Pinto Beans Recipe – smokey, hearty and filling pinto beans dish made totally from scratch. Seasoned with smoked paprika, jalapeno and chili powder for some heat, oregano for a great aroma and cumin for nutty and earthy flavor. A great addition to your favorite tacos, burritos, enchiladas or as a main course itself!
It’s officially fall season! And what more could be hearty than a big bowl of beans. This time, I’m using pinto beans to grace these bowls as we welcome colder nights and bed weather days.
What is pinto bean?
If there’s one thing that you need to know about me, it is that my veins run with an ample amount of beans and yeast. Two combo that speaks a lot about me.
I’ve had countless beans in my life, with Southern Baked Beans being the latest one the blog, and there’s no way I’m stopping. For this recipe I’m using dried pinto beans soaked overnight as the main star of this scrumptious meal.
Considered as the most popular bean in the U.S. and Northwestern Mexico, these brown with spots pinto beans aka speckled bean are commonly used in Mexican food either fresh or canned. In the Southern part of the U.S., pinto beans are quite in demand during winter months.
Pinto Beans Nutrition
Like any other beans, pinto beans are packed with essential nutrients that nourishes your body. It is a good source of protein, phosphorous and manganese; high in dietary fiber and folate and low in saturated fat. No wonder it’s a favorite among health conscious people!
Pinto vs Black Beans
Pinto and black beans are almost at par when it comes to its nutrient contents. However, pinto beans contain slightly more carbs than the black beans.
As to the cuisines they are linked up to, pinto beans are most often used to bulk up Mexican-style food like this Steak Burrito here or mashed to form as a dip (which I will be sharing soon). Black beans on the other hand are often served with meat, salad, soups and rice.
Black beans are often used in soups as they are slightly smaller and firmer compared to pinto beans. Its firmer texture allows it to stand up to high temperatures without getting too mushy.
How long to cook pinto beans?
I know how convenient it could be when using a precooked canned beans instead of going into a whole lot of trouble of soaking and simmering dried beans in water. But trust me, it’s all worth it. A good bean takes time to become tender. It could take from an hour up to three hours; depending on the age of your beans, size, and variety.
But a good rule of thumb though is to soak your beans, between 6-8 hours, to cut down the cooking time. For this pinto beans recipe, I had it cooked for about 50 minutes (or until beans are tender enough to your liking) . You decide how tender you want it
This pinto beans recipe makes a hearty, tasty and filling dish to get you warm up during cold nights. It has that spicy, earthy, and nutty flavor that complements well with a fresh-from-the-oven cornbread. And since this pinto dish freezes beautifully, why not make a big batch so you can conveniently nosh on them whenever you want.
Can’t get enough of beans in your life?? Check out my other beans recipe HERE.
How to Cook Pinto Beans
Rinse dry pinto beans and pick through and discard any foreign object. Add beans to a large pot cover with 3-4 inches of cold water. Cover and let sit for about 8 hours or overnight .
In a large, heavy sauté pan, saute chopped bacon until brown and crispy about 4-5 minutes, remove and, set aside.
Throw in the onions, garlic, jalapenos, bell pepper, oregano, cumin, chili spice, smoked paprika, and bay leaf.
Then saute for about 3-5 minutes, until onions are wilted and aromatic.
Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and place the beans in the pot.
Stir for about a minute or two.
Add water or chicken broth bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, for about 30 -45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beans are tender and slightly thickened to your desire.
Add more stock or water to desired thickness, the texture of the beans should be thick, somewhat creamy but not watery. Remove the bay leaves. Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt and pepper if needed. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onion or cilantro
Watch How To Make It
Pinto Beans Recipe
- 1 pound (450g) dried pinto beans
- 4 bacon , chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion , diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 jalapeño , minced (remove seeds and ribs if you prefer less heat)
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin spice
- 1 teaspoon chili powder , (adjust to taste)
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- water or chicken broth
- Rinse dry pinto beans and pick through and discard any foreign object. Add beans to a large pot cover with 3-4 inches of cold water. Cover and let sit for about 8 hours or over night.
- In a large, heavy sauté pan, saute chopped bacon until brown and crispy about 4-5 minutes, remove and , set aside.
- Throw in the onions, garlic, jalapenos,bell pepper, oregano, cumin, chilli spice, smoked paprika and bay leaf . Then saute for about 3-5 minutes, until onions are wilted and aromatic.
- Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and place the beans in the pot. Stir for about a minute or two.
- Add about 5 cups water or chicken broth, enough to cover the beans bring to a boil. Return bacon or add towards the last 10 minutes of cooking
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, for about 55 or more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beans are tender and slightly thickened to your desire.
- Add more stock or water to desired thickness, the texture of the beans should be thick, somewhat creamy but not watery.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt and pepper if needed. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onion or cilantro.
Tips & Notes:
- Soak dried pinto beans to discard any foreign object and cut back on time when cooking it.
- Add salt to beans on the latter part of cooking. If you add salt early on, it sometimes prevent the starches in the beans to break down causing it a little over-firm when cooking.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.