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Instant Pot Charro Pinto Beans with crisp bacon are the most tender, spicy, flavorful Mexican beans. Typically dried beans require a long soak, but not when you make them in the pressure cooker! You’re going to love this delicious recipe.

bowl of homemade instant pot charro beans.
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Why this recipe is amazing:

  • No soaking required – Homemade beans cooked on the stove typically require a long soak in salted water prior to cooking. No soak required when using your Instant Pot!
  • The flavor is unreal – There is nothing worse than bland beans. These beans have the most amazing flavor. The combination of ingredients is perfect.
  • Charro beans are versatile – Enjoy them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! They taste amazing with fried eggs on top, in a burrito, or on the side of something like Shrimp Tacos or Instant Pot Shredded Beef.

Ingredients needed:

Homemade beans of any variety usually require beans, some kind of fat, vegetables, cooking liquid, and spices.

  • Pinto beans – one pound of dried beans is all you need
  • Bacon – the better the bacon, the better your beans will taste
  • Vegetables – yellow onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and canned tomatoes
  • Liquids – chicken broth and water
  • Spices – chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, bay leaves
ingredients used to make Instant Pot Charro Pinto Beans

How to make Instant Pot Charro Pinto Beans:

Full ingredient list and detailed step by step instructions are listed in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

  1. Rinse beans – With dried beans, you always want to give them a thorough rinse and pick out any debris or weird looking beans.
  2. Cook bacon – Using sauté mode on the Instant Pot, cook chopped bacon until crisp.
  3. Remove bacon – Take all of the crispy bacon pieces out but leave the fat.
  4. Sauté vegetables and spices – Cook the onion and pepper in the bacon fat, followed by the garlic, then the spices.
  5. Pressure cook – Add all of the ingredients except for the cooked bacon to the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes with a natural release.
  6. Stir in bacon – When the pinto beans are done, stir in the cooked bacon and serve.

Cooking tips for best results:

  • Cook bacon crisp – So many bean recipes cook the bacon with the beans. Any time you cook bacon in liquid, it gets soggy. I much prefer to cook the bacon pieces as crispy as they can get without burning. Cooking the pinto beans in the bacon fat will create super flavorful beans and then adding the crispy bacon at the end will not only add amazing flavor but great texture too.
  • Increase the spice level – If you prefer your Mexican pinto beans to be on the spicier side, you can certainly increase the cayenne pepper or add something like a jalapeno or hot pepper sauce.
  • Storage – This recipe makes a lot, so store any leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Use within 3-5 days. These Instant Pot pinto beans also freeze wonderfully for a future meal.
  • Reheating – Pinto beans can be reheated in a pot on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave at 50% power in one minute increments.
close up of charro pinto beans with cotija cheese

What to serve with these beans:

These Mexican charro beans are so incredibly delicious on their own, but they are also great when served alongside other recipes. Here are some recommendations.

bowl of Mexican pinto beans

If you’ve made this or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out. I love hearing from my readers!

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Instant Pot Charro Pinto Beans

Prep10 minutes
Cook40 minutes
Pressure release20 minutes
Total1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Instant Pot Charro Pinto Beans with crisp bacon are the most tender, spicy, flavorful Mexican beans. Typically dried beans require a long soak, but not when you make them in the pressure cooker! You're going to love this recipe!

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 12 ounces bacon uncooked, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 14 ounces fire roasted tomatoes with green chile you will use entire contents of one can including the liquid
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water

Instructions 

  • Rinse beans in colander and remove any broken beans or debris, if any.
    rinsed pinto beans in colander
  • With Instant Pot set to sauté mode, cook the bacon pieces until fat is fully rendered. For this recipe, I will cook the bacon until it is crispy. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent burning. Once done, remove cooked bacon pieces and set aside to be used later. Keep the grease in the Instant Pot.
    crisp bacon pieces on white plate
  • Still on sauté mode, add chopped onion and red bell pepper. Stir to coat with fat and then allow to cook, undisturbed, for about 5-10 minutes until they start to get soft and brown. Add garlic, stir, and allow to cook for another few minutes.
  • Add seasonings to mixture, stir, and allow to cook for a couple minutes.
    spices added to sautéed onion and red bell pepper
  • Add bay leaves, canned tomatoes, rinsed beans, chicken broth, and water. Stir to combine.
  • Close and lock lid. Set to high pressure for 40 minutes. Once done, allow pressure to naturally release. Once all of the pressure is gone and you can open the lid, stir beans, add cooked bacon pieces, taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed. Beans will appear like there is a lot of liquid at first, but it will slightly thicken as they cool.
    Charro pinto beans cooked in the Instant Pot

Notes

  • Cook bacon crisp – So many bean recipes cook the bacon with the beans. Any time you cook bacon in liquid, it gets soggy. I much prefer to cook the bacon pieces as crispy as they can get without burning. Cooking the pinto beans in the bacon fat will create super flavorful beans and then adding the crispy bacon at the end will not only add amazing flavor but great texture too.
  • Increase the spice level – If you prefer your Mexican pinto beans to be on the spicier side, you can certainly increase the cayenne pepper or add something like a jalapeno or hot pepper sauce.
  • Storage – This recipe makes a lot, so store any leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Use within 3-5 days. These Instant Pot pinto beans also freeze wonderfully for a future meal.
  • Reheating – Pinto beans can be reheated in a pot on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave at 50% power in one minute increments.

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 738mg, Potassium: 706mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 716IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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8 Comments

    1. You can, but I haven’t. I rarely use my slow cooker anymore. I would probably soak the beans overnight and then instead of pressure cooking for 40min, you could slow cook on low for like 8hrs? You would just need to cook them until the beans are tender.

  1. 5 stars
    I make this recipe a few times a month and it just reminds me so much of my childhood!! Thank you for sharing and allowing me to also share this meal with my children.

  2. I’m going to make these for New Years Day.
    My friend is allergic to chicken. Have you tried to use beef or vegetable broth instead ?
    Thank you
    Bobbi

  3. 5 stars
    Wow these are so flavorful! And the beans cook up so fast in the Instant Pot! These are so good. I’ll be making these again for sure! The bacon in these beans are FIRE! Yum!

  4. 5 stars
    No comparison to canned pinto beans which I’ve used for years. I could eat a bowl full of these for lunch and be happy. So good!