Easy Pinto Beans From Scratch (1 Pot!)

Jump to Recipe
Stirring a big pot of beans made with our How to Cook Pinto Beans made from Scratch recipe

Can I admit something? I had only cooked beans from scratch once before testing this recipe. And that’s because I’m not usually the type to prep dinners hours ahead of time, or make large quantities of food for later use.

However, I recognize the merit in cooking your own beans from scratch. For starters, a lot of canned products are heavy in salt and often contain preservatives and other additives (such as BPA) that aren’t so great for you in large quantities. Not to mention, cooking your own beans is considerably cheaper, making it far more cost effective than buying canned.

Plus, these pinto beans are seriously simple (just 10 ingredients and 1 pot required). And hands-on prep time is really only 15-20 minutes, since the soaking and cooking take place while you do other things. If I can do it, you can do it. Let me show you how!

Cutting board with onion, garlic, pinto beans, spices, chipotle chili, and tomatoes for making homemade Mexican Pinto Beans from Scratch

How Long to Soak Pinto Beans

We have found that 6-8 hours is the optimal amount of time for soaking dry pinto beans. The longer you soak them, the more tender they will become, and the more likely they will split and separate during cooking.

So if you can’t get to them right away, simply drain, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

For those times when you haven’t planned in advance, some readers have mentioned success using a quick soaking method.

To quick soak pinto beans, add them to a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then remove from heat, allow to sit (covered) for 1 hour, and drain. Then proceed as instructed. Just be aware that this method may result in beans that cook faster.

Soaking dry pinto beans in water for our tutorial on How to Cook Pinto Beans

How Long to Cook Pinto Beans

How long it takes to cook pinto beans will depend on the freshness of your beans and how long you have soaked them. Beans that are old may have difficulty softening and require longer to cook. Also, the longer your beans have had to soak, the more quickly they will cook. 

Once soaked for 6-8 hours, we find that pinto beans require about 40-50 minutes at a simmer to fully cook.

If you are looking to speed up the cooking time, you can use an Instant Pot to prepare this recipe. We recommend using this recipe as a guide for timing.

It’s also rumored that salting beans before cooking prevents them from softening. We have never experienced this issue and have read that it may be more relevant for those at altitude.

How to Season Pinto Beans

While seasonings are optional, we find it’s what helps elevate beans to be a dish worthy of enjoying on their own. So we went with our favorite: Mexican-inspired flavors.

Many traditional Mexican pinto bean recipes require bacon or ham hocks to prepare, but to keep ours plant-based, we relied on vegetable broth, garlic, onion, and diced tomatoes with green chilies, chili powder, cumin, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Batch Cooking Beans

The brilliant thing is this recipe yields about 5 cups cooked pinto beans, which you can enjoy throughout the week for super easy, quick meals. Or you can store leftovers in freezer-safe bags or jars to save for future meals.

Making a pot of healthy vegan Mexican Pinto Beans using our easy recipe

I think you guys are going to love these easy, 1-Pot beans. They’re:

Perfectly spiced
& Delicious

These pinto beans are great on their own as a snack with guacamole and chips (hello, lunch). They also make a great addition to meals like tacos, nachos, veggie burgers, burrito bowls, salads, and chili.

More Beans From Scratch Recipes

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of our delicious smoky Mexican Pinto Beans made with our tutorial for How To Make Pinto Beans from Scratch

Easy Pinto Beans From Scratch (1 Pot)

How to make pinto beans from scratch in 1 pot! Tender beans infused with smoky, Mexican flavors like cumin, chili powder, and chipotle in adobo sauce.
Author Minimalist Baker
Metal spoon in a big pot of Mexican Pinto Beans made from scratch
4.67 from 111 votes
Prep Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10 (1/2-cup servings)
Course Entrée, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5 Days


  • 1 pound pinto beans* (soaked overnight in cool water // or for at least 6 hours)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion (diced)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced (3 cloves yield ~1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 1 pinch each sea salt + black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 cube quality vegetable bullion (or 1 cup or 240 ml vegetable broth per 1 cube)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (plus 1 tsp adobo sauce as original recipe is written // plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes and green chilies (I used Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder*
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)


