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Charro pinto beans with bacon in bowl
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5 from 7 votes

Instant Pot Charro Pinto Beans

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!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Pressure release20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 12 servings



  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.


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