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Creamy pinto bean dip with caramelised onions

Creamy Pinto Bean Dip With Caramelized Onions

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Dips
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex
  • Diet: Gluten Free


You can use a stovetop or Instant Pot to make this delicious and creamy pinto bean dip with caramelized onions. It’s gluten-free, healthy and perfect as a snack, appetizer, finger food or a side dish.



1 cup dry pinto beans (5-6 oz / 150 grams), soaked overnight or for 68 hours

500 ml vegetable stock (or water and vegetable stock powder)

23 cloves garlic, roughly diced 

2 bay leaves

For Caramelized Onions

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

1 large onion, halved and sliced thinly

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 tsp chipotle chili flakes or another type of chili

Other ingredients

1/3 cup Philadelphia cream cheese (you can use light for low-cal version)


  • Soak the beans. Add dry pinto beans to a large bowl or a pot and cover with 3 cups water. Soak overnight. The beans will almost double in size.
  • Cook the pinto beans in Instant Pot. Strain the beans, add to the Instant Pot together with 2 cups of veggie stock, 2 bay leaves and 2-3 cloves of garlic. Stir through. Pop the lid on top, lock and make sure the top valve is pointing at Sealing (on regular models). Press Manual/Pressure Cook and set to 10 minutes at HIGH pressure. Once cooked, allow the pressure to release for 7-10 minutes. If cooking unsoaked beans, set to 30 minutes at high pressure. 
  • Stovetop: Repeat the first step but in a large cooking pot and place over high heat. Once the beans come to a boil, turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 45-50 minutes until tender.
  • While the beans are cooking, prepare the caramelized onions and the rest of the ingredients for the dip.
  • Make caramelized onions. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter and add the onions and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring every second minute until onions are softened. If the bottom starts to dry out and brown, add a splash or two of water, which will deglaze the pan and help to soften and steam the onions.
  • After about 8-10 minutes, add the Balsamic and maple syrup, paprika and chili and stir for another minute until the onions have browned slightly and caramelised. Remove a couple of tablespoons of the onions to a bowl for garnishing the dip.
  • You can also saute the onions as described above in the Instant Pot once the beans have cooked. Simply use the Saute function.
  • Blend and puree the dip. Strain the cooked beans through a sieve (garlic bits should remain with the beans). Return the beans to the pot with the remaining cooked onions and add the cream cheese. You can also do this in a large mixing bowl. Stir through and use an immersion blender stick to puree the beans until smooth and creamy. A food processor would also work. Taste for salt. 
  • Transfer the pureed dip to a bowl and top with the reserved caramelized onions. Serve with corn chips, crackers, or cut up celery, carrots, cucumber, radish or any other veggies.


  • Serving Size: 2-3 tablespoons
  • Calories: 138
  • Sugar: 3.2 g
  • Sodium: 262.4 mg
  • Fat: 6.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Protein: 4.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 8.8 mg