  • Add pinto beans to a large pot and cover with cool water (at least a few inches above the beans as they will expand). Soak for at least 6 hours or overnight* uncovered at room temperature.
  • Once beans are soaked, drain and set aside.
  • Heat your large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, diced onion and garlic, and season with a healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Stir to coat and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent.
  • Next add drained beans and bouillon cube and cover with water about 2 inches over the top, as the beans will expand while cooking. If using vegetable broth in place of a bouillon cube, add vegetable broth first, and then water so you don’t add too much liquid.
  • Add chipotle pepper and diced tomatoes, stir and bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to low or medium-low and simmer for 40-50 minutes (time as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), or until beans are tender.
  • Once the beans are tender and cooked through add remaining seasonings: adobo sauce, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon (optional). Stir to coat and cook on low for 10 more minutes to let the flavors meld.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste, cumin for smokiness, chili for depth of flavor, cinnamon for warmth, or adobo sauce (and minced adobo peppers) for heat. You want them very well seasoned, so don’t be shy!
  • Your beans are now ready to enjoy! These make a delicious addition to burrito bowls, burritos, tacos, nachos, taco salads, veggie burgers, and more. You could also add them to chili!
  • Store beans well covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Will keep in the freezer for 1 month (oftentimes longer).



*1 pound dried beans typically equals 2 cups dried or 4-5 cups cooked.
*The chili powder I used was from Whole Foods and contains a blend of chili peppers, cumin, garlic, oregano, coriander, cloves and allspice.
*6-8 hours is the optimal amount of time for soaking your beans. The longer you soak them, the more tender they will become, and the more likely they will split and separate during cooking. So if you can’t get to them right away, simply drain, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
*Recipe method adapted from All Recipes and The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*The recipe yields roughly 5 cups cooked beans.
*I recently discovered that Trader Joe’s beans are BPA-free, which is great news if you forget to prep ahead of time. In a pinch, buying cans that are BPA-free is still a good option.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 half-cup servings Calories: 176 Carbohydrates: 31.3 g Protein: 10.6 g Fat: 2.3 g Saturated Fat: 0.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.23 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 135 mg Potassium: 42 mg Fiber: 8.2 g Sugar: 2 g Vitamin A: 350 IU Vitamin C: 5.8 mg Calcium: 60 mg Iron: 2.9 mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @minimalistbaker on Instagram and hashtag it #minimalistbaker so we can see all the deliciousness!

If you love this recipe...

Get Our Fan Favorites eBook Here!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating!

Have a question? Use ctrl+f or ⌘+f on your computer or the "find on page" function on your phone browser to search existing comments! Need help? Check out this tutorial!

My Rating:

  1. Reluctant Post says

    Today, after a total soak time of about 15 – 16 hours since last night, I then boiled my pinto beans for about 45 minutes and then simmered them for another 30 minutes in the hope that they would be very soft. They are still half-hard. They aren’t especially old as bulk beans go (prior year’s harvest, not last year’s), but it can take MUCH longer–if they truly soften at all–to get beans to behave the way that people seem to always think that they should on the Internet.

  2. Dominique Sandblom says

    I wanted an easy recipe to try since this is my first time making home made beans! I didn’t think I would have to rinse and soak (I don’t know why I didn’t think of that, it’s like DUH!) so I did the quick soak. It works well! I added some green onion, queso fresco and avocado, with quinoa and red rice! So good!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Robink says

    I lost my mother-in-laws pinto bean recipe in a move, and this one sounded close enough. The single cipotle pepper was something new and we liked the added flavor. Overall very good flavor. NOTE: I used 1/2 TBS each of chili powder and ground cumin and the beans were more than hot enough for us. Just a consideration.

