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A blue bowl of borracho beans, pinto beans with bacon, tomato, and jalapeno, sprinkled with minced cilantro, with a bottle of beer and an Instant Pot in the background.

Instant Pot Borracho Beans (Drunken Beans)

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5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups of soup 1x


Instant Pot Borracho Beans. The Tex-Mex classic of drunken pinto beans with bacon and chili powder, using my bean cooking secret weapon - a pressure cooker.


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt (or 2 teaspoons table salt)
  • 4 ounces diced bacon
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground Ancho chile pepper (or a chili powder blend)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Minced cilantro for garnish


  1. Sort and rinse the beans: Spread the beans out on a rimmed baking sheet and discard any stones, dirt, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then do an overnight or a quick soak.
  2. Soak the beans overnight: Cover the beans with the 8 cups of water and add the 1 tablespoon of salt. Leave the beans to soak at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid.
  3. OR Pressure Quick Soak the beans for 1 minute with a 30 minute rest: Put the beans, 8 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of salt in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot for 1 minute), then let the beans sit for 30 minutes. Drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid. Wipe out the pot before continuing.
  4. Sauté the bacon, aromatics, and spices: Spread the bacon in a single layer in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Set the pot to sauté mode adjusted to high (medium-high heat in a stovetop PC), and cook the bacon, stirring often, until it starts to crisp on the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onions, garlic, and jalapeño to coat with the bacon grease, then sprinkle with the ground ancho and ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften around the edges, about 3 minutes. Pour in the beer, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pot with a flat edged wooden spoon to release any browned bits of bacon or onion. 
  5. Beans in the pot: Add the drained beans to the pot, pour in the 4 cups of water, and stir in the diced tomatoes. Sprinkle with the ½ teaspoon salt.
  6. Pressure Cook for 18 minutes with a Quick Release: Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 18 minutes (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 15 minutes if using a stovetop pressure cooker. Quick release the pressure.
  7. Serve: Carefully remove the lid – tilt it away from you to avoid the hot steam. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with minced cilantro. Serve and enjoy!


Forgot to soak? Pressure cook for 40 minutes with a Natural Release. Check the beans; if they’re still tough, stir the pot, then lock the lid and pressure cook for another 5 minutes.

What kind of beer? Shiner is the Texas classic, and Negra Modelo is the choice south of the border. That said, any lager or ale will work; I prefer dark lagers or ales for the added flavor. I go with my hometown favorite, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold. That's right, I'm not from Texas...

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex