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Instant Pot Mexican Beef and Bacon Soup

Bowl of Instant Pot Mexican Beef and Bacon Soup on a wooden board with radishes, lime, garlic and pinto beans from Gourmet Done Skinny

This Instant Pot Mexican Beef and Bacon Soup is also called, “Carne en su Jugo,” – it literally means “meat cooked in it’s own juice.” It’s a flavorful beef broth with bits of beef, bacon and pinto beans -almost like a Mexican Beef Stew of sorts. It’s usually served with beans on the side and a variety of toppings. After doing a bit of research on the recipe, I’ve found that it’s one of Guadalajara’s favorites.

What was the inspiration for this Mexican Beef Soup recipe?

You never know where you’re going to get inspiration! I was recently reading a book called, “The Lost Recipe for Happiness (paid link),” by Barbara O’Neal. She often has recipes in her book and this was one of them. It sounded so great, I just had to try it – of course I can never follow a recipe, I always have to do my own thing. It turned out great and it’s absolutely delicious! I realize I have a lot of Mexican beef recipes but we love them at our house and they are all a little different.

Why Use the Instant Pot for this recipe?

All in one pot! My adapted version uses the Instant Pot because you can do it all in one pot! It also ensures the meat will be tender and makes it super simple as you can cook the pinto beans all together at the same time. No need to cook them separately and serve them on the side. Of course I’ve lightened it up a bit, put my own spin on it and added ww points.

Can you used canned beef broth?

For this recipe I recommend using my Healthy Instant Pot Beef Bone Broth recipe. If you have it already made in the freezer, this recipe comes together super fast. Of course you can always use canned beef broth, but it won’t be nearly as good.

Why don’t you brown the meat first?

With most Instant Pot recipes, you usually brown the meat first. This keeps the meat juices inside and makes the beef tender. However for this recipe, since it’s a soup, you want the meat to release all of its juices into the broth, therefore you don’t brown it ahead of time. The meat is still tender however, because of the pressurized cooking from the Instant Pot.

Can you add your own spices?

Of course! I love it with a dash of my Homemade Chipotle Seasoning but it’s good on its own just with the flavors of the tomatillos, beef and bacon and a little salt and pepper. Feel free to add whatever you wish to make it your own!

How to make Mexican Beef and Bacon Soup in Pictures:

Tomatillos on a wooden board with more tomatillos in a bowl of water

Soak the tomatillos first before slicing them in half and placing on foil.

Tomatillos, pepper, garlic broiled on a pan lined with foil.

Broil the tomatillos, peppers and garlic on a foil lined baking sheet (paid link).

Instant Pot with raw bacon and a wooden spoon

Cook the bacon in the Instant Pot. Remove bacon and transfer to plate lined with paper towel.

Food processor with blended tomatillos, peppers and garlic.

Combine tomatillos, garlic and peppers in a food processor (paid link).

Instant Pot with onions and wooden spoon

Brown onions in the bacon grease.

Instant Pot with beans, beef, onions and wooden spoon

Add beef, beans, bacon, spices and tomatillo mixture. Set Instant Pot to high pressure for 50 minutes. Allow to natural release, then add the cabbage.

Bowl of Instant Pot Mexican Beef and Bacon Soup on a wooden board with radishes, lime, garlic and pinto beans from Gourmet Done Skinny

Serve with fresh radishes, jalapenos, and a squeeze of lime. The soup is also great with homemade tortillas, torn and tossed in.

Mexican Beef and Bacon Soup

Amy Lawrence
This Instant Pot Mexican Beef and Bacon Soup is also called, "Carne en su Jugo," - means "meat cooked in it's own juice." It's a flavorful beef broth, with bits of beef, bacon and pinto beans -almost like a Mexican Beef Stew of sorts. It's usually served with beans on the side but for this recipe you do it all in one pot and serve it with a variety of toppings.
Weight Watchers Points: Blue: 5 Smart Points ; Green: 6 Smart Points; Purple: 5 Smart Points
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Soup/Stew
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 servings (about 1 cup each)
Calories 267 kcal


  • 1 lb. tomatillos husks removed, cut in half (or you could use 2 c. green salsa)
  • 3 serrano chile peppers seeded and halved
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 6 slices of bacon cut into pieces
  • 2 lb. round steak/stew/flank steak-cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 4 fresh jalapenos 3 sliced in half, seeded; 1 saved later for garnish
  • 4 c. beef broth I like to use my Healthy Instant Pot Beef Bone Broth
  • 1/2 T. kosher salt
  • 1-3 t. Homemade Chipotle Seasoning or buy Chipotle Seasoning
  • 1/2 lb. dry pinto beans rinsed
  • 1 small head of cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 c. cilantro
  • 1/2 c. green onions thinly sliced
  • radishes
  • juice of 1 lemon/lime
  • lemons for garnish


  • Place oven on broil.
  • On a baking sheet covered with foil, place the tomatillos, serrano peppers, 3 jalapenos and garlic.
  • Broil for 5 minutes or until slightly blackened. Set aside to cool a bit.
  • In the Instant Pot, add bacon and cook until crispy. Drain on paper towel. Remove most of grease from Instant Pot, reserving 2 T. of grease in pot.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine roasted tomatillos, garlic and peppers.
  • Press, "Sauté," on the Instant Pot and brown the onions in the bacon grease.
  • Add the cooked bacon, beef, salt, chipotle seasoning, pepper, tomatillo mixture, beef broth and beans.
  • Press, "Manual," or "Pressure," and cook on high for 50 minutes. Allow to natural release (about 30-45 min). If you release the pressure early, the pinto beans will not be finished.
  • When finished, stir in shredded cabbage. Press, "Sauté," on Instant Pot and cook for a few minutes. (Or if you don't mind it less cooked, just throw in the cabbage, stir it around a bit in the hot stew and serve.)
  • Garnish with radishes, green onions and cilantro. Squeeze lime over before serving. It's also good with torn pieces of tortilla. (Be sure and add the points for tortilla).


One might think you would "brown," the beef before pressure cooking it. Normally this is the case, but because this is a soup/stew, you want the meat to release the juices into the pot - thus the reason you don't brown it ahead of time.
Freeze this soup in vacuum sealed bags in 1 c. portions or try Souper Cubes .


Serving: 1portionCalories: 267kcalCarbohydrates: 21.1gProtein: 25.7gFat: 8.9gSaturated Fat: 2.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.7gCholesterol: 55.4mgSodium: 647mgPotassium: 886.9mgFiber: 5.4gSugar: 5.2gVitamin A: 46.7IUVitamin C: 43.8mgCalcium: 77.8mgIron: 3.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

5 thoughts on “Instant Pot Mexican Beef and Bacon Soup”

  1. This tasted like nothing but beans and the meat was way over cooked. It gets you on the right track but adjustments are needed for sure

  2. If you substitute the green salsa for the tomatillos, do you still use the roasted chiles and the garlic? Looking forward to trying this recipe!

    1. No, you wouldn’t need them, but it wouldn’t hurt either if you wanted to put them in. You do want to make the homemade Chipotle Seasoning though. Or buy some. I had one person who said it tasted bland but they didn’t use the chipotle seasoning. So you definitely need the Chipotle Seasoning in my opinion. I need to take out the “optional” wording.

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