    I gave the recipe three stars because it calls for way too much liquid. I saw we were to add liquid “about 2 inches over the top” of the beans and made it more like 1-1/2 inches. Even at that, the beans wound up with too much liquid. Also, they took two hours to get tender, not the estimated 40-50 minutes, so you might want to allow extra time. I had them on an active simmer without covering. I stirred them regularly to keep them from sticking. I used a cast iron Dutch oven.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Robin. Sorry to hear you had to make some adjustments to get it to work out right!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad it’s a winner in your household. Thank you for the lovely review, Michelle! xo

  4. Dan says

    This has been my go to for beans for years now. I appreciate your recipes immensely!

    I use an instant pot for 50 minutes. No need to soak the beans with the intstant pot. I saute in ham or bacon, then add the onion and jalapenos. I use chicken stock instead of veggie bullion. I stick to your ratios of everything else. When I want a taco I will fry the beans until they are a tackier consistency. Also makes the best beans and rice bowls.

    Love your Marinara recipe as well. You keep on!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thank you so much for your kind words and support, Dan. We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Craig! Thank you for your honest feedback and sorry for any inconvenience. We always try to optimize for user experience, while also having ads to keep the content free and high quality.

  5. Matthew says

    It’s good but in what world would pinto beans cook in 50 minutes? Normal cooking time for pinto is 2 hrs+, the recipe is misleading.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Matthew, did you soak the beans? Or is it possible you’re at a high elevation or using older beans?

    • Melissa Mangum says

      I love the flavors of this recipe and have made it many, many times – but I agree with Matthew – the cook time is grossly understated. I’m at sea level and soak the beans overnight and on the stove top at low boil, the cook time is indeed 2+ hours.

  6. Brenda Moore says

    Loved this dish. I used an entire onion, a whole can of Rotel, and water as I didn’t have bullion or veg stock. I left the chili in adobo whole and removed it halfway through cooking. It was still plenty spicy for us. I really like the cinnamon in here. Served with a little dollop of light sour cream as we are not vegan. My picky son asked me to make it again! Big success!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing, Brenda! xo

  7. Stu says

    This recipe is so versatile and is perfect to modify for anyones taste. I thickened the cooked beans with a handheld blender and added some uncooked pasta to make a tasty side dish for several meals. Next time I’ll try adding different veggies for full meal.

  8. Ms. Jana Wollesen says

    I just wanted to share a couple ideas for this recipe. I also add a little unsweetened cocoa to my beans. My sister gave me a bottle of Holy Smokewhich is a smoked olive oil. The bottle says “It’s like liquid bacon that’s good for you.” I don’t know what bacon tastes like but I do use this to saute the veggies and it’s tasty. I usually use bay leaves but hate to change recipes if I shouldn’t. What do you think about that?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jana, we think those modifications sound lovely, but haven’t tried them ourselves! Let us know how if you try it out!

      • Ms. Jana Wollesen says

        I made it last night with the bay leaf, smoked oil and cocoa additions. They add more depth, but are not so noticeable as to change the overall outcome. I have always loved the addition of cinnamon and cocoa to Mexican dishes. The addition of cinnamon to Chile Rellanos sauce is wonderful.

          • Denise Martin says

            I just ran across this recipe. I haven’t tried yet. I’m looking for a way to use my already cooked pot of beans to make chili. I must be from the old timey days. I rinse the beans, put them in a pot of water with a smoked ham hock, salt, tablespoon lard, start it boiling then slow it down till nice n tender. We have it with fried potatoes n cornbread.
            I started adding onion 20 years ago. Anyway, I want to know how to turn it into chili? I know it’s a dumb ? but I never thought to do that till now. Sorry for the long wind story, just got flustered.

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Denise, you could drain the excess liquid from the beans and use them in place of canned beans in nearly any chili recipe. 1 can is ~1 1/2 cups cooked beans. We have a few chili recipes on the site that you can find by searching “chili” in the recipe index. Hope that helps!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Richard! That depends on your spice preference, since there is already some heat in this recipe, we’d say start with ~1/8 tsp and increase if you want it spicier.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Tina, if you continue cooking with the lid off, the liquid will cook off and the beans will thicken. Hope that helps!

