Instant Pot Red Beans (Authentic Honduran Recipe)

These dump and start Instant Pot Red Beans are easy to prepare and make the perfect base for many wonderful recipes such as refried beans, bean soup, rice and beans, and more! You'll love my authentic Honduran recipe for red beans and the endless possibilities for them. My no-soak method makes this recipe easier and faster than making them on a stovetop.

top view of red beans in a mason jar

I’m excited to share with you my recipe for authentic Honduran red beans made in the Instant Pot. They are easy to make and take so much less time in your electric pressure cooker. No-soak and dump and start, doesn’t get better than that!

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What Beans Should I Buy?

My recipe is for red beans so you can purchase any small red beans you prefer. If you want to make authentic Honduran red beans then I recommend getting Salvadorean or Central American Red Beans. You can find these beans in the international section of most supermarkets.

a glass mason jar filled with red beans cooked in the instant pot

Salvadorean Red Beans are slightly smaller and darker than regular red kidney beans. They are inexpensive as well and will allow you to make true Honduran dishes! I hope you’ll find them and give them a try.

How to Cook Red Beans in the Instant Pot

Making red beans in the Instant Pot couldn’t be easier! You will not have to soak the beans for this recipe, but you will spend a few minutes rinsing them and taking out the few bad ones that come in the bag plus any small rocks or debris. After doing that, it’s a dump-and-start recipe.

a ladle of red beans over the instant pot

You’ll need water, a yellow onion, a green bell pepper, garlic cloves, cilantro, salt, and olive oil. You can rough cut the onion and the bell pepper, so no dicing is required. You will add everything to the pot and cook the beans for 35 minutes on High Pressure. Once they’re finished cooking, you will allow for a full natural pressure release. If you’re short on time, you can do a 30-minute natural pressure release instead.

Essential Items

Here are some essential prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.

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Next, you’ll want to remove the vegetables from the pot using a slotted spoon and put them in a blender with 1 cup of the bean broth. Let it cool before you blend it. You can also remove the beans from the pot using a slotted spoon and save them in containers, Ziploc bags, or mason jars. You can refrigerate them for up to 5 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.

open glass jar of red beans

Now blend the veggies with a cup of broth. Once blended add it back to the pot of broth. This bean broth is delicious and can be used for Bean Soup, Stewed Beans, Refried Beans, Red Beans and Rice, and more.

The bean broth also freezes well. I just pour it into freezer bags for freezing. I’ll use gallon, quart, or pint-sized bags depending on what I have planned for the broth. I will lay the bags on their sides until they freeze and then stack them vertically to save space in the freezer.

What Can I Make With Red Beans?

Ok, this is where things get fun and really delicious! Sure, you can eat your Pressure Cooker Red Beans as they came out, but you can also use them for so many delicious Honduran recipes. So many possibilities!

overhead shot of a serving bowl of red beans

One of my favorite things about making beans is eating bean soup! You can use the broth left from cooking the beans and make a savory Honduran Bean Soup. It is amazing!

pressure cooker red bean soup

You can also use the whole beans you just cooked, and make Honduran Red Beans and Rice. We call this Casamiento, or “Marriage” and it is delicious!

honduran red beans and rice ready to serve

One thing we always make when we cook red beans in the Instant Pot is refried beans. Refried beans can be used for so much! As a side, in a burrito, on tacos, Honduran Bean Tostadas, and so much more! Refried beans were a staple in my home growing up.

close up of a large bowl with homemade refried beans

Another Honduran favorite is “Baleadas”. These are flour tortillas with refried beans and Honduran cream. These are easy to make and are perfect for busy weeknight dinners.

honduran baleadas

We also love using refried beans on bread. In Honduras, we eat “pan con frijoles”. It’s similar to a baleada but with bread. Oh so yummy! As you can see, the possibilities are endless!

pan con frijoles

I know you’ll love how easy it is to make red beans in the Pressure Cooker. Let me know in the comments what delicious creation you make with your red beans!

Instant Pot Red Beans


4.41 from 22 votes
Cooking Method(s)
  • Pressure Cooking
Pressure LevelHigh
Program SettingManual / Pressure Cook
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
31 minutes
Total Time
Recipe by: Valerie Cooper
These authentic Honduran red beans are a delicious and nutritious side dish and serve as a base for many other wonderful Hispanic recipes.
top view of red beans in a mason jar

Essential Equipment

  • instant pot



prepare theRed Beans

  • Sort Beans: First, sort through the beans to remove any visible debris like loose dirt, small rocks, and beans that look shriveled, have holes in them, or are broken.
  • Rinse Beans: Now place the beans in a colander and give them a thorough rinse to remove any stuck-on dirt or debris.
  • Add Everything to Pot: Add the beans, water, onion, green pepper, garlic, cilantro, salt, and olive oil to the pot.

set the Cook Time

  • 35-Minute Cook Time: Close the Instant Pot, set the pressure release valve to ‘Sealing’ and cook on ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’, ‘High Pressure’ for 35 minutes.
  • FULL NPR: Once the cooking time has completed, allow for a Full Natural Pressure Release, which can range from 30 to 50 minutes. If you are in a hurry, you can release any remaining pressure at 30 minutes if you wish. After the NPR has finished and the pin has fallen, open the pot.

