Instant Pot Red Bean and Quinoa Soup with Taco Fixins

Photo by Chelsie Craig

When 5:15 p.m. hits and there’s still no dinner plan, Deb Perelman makes this Instant Pot soup. While the beans cook you can prepare the taco fixins, manage life’s last-minute chaos, and take a load off.  


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4–6 servings


  1. Soup:
    • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
    • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
    • 1 (16-oz.) package dried Central American red beans
    • ½ cup red quinoa, rinsed
    • 1 Tbsp. sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
    • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
    • ½ lime
  2. Assembly:
    • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
    • ½ tsp. kosher salt
    • ¼ tsp. sugar
    • Lime wedges, sliced avocado, sour cream, chopped cilantro, crumbled queso fresco or shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack, hot sauce, and/or tortilla strips (for serving)


  1. Soup:
    1. Heat oil in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker on the Sauté setting. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to turn golden brown around the edges, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add beans, quinoa, adobo sauce, 2 tsp. salt, and 7 cups water. Lock lid and cook soup on high pressure 45 minutes, then release pressure manually. Squeeze in juice from lime half; mix well. Taste and season soup with more salt if needed.
    2. Do Ahead: Soup can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool, then cover and chill. Soup will thicken; add up to 1 cup water before reheating over medium-low.
  2. Assembly:
    1. While the soup is cooking, toss onion, vinegar, salt, sugar, and 4 tsp. water in a small bowl to combine. Chill until ready to use.
    2. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with pickled onions and other toppings of your choice.
    3. Do Ahead: Onion can be pickled 5 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
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