Kalyn's Kitchen

Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef

Make Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef in the Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker or in a regular pan on the stove. 

PIN Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef to make it later!

Pressure Cooker (or Stovetop) Pinto Bean and Ground Beef Stew with Cumin and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

This delightful recipe for Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef is something I had for lunch three days in a row, and I completely enjoyed it each time. If you’re not an Instant Pot or pressure cooker fan, read after the recipe to see how the stew can be made in a regular pot on the stove. And I’m excited to add this great stew to the growing collection of Instant Pot Recipes on the blog!

And by the way, if anyone looked at the photo of Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef and thought about chili, there’s no chili powder in this, so it’s definitely not chili! Actually cilantro is the predominant flavor here, so if you’re one of those poor cilantro-impaired folks, maybe you’ll want to search for a different stew recipe!

Pressure Cooker Pinto Bean and Ground Beef Stew with Cumin and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Tips for making Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef:

(Scroll down for complete recipe, including nutritional information and options for making this in a pan on the stove.)

  1. One thing I love about the Instant Pot is how you can start with unsoaked beans! See the recipe for how I cooked beans from scratch, or use canned beans if you prefer. 
  2. Since the beans were in the Instant Pot, I cooked the ground beef in a pan and put it in a bowl.
  3. Then I cooked the onions and garlic in the same pan. I added the dried and ground herbs and sauteed for a few minutes to release the flavor.
  4. Here’s how the stew looked in the Instant Pot before I put the lid on and pressure cooked for just 2 minutes, before letting pressure release slowly for about 15 minutes.
  5. You could also simmer on top of stove for about 45 minutes, adding a bit more liquid. Stir in the chopped cilantro right before you serve it and enjoy!

More Soups or Stews with Cilantro:

Crockpot Black Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro 
Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup 
Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup with Lime and Cilantro 

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef

Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 52 minutes
Additional Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 52 minutes

This Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef is something I had for lunch three days in a row, and I completely enjoyed it each time.


  • 1 cup dried pinto beans, unsoaked (see notes)
  • 2 T olive oil, divided (will depend on your pan)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. Spike seasoning
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T dried cilantro (optional, but recommended)
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock (see notes)
  • 1 cup liquid from pressure cooking beans (or 1 cup water)
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • one 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more)
  • 2 T fresh squeezed lime juice


  1. Put 1 cup dried pinto beans in Instant Pot or pressure cooker with 2 tsp. olive oil, add water to fill half full, lock lid, and pressure cook beans at high pressure for 15 minutes. (Start to time after high pressure is reached for stovetop pressure cooker.)
  2. Turn off heat and let pressure release naturally (about 15 minutes.)
  3. When pressure is released, drain beans into colander, reserving 1 cup bean cooking liquid. (You can also use 2 cans pinto beans, rinsed well in a colander placed in the sink, then drained.)
  4. While beans are cooking, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in large heavy frying pan, add ground beef and season with Spike seasoning, then saute until beef is well-browned, breaking apart with back of the turner as it cooks. When it’s well browned, remove beef to a bowl.
  5. Heat 2 tsp. more olive oil in frying pan, then add onion and saute about 5 minutes, or until onion is starting to brown.
  6. Add minced garlic and saute 2 minutes more, then add Mexican oregano, cumin, and dried cilantro and saute about 2 minutes more.
  7. When beans have finished cooking and been drained into a colander, add cooked ground beef to Instant Pot or pressure cooker, followed by onion/garlic/herb mixture.
  8. Add chicken stock to frying pan and simmer a minute, scraping off any browned bits and adding that liquid to pressure cooker, along with 1 cup reserved bean cooking liquid (or water, if using canned beans.)
  9. Add beans, tomato paste and can of tomatoes to Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
  10. Lock lid and pressure cook for 2 minutes at high pressure. (Start to time after high pressure is reached for stovetop pressure cooker.)
  11. Turn off heat and let pressure release naturally, about 15 minutes.
  12. When pressure is released, add sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and lime juice, turn heat on and cook with lid off for about 5 minutes. Serve hot, with additional chopped cilantro to add at the table if desired.