  9. Laura says

    Fantastic recipe! I just made a batch, and it was just like what you get in a restaurant – or even better! And I live in an area with a lot of Latinos and a lot of great Mexican restaurants. Thank you!

  10. Brandy says

    Just made this. Very delicious! The beans I bought yesterday must have been very old because it took 2.5 hrs to cook. Oy! I added a cup of TVP as there was too much liquid left. It became a very very delicious chilli. Lots of deep rich flavors with a healthy dose of spice! Love it! Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Andi says

    Very flavorful! One of my favorite beans recipes, ever! I made it twice this week. My bean picky children loved it! The first time I made it I had no adobo pepper, I substituted ground cayenne pepper. The second time, I made it with adobo, it was delish! I love the minimalist baker!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Andi! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed!

  12. Konkoly says

    I appreciate the recipe. I’ve been making it almost weekly since I found it about a year ago. I haven’t really changed much, but I do use a whole onion, which I saute for 5-10 minutes before adding anything else. I also found that if you throw a few cans of adobo into a processor, blend until smooth, and then freeze into 1TB portions, it makes that part much easier. I also use the ‘better than bouillon’ vegetable stock instead of those salty cubes. I like to mix it with jasmine rice. Leftovers bake really well. Again, thank you for this as it’s become a healthy staple of mine.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks for the lovely review, we’re so glad you enjoy this recipe! xo

  13. Beth says

    I made these last night and also mashed them this morning to put in a taco. Really good.

    Due to lingering taste issues from COVID I had to leave out the onions. I did use Better than Bouillion seasoned vegetable base though and that contains onions.

    Still delicious! I wasn’t sure about the cinnamon so I mixed the cumin, chili powder and cinnamon together and smelled and tasted it first. I’m really happy with the addition of cinnamon. To my palate, it made the flavor more complex but I wouldn’t have immediately known that cinnamon was in there, just that it was warm and fragrant.

    The broth is really warm and fragrant so I am keeping some to make a quick lazy soup with kale.

    A keeper!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Beth! Thank you for sharing! Hope you’re feeling better =)

  14. Candice says

    Absolutely delicious and easy! Thank you! Your recipes are always flavorful and I appreciate the notes and easy steps!

  15. Ellise says

    I soaked the beans overnight but they still took a couple hours to cook. Other than that, this recipe was thoroughly enjoyed (just after the dinner they were planned for lol). Will definitely make these again. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you still enjoyed them, Ellise! Older beans or hard water can make beans take longer to cook.

    • Tammy Mathis says

      That’s a lot of stuff. Dry beans, water, salt and pepper. That’s all you really need for basic pot of beans. Serve with cornbread and onion. Done.

      • alyssa says

        I agree with you. All I could taste was cumin and chili powder. Chili is a whole different dish, I didn’t want chili, I wanted a pot of pintos. I couldn’t even make decent refried beans with this.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Alyssa, sorry to hear it wasn’t what you were looking for. This dish is a more flavorful one and not intended to be used to make refried beans. We have a more basic recipe for pinto beans here that would be a better fit.

  16. Favour Elegbede says

    Great recipe. The recipe is just similar to the way we cook porridge beans in Nigeria, just that we use palm oil instead back in Nigeria. I made this with canola oil and added ground crayfish which is a key ingredient in a lot of Nigerian cooking. Being my first time of eating pinto beans, I also noticed it tastes somewhat like Heinz baked beans. I ate this with bread (beans and bread is a classic Nigerian dish) and it was delicious

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      We made this recipe specifically for vegans / vegetarians – perhaps not the one you’re looking for!

      • Amy says

        Correct! I’m looking for an adaptation. Bacon crumbles, for example, might provide a harmonious depth of flavor! Have you experimented with substituting beef for veg bullion?.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Amy, we haven’t tried with those modifications so we’re not sure. We think chicken broth might be a more favorable flavor profile than beef broth. Let us know if you try it!

