30 mins.
  • When your instant pot reaches 30 mins, wait 10 minutes for natural release.

Flavoring the Beans:

  • During that time, heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil*** in a sauté pan over medium to high heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and sauté until they are soft – about 3 minutes.
  • Add the Brazilian sofrito, or minced garlic, and sauté until fragrant and lightly golden – about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the last Tbsp of olive oil and then add in the green onions. Sauté for about a minute.
  • Add in the diced tomatos, and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes of natural release, safely release any renaming pressure manually, and then safely open the pan. Change the now open/uncovered instant pot settings to sauté mode and pour in the sautéed veggies, the spices, the vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  • Cook on sauté mode uncovered for about 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

Bom Apetite!

    Did you make this recipe? Show me how it turned out! Snap a photo and share with me on Instagram tagging @aline_shaw!


    *soaking is optional, but highly recommended 
    **you can add smoked sausage as well 
    ***you can add diced bacon as well

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    1. 5 stars
      This recipe for Brazilain beans caught my attention on Pinterest as it is one of my favorites, and I have not had them in years. I love how you have made the recipe so much easier by cooking the beans in an Instapot and have epic instructions that are simple to follow. I will be making this recipe later in the week.


    2. 5 stars
      Homemade beans are so much better than canned and these are no exception. I had never cooked this style of bean before but certainly will again in the future. I added bacon, of course, and a lot of garlic since I couldn’t find sofrito and they came out deliciously tasty. Going to make them for our next BBQ get-together.

    3. 5 stars
      Love anything with beans! I’m definitely adding this dish to my next week’s meal plan, it would be so delicious with some rice on side!

    4. 5 stars
      I love that these bean cook in the Instant Pot! It’s so nice to get homemade beans without having to cook them for hours. And they’re so perfectly flavored!

    5. 5 stars
      These Instant pot pinto beans look entirely delicious and super hearty! I can’t wait to give this tasty recipe a go! It’s going to be wonderful in burrito bowls!

    6. 5 stars
      I love me some pinto beans and these look amazing! The tomatoes and peppers make it seem so much more flavorful than what I grew up with. I will definitely try this version very soon.

    7. 5 stars
      This recipe turned out perfect! I searched for a pressure cooker recipe for pinto beans and stumbled upon yours. The flavors were perfect and they turned out just right!

    8. 5 stars
      Such a great recipe! Pinto Beans often get overlooked. This recipe gives you tasty, savory pinto beans without taking too much work!

    9. 5 stars
      Oh the flavors!!!!! I love cumin in my beans as well and i can already tell yours tastes luxuriously beautiful too!

    10. 5 stars
      I’m half Brazilian and this recipe was perfection! Brought back so many childhood memories. I can’t wait to try your other recipes. Obrigada amiga!

      1. Oi, Melissa!!!

        De nada 🙂 That’s so fantastic to hear, thanks for telling me!
        Really happy you loved the beans, that it drove you down a yummy memory lane <3 and that you're excited to try more recipes!

        Lovely to have you here!

        Beijinhos xx

    11. 5 stars
      These pinto beans were really delicious and great leftover for lunches. I didn’t have fresh tomatoes so I substituted 1/2 can drained, diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly as written. I served over the Brazilian rice recipe on your site. Thank you!

    12. 5 stars
      This recipe made my life so much easier! My husband loves pintos and now I can make them with ease. He loves them and I love this recipe!

    13. 5 stars
      I’ve never used dry beans before but decided to take the plunge since they’re so much cheaper. They turned out really well! My husband, who normally doesn’t like beans, actually said they were good.

    14. 5 stars
      Yes soaking the beans matters! Thanks for this reminder. I made these yesterday and I loved them.

    15. 4 stars
      Haven’tfinished (still in process!) but – based on some advice from my Brazilian neighbor – I was planning to blend the beans after cooking. Do you know if you’d keep the water leftover after cooking, or pour it first before blending?? TIA!

      1. Hi Pauletta – I think that’ll depend on the consistency you’ll want for your beans in the end. I’d start with less liquid, then add more as you blend until you reach the right texture for you and your family.

    16. 5 stars
      This was a hit for dinner, we love all things spicy and so I followed your tip about adding extra chili oh my! The pinto beans came out perfect and made the flavours of the cumin & pepper that much better.

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