Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans

Umami ingredients boost the flavor of my Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans, and you won’t miss the bacon (I promise)! Chock full of healthy ingredients, these beans are a great side dish or even a main dish with rice or tortillas.

Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans in an orange stoneware bowl with a handle, copper spoons, and orange napkin.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks (About Healthy Borracho Beans)

Borracho Beans are a quintessential side dish with Mexican food (at least in south Texas they are!). Traditional borracho beans are definitely NOT VEGAN. All. The. Bacon goes into the pot. 😲

While I am not a “vegetarian,” we do limit meat, and especially fatty cuts like bacon. We only occasionally indulge. I have made borracho beans with bacon (they’re delicious), but when I decided to create a recipe for the blog, I was committed to coming up with a much healthier version.

I have been completely underwhelmed by store bought vegetable broth. It seems “one note” to me. I have found a couple that I liked including Kitchen Basics Vegetable Stock. If you’re feeling motivated, or love all things homemade like I do, you might want to try my Instant Pot Umami Vegetable Broth. My recipe reinforces the umami flavor by including kombu and dried shiitake in the ingredients list.

So, good vegan borracho beans start with a good foundation – flavorful broth. Canned beans have their place, but when I’m making a dish that features beans, I prefer to use dried beans. The flavor and texture are so much better!

I am not one to do “dump meals” in my IP/pressure cooker… I do love it for making beans, broths and stocks, making short work of tenderizing foods, etc. Your Instant Pot saves a lot of time with this recipe – 10 minutes to pressurize, 35 minutes under full pressure, and 10 minutes before releasing pressure. In basically an hour, you can go from dried beans to yummy Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans. 

What are “borracho” beans, and how do they differ from “charro” beans. I hope you’ll laugh… “borracho” is “drunk” in Spanish. Other than a bottle of beer, they’re probably no different than charro beans. No need to worry about the alcohol, it cooks out. Only the beans will be “drunk.” Lol.

📋 Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 jalapeños (or more to taste)
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (see notes)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (see notes and post)
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of Mexican beer (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste (I use either shiro or shinshu miso)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or 2 cups fresh tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • avocado (for garnish)
  • jalapeño (for garnish)
  • lime wedges (for garnish)
  • cilantro (for garnish)
Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans ingredients before they go into the pot.

Don’t look at the long ingredients list and get worried! Several ingredients are garnishes that you can prep while the beans cook.

The “secret” to these flavorful beans lies in the “fifth” taste – umami. As I mentioned above, my vegetable broth recipe includes kombu and dried shiitake (and other mushroom bits). The vegetables are roasted first, and the maillard reaction adds additional umami. The pot of beans includes a generous scoop of miso paste (umami!), so even if you use store bought vegetable broth, you will get the additional depth of flavor from the miso.

🔪 Step by Step Instructions

Ingredients for vegan borracho beans in the Instant Pot before they're cooked.
Ingredients for vegan borracho beans in the Instant Pot after they're cooked.
  • Sauté the aromatics – With the pot on sauté mode, add the oil, onion, garlic, and cumin. Sauté until fragrant and onions start to show some color. Add the jalapeños, and cook an additional minute.
  • The pinto beans – Add the pinto beans and vegetable broth. Whisk the beer and the miso paste together. Add to the pot along with the tomatoes and Mexican oregano.
  • Start the Instant Pot – Lock the lid, and set to 40 minutes high pressure (I use “beans” setting and adjust the time). When the cycle is complete, wait 10 minutes before releasing pressure. While the beans cook, prepare desired garnishes.
  • Season the borracho beans – Add sea salt (I start with 1/2 teaspoon), but you may want to taste first. Miso is salty. Add fresh ground pepper as desired.
  • Serve – Ladle into bowls, and garnish with avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, lime wedges as desired. Enjoy!