How to Cook in a regular soup pot on the stove:

  1. For canned beans, rinse and drain as described above.
  2. To use dried beans, you will need to soak beans overnight, drain, add fresh water to cover by a few inches and simmer until beans are soft, about 45 minutes.
  3. Follow directions as above for browning meat, browning onions with garlic and herbs, and deglazing frying pan with chicken stock.
  4. Combine browned meat, onion mixture, chicken stock, water, cooked beans, tomato paste, and canned tomatoes in heavy soup pot, adding 1 cup more chicken stock for cooking in open pan.
  5. Simmer over low heat about 45 minutes, adding a bit more water if needed.
  6. When stew seems done, add green onion, chopped cilantro, and lime juice as above and cook a few more minutes.


You can use 2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained if you prefer. If you don't have homemade chicken stock, use 2 cans chicken broth and reduce slightly to 3 cups.

I made this in my 3.7 quart Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker back in 2008, but now I’d use my Instant Pot or Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker.

Recipe created by Kalyn when she had a new pressure cooker!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 404Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 731mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 30g

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.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet . Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
As long as you use lean ground beef, everything in this Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef is approved for all phases of the original South Beach Diet.  Beans are a limited food for Phase One, but in a stew like this with lots of other low-glycemic ingredients, you can have a regular serving. If you’d like a lower-carb version of this dish, use less beans and double the amount of ground beef, but recipes with dried beans won’t work for a strict low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Stew Recipes or Instant Pot Recipes for more recipes like this one! Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click here to see more Pressure Cooker / Slow Cooker Recipes on my other site!

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2009 when I had a new stovetop pressure cooker. Now it’s perfect to make in the Instant Pot. The recipe was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef

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    79 Comments on “Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Ground Beef”

  1. I would never dismiss anyone who didn’t like cilantro…. sorry but to us it makes the whole dish taste like a chemical or soap. Just simply omit the cilantro. 
    We can’t help that it taste that way….

    • I do realize that cilantro doesn’t taste good to some people and that it’s a genetic thing. I wasn’t dismissing that idea, just suggesting that cilantro is important in the flavors in this recipe. But of course you are free to make it without cilantro if you like.

      If you look around on my site you’ll see I always recommend options for those who don’t like cilantro and usually recommend using thinly sliced green onion instead.

  2. What if I can only find Mediterranean oregano right now?  Can it be substituted for the Mexican?

    • The flavor is not that similar. I would either leave it out completely or use a bit less if you’re using regular oregano.

  3. Everything went great until the 2 minutes on high. It totally scorched the beans. I followed the directions to the letter. I have a Fissler stove top pressure cooker.

    • I’m sorry you had that experience but if you used 3 cups stock + i cup cooking liquid as the recipe calls for, there is no reason the beans should have scorched.

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  6. Any recommendation for cooking in a crock pot. I recently got rid of my pressure cooker cause I barley used it and prefer coming home to it already being cooked since we get home late many nights

    • I wouldn't be able to give instructions for adapting this recipe without trying it in a slow cooker, but there is a huge section of Slow Cooker Recipes that you can browse through by photo; many of them have beans.

  7. Lynne, any kind of general all-purpose seasoning can be substituted for Spike. I can't recommend a specific one because I've used Spike for years, but there are quite a few good ones.

  8. This looks fabulous, and I really want to try it, but I have a question: What can I use in place of the Spike seasoning? I'm allergic to some of the ingredients in it. 🙁

  9. I guess this is another sign from above that I honestly need a pressure cooker. It looks heavenly.

    Erin – ekcantcook.blogspot.com

  10. Thanks Deb, this is really good with extra cilantro!

  11. I really need to get a pressure cooker! But I'm glad you included other instructions as well, because I'm a cilantro lover and this sounds wonderful.

  12. Teresa, sounds like I need to learn more about Brazilian cuisine, as I love those flavors!

    Thanks Renee. Glad you are enjoying your pressure cooker!

  13. This is one beautiful pot of stew! I love all the fall colors and the ingredient list has all of my favorites. I bought a pressure cooker last year and will now add your stew to my pressure cooker favorites!

  14. You can never go wrong with cumin and cilantro in a pot of beans. In Brazil those 2 things are basically the main ingredients to our daily beans. 🙂