Instant Pot Pinto Beans With Chorizo

$7.92 recipe / $1.32 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.15 from 27 votes
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I’ve been waiting for months to share this new book with you, you guys! My friend, Daniel Shumski (author of Will it Waffle? and Will it Skillet?) just came out with his third book, How to Instant Pot and I know it’s going to be a life saver for a lot of you. I get questions about using the Instant Pot (a multi-function pressure cooker) on pretty much a daily basis, but Instant Pot cooking is just not my specialty. I use mine on occasion, but I am by no means an expert. So when I got to preview this book, I immediate emailed back asking for permission to share one of the recipes on my blog because THIS book, my friends, is the answer to all those Instant Pot questions you send me. 

A bowl full of Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Chorizo, with tortilla chips and cheese and cilantro on top.

If you have an Instant Pot then you know that the instruction manual that comes with it is less than helpful. How to Instant Pot, provides all the instruction and information you need to really get the most out of this super-appliance. It breaks down each function, detailing how it cooks, how it’s different from the other functions, and provides plenty of tips and recipes specific for each function. Basically, Instant Pot should be including this book inside the box of each machine it sells. :P

Anyway, BACK TO THE BEANS. These Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Chorizo are seriously the best tasting beans I have ever eaten, hands down. I chose this recipe out of all the recipes in the book because I think cooking beans is one of the best uses for the Instant Pot, and this recipe uses a trick that I often employ in my recipes—using a small amount of heavily seasoned sausage to season your whole dish, instead of adding several different herbs and spices individually. This recipe uses dry or Spanish chorizo (not raw Mexican chorizo), which is a cured meat similar to pepperoni or salami, and boy does it deliver! I definitely need to be cooking with Spanish chorizo more often.

How to Serve Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Chorizo

You can serve these beans as suggested in the book with tortillas, shredded lettuce, and cheese, or you can serve it kind of as a dip with tortilla chips (that’s what I did), or spoon the bean mixture over a bowl of hot rice. It’s very versatile and so yummy that you might just end up eating it straight out of the pot with a spoon. :)

I made a few small changes to the pinto bean recipe, but I’m listing the recipe as it is written in the book below. Check the recipe notes to see what I did differently.

A tortilla chip being dipped into a bowl of Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Chorizo
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Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Chorizo

4.15 from 27 votes
A little bit of Spanish chorizo is all it takes to turn a simple pot of pinto beans into a rich and flavorful meal!
A little bit of Spanish chorizo is all it takes to turn a simple pot of pinto beans into a rich and flavorful meal!
Servings 6 1 cup each
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 4 oz. dry (Spanish) chorizo ($4.39)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($0.24)
  • 2 cups dry pinto beans ($1.19)
  • 2 bay leaves ($0.30)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth* ($0.39)
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes** ($1.00)


  • Dice the chorizo, then add it to the instant pot along with the cooking oil. Press the Sauté button, then the Adjust button to select the “less” temperature setting. Sauté the chorizo in the oil, without a lid, until it becomes slightly crispy on the edges.
  • While the chorizo is sautéing, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Once the chorizo is crispy, add the onion and garlic and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and transparent.
  • Add the beans, bay leaves, and pepper to the pot and wait a moment to let the beans absorb some of the heat and prevent the broth from splattering when it hits the hot pot. 
  • Add the broth to the pot, stir briefly to combine, then place the lid on the Instant Pot. Close the steam valve, press the Manual button, select high pressure (if not selected automatically), then press the + button to increase the time to 35 minutes.
  • Allow the beans to cook through the 35 minute cycle, then let the pressure release naturally (you’ll know the pressure has released when the silver float valve has fallen back down and is no longer flush with the top of the lid). 
  • Once the pressure has released, open the steam valve, and then remove the lid. Discard the bay leaf. Add the canned diced tomatoes with all their juices, then stir to combine.
  • Press the cancel button to cancel the “keep warm” function, then press the Sauté button and use the Adjust button to select the “normal” heat level. Let the mixture simmer, stirring often, until the beans are very tender and the liquid has thickened.
  • Serve the beans with tortillas, tortilla chips, or over a bowl of rice, and with optional toppings like cheese, cilantro, green onions, or finely diced red onion.

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*I didn’t have any low-sodium chicken broth so I used the regular Better Than Bouillon that I have on hand. It was quite salty so if you are using regular broth instead of low-sodium I suggest using 2 cups broth and 1 cup water.
**I used fire roasted diced tomatoes, which were awesome in this recipe!


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 228.72kcalCarbohydrates: 33.8gProtein: 13.88gFat: 7.13gSodium: 587.2mgFiber: 7.72g
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Side view of a bowl of Instant Pot Pinto Beans with chorizo. Topped with cheese and cilantro.

