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How to cook flavorful healthy vegan Mexican-style 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. With a video!
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 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 all the goodness.
You can also make these in an Instant Pot,be sure to see recipe notes.
Pinto Beans Recipe | 60-sec video!
How to make Pinto Beans
Step one: Soak the beans overnight, or for a minimum of 6 hours. Add a teaspoon of salt to the soaking water.
Step two: Once the beans have soaked, drain and saute the onion and garlic and dried guajillo chili. You can also use canned chipotle peppers here if you’d rather.
For a milder version, leave out the dried guajillo chili.
Step three: Add the spices and toast for 1-2 minutes. Add a cinnamon stick if you like.
Step four: Add the beans, bay leaves, salt and water and bring to a simmer.
Step Five: Simmer uncovered for 45-55 minutes.
Step six: When the pinto beans are tender, stir in adobo sauce 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, breathe, feel the sun on your skin.
More bean recipes you may like:
- Instant Pot Pinto Bean Stew
- Refried Beans! | Instant Pot or Stove Top
- Pumpkin Soup with Leeks and White beans
- Cuban Black Bean Soup (Instant Pot w/ Dry Beans)
- Southwest Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Mole Black Beans
Pinto Beans Recipe
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 60
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 8 cups 1x
- Category: pinto beans
- Method: stove top, instant pot
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
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.
- 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 8-12 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 substitute 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.
Using the Adobo sauce from the Canned Chipotle Peppers really elevates and adds a lovely smokiness to the whole dish. Freeze the leftover chipotle chilies (individually) for later use!
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 3 cups. Pressure cook the soaked pinto beans on high for 15 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.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 129
- Sugar: 2.5 g
- Sodium: 461.1 mg
- Fat: 2.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 21.6 g
- Fiber: 6.9 g
- Protein: 6.2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Mexican Pinto Beans, pinto beans dry, pinto beans using dry beans, instant pot pinto beans, vegan pinto beans, pinto beans recipe, healthy pinto beans,
I made a few mods like I always do and also used Anasazi beans instead of Pinto. Best beans I have ever had. I grew up southern.
Sounds interesting and yummy!
Fabulous! The cinnamon is genius. My favorite pinto recipe. I make it whenever I can.
The only way i eat pinto beans. The cinnamon makes the beans extra especial.
I soaked them for about 12 hours, then cooked them in the Instant Pot for 25 minutes, then let it naturally release and my beans turned out super liquidy and really really soft, like almost refried beans. What went wrong?
Oh Shoot. They sound overcooked. Sorry about that Rachel. You can pour out some of the liquid or cook it down a bit. I will adjust the recipe.
Wow these were insanely delicious!!! I forgot to add the adobo and vinegar but they were still so good. I soaked my beans for a couple hours, cooked in the instant pot for 10 minutes, which left them about 3/4 done, then finished them off on the stove. This will be my go to Pinto bean recipe now!!