This hearty Pinto Bean Stew can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop using dry pinto beans, yams, corn, and poblanos. A warming, flavorful stew that is vegan & gluten-free. (Allow 8 hours for bean soaking!)

Wholesome, hearty and flavorful this Pinto Bean Stew is quick to throw to together and perfect for fall and winter weeknight dinners.  Instant Pot or Stovetop version!
Wholesome, hearty, and flavorful, this Pinto Bean Stew is quick to throw together and perfect for fall and winter weeknight dinners.  Full of fiber and plant-based protein, pinto bean soup is not only healthy, it’s delicious!   Soak the pinto beans in the morning, and the rest comes together quickly.  You can sit back and relax while the instant pot does its magic or simmer it gently on the stove.

What you’ll need (Ingredients)

    • Pinto BeansDry pinto beans, soaked for 8-24 hours. Or use canned pinto beans, see notes!
    • Onion and fresh garlic cloves – to add depth of flavor.
    • Vegetables: Poblano peppers (or green bell peppers), canned crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes (fire-roasted are great), yams, and fresh or frozen corn.
    • Spices: Ancho chili powder ( or sub-regular chili powder), ground cumin, coriander,  chipotle powder ( or smoked paprika), salt and pepper 
    • Molasses or other sweetener- a touch of molasses gives this depth and complements the earthy sweet yam and smoky ancho chili powder.
    • Optional Garnishes: cilantro, scallions, avocado, sour cream, lime juice, or grated cheese.
Wholesome, hearty and flavorful this Instant Pot Pinto Bean Stew is quick to throw to together and perfect for fall and winter weeknight dinners. 

How to make Pinto Bean Stew (step-by-step instructions)

Step 1: Soak the pinto beans in ample water overnight or in the morning before making, at least 8 hours.

Why pre-soak pinto beans?

    1. Soaking the pinto beans ahead allows them to cook more quickly and evenly.
    2. It makes the pinto beans easier to digest.
And it can make you feel like you have already accomplished something toward dinner. That is a good feeling! Also, know that you can do a quick pre-soak in the pressure cooker- see recipe notes.
Step 2: Saute the onions directly in the Instant Pot for easy cleanup.  See notes for the stovetop version. Sauteing the spices with the onions and garlic will enliven their flavor!
Step 3: Add the poblanos pepper, diced yams, veggie broth and salt.
Step 4: Set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 25 minutes and close the steam valve.
Step 5: Manually release the pressure valve and stir in the corn to heat through. Taste and adjust flavors.
Pinto Bean Stew

Serving Suggestions

Garnish with any of the following: cilantro, scallions, avocado, sour cream, lime juice, grated cheese or fresh chilies, and serve with Vegan Cornbread Muffins!

Storage & Make Ahead

Pinto Bean Stew will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

More Favorite Bean  Recipes!

Give this flavorful, hearty Pinto Bean Stew a try this week, make some vegan cornbread muffins and let us know what you think in the comments below! 
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Wholesome, hearty and flavorful this Pinto Bean Stew is quick to throw to together and perfect for fall and winter weeknight dinners.  Instant Pot or Stovetop version!

Pinto Bean Stew (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 23 reviews
  • Author: Tonia Schemmel | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minute
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: soup, stew, vegan
  • Method: instant pot
  • Cuisine: South American
  • Diet: Vegan


Wholesome, hearty and flavorful this Pinto Bean Stew is quick to throw to together and perfect for fall and winter weeknight dinners.  Instant Pot or Stovetop version!


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 24 (6 oz) or a generous cup chopped poblano peppers (or green bell peppers)
  • 4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Ancho chili powder ( or sub regular chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 yam, yielding approximately 3 cups cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups dry pinto beans, soaked for 8 hours
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes, or diced (fire-roasted are great)
  • 3 cups veggie broth or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Molasses
  • 1/21 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional- for a deeper, spicier kick)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ——
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Optional Garnishes: cilantro, scallions, avocado, sour cream, or grated cheese.


  1. Set instant pot to “Saute” add oil and onion saute 5 minutes.  Add garlic and poblanos (or green bell pepper) saute another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the ancho chili powder, cumin and coriander stirring another minute so that the spices coat the mixture.
  3. Add the yams, soaked beans, tomatoes, chicken stock or veggie stock, molasses, chipotle (if desired) and salt.
  4. Give a stir and set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 25 minutes.
  5. Manually release pressure valve.
  6. Stir in frozen corn and let warm through.
  7. Serve and garnish with any of the options.



For Stovetop version with dried beans – place presoaked beans in pot, add enough water to cover beans at least 2 inches.   Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Simmer for one hour.  Test for doneness.  They can be a little al dente, but may need more time.  Drain beans when soft.  Prep soup ingredients per instructions.  Cut salt down to 1/2 teaspoon.  Simmer 30 minutes.  Add corn and adjust salt to taste.

You can certainly substitute most any other beans.  If they are smaller than pintos, decrease the pressure cook time by 3-5 minutes.

Soaked beans cook faster and more evenly.  If you do not get around to pre-soaking your beans place dry unsoaked beans in the Instant pot, and add water, one inch above the level of the beans. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.  Manually release. Drain and set aside.

FYI, if you do not pre-soak or pre-cook the pinto beans, they would take roughly 45-50  minutes of pressure cooking time, with some uneven cooking. That being said, yes, you can absolutely do it this way, just allow for the full, natural,  long release.

Either dried ground chipotle powder or canned in adobo sauce works here.


  • Serving Size: 1 1/3 cup
  • Calories: 270
  • Sugar: 9.4 g
  • Sodium: 798.2 mg
  • Fat: 4.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46.9 g
  • Fiber: 10.5 g
  • Protein: 12.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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    1. Hi Diane, we have not made this in a slow cooker- and hesitate because of the sweet potatoes getting mushy. Soaked pinto beans will take 5-6 hours to cook (high heat) in a slow cooker.

  1. I made this last night – was quick, and fun dinner! Thank you, Sylvia – and enjoy sunny California!

  2. Many grocers and canned food companies label orange sweet potatoes as yams. That is not correct. Yams are rare in the US, and they are not the same as sweet potatoes.

  3. This looks delicious!
    Would you recommend substituting about 1 Tbs. pureed chipotle pepper in adobo sauce for 1 tsp. chipotle powder?

  4. So good! I was using cooked beans so added them at the end with the corn. I was out of ancho chili powder so used regular then added 1/2 tsp chipotle powder. I bet smoked paprika would also be good! Cooked the sweet potato for 3 mins then NR, got very soft potatoes so may drop to 2 mins next time. I will be making this often and I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes! Thank you!

  5. This was so easy and had fantastic flavour. The only chance I made was to reduce the precooking time to 15 minutes. This produces creamy but intact beans and the yam was tender but not mushy. Will definitely be making this one again.


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