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)

  • 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

Keywords: pinto bean stew, instant pot pinto bean stew, pinto bean stew, vegan pinto bean stew, vegan pinto beans, instant pot recipes,

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  1. Thanks for creating a delicious and tasty stew… next time create it I’ll reduce cooking time to 15 minutes since beans are soaked so that our sweet potatoes don’t disintegrate

  2. We made this today and loved it! We had just 1.25 C pinto beans, so maybe ours was a bit more soupy. It was perfect for lunch with cornbread and apples

  3. Made this yesterday and everyone loved it! I used sweet potatoes instead of yams and it was yummy.

  4. Being vegan, my wife and I eat beans several times a week. I’ve collected dozens of recipes over the years, and this one is our new favorite! I followed the list of ingredients closely; the only thing I changed (slightly was the method): I skipped the sautéing and simply added everything to the Instant Pot except the peppers, yam, and corn. After the beans finished cooking, I released the pressure, switched to Slow Cook on high, added the yam, pepper and corn, and cooked until the potato was tender.

  5. Great flavor. My one complaint is texture- when you pressure cook the beans with the yams and peppers, the veggies get very mushy. I will make this recipe again but will pre-cook the beans and then cook the soup with veggies.

    1. Hi Laurel, I hear you on the texture. Your idea sounds good, or you could leave out yams and peppers, pressure cook soup per instructions and then add the veg in and pressure for another 5 minutes?

  6. So good! This site is making me a better more adventuresome cook. I stopped eating meat 6 months ago, this became #1 of top 2 sites as my “go to”. I cooked about 8 recipes then subscribed. I don’t do any weekly meal planning without you!
    Thank you so much for giving of yourself in this manner.

  7. I’ve made this several times and I gotta say I was surprised! Sometimes I don’t like to try new foods because I get scared but this was just amazing. The cooking time was perfect. I enjoyed making this. It was something different than what I was used to making. We decided to add chicken to it the second time and it was also perfect. We’re definitely keeping this recipe!

  8. HI Sylvia
    I am new to your site – everything I have tried so far, I just love it. This recipe was super tasty and easy, too! Thank you!

  9. We’ve made this four times now. It is excellent. We made it twice following the recipe exactly. Terrific! Then we made adding bone-in, skin off chicken thighs. Also terrific. The last time we added cubed pork tenderloin that we sautéed separately and added when the stew was cooked. Wow! What a versatile and wonderful recipe! Thank you, Sylvia.

  10. Excellent flavor! Added some chicken and fresh corn cut off the cob. Will most definitely make this again. Thanks!

  11. Absolutely delicious! I topped with plain yogurt because it is what I had but loved this even before I added the yogurt. I was craving something warm and comforting and this hit the spot!

  12. I made this stew a few days ago. It is delicious! The combination of beans and yams and all the spices made this a go to dish for the winter months. And it is easy in the instant pot. . Tonight I am having it again—I love leftovers!!

  13. We made thus recipe and it was so flavourful and satisfying. We all said it’s a do over and double up the recipe for leftovers. Even without the extras it’s fantastic. I didn’t have pinto beans so subbed with black beans and it was great. Thanks for another delicious option, yet again.

  14. Hi Sylvia,
    Can’t wait to make this.
    Can you please say where you got your yellow apron? I want to give it as a gift. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

    1. Hi Pat! I’ve had it for a very long time ( like 10 years??) – and can’t remember. Actually, I think my friend gave it to me. I’d look on Etsy, you may find similar?

  15. My wife made this on 10-23-2020 in the instant pot. It was so great, I had to have a second helping. The depth of flavor was so good. Our power went out 10 minutes after it started cooking. The power came on 1 hour later and guess what our dinner was done. Great bean soup in a chilly house!”

  16. Thank you for all your recipes
    ..I can now incorporate vegetables into my diet. This was awesome and absolutely delicious..definitely a repeat at my table.

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