Instant Pot Mexican Smashed Pinto Beans are a perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo or any occasion where you want an easy and delicious side dish. For Cinco de Mayo I thought that the best way to celebrate the countdown was to focus on some of my favorite Mexican recipes. My Smashed Pinto Beans made in my Instant Pot are at the top of my list!
The combination of the Instant Pot and dried Pinto Beans is a match made in heaven!
I’ve found that the Instant Pot perfectly cooks the unsoaked dried beans in 30 minutes. I end up with smashed pinto beans that are absolutely delicious!
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- Easy to Make: This recipe is easy to make with minimal preparation.
- Economical: The ingredients that go into making this recipe are inexpensive.
- Versatile: Once made, these Smashed Pinto Beans can be used in a variety of other dishes. For example, try them in a quesadilla or as a dip with chips.
Ingredients – Here’s What You’ll Need
This awesome recipe produces a delicious combination of flavors.
- Pinto Beans: The key ingredient in this recipe was dried pinto beans. The dried beans cook in no time at all with the Instant Pot.
- Vegetables: To add flavor to this amazing recipe, I used an onion, fresh jalapeño pepper, and fresh garlic.
- Seasonings: The seasonings were simple – Kosher salt, dried cumin, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Liquids: For the liquids, I used chicken broth and water.
Preparing the Ingredients
This recipe required minimal preparation.
- First, I rinsed the pinto beans and let them drain.
- Next, I removed the spine and seeds from the jalapeño pepper and chopped it.
- Then, I peeled the onion and cut it into fourths.
- Finally, I peeled and minced the garlic.
Cooking the Pinto Beans in the Instant Pot
- I added all of the prepared ingredients to the pan of the Instant Pot, along with the salt, cumin, pepper, chicken broth, and water.
Then, I put the lid on and made sure that the steam valve was shut. Next, I selected the Bean/Chili function and walked away! This function was pre-programmed to normal pressure cooking for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, I let the Instant Pot depressurize naturally. This took about 15 minutes. I removed the top and could see that the beans were perfectly cooked!
Finishing the Smashed Pinto Beans
I knew from experience that there was initially too much liquid to produce the desired consistency of the smashed beans. The reason that I use more liquid than I ultimately need, however, is that the beans need to stay submerged as they expand.
I also knew from experience that I needed to remove about a cup of the liquid before I started smashing the beans. The reason was that once I started smashing the beans, I couldn’t remove any more liquid, but I could always add some back!
Also, I knew from experience that once the beans start to cool, they thicken considerably.
I used my immersion blender to smash the beans. It worked perfectly!
I ended up with amazingly delicious Mexican Smashed Pinto Beans.
They’re awesome by themselves. They are also incredible with melted cheese on top, in quesadillas, or scooped up with tortilla chips. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
My Instant Pot is the DUO60 6-Quart Pot.
The main difference between smashed pinto beans and regular pinto beans is the consistency. Smashed pinto beans are mashed and creamy, while regular pinto beans have a firmer texture.
Smashed pinto beans can be served as a side dish, as a dip with chips or veggies, as a topping for tacos or burritos, as a filling for quesadillas, or as a spread for sandwiches or wraps.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Why dried pinto beans: I’ve consistently used dried pinto beans in this recipe. Dried pinto beans that have been cooked from scratch will result in a better flavor and texture compared to using canned beans.
- Cooled smashed pinto beans thicken: I’ve consistently found that the Smashed Pinto Beans thicken considerably as they cool. As the beans cool, the starches in the beans begin to gel and bind together, which makes the consistency of the mashed beans thicker. Therefore, even though I remove liquid before smashing the beans, I end up adding most or all of the liquid back once the beans cool.
- No soaking required: I’ve tried this recipe using pinto beans that I’ve soaked overnight and have found that the soaking really isn’t necessary when the beans are cooked in the Instant Pot.
- Vegetarian version: You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth or water for the chicken broth.
If you’d like other Cinco de Mayo Recipes, you should check out my Cinco de Mayo Recipe Roundup, where you’ll find 39 of my and Grits and Pinecones incredible recipes.
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Instant Pot Mexican Smashed Pinto Beans
- 2 cups (16 ounces) dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters pee
- 1 jalapeño pepper, spine and seeds removed and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried cumin
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (See Tip 1)
- 1 cup water
- Place all ingredients in Instant Pot. Cover, making sure that the steam vent is closed. Select Bean/Chili. This setting is for 30 minutes on normal pressure.
- At end of cooking cycle, allow Instant Pot to depressurize normally. Remove lid. Stir to combine ingredients.
- Remove about 1 cup of liquid; set aside.
- Process beans with immersion blender, until smooth. If necessary add reserved liquid to desired consistency. Correct seasonings. (See Tip 2)
- Yield: 6 servings (See Tip 3)
Chula’s Expert Tips
- To make this vegetarian, substitute water or vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
- As the smashed beans cool, they thicken considerably. Therefore, hold on to the reserved liquid. You’ll probably need some of it to thin out the mixture.
- As you can probably tell from the picture, I love to put shredded cheese on top of the hot Smashed Pinto Beans and use tortilla chips to scoop it up!
Srey rawlins says
Hello, if i double the recipe, is it the same time?
Yes, the time will be the same. Just be sure that you don’t over fill the Instant Pot.
I followed this recipe exactly and the beans were not cooke after the 30 min on bean/chili setting and a 15” release. I don’t like those presets. Recipes are never cooked. Sticking with manual from now on. I put them back on to cook on manual for 20” I’ll see how it goes.
I’m sorry to hear that. They are always perfect for me. One thing that I’ve found with the Instant Pot is that slow cooker function never works for me, but the pressure cooker function works great. Anyway, I’m sorry that it didn’t work for you.
I don’t have an imersion blender can I use a food processed or my vitamin?
Yes – just process the pinto beans in stages rather than doing all of them at one time. You don’t want to over-fill the food processor or blender.
Dan McCrea says
I’m so glad that you liked them. I made some this weekend!
Do you soak your beans first? This recipe looks amazing! I also have all these ingredients on hand, but am omitting the pancetta.
Lisa, I don’t soak the beans. I just wash them and put them into the instant pot with the rest of the ingredients. This is one of my favorite recipes! Hope it turns out well for you.
Holly Beck says
Did you remove the onion pieces or leave them in?
Holly, I left them. They were fall-apart cooked and blended perfectly into the rest of the smashed pinto bean mixture.
What can you add if to soupy?
In my experience, the beans thicken up quite a bit as they cool. I generally remove about a cup of the liquid when I start processing, but invariably add most if not all of it back as I further process the beans. If they stay soupy after being processed, you might think about adding some canned pinto beans to the mixture.
Just made these and they turned out great!! Thanks for sharing such an easy and delicious recipe.
I’m so glad that it turned out well for you. It’s one of my favorite recipes!
Made these exactly as stated. Let them cool and sit in fridge overnight. The beans had soaked up the broth and I just used my immersion blender. Absolutely delicious, will make again and again.
Chula King says
Renee Dahlstrom says
Easy Peasy. Thank you from my heart. Some of us have hand struggles. This really helps. Love the recip
Chula King says
So glad you liked the recipe Renee. These smashed pinto beans are one of my favorites!
Beverly Christopher says
Will be making this
I have made this recipe three or four times in the last month. The first time I had my niece and her kids over. They all loved it and so do I. My husband keeps asking me to make it a day or two after it’s gone. So that’s why I made it so many times in the last month.
It is a very easy recipe and it comes out amazing every time.
Chula King says
This is one of my favorite recipes. So glad that it works out for you!