💭 Tips and FAQ

  • Are borracho beans gluten free? They can be if you choose a gluten free beer or omit the beer entirely!
  • Make sure you start with good dried pinto beans. If your beans have been hiding in the back of the pantry for years, it’s more difficult to properly cook them!
  • How to Store and Reheat? Store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and then reheat on the stove on gentle heat or in the microwave. If your beans have gotten too thick, add additional broth or water.
  • Can I freeze my cooked beans? Yes, let them cool completely and then place them in a “freezer” zip bag for up to 3 months in the refrigerator freezer, or up to a year in a deep freezer. Thaw before re-heating.
  • I cannot stress the importance of using a good vegetable broth enough. If you’re not into making your own vegetable broth, use a good commercial vegetable broth like Kitchen Basics. That is my preferred brand!
  • I specify canned tomatoes, but fresh will work well too.
  • Borracho beans are typically soupy, but if you don’t want all that liquid, use a slotted spoon to serve them. We spoon up every bit of that delicious broth!
  • While the beans cook, I cut up some fresh garnishes – avocado, cilantro, lime wedges.

🌡️ Useful Stuff

Vegetable Stock
Instant Pot
Miso Paste

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Serve your Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans with your favorite Hatch green chile enchiladas, alongside Lengua Tacos With Salsa Verde and Caramelized Onions or for a strictly vegan #meatlessMonday meal, try them with Mexican Cilantro Rice. Don’t forget to pour yourself a cold one!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.
Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans close up with lime and jalapeños.
Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans in a clay bowl (close up).

Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans

Borracho beans (drunken beans) without pork fat but with all the flavor of the traditional!
4.63 from 16 votes

Click to rate!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 224 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 jalapeños - or more to taste
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans - see notes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth - see notes and post
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of Mexican beer - see notes
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste - I use either shiro or shinshu miso
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or 2 cups fresh tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • avocado - for garnish
  • jalapeño - for garnish
  • lime wedges - for garnish
  • cilantro - for garnish

Instructions

  • To the pot on saute mode, add the oil, onion, garlic, and cumin. Saute until fragrant and onions start to show some color. Add the jalapeños, and cook an additional minute.
  • Add the pinto beans and vegetable broth. Whisk the beer and the miso paste together, then add to the pot.
  • Add the tomatoes and Mexican oregano. Stir to combine. (Season at the end.)
  • Lock the lid, and set to 40 minutes high pressure (I use “beans” setting and adjust the time).
  • When the cycle is complete, wait 10 minutes before releasing pressure.
  • Add sea salt (I start with 1/2 teaspoon), but you may want to taste first. Miso is salty. Add fresh ground pepper as desired.
  • Ladle into bowls, and garnish with avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, lime wedges as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

I don’t pre-soak my dried beans if I’m using a pressure cooker. If you prefer to pre-soak, you will want to reduce the time to 20-25 minutes.
As I mention in the post, the quality of the vegetable broth is very important in this dish. Use a quality store bought one like Kitchen Basics Vegetable Stock, or homemade.
We don’t drink Mexican lagers, but they work well in this recipe. I use Corona. Avoid strong flavored (whether hoppy or malty) beers as they will add flavors that may not work well with the other ingredients.
I use either shiro (white) or shinshu (yello) miso paste. I have not used aka miso (red) as I feel it would be too pungent. For more on miso paste see A Guide to the Different Kinds of Miso Paste.
If serving as a main dish, serve with rice for a complete protein. The recipe serves 8 as a side dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 670mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com
[fsri category=”vegetarian-recipes”]

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7 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh. Made these beans tonight and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers over the next couple of days. I used Rancho Gordo cranberry beans soaked for 6 hours, Pacific mushroom stock, Muir Glen diced tomatoes, and no jalapeños (my daughter does not like any heat). Followed the recipe, cooking the beans for 25mins as suggested in the notes. The beans and broth are rich and flavorful. The beans themselves stayed whole and are very creamy. Will definitely make this again. The whole family loved this recipe.