Monday, March 03, 2014

Pressure Cooker Mexican Beans with Avocado-Poblano Salsa (Vegan)

Pressure Cooker Mexican Beans with Avocado-Poblano Salsa
Pressure Cooker Mexican Beans are quick and easy.

I love black beans and garbanzos, but if I could only have one type of beans, I'd have to choose creamy and delicious pinto beans for my favorite.  In the past I've loved them in creamy Pressure Cooker Refried Beans and my favorite Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado and Tomatoes, and this recipe for Pressure Cooker Mexican Beans with Avocado-Poblano Salsa is also going to be one of those pinto bean recipes that get repeated often.   I made these a few times in my new Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker to get the timing and the seasonings just perfect, but it's probably the addition of avocado salsa that really puts them over the top, although if you don't want to bother making salsa, the beans would also be excellent topped with a purchased guacamole (like the Good Foods Chunky Guacamole Single Serve Cups I posted about recently.) 

Beans like this are good in so many ways. You could eat them on a taco salad, in a burrito, or as a side dish, but I'd love simply a bowl of these beans topped with guacamole for a light meal.  Of course, this is my Meatless Monday post for the week, and if you're a pinto bean fan like I am, I hope you'll try this recipe.  (For more meatless recipe ideas, use the label Meatless Monday or Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  For Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, follow our Meatless Monday board on Pinterest or Meatless Monday at BlogHer.)

I know as soon as I post the recipe someone is going to ask me how to make it without a pressure cooker, and I haven't done it that way so I can't give you an exact recipe.   But you can definitely cook the pinto beans in slow cooker, saute the onions and peppers like I did, and finish the dish simmering on the stove for 15-20 minutes.  (I'd use a tiny bit more broth if you're doing it on the stove.)  You can probably also finish the dish in the slow cooker after the beans are drained, in which case I'd use a little less broth and cook about an hour on high.  If anyone tries a variation that doesn't use a pressure cooker and has success with it, please come back and share details in the comments!

Rinse one pound of dried pinto beans and pick through the beans to remove any discolored or broken beans, or any thing that shouldn't be there (sometimes dried beans even have rocks in them!)

Put the beans, 4 cups water, and 1 tablespoon olive oil into the pressure cooker and lock the lid.

Set pressure cooker for high pressure (or bring to high pressure on the stove if you're using a stove-top pressure cooker.)  Cook for 30 minutes at high pressure; then let the pressure reduce naturally.  

While the beans are cooking chop up the onion, Poblano pepper (also called Pasilla peppers in many stores), red bell pepper, and green bell pepper.

Heat the other tablespoon oil in a large frying pan and saute the vegetables about 5 minutes; then add the minced garlic, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, and Sazon packets (if using) and cook 1-2 minutes more.

I love adding a couple of packets of this Goya Sazon to Mexican dishes, but it's definitely optional.

After 30 minutes, drain the beans but don't rinse.

Put beans back into the pressure cooker with the sauteed pepper mixture and 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or slightly more if you prefer your beans with a lot of liquid.)

Cook 6 minutes at high pressure and use the quick-release method for your pressure cooker.  Season beans to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

Make the salsa (if using) and serve beans hot, with a generous scoop of avocado salsa or guacamole on top.

Pressure Cooker Mexican Beans with Avocado-Poblano Salsa
(Makes 6-8 servings; recipe inspired by Mexican-Style Pot Beans in The Pressure Cooker Cookbook, but my version ended up being pretty different than that recipe.)

I used my Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker, but a stove-top pressure cooker would also be fine.

1 lb. dried pinto beans (don't use beans that have been sitting around in the pantry or store for years)
1 T + 1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped in pieces about 1/2 inch
1 large Poblano (Pasilla) pepper, chopped in pieces about 1/4 inch
1 large green bell pepper, chopped in pieces about 1/2 inch
1 large red bell pepper, chopped in pieces about 1/2 inch
1 T minced garlic (or less if you're not that fond of garlic)
1 T ground cumin
2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
2 packets Goya Sazon (optional, but they add a nice flavor)
3 cups vegetable broth or slightly more if you prefer your beans soupy (You can also use chicken broth if you don't care if the recipe is vegan.  Two 14 oz. can of broth is 3 1/2 cups.)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Salsa Ingredients:
2 large avocados, diced
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (I use my fresh-frozen lime juice)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 medium-sized Poblano (Pasilla) pepper, finely chopped
2 T olive oil
salt or Vege-Sal to taste
(The beans would be delicious with Good Foods Chunky Guacamole Single Serve Cups if you don't want to make the salsa.)

Dump the dried pinto beans into a colander and pick over to remove any discolored or broken beans or foreign matter, then rinse with cold water.  Put beans, 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon olive oil into pressure cooker, set to high pressure (or bring to high pressure on the stove) and cook for 30 minutes.  Let the pressure come down naturally.

While the beans cook, chop the onion, Poblano pepper, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper.  Heat the other tablespoon olive in in a large frying pan and saute the vegetables over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, until they're barely starting to brown.  Add the minced garlic, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, and Goya Sazon packets (if using) and saute about 2 minutes more.

If making the salsa, diced the avocados into 1/2 inch pieces, put in a small bowl, and toss with the lime juice.  Chop the red onion and poblano and add to the avocado.  Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and stir gently to combine.

When the pressure has come down on the beans, drain them into a colander placed in the sink (but do not rinse) and discard bean cooking water.  (Check how done your beans are so you know if you need to adjust the cooking time; beans that are older will take longer to cook.) Put beans back into the pressure cooker with the pepper mixture. Rinse out the frying pan with the broth and add it to the pressure cooker.  Set on high pressure (or bring to high on the stove) and cook 6 minutes (or a few minutes longer if the beans were not already quite soft after the 30 minutes cooking time.)  Use the quick-release method for your pressure cooker.  

Season beans to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve hot, with salsa if desired.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This recipe is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients, and would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  However, dried beans are a limited food for Phase One so this should probably be a side dish for that phase.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Meatless Dishes in the Pressure Cooker:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Indian-Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Tomato and Curry leaves ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice in the Pressure Cooker ~ Pressure Cooking Today
Kalyn's Version of Rubio's Pinto Beans (Pressure Cooker or Soup Pot) ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Quick and Delicious Collards in the Pressure Cooker ~ Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Pressure Cooker Refried Beans with Onions, Garlic, and Green Chiles ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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  1. Pintos are probably the one bean I don't really cook that often! This sounds like such a tasty way to prepare them. That tex-mex flair is great!

  2. Definitely going on my list of recipes to try with my new electric pressure cooker. I haven't yet done a two-step recipe (bringing part of the ingredients to pressure, then adding ingredients and bringing to pressure again). That's the next stop on my learning curve.

  3. Joanne, I love the creaminess of pinto beans, especially when you cook your own!

    Lydia, it really was not that time consuming, and it's a good way to check and see if they beans were done!

  4. love this recipe, except the bell peppers. For some reason they bother my stomach, is there something that I could use in place of for a similar flavor.

  5. Cheri, sorry but I can't think of anything that tastes similar.

  6. This recipe looks so good and it's so simple. It reminds me much of a dish my grandmother would make for me when I was younger.

  7. Valerie, loved it; hope you will try it. (I just ate some leftovers yesterday!)


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