How to Make Pinto Beans with Chorizo – Step by Step Photos

Chopped Spanish Chorizo

Begin by chopping 4 oz. dry chorizo. Make sure you’re not using raw Mexican chorizo. This “dry” type is a cured sausage, like pepperoni, and does not need to be cooked (although it’s quite tasty when it is!).

Fried Chorizo in Instant Pot

Add the chorizo and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the Instant Pot, select the Sauté function, then use the Adjust buttons to adjust down to the “less” temperature setting. Sauté for a few minutes or until the chorizo is a little crispy on the edges. 

Onions Garlic and Chorizo in Instant Pot

While the chorizo is sautéing, dice a yellow onion and mince three cloves of garlic. Add them to the pot with the chorizo and continue to sauté for a few minutes more until the onions are soft and transparent.

Beans Bay Leaves and Pepper in Instant Pot

Add 2 cups of dry pinto beans, 2 bay leaves, and some freshly cracked pepper to the pot. Wait just a minute or so to let the beans absorb some of the heat and prevent the broth from spattering when it hits the hot pot.

Chicken Broth in Instant Pot

Add 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth to the pot, stir briefly to combine, then place the lid on the pot.

Close Steam Valve on Instant Pot

Close the steam valve on the lid (turn it to the “sealing” position).

Set Instant Pot to 35 Minutes

Then select the Manual button, and adjust the time up to 35 minutes using the + button. (It should auto-select high pressure, if not use the Adjust button to select high pressure.)

Float Valve Up on Instant Pot

Allow the pot to come up to pressure, at which time that little silver float valve will rise up to be flush with the lid. Let it go through the 35 minute cooking cycle, then let it release pressure naturally as the temperature falls.

Float Valve Down on Instant Pot

You’ll know the pressure has released when that little silver float valve falls back down and is no longer flush with the top of the lid. Turn the steam valve on top from the “sealing” position to “venting” then open the lid.

Cooked Pinto Beans in Instant Pot

And this is what you see when you open the lid. It looks dry, but that’s because the beans have floated to the top. There is liquid underneath. Remove the bay leaves.

Add Diced Tomatoes to Beans

Add one 15oz. can of diced tomatoes and stir to combine. Press the Cancel button to cancel the “Keep Warm” cycle, then press the Sauté button and use the Adjust button to select the “normal” temperature setting. Let the beans simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the beans are tender and the liquid has become nice and thick.

Simmered Pinto Beans with Chorizo

This is what it looks like once it has simmered down. It becomes a thick mixture, similar to chili. And soooooo tasty!

Overhead view of Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Chorizo, topped with cheese and cilantro

And then it’s time to dig in! I seriously can’t wait to eat my leftovers for lunch today. I’m already droolin’!

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  1. It’s pretty good! I used Mexican-style soy chorizo and a can of Rotel instead of the tomatoes, and I dumped the Rotel in with the beans. You definitely need to cook the beans longer than 35 mins (especially if you cook it w/ the tomatoes– its acidity will inhibit the beans’ softening); an hour or so under pressure worked for me, and you won’t have to saute it after that!

  2. This recipe is far from the quality I’ve come to expect from years of cooking Budget Bytes meals. First, the cook times provided in this recipe were a complete joke. Like many others who tried it out, I found myself staring at undercooked beans in my instant pot, wondering if I had missed something. Spoiler alert: I didn’t. Despite following the instructions to the letter, it was evident that something was seriously off. And no, before anyone asks, I didn’t jump the gun and add the tomatoes prematurely. Disappointingly, after nearly double the estimated cook time, the dish didn’t even taste that good. It had some flavor, sure, but it was a flavor I would want to encounter again. If I could give this recipe zero stars, I would do it in a heartbeat. It’s rare for me to encounter such a disappointing flop from a source I’ve trusted for so long. I think this recipe should be taken off the website until it’s been thoroughly re-tested and corrected.

    1. Unfortunately, I’ve only tested this recipe with an Instant Pot.

  3. Made it last night, super good! Put some cotija cheese on top with a little cilantro, mmmm mmm.

  4. Managed to find fully cooked Mexican-style chorizo, so I used that. Followed the recipe as written, taking Beth’s advice to use 1 cup water and 2 cups regular chicken broth, and fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Came out amazing. Very good with chopped scallions and cotija cheese.

    1. The first time I made this the beans were undercooked. The second time, I doubled the chorizo (personal preference) and omitted the oil because there’s enough fat in the chorizo. I also cooked them under pressure for 1 hour. I used 3 cups chicken stock instead of water, and used fire roasted tomatoes. My family asks for this all the time now!