Instant Pot Copycat Rubio’s Pinto Beans
This recipe for Instant Pot Copycat Rubio’s Pinto Beans is easy to make, and Rubio’s Pinto Beans are a perfect side dish!
When I lived in my Salt Lake City house I was mildly infatuated with the pinto beans from Rubios, a popular Fresh-Mex fast food restaurant. Rubios is famous for fish tacos, but when I go there was usually getting a salad, sometimes with Rubio’s Pinto Beans, which are loaded with flavor.
The menu declares the pinto beans are “not refried” and the creamy, slightly chunky beans are served plain, with no cheese or toppings. To me Rubios beans have the absolute perfect creaminess and flavor that makes pinto beans so delicious.
Years ago I had great success making Rubios Pinto Beans at home in my old stovetop pressure cooker. But now that I’m loving the Instant Pot (affiliate link), I had to try using that to make Rubios Beans, and taking new photos for this favorite was fun because we got to eat the beans!
What Ingredients Do You Need For This Recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- dried pinto beans
- Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- coarse “table grind” black pepper
What is the distinctive flavor in Rubio’s Pinto Beans?
For years when I had these beans at Rubio’s I puzzled over just what it was that made their beans so special. There was something that tasted familiar, but I couldn’t quite identify it. Then one day when I was eating at Rubios, I noticed an employee sitting down to eat, so I struck up a conversation, telling him how much I loved the beans. He offered to ask the cooks just what they put in them and reported back that the beans were seasoned with just three things: garlic, salt, and black pepper. As soon as he said black pepper I knew that was the ingredient I’d been tasting.
Can you make Rubio’s Pinto Beans without an Instant Pot?
I’m excited to add this recipe to the growing collection of Instant Pot Recipes on the site, but if you don’t have a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot, after the recipe I’ll tell you how I’d make them in a regular pan.
How to Make Instant Pot Copycat Rubio’s Pinto Beans:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Rinse the beans and pick out any broken ones.
- Put beans in the pressure cooker with enough water to cover by about 2 inches.
- Add olive oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
- Set the Instant Pot to MANUAL and HIGH PRESSURE, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Release pressure using QUICK RELEASE method.
- Check the beans to see if they’re soft enough to be slightly creamy when they mash, with a few chunks left. (Beans that have been in the pantry or on the store shelf for a while will take much longer to cook.
- If they aren’t soft enough, put the lid back on the Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 10-15 minutes longer.)
- When beans are softened to your liking, use an old-fashioned potato masher (affiliate ink) to mash them until they’re mostly creamy with a few chunks. (The chunkiness is one thing I always loved about Rubio’s beans!)
- Rubios beans are definitely on the runny side, so I stirred in some water, added a bit more salt, pepper, and 1 T more olive oil, and simmered them for about 10 minutes.
- Serve hot, with some sliced green onion on top if desired. Of course you can add cheese if you like, but I love these beans just like they’re served at Rubio’s.
Make it a Meal:
Rubio’s beans would be a great side dish for any of my Mexican Food Favorites.
Love Your Instant Pot?
I use a 6 Quart Instant Pot (affiliate link) for all my Instant Pot Recipes. Check out my growing collection of Instant Pot Recipes! You can also find lots more Instant Pot and Slow Cooker recipes on my other site, Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker.
More Tasty Beans in the Instant Pot:
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Instant Pot Pinto Bean with Ground Beef
- Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Recipes for Mexican Beans
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep where you’ll find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 2 cups dried pinto beans
- 2 T olive oil (Oil prevents beans from foaming in the pressure cooker, and the second T of olive oil added at the end gave the beans a bit of extra creaminess.)
- water, enough to cover beans by 2 inches + plus more water for simmering if needed
- 2 T minced garlic
- 1 tsp. salt (I cooked with 1/2 tsp. and added more after tasting)
- 1/2 tsp. coarse “table grind” black pepper (I cooked with 1/2 tsp. and added 1/4 tsp. more after tasting)
- Rinse beans and pick out broken ones and place beans in Instant Pot with enough water to cover by about 2 inches.
- Add garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and 1 T olive oil.
- Lock lid on Instant Pot and set to MANUAL and HIGH PRESSURE AND cook for 30 minutes.
- Release pressure using QUICK RELEASE method and check beans to see how done they are. (Dried beans can vary greatly in how quickly they cook depending on how old the beans are, so I recommend cooking in two stages and not just leaving for 45 minutes.)
- If beans are not soft enough that they’re starting to fall apart a little, put lid back on pressure cooker, lock, bring to high pressure and continue to cook (I cooked them for 15 minutes more, but judge by how soft the beans are after 30 minutes.)
- Release pressure using quick release method.
- Use a potato masher to vigorously mash the beans until they’re about 75% mashed, but still have some noticeable chunks. (This is a personal preference, but I like them rather chunky.)
- Taste beans for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste (I added 1/2 tsp. more salt and 1//4 tsp. more pepper) plus 1 T olive oil.
- If the beans aren’t runny enough for your preference, stir in a little more water and cook beans on saute or simmer setting for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until beans are creamy and slightly thickened. Serve hot. (You can garnish with sliced green onions if you’re taking photos for your food blog, but Rubio’s serves the beans plain.)
- When I reheat the beans after they’ve been in the refrigerator I like adding a bit of water to thin them down.
Stovetop Cooking Without a Pressure Cooker:
- Soak beans overnight in cold water to cover by several inches.
- The next day, drain beans, fill pan with fresh water, add garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and 1 tsp. olive oil if desired (the first T oil is optional for regular pan.)
- Bring beans to a low boil and simmer uncovered for about1 hour, adding a bit of water if needed.
- After an hour, start checking for doneness, and when beans are starting to fall apart slightly turn off heat.
- Use potato masher to vigorously mash most of the beans, leaving a few chunks.
- Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil if desired.
- Stir in 1 cup more water (or less, depending on how much water is left in the beans) and simmer a few minutes more until beans are creamy and slightly thickened. Serve hot.
- (If anyone makes these on the stove without a pressure cooker, I’d love to hear just how long you cooked them.)
I used my 6-Quart Instant Pot (affiliate link), but I originally used a Kuhn Rikon Pressure Cooker (affiliate link) for this recipe and you could definitely use another brand of electric pressure cooker (affiliate link) as well. If you have a bigger size, you might want to double the recipe and freeze some beans.
Recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Rubios pinto beans.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 537mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Copycat Recipe for Rubio’s Pinto Beans is a great dish for any phase of the original South Beach Diet, but beans like this are probably too high in carbs for low-carb dieters.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Instant Pot Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Guess Who Else Made Rubio’s Beans?
After I made these beans I discovered Rubio’s “No Fried” Pinto Beans from Recipe Girl (If I had found this sooner I wouldn’t have had to ask what the seasonings were!)