          • Any says

            That makes sense. I’ll try the chicken broth, thanks. My beans just went from soak to cook. Seems there will be many ways to customize this dish. That will make for fun exploring.. and of course, fun eating!

      • Tara says

        Just use bacon instead of vegetable oil. Delicious either way. I’ve used vegetable broth and chicken with this recipe. Always great tasting beans.

    • Femi says

      I used chicken bouillon and boiled two chicken carcasses I had from the night before with them. Together, that made my “water” for the beans. I also had an uncured ham steak that I was planning to use for breakfast. Instead, I took half of it and cut it into cubes and put it in with the beans when it came time to boil them. Given these additions, I cut out the salt that was recommended in the recipe. The ham and the chicken bouillon, plus what was left on the carcasses provided enough.

  17. Jenny Spencer says

    These are the best beans ever! My family loves them so much. We took them to a party and they were a HIT!

    Thank you Dana!

    -Raine :)

  18. GREG says

    I was going to try this recipe until I read the ‘small print.’
    Not everybody shops at hole foods. The chili powder you used, what you admitted, was actually a blend of spices of unknown proportions. So its a guessing game for sure. IMHO, This not a truly “From Scratch” recipe. I’ll pass on this one.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Greg, thanks for your feedback. If you’d like to make homemade chili powder, there’s a link in the recipe that takes you to our DIY version. We know that’s not realistic for everyone so that’s why we provide a brand recommendation for those who prefer store-bought. Let us know if you decide to try it.

    • Laurel says

      Hello Greg! I found this recipe was DELICIOUS and would recommend you give it a try!

      Not everyone has to shop at Whole Foods to buy chili powder! Most of the chili powders I’ve ever seen/bought from many different stores are typically a blend, this includes brands like McCormick which can be found at most grocery stores. In fact you’d be hard pressed to find “Chili Powder” without additional spices.

      The Google definition of “Chili Powder” mentions it’s mixed with other spices, as well as the Wikipedia definition states the same.

      I, myself, am a “from scratch” snob and have made my own chili powder blends in the past, but have found that it’s so much easier to buy the chili powder (blend) from the store.

      I hope you don’t miss out on this delicious recipe!

      Happy eating!

    • ryan says

      After they are tinder and cooked, do you drain the remaining water from the beans or keep the water with it? I’ll be meal prepping for lunch for 5 days

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Ryan, we like to cook it down (uncovered) to evaporate most of the liquid and concentrate the flavors. But you can also drain some of it if it’s a lot of liquid. Hope that helps!

  19. Maggie Southern says

    Agh! Every time I make beans I have way more liquid than normal! I live in the South now, I need to know how to do this right! Haha!! And I love your stuff…I’m going to try again! Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Even soaked them 6 hours.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maggie, at the end, we’d suggest removing the lid, turning to high, and stirring frequently to evaporate excess moisture. Hope that helps!

  20. Lester Boyd Garrison says

    I use a lot more onion, and add fresh Sage, cut fine, and Rosemary, fresh, chopped fine, then ground in a mortar & pestle, with the salt (coarse sea salt), for a lot of extra flavor.

    Add onions, sauteed, before adding (the onions can also be pre-cooked in the microwave, of course).

    Mas delicioso!


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love it! Thanks for sharing, Rusty! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

      • Lizzy Lucas says

        Hi there! I always love your recipes! Wondering if I can do a quick soak on the beans(being to a boil then sit for 2 hours)? Thank you! :)

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Lizzy, yes! To quick soak pinto beans, add them to a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then remove from heat, allow to sit (covered) for 1 hour, and drain. Then proceed as instructed. Just be aware that this method may result in beans that cook faster.

  21. quisno Rodonovich says

    i Use a Pressure cooker and add 2 teaspoons of natural vinegar and your recipe and walaw! 45 minutes from dry beans to done. and they are perfect. For Miners they eat a lot, as they work hard, so red meat green salads and good beans they are ready again the next day .

