Instant Pot Pinto Beans Cafe Rio_Costa Vida Style with blue corn tortilla chips
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Instant Pot Pinto Beans Cafe Rio/Costa Vida Style

Instant Pot Pinto Beans that taste like your favorites from Cafe Rio or Costa Vida! These Instant Pot pinto beans are cooked to perfection from dried without any pre-soaking needed! Delicious to eat on their own with some chips, paired with cilantro lime rice or your favorite Mexican dish.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans Cafe Rio_Costa Vida Style

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You guys have heard me sing the praises of the Instant Pot and how easy it makes cooking beans from dried to delicious in about an hour without any pre-soaking needed! I’ve shared our FAVORITE Instant Pot Black Bean recipe that we love to eat with everything. Recently, I shared our easy and tasty Instant Pot Refried Beans recipe too.

No need to remember to soak those beans ahead of time. You’ll still end up with delicious and tender pinto beans!

I’ve even doubled the recipe in my 8qt Ultra with the same great results! I wouldn’t recommend doubling in the 6qt, due to manufacturer suggested guidelines of not filling the pot more than 1/2 full for foods that double in size.

Even though you don’t need to pre-soak the pinto beans, I highly encourage you to sort them and rinse well. Once in a while, I will find small rocks or debris that have been accidentally tumbled into the beans during packaging. It’s worth the extra 5 minutes to do this.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans Cafe Rio_Costa Vida Style


It’s also no secret that we love the pinto beans from our favorite Mexican fast food chain, Cafe Rio or Costa Vida. So naturally, recreating the pinto beans at home in the Instant Pot is completely normal, right? These beans have a simple yet deep flavor and the liquid thickens up naturally over time as the beans continue to release their starch.

Instant Pot Pinto Beans Cafe Rio_Costa Vida Style


  1. Straight up as prepared with some blue corn tortilla chips.
  2. Sprinkled over nachos, which is basically the same as #1 but with more toppings.
  3. Mixed in a burrito or taco!
  4. Served on the side of your favorite Mexican dish with some cilantro lime rice.
  5. Over a salad for added flavor and protein. My daughter loves using the extra bean liquid as her dressing!
  6. Add into taco soup for some extra flavor!

Instant Pot Pinto Beans Cafe Rio_Costa Vida Style

To be honest, my hubby suggested that we keep this recipe our family secret. I laughed and told him that it doesn’t mean we would enjoy it any less often if I shared it with all of you.  He said that this is probably his favorite thing I’ve made in the Instant Pot to date.

If you’re looking for some amazing summer recipes that you can make in your Instant Pot, check out 24 Awesome Instant Pot Summer Recipes by my friend Lisa.

Looking for more Instant Pot ideas?

Instant Pot Pinto Beans Cafe Rio_Costa Vida Style

Instant Pot Pinto Beans Cafe Rio/Costa Vida Style

Instant Pot Pinto Beans that taste like your favorites from Cafe Rio or Costa Vida! These Instant Pot pinto beans are cooked to perfection from dried without any pre-soaking needed! Delicious to eat on their own or pair them with rice or your favorite Mexican dish.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Natural Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 16 oz dry pinto beans rinsed
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 oz canned green chiles diced
  • 2 cloves garlic or 2 tsp minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt I add 1-2 tsp to taste


  • Add all ingredients except for salt into the Instant Pot. (Don't add salt until after pressure cooking to allow the beans to fully re-hydrate.)
  • Close lid and turn knob to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 50 minutes followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release. Then quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Open lid.  Add salt and stir. Let beans rest for 10 minutes on keep warm with lid off. Stir again. The liquid will start to thicken up over time. Usually 10-12 minutes is all that is needed. It will be even thicker over night in the fridge.
  • Serve right away with chips or with your favorite Mexican meal! Also freezes great.


Serving: 1grams

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing. I love all the info you give us it’s always so helpful. ? I was wondering if you could make these with canned beans that are already cooked. What do you think? Thanks!!!

    1. You could definitely give canned beans a little more flavor boost by adding the spices in the recipe. However, for the best taste, you truly need to try it from scratch. The flavor can’t be replicated with canned beans. I hope you give it a try!

    1. Haha! Thanks Marci! I thought it was so funny because he’s never said anything like that before! And I hope you like the beans!

    1. I’m so sorry that I forgot to include that in the recipe card. I just went back and updated that to 12 servings. Thank you for commenting!

  2. 5 stars
    I made these yesterday to pair w my version of chili Verdi. I had roasted and skinned a bushel of Aneheim peppers to freeze the day before so I used two of them in the recipe – diced. My grands range from 11 to 1 and all 6 of them had two servings of them. My grown sons and their wives raved about them and the chili Verdi. Perfect Sunday meal w my family. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, I’ve tried 10 different recipes to go w this meal and all haven’t even got past the tasting. These are perfection!

    1. Oh Debbie! I’m so happy that your family loved the beans! We’re all addicted to them in our house too. And perfect idea to add them with your Chili Verdi (which sounds amazing)! We just got some peppers to roast too, so I think we’ll have to make these beans again with the fresh ones too! Thanks for the idea!

    2. 5 stars
      My brother brought these to a family dinner. They were amazing! I took all the leftovers home, pureed them into refried beans, put half in the fridge and half in the freezer for later. they were the best refried beans I have ever eaten! And they were just as good coming out of the freezer. I will never use a different recipe. These are so good!

      1. Thank you for leaving your review! I’m so glad you loved them. We make them weekly because we love them so much too! Happy to hear they were just as good out of the freezer for you too!

  3. In the first paragraph, both links go to your refried beans recipe instead of the first one going to the black beans recipe as expected.

  4. 5 stars
    These are our absolute favorite beans! Every time I make them people rave about them and want the recipe!! I wish I could take the credit! 😉😉 It’s the only recipe I ever use now. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! ☺️

  5. 5 stars
    Tried these as written with the addition of one reviewers recommendations: bouillon paste in the water. These beans are outstanding! Will definitely be making these again. Thank you so much for a great, easy, tasty recipe!

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