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Easy pinto beans

Using dried beans can be intimidating for some beginning chefs, but it shouldn’t be. With this recipe, it’s simple, economical and healthy. Having a pressure cooker or instant pot in your kitchen makes preparation much faster and easier.

Try these spicy, tasty beans on their own, in tacos or over rice topped with queso fresco and fresh salsa.


1 pound dried pinto beans
1½ teaspoons chili powder
1½ teaspoons powdered garlic
1¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Pick through the dried beans to remove any broken beans or bits of debris. Rinse well under running water. (Some cooks choose to presoak their beans in water for several hours at this point. Presoaking the beans can decrease cooking times, but beans come out more flavorful if they haven't been presoaked. And with a pressure cooker or instant pot, presoaking is unnecessary as long as the beans are thoroughly cooked.)
  2. Put the beans along with six cups of water, the oil and all the dry ingredients into a pressure cooker, instant pot or large cooking pot.
  3. If you’re using a pressure cooker or instant pot, cook the beans for 50 minutes on the “high” or “manual” setting and allow the pressure to release naturally.
  4. If you’re using a pot on the stove, bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours or more until beans are soft.
  5. Ladle the beans from the pot with a slotted spoon and serve along with warm corn tortillas, fresh salsa and crumbled queso fresco.