  22. Brenda Moyer says

    Best tasting pinto beans ever! I chopped 4 strips of bacon, sauted it with the onion and added to beans. I also had a ham steak I needed to use, so diced it, sauted and added it too. As far as seasonings…I followed recipe exactly. Don’t be afraid of the cinnamon, don’t think of it as a spice for only desserts. It adds a depth, flavor that takes the beans to grand prize winning level. This recipe will be made many more times in my kitchen. It’s simply AWESOME. I made it last nite, plan to eat a cup for breakfast. Served over rice with chopped raw onions and warm corn tortillas . Made our mouth and tummy happy!

  23. Matt F. says

    The beans come out great, but definitely have to agree with others on the cooking time for the beans. It’s at least 1.5 hours to get those puppies cooked right in my opinion. I also am not a big fan of spicy beans, so I omitted the extra spices aside from salt and pepper and didn’t bother using adobo with the pepper. No tomatoes or chillies either. Great recipe!

  24. Karan says

    Solid recipe. A perfect amount of spice. I did omit the cinnamon since I was having this alongside Mole Enchiladas. I’m def making a bigger batch to unfreeze and use anytime I need it

  25. Jessie says

    I made this recipe over the weekend along with several other things for some guests and they couldn’t stop talking about the beans! I did make a couple of modifications to note. I did not use cinnamon. Instead of bullion cubes I used vegetable bullion base, and used around two tablespoons (if you do this, be careful with adding additional salt since this is salty). I also added dried oregano since the recipe mentioned that the Chili Powder used was more of a mix. I soaked the beans overnight, but definitely needed longer than 40-50 minutes to cook them. It didn’t matter since I started them early in the morning for a lunch but they took about 2 hours to cook. At the end, I removed some of the liquid and used a potato masher to get a partial refried bean consistency. We were using paper plates and so I didn’t want any additional liquid. This may sound like a lot of modifications but it didn’t feel like it, and I loved the recipe. Thank you!

  26. Esther says

    Good recipe, if a bit spicier than what you’d normally get with Refried beans. I tried the cinnamon, don’t rate it, makes it taste like it should be pudding. But besides that, really liked this flavour and ease of cooking.

  27. Michele says

    These turned out great! It took a little longer to cook the beans (like an extra hour) but I think it’s because I had them on super low. Flavor was wonderful! I like the addition of cinnamon. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks, Melin! This is certainly Mexican inspired. We’ll be sure to note that it’s not traditional!

  28. Trudy says

    I love this recipe! Felt like we were dining in our Chuys fave— Charro beans! Thanks for creating, testing, and sharing! I love that I can just pick any of your recipes and put the rest and they never disappoint. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review, Trudy. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we’ve never tried that, but we think it would work! Let us know how it goes!

  29. Maria says

    I have made these time and time again!! They are a MAJOR hit with everyone! The depth of flavor with these beans are out of this world.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Maria. We are so glad you enjoy them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

      • Michelle Quezada says

        I made 2 pots of these beans over the last 2 weeks for my family. They love them and I finally got to use my can of adobe chilis I’ve had hidden away in my pantry for months. Thank you for the recipe. Love the smokiness. ❤️

  30. Kim says

    I love love this recipe! My only question is – how many calories per cup? I am not sure I understand the kcal version


  31. Sandra Coulson says

    Excellent! Being from Texas, we are really missing going out to our favorite Tex-Mex restaurants during shelter in place. My husband loved these! I did have to cook mine quite a bit longer than 50 minutes. The beans soaked about 6.5 hours. Thanks for the recipe!

    After recently been told that my digestive issues are likely the result of gluten and dairy sensitivities, I luckily found your website. Your recipes make me feel so much better!

  32. steven says

    Thank you for this recipe. I have made it at least 10 times now. It is economical, easy and most of all delicious. Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I have it on hand at all times now, even in the freezer.