store the Beans & Broth

  • Remove Vegetables: Remove the cooked vegetables from the pot (onion, green pepper, garlic, and cilantro) using a slotted spoon and place in a blender with 1 cup of the bean broth to blend. Allow the broth to cool before blending.
  • Remove & Store Beans: Remove the beans from the pot using a slotted spoon and store in a sealable food container, gallon-sized freezer bag, or mason jars for use with other recipes. The beans freeze well and will last 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • Blend Vegetables: Once the broth in the blender has cooled for at least 5 minutes, blend everything until smooth. Add the blended vegetables back to the bean broth in the pot and give a stir.
  • Remove & Store Bean Broth: Reserve the bean broth for bean soup and other recipes by storing in a sealable food container, freezer bags, or mason jars. The broth freezes well and will last 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 533mg | Potassium: 317mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg

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35 thoughts on “Instant Pot Red Beans (Authentic Honduran Recipe)”

  1. I made this recipe and my beans lost their color and don’t seem to be cooked right:(? I used small red beans but i don’t know what i did wrong

  2. I made a complete Honduran meal using several of your recipes! I have been to Honduras several times and was familiar with the dishes. A friend from the States is married to a Honduran and they are statewide right now. They came to Alabama to visit us, so I surprised her husband with a full Honduran meal! I made your red beans (refried,), baleadas, anafre, salpicon and horchata…everything was a big hit! I had not eaten salpicon before, I love it! Most of all, my friends loved all of the dishes! Thank you for helping me pull off a successful Honduran dinner for my dear friends!

    1. Hi Brenda! Your comment made my day! I am so happy the recipes were successful and your friends enjoyed everything! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by the blog and comment with your results!

    1. Hi Blanca! I have not made them in a slow cooker. Most recipes in a slow cooker call for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low but I couldn’t tell you an exact time. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi again- I left the last comment and just felt I needed to come back on and let you know since that day I have made these beans at least once a week. They have been so well received by family and friends that I keep getting requests. Our week is incomplete without your refried beans. Hope you’re doing well, I must check out some of your other recipes 🙂

    1. Hi RL! Ahh, what a great comment! You don’t know how happy it makes me and how much I appreciate you taking the time to comment. You should try some of the recipes using the refried beans like the baleadas, pan con frijoles and anafre! Next week is Honduras’ independence so you could celebrate by having one of these! Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your results.

  4. I cooked these beans tonight exactly to the recipe (I never do this!!!) and made them into your refried beans recipe you link to. These were absolutely delicious as whole beans and even better as refried!

  5. I tried this recipe tonight and it was delicious! I cut it in half because I live alone, and used a fresh Pasilla chile instead of green bell pepper. I had to keep adding on time though because the beans were just way too firm. I ended at 55 minutes and they were still al dente, but I figured they would soften up more when I reheat them. I will still keep and share this recipe though!

    1. I always pressure cook for 50 minutes then use natural release they come out perfect….any less cooking time results in beans which are too hard….I live in Nicaragua and cook them quite often.

  6. I’m very new at cooking. I’m retired, my wife works so we decided that I would help by using out instant pot. I don’t understand the part about blending the veggies, what veggies ? I’m not clear on the sequence of putting the blended veggies back into the broth. You had me remove the beans in a prior step, would I put the beans back ? These last steps have me confused. I’m sorry to ask for help but I want to learn. I chose this recipe because it seemed easy ( and because my wife asked me to try this one)

    1. Hi Richard! I’m sorry to hear you’re confused. The beans are done once you take them out of the pot. The part where you blend the vegetables into a cup of broth is if you want to save the bean broth for another recipe. I have a delicious bean soup that is made with that broth. If you aren’t going to be using the broth, once you take the beans out, you’re done. I would save it because it’s really flavorful. Let me know if you have any other doubts!

    1. Hi Rachel! You can definitely cook them on the stove. It’ll take a lot longer. You can follow most of the recipe but you may have to adjust the liquid and definitely the time. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. If I am using this to make the refried recipe along with the baleada recipe, should I keep the vegetables in when blending the beans and broth?

    1. Hi Eric! Yes, when you cook the red beans, the veggies are blended with some of the water the beans were cooked in to make your broth and added back to the full broth. Now you have a completed bean broth. To make the refried beans, you will follow the recipe as stated and add the amount of bean broth it requires. For the refried beans, you’re sauteing a whole new set of onions. Those onions are blended with the beans and the broth before frying them on the stove. Try to follow each recipe individually to avoid confusion. Please let me know if you have any other doubts! Enjoy!

  8. I made the Honduran Red Beans recipe for my Honduran daughter in law and grandson. They loved them, and said they tasted “like home.” I also made the Casamiento with the Honduran Red Beans and it was delicious. Again, my family raved about it. The Honduran Crema was also delicious, and super easy to make. What a perfect condiment for the Red Beans as well as the Casamiento.

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