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Mexican-spiced kidney beans or frijoles in a bowl with cilantro

Spicy Mexican Kidney Beans

Nisha Vora
A spicy version of Frijoles that requires absolutely no hands-on cooking.
5 from 22 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Soaking Time 8 hrs
Total Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 3 cups


  • 8 ounces (227g) dried kidney beans, preferably soaked for 8 hours or overnight*
  • 1/2 cup (75g) finely diced red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (omit the seeds & membranes for mild heat; for a spicier heat, use a serrano pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (4-ounce) (115g) can of diced green chiles (I recommend a “mild” version” unless you like very spicy food)
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) (454g) jar of salsa (I use salsa verde)
  • 1/2 cup (10g) chopped cilantro


  • Soak the beans in plenty of cold water to cover for 8 hours (or overnight). Drain and rinse the beans.
  • Add the beans to the Instant Pot and top them with the remaining ingredients except for the cilantro: onion, garlic, jalapeño, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cayenne, bay leaf, canned chiles, vegetable broth, and salsa). Stir to combine
  • Select the Pressure Cook (Manual) setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 8 minutes. If you did not soak your beans, set the cook time to 30 minutes.
  • Once the timer has elapsed, allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes before switching the valve from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam. If the beans are too liquidy for your taste, drain some of the liquid off, or transfer the beans to a serving dish using a slotted spoon, leaving behind excess liquid.
  • Stir in the cilantro and serve warm. Once cooled, store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for 6-8 months.


*I soak the beans for the most even texture, but if you don’t soak the beans, increase the cook time from 8 minutes to 30 minutes. And if you don’t have kidney beans, feel free to substitute pinto beans and follow the instructions as written. For a quicker soaking time, use the Quick Soak method outlined in Tip #1 of the blog post. 
Keyword gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan
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