  33. Azalia says

    2nd time I made this, used half the batch to mash up for tostadas. But the 2nd half we had the next day as a soup with all the Mexican fixings. ? the broth was so flavorful!!! Thank you @minimalistbaker

  34. Sally says

    I doubled the batch to make this for our kids mountain bike team using an instant pot. The bowl was cleaned out and more were requested for next time. They were a hit!!

  35. Linda says

    I am wondering if the size of the pan makes a difference as to how much water you need. I used my large crockpot and put 2 inches of water over the beans. There was way too much water and the flavor too weak. I added more veg bouillon which helped also some coriander powder and smoked paprika. That helped but still too watery. I made them for a party but I may have been the only one who ate them. Since I now have a pot of beans I may just strain off the liquid and see how they are, if they need any seasonings. When I cooked them I added all the seasonings after sauteing the onions and garlic. I used 1/3 the chili powder because I was afraid it would get too hot with the Adobo. Next time I’ll use a smaller pan and/or use less water and see how it goes. It would be helpful to know the amount of water needed rather than putting 2″ above the beans. I liked the heat of the one adobo chili and 1 tsp of the adobo sauce. I’ll try this recipe again with less water and see how it is. I probably won’t take beans to a party again though.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Linda, we think the crockpot could be the issue as it doesn’t boil as vigorously and therefore not as much water evaporates.

      • Linda says

        I cooked the beans on the stove in the removable crockpot pan. 2″ of water was way too much. Beans cooked up fine just didnt need all the water.

  36. Debra says

    I’ve made these beans several times and they have become a mainstay in our rotation! With cilantro lime rice, Chicken fajitas, and bacon jalapeño corn muffins I totally score and have lots of leftover options that always seem like as big a hit in any incarnation! You rock! Thanks for this great recipe!

  37. Diana Simard says

    I had a crock pot full at the time I checked yours out, No need to soak in crock pot. Mine were great, added ham to mine from Christmas from freezer and pepper. Cooked them on high several hours. When beans were soft, turned to warm. Had it on rice next night. Then added cumin and chili an salt to the remained. Cooked again on high one hour! Turned out perfect for burritos tonight!
    There’s many was to make them most are great.
    One tip, you don’t add salt in the beginning because it makes the skins on beans tough. Thanks for your recipe, I’ll try it out next time!

  38. Susan says

    The length of time it takes to cook beans depends on how fresh the beans are, and the altitude you are at. I had always lived at sea level until recently. Since I’ve moved to a higher altitude I find that it takes much longer for my beans to soften. A pressure cooker can be helpful. I don’t follow recipes in any exact way so it isn’t entirely fair for me to comment, but this is a very good general guide. In Mexico, just like everywhere else on the planet, there are many different ways of making delicious food. Experiment and make it how you like it. Thank you.

  39. Sam says

    I made this exactly as the recipe said and unfortunately, they were inedible. The flavor was atrocious. My Mexican husband looked at the recipe as I was soaking the beans and stated that these are not Mexican style beans. They don’t add a lot of the ingredients that are in here. I was very dissapointed as the reviews were great but I will not make this ever again

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! We’re so sorry to hear that was your experience! Would you mind sharing what you disliked about the flavor? We would love to troubleshoot what might have gone wrong!

    • Irma Martinez says

      Not all regions from Mexico use the same ingredients depends on if you were poor or had money for the extra ingredients. Beans my grandma made who was from Mexico was cumin, chili powder they made themselves and salt once the beans were cooked and that is how I made mine and made a pico de Gallo with cilantro for toppings once cooked.

      • Tammy H says

        These are not authentic Mexican beans. Most Mexican beans are with simple ingredients. The salt is added after the beans have softened. A little chili powder, cumin and garlic is sometimes added along with the salt. They have frijoles charro that looks more like your recipe. Although they add a couple of types of pork to it as well. (Chorizo, smoked sausage, hotdogs, ham). Please stop putting authentic on your recipes if they are A Tex/Mex version for an American’s taste buds.

