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Wondering how to cook pinto beans? In this article, I share how to cook pinto beans the easy way, plus several of my family-favorite main dish and side dish pinto bean recipes.
This article was originally published in May 2011.
Pintos have been a very familiar food for me since I was a child. My mama would make a big pot of pintos every Friday night and that was our food for many meals over the weekend. I do have a sister who doesn’t eat pinto beans as a result of that, but I still like them. In fact, I like them very much. A good thing with as many beans as we eat around here!
How to Cook Pinto Beans
This is how to cook pinto beans in the crockpot, but you can also cook them on the stovetop, in the Instant Pot, or with alternative cooking methods. Here are instructions for six different ways to cook beans.
For ease of cooking and digestion, we soak and/or sprout our beans. My goal is to make one pot of pinto beans and then reinvent that pot into three meals to enjoy during the week.
Start with 5 cups of picked-over beans (to remove any stones or debris) and rinse thoroughly.
In the crockpot, soak the beans in plain water the night before you want to cook them (or up to 24 hours, changing the water at least one time).
The next morning, drain the soaking water off and put the beans back in the crockpot, then cover with homemade broth, water, or a mixture of both.
Cook on low for 5 to 8 hours. Larger beans take longer than smaller beans. When they’re thoroughly cooked, lightly season the entire pot with salt, pepper, and garlic.
Take out enough beans for supper, then divide the remaining beans into two or three other portions, depending on your menu plan for the week.
I haven’t added any seasonings at this point, preferring to season each dish when I make them.
Pinto Bean Recipes
Our first Pinto Stretchy Bean meal is usually a simple plate of beans over rice with sauteed onions and greens on the side. Each person adds whatever additional seasonings they like to their plate. Some put ketchup on their beans or maybe salsa. I like to put a little organic sugar (not sucanat but the more processed stuff) and cider vinegar on mine. I know that sounds odd, but it’s such a delicious and simple meal!
- Bean and Cheese Burritos
- Sweet Potato Chili
- Pinto Bean Chili
- Seven Layer Tortilla Pie (using only pinto beans and never low-fat cheese)
- Navajo Tacos with Sourdough Fry Bread
- Skillet Dishes
- Super Flexible Stuffed Burritos
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Chorizo
- Layered Mexican Casserole
- Green Chili and Pinto Bean Casserole
- Taco Soup
- Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup with Lime
- Taco Salad
Pinto Bean Side Dishes
- BBQ Style Beans
- Not-Really Maine Baked Beans
- Homemade Refried Beans
- Traditional Tejano Beans
- Charro Beans
More Bean Recipes
Useful Tools for Cooking Beans
- Instant Pot Duo Plus 6-Quart 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
- Lodge Cast Iron Enameled Dutch Oven
- 35-Piece Glass Storage Containers
- Crockpot 7-Quart Slow Cooker
- 12-Cup Food Processor and Vegetable Chopper
- 9-Tray Food Dehydrator
Want More Stretchy Bean Ideas?
Stretchy Beans: Nutritious & Economical Meals the Easy Way
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