How to cook flavorful healthy vegan Mexican Pinto Beans using dry beans! A simple easy recipe that can be made on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot. A delicious addition to your Mexican Feast, or weekly meal prep. Can be made ahead! Allow 6 hours of soaking time.
Hi, friends. It is the first of May. Time continues on even though the world feels as if it has taken a long pause. I hope you are finding your rhythm in all of this. With Cinco De Mayo right around the corner, I’d thought I’d share a simple recipe for Mexican Pinto Beans using dry pinto beans.
This version is vegan, yet smoky and full of flavor. I like making a big pot of these Mexican Pinto Beans on slow lazy days, letting it simmer gently on the stove. It’s perfect for gatherings and meal prep- serve it up during the week in burritos, tacos, and healthy bowls. The leftover pinto beans get more and more flavorful each day as the beans have a chance to soak up the all the goodness.
You can also make these in an Instant Pot,be sure to see recipe notes.
It starts with soaking the beans overnight, or for a minimum of 6 hours. Add a teaspoon of salt to the soaking water.
For a milder version, leave out the dried guajillo chili.
Toast the spices and add a cinnamon stick if you like.
Add the beans, bay leaves, salt and water and bring to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered for 45-55 minutes.
When the pinto beans are tender, stir in the juice from the canned chipotles, which gives the beans a delicious smoky flavor. You can also use a ham hock ( see notes) to achieve this.
The leftover peppers can be frozen in tiny zip-lock bags for another use.
As the beans sit, the liquid will thicken up and the beans will get even more flavorful.
Have a lovely weekend. Get outside, breath, feel the sun on your skin.
Mexican Pinto Beans
How to cook flavorful healthy vegan Mexican Pinto Beans using dry beans! A Simple easy recipe that can be made on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot. A delicious addition to your Mexican Feast, or weekly meal prep. It can be made ahead! Allow 6 hours of soaking time.
- Prep Time: 6.5 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 43 minute
- Yield: 8 cups 1x
- Category: pinto beans
- Method: stove top, instant pot
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 lb dry pinto beans (2 1/2 cups dry), soaked 6-12 hours, then drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1 dry Mexican Guajillo Chile (optional, see notes), seeds removed, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 2 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)
- Place pinto beans in a med bowl, and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and let soak overnight – or for a minimum of 6 hours. Drain.
- After soaking: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until tender and fragrant, 4-5 minutes. Add the dried chili, cinnamon stick and all the spices. Saute one minute to toast the spices. Add the water, tomato paste and DRAINED beans. Stir in the 1/2 salt and bring to a rapid boil.
- Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer (on low or medium low) and simmer uncovered for 45-60 minutes, until beans are tender.
- Stir in the tablespoon of Chipotle Adobo Sauce and the vinegar.
- Taste, adjusting salt if needed.
Feel free to substite 1-2 canned chipotle peppers (chopped) instead of the dried Mexican chili. Or leave out both for a milder version. Or experiment with other dried Mexican chilies taking not of heat level. One Guajillo chili makes this MEDIUM SPICY.
You could also use a little smoked paprika for the smoky flavor without the spiciness.
INSTANT POT: Cook according to above, using the saute function for sauteeing. Reduce water to 4 cups. Pressure cook the soaked pinto beans on high for 25 minutes, naturally release. If you’d like to reduce liquid further, cook on saute function for a few minutes until it thickens up.
HAM HOCK: Feel free to add a smoked ham hock to the top of the simmering beans. After it’s tender, shred the meat and stir into the beans.
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