Pressure Cooker Vaquero Beans in Broth - Portrait framed |

Pressure Cooker Vaquero Beans in Broth

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 7 cups 1x


Pressure Cooker Vaquero Beans – beans in broth as a side dish? Simple, delicious, and done in about an hour thanks to the pressure cooker.



  • 1 pound Vaquero beans (or substitute Anasazi beans pinto beans)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water
  • (Optional) Chopped scallions (green onions) for garnish




  1. Sort and rinse the beans: Sort the pinto beans, removing any broken beans, stones, and dirt clods. Put the beans in a strainer and rinse under running water.
  2. Pressure cook the beans for 35 minutes: Put the beans in the pressure cooker, sprinkle with the salt, and add the onion and bay leaves to the top. Pour in the 6 cups of water, stir, and then lock the pressure cooker lid. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes in an electric pressure cooker, or 30 minutes in a stovetop PC, then let the heat come down naturally, about 20 minutes.
  3. Serve: Remove the pressure cooker lid – open it away from you to protect yourself from the hot steam. Discard the bay leaf and onions. If you want a thicker bean broth, puree a cup of beans and broth, then stir back into the pot. (I use a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup and my stick blender to do this.) Sprinkle with chopped scallions and serve…or freeze in 2-cup containers for up to 6 months.




  • Soaked beans: In a hurry? Soak the dried beans overnight. The night before cooking, sort the beans, then cover in 8 cups of water. Add a tablespoon of kosher salt if you want to brine them. Let the beans soak overnight, then drain the beans and rinse them right before cooking. Follow the recipe as written, but reduce the pressure cooking time to 15 minutes in an electric PC, and 12 minutes in a stovetop PC, with a natural pressure release.


  • 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
  • 2 cup storage containers (for make-ahead beans.) I use the Pyrex Snapware containers, because they stack neatly in the freezer and are microwave safe. (Just make sure to take the lid off before microwaving, or it will deform in the heat of the microwave.)
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Southwestern