Instant Pot Borracho Beans Recipe – Drunken Beans

This instant pot borracho beans recipe is a perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Or, serve them on their own over rice for a cheap and easy meal. 

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What Are Borracho Beans

Borracho beans, or drunken beans, are a popular dish in Mexico and Southern Texas. They are made with pinto beans that are cooked in Mexican beer.

This bean recipe is meant to be a little soupy. That’s why they make a great side dish to any Mexican dishes. Or, they can be served alongside burgers, ribs, or any other grilled meat.

Instant Pot Borracho Beans Recipe - Drunken Beans
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Charro Beans vs. Borracho Beans

There is often some confusion about a few of the Mexican bean dishes. There are charro beans and borracho beans. What is the difference?

Charro beans are also known as cowboy beans. They are Mexican-stye pinto beans. They are not the same as refried beans, which are mashed. Charro beans are served whole and intact.

Drunken borracho beans are pinto beans that are made with Mexican beer. It comes down to a little bit of Spanish translation. Charro roughly translates to cowboy. Borracho translates to drunken. 

To make instant pot charro beans, just eliminate the beer from this recipe. And, eliminating the beer also makes this a gluten-free pinto bean recipe. Or, look for a gluten-free beer to use.

instant pot mexican beans

Check out our other Instant Pot recipes:

Hearty Instant Pot Pasta Fagioli

Instant Pot Rice And Beans

Instant Pot Lentil Curry With Creamy Coconut

The Best Instant Pot Pinto Bean Recipes

Borracho beans instant pot

Ingredients For Borracho Beans In An Instant Pot 

This borracho bean recipe is easy to make with a lot of the seasonings often found in most kitchens. If you don’t have the seasonings at home, feel free to substitute a packet of taco seasoning. I prefer to control the seasoning myself – besides I love cooking with cumin! 

The only meat used in the recipe is thick strips of bacon. They should be cut super thick so that they don’t disintegrate into the sauce.

The bacon is cooked in olive oil. Then, onion, garlic, a bell pepper, and jalapeno are added. The onion should be diced and the garlic can be minced small or pressed.

I like using a garlic press for my garlic so that there aren’t big chunks of garlic in the bean dish. Check out this garlic press on Amazon from Zulay, which has an ergonomic handle. There’s also no need to peel the garlic, which saves a lot of time.

Try to use a red bell pepper, so it is a different color than the jalapeno. This is a great idea when you serve this dish to people who don’t like spicy food. The jalapeno should be seeded to ensure the beans don’t become too spicy.

Spices And Flavoring

The drunken beans are seasoned with cumin, which adds a nice earthy and nutty flavor. Chili powder adds a bit of spice. Paprika adds some color.

Add two bay leaves. Always remember when using bay leaves how many you add, so you can find them and remove them later. Bay leaves are common ingredients in soups and stews because they add an almost minty flavor that lightens otherwise heavy dishes.

Other flavors come from using chicken broth as the base of the soup as well as a bottle of Mexican beer. Look for Negro Modelo or a similar dark lager, but nothing dark like a stout or a porter.

Mexican pinto beans

Pinto Beans And Tomatoes

Of all the dried beans, pinto beans are almost the prettiest of the bunch. They are mostly off-white in color, with flecks of red. This makes them a lot lighter than a deep-red kidney bean.

There is no need to pre-soak the pinto beans when cooking them in an instant pot. Be sure, though, to rinse them well in cool water and drain them before using.

Canned diced tomatoes add acid to the borracho beans. Whenever using an acid, like tomatoes, citrus, or vinegar, in a bean recipe, add the tomatoes at the end. If you add them too early they can make the beans mushy.

How To Make Borracho Beans In An Instant Pot

We have a 6 quart Instant Pot Duo Plus. This was more than enough to cook this dish but you can use a bigger one as well. You can buy our Instant Pot on Amazon here.

cooking bacon in an instant pot
cooking with bay leaves

Saute Ingredients

Start by turning the Instant Pot on to the saute setting. Then, add the olive oil and the bacon pieces. Saute the bacon for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften. They don’t need to be brown or crisp, particularly if they are smaller pieces.

Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper to the Instant Pot. Sautee another 2-3 minutes. Turn the Instant Pot off and add a cup of chicken broth. Use the chicken broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot with a rubber spoon or spatula.

The deglazing step is important to make sure there are not pork pieces stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Some pressure cookers are sensitive to food being stuck on the bottom and can cause a burn error.

beans instant pot recipe
instant pot pinto beans

Pressure Cooking The Beans

After deglazing the bottom of the Instant Pot, add the cumin, chili powder, paprika, and bay leaves. Stir to mix in the seasoning. Add the remaining chicken broth, beer, and pinto beans.

Cover the Instant Pot and lock it. Check to make sure the steam release knob is set to the sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to the pressure cooking setting. Set the time for 35 minutes. (If you soaked the beans ahead of time, then set the time for 20 minutes.).

It will take about 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize. Once it pressurizes, the timer will start to count down. At the end of the 35 minutes, the Instant Pot will turn to the warm function.

Let the pressure release on its own for about 10 minutes. Then manually release the remaining steam by turning the knob to vent. Be sure to use a towel or oven mitt when turning the knob.

Adding Tomatoes And Finishing

Carefully open the lid away from your face. Add the diced tomatoes and stir the beans. Taste the beans and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add salt and pepper if needed, or a little extra chili powder for some more spice.

Cover the Instant Pot, lock it, and be sure the pot seals. Set to pressure cook for 3 minutes. When the time is up, let the pot naturally release the pressure for about 10 minutes. Then, manually release the remaining steam by turning the knob to vent.

How to serve borracho beans

How To Serve Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans

Just before serving the beans fold in the chopped cilantro. The beans can be served with avocado or sour cream is serving them on their own.

Or, I like using queso fresco, a fresh Mexican cheese. When eating beans in Mexico, it’s more likely they will be served with queso fresco than sour cream.

Often times the best borracho beans are made the day before. There’s something about the borracho sauce when it thickens and when the beans have had the chance to soak in all of the flavor. 

Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Borracho Beans

Instant Pot Borracho Beans Recipe - Drunken Beans

This instant pot borracho beans recipe is a perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Or, serve them on their own over rice for a cheap and easy meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices of thick bacon, sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bottle dark Mexican beer
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting. Add olive oil.
  2. Saute the bacon chunks for 2-3 minutes or until they start to brown. They do not need to be crisp. 
  3. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper. Sautee another 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Turn the Instant Pot off. Add chicken broth and deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  5. Add Mexican beer, pinto beans, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper and stir.
  6. Cover the Instant Pot and lock it. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
  7. Turn to the pressure cooking setting. Set the time for 35 minutes. If you soaked the beans ahead of time, set the time for 20 minutes. 
  8. When the time is up, let the pot naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. Manual release the remaining steam by turning the knob to vent. 
  9. Carefully open the lid. Add the diced tomatoes. Stir the beans. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  10. Cover the Instant Pot and lock it. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position. Set to pressure cook for 3 minutes.
  11. When the time is up, let the pot naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. Manual release the remaining steam by turning the knob to vent.
  12. Stir in the cilantro just before serving

Notes

If you are not familiar with cooking beans in an Instant Pot see the notes above for more details. The additional time is for the Instant Pot to pressurize and release pressure.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 517Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 461mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 19gSugar: 7gProtein: 29g

This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.

Did you make this recipe?

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FAQs – Recipe for Borracho Beans

What does borracho mean?

Borracho in English means drunk. Because I live in Spain, I try my hardest not to have to say the words “Estoy borracha” – I am drunk!

Do I need to soak the beans the night before?

One of the reasons why I love using the instant pot to cook beans is that no soaking is required. This easy borracho beans recipe takes less than an hour without soaking the beans ahead of time. 

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