How to Cook Pinto Beans

Learn how to cook pinto beans on the stove, in a crock pot or in the pressure cookeróplus vegan pinto bean recipes.

When it comes to beans, I feel like pinto beans get the short shift, but pintos are one of my favorite beans to add to tacos, chili, soups and salads. Not only are pinto beans delicious, they’re actually higher in a lot of nutrients than black beans.

Below are basic instructions for how to cook†pinto beans. There’s also information on how to store your pintos, if you want to cook in bulk, plus a collection of delicious vegan pinto bean recipes to help you embrace my favorite legume!

Yields about 2 cups

How to Cook Pinto Beans

How to cook soaked pinto beans on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or in a pressure cooker. This is a basic recipe to create unseasoned pinto beans that you can go on to use in any recipe that calls for cooked or canned pinto beans.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry pinto beans
  • water

Instructions

    Prepare for Cooking (same for all methods)
  1. Rinse your pinto beans thoroughly, and pick them over for stones, then transfer to a large container. Add enough water to cover plus a few inches, and soak them overnight (at least 8 hours, up to 24 hours).
  2. If soaking overnight is not your thing, you can do a quick soak. To quick soak, just place the rinsed beans in a pot with enough water to cover the beans plus a few extra inches. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and let them sit, covered, for an hour.
  3. Whether you do an overnight soak or a quick soak, you'll want to drain and rinse you beans before moving on to one of the cooking methods below.
  4. Stovetop Directions
  5. Combine the beans with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour. How long they need to boil depends on a lot of factors, but how old the beans are make the biggest difference. If you've had those pinto beans in your pantry for a long time, they can take much longer to cook.
  6. Slow Cooker Directions
  7. Combine the beans with 3 cups of water. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. How long they need to cook depends on a lot of factors, but how old the beans are make the biggest difference. If you've had those pinto beans in your pantry for a long time, they can take much longer to cook.
  8. Pressure Cooker Directions
  9. Combine the beans with 3 cups of water, and lock the lid. Bring the pot to high pressure for 6 minutes, with a natural release (10-15 minutes). How long they need to cook depends on a lot of factors, but how old the beans are make the biggest difference. If you've had those pinto beans in your pantry for a long time, they can take much longer to cook. If your beans aren't ready after 6 minutes and a natural release, do another minute or two at high pressure with a quick release, then taste again.
https://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-cook-pinto-beans.html

How to Store Cooked Pinto Beans

Like black beans, you can keep cooked pinto beans in the refrigerator for three to five days. If you want to store them for longer, a freezer bag is your friend. Just drain your cooked pinto beans and let them come to room temperature. Transfer to a freezer bag, gently press out excess air and store in the freezer for up to six months.

12 Vegan Pinto Bean Recipes

In the recipes below that call for†a 15 ounce can of pinto beans, you can replace with 1 3/4 cups of your homemade cooked pinto beans.

1.†Hearty 4-Bean Stew

This hearty stew recipe is packed with tons of beans and heaps of flavor!†To make this recipe totally vegan, either omit the honey or replace it with brown sugar or agave nectar. If you’re using homemade pintos that you drained and froze, you may need to add†water or vegetable broth. Just keep an eye on the pot, and add splashes of liquid as needed.

2.†Navajo Tacos

Not only do you make the beans for these tacos from scratch, you make the tortillas yourself! If you really want to dive into cooking from scratch, this is the recipe for you.

Refried Bean Burritos from Cadry's Kitchen

3. Refried Bean Burritos

If you don’t eat a lot of pinto beans, refried beans are probably the preparation you’re probably most familiar with. Skip the canned refried beans and make your own from scratch for these tasty burritos.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans from Vegan in the Freezer

4. Slow Cooker Refried Beans

This is another from-scratch pinto beans recipeórefried beans that you cook up entirely in the slow cooker! They’re perfect for burritos, tacos, dips and taco salads.

Pinto Bean Patties from Veggie Inspired

5. Smoky Millet Pinto Bean Patties

Serve these†versatile pinto bean patties in sandwiches or wraps,†on top of a salad or on their own as a main dish with a few sides. If you’ve never cooked with millet before, don’t let that stop you! It’s a super fun grain to work with.

Baked Potato Nachos from Fried Dandelions

6. Baked Potato Nachos

Step away from the chips! Smashed baked potatoes are the stars of these vegan nachos, and they’re piled high with fixins including plenty of pintos!

Pinto Bean Chili from Healthier Steps

7. Pinto†Bean Chili

Forget the black beans and kidney beans! Let pintos be the stars of your next pot of chili. This simple chili recipe is packed with flavor, and you can make it oil free, if you like!

Gimme Chimis from Dreena Burton

8.†Gimme Chimis

Dreena Burton’s vegan chimis are full of flavors that you may not associate with savory food, but I encourage you to give it a go. Spices like cloves and cinnamon go perfectly with tomatoey pinto beans piled high with guacamole.

Taco Salad from Contentedness Cooking

9. Mexican Fiesta Quinoa Salad

This†healthy spin on a taco salad uses quinoa as the base, homemade vegan queso and plenty of pinto beans. It’s a one-bowl meal that’s packed with flavor and nutrition.

7 Layer Dip from Spabettie

10. Seven Layer Dip

Spicy jalapeno pinto beans are the foundation for this classic party dip with a healthy twist. The homemade cheese sauce for this dip uses sauerkraut to add some fermented zing, and it is so, so delicious!

Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes from Go Dairy Free

11. Quinoa and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

Quinoa and mashed pinto beans are the hearty meat replacement in this homemade sloppy Joes recipe. Just cook the quinoa, saute some veggies, then simmer the ingredients on the stove for an easy, plant-based meal that’s a real crowd pleaser.

Taco Soup from My Plant Based Family

12. Taco Soup

This hearty, oil free, gluten free soup is full of taco flavors and hearty beans. It’s a perfect, quick-and-easy weeknight meal! It even all comes together in a single pot for easy cleanup.

Related at Care2

Learn how to cook pinto beans on the stove, in a crock pot, or in the pressure cooker, plus vegan pinto bean recipes.

Pinto beans image via Thinkstock. All other images via recipe authors, used with permission.

32 comments

Lesa D
Lesa D15 days ago

omg!!! my Grandmother (Nanny) & my Aunt are the only people i know who make perfect, simple pinto beans... sadly, Nanny passed 11/10/08 (love you), but my Aunt just made some beans about two months ago~sooo BEANY!!! & they can be frozen & reheated easily... really versatile!

thank you, Becky...

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Mike R
Mike R29 days ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike R29 days ago

Thanks

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Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a month ago

ty

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ERIKA S
ERIKA Sabout a month ago

very good,thank you

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Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a month ago

th

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Glennis W
Glennis Wabout a month ago

Very informative. Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis Wabout a month ago

Great information and advice. Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis Wabout a month ago

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

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Jen S
Jen Sabout a month ago

Good post! I use great northerns to make bean soup in the winter but plan to try some of these suggestions.

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