        • Xsquid says

          I lived in mexico 10 years, was in a big part of the country and never saw beans anything like this.

          In fact “chili powder” Is a tex mex seasoning for chili that is several ingredients mixed together And not even mexican. If you ask for “chili powder” they will say “what chile”.

  40. Cathie says

    Soaked beans overnight. Up at 5am, brought to boil, boiled 2 minutes, turned heat off, lid on for 1.5 hrs. Then began recipe. Beans ready quickly. My secret ingredient is 1 can Hatch enchilada red sauce. Used immersion blender to mash a few to thicken. Much better than black eyed peas for New Years Day. Thanks for recipe. HNY

  41. Cyndi says

    I had a bag of dried pinto beans been meaing to use. But I usually use beans as a soup to use up ham from whatever meal. Well – too much ham this Christmas. Want nothing to do with ham for a while. So I looked for alternative ways to cook beans. This recipe is good. I mean – I had to compromise as I didn’t have the adobe – but used salsa instead of the diced tomatoes and added this and that. Perfect! Will have to try with the adobe pepper! Real easy and simple and tasty!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Great! Thanks for sharing, Cyndi. Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  42. Cori Thompson says

    I highly recommend this recipe to anyone looking to make pinto beans with authentic Mexican flavor. I am not vegetrian, I wasn’t looking for a vegan recipe, but these flavors looked legit so I went for it. I did use chicken broth instead of veggie because it’s all I had. I doubled the recipe for tamales. My whole Mexican family loved them! I will use this recipe over and over.

  43. Cori Thompson says

    I just made this recipe for tamales. My whole Mexican family loved them! I used chicken broth instead of veggie but other than that, I found these flavors so authentic and delicious. I will use this recipe over and over.

  44. Eric says

    I made this recipe but I sauteed all the vegetables and added bell pepper and cilantro. As usual I hardly measure anyting but it came out excellent!

  45. Veronica Lacey Nuciforo says

    This was so good. I made it for a party where they were making tacos. Didn’t tell anyone it was vegan. Everyone said how creamy or cheesy it was. It was all gone and there were still tacos left over.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Ana Ray. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  46. marianne ritter says

    I’ve made these a few times, they are the BEST!!!!
    Question: how would you use the crockpot to cook these instead of stove top?



    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Marianne, We haven’t tried it, but other readers have mentioned doing so with success. If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for “crockpot” in the comments. Let us know if you give it a try!

    • Jodi says

      If I were making these in the crockpot I would still soak them, however I would cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6….of course checking them along the way. Personally I would follow everything but change the cooking time. ?

  47. Cata says

    I made this and it was so good :) I added more Chipotle peppers and I omitted steps 6 and 7 bc I loved the taste where it was. I didn’t want to mess with what I had. I will definitely make this again! Notes: I made 1 lb of pinto beans. I soaked them for 6 hours. It definitely took longer than 1 hour to cook. More like 2- 2 1/2 hours. Worth the wait tho! I used better than bouillon vegetable.

  48. Mae says

    I’m a little bit frustrated right now because I’ve been boiling my beans for close to 100 minutes and they’re not close to being done… I was using this recipe along side a burrito bowl in the crock pot and recipe and was going to time them out to be done at the same time.. for a point of reference I googled “how long do pinto beans take to cook” and else where on the Internet it says anywhere from 2-3 hours, to an hour and a half, to an hour. Wish I would of done that before I started instead of taking the 40 minute thing to heart

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mae, did you soak your beans beforehand? That vastly reduces cooking time and also improves digestibility.

      • Katherine Willian says

        Sometimes, if the beans are old, they will just not soften. We had some pintos from storage in a warm Texas garage that were about 8 years old that we tried to cook to see if they were still good. We tried soaking in baking soda water and cooking in the pressure cooker and nothing worked. Don’t know if there is another trick to soften old beans, but now we make sure to use fresher bags. Do you know if one?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Katherine, we don’t! But for food safety, we wouldn’t recommend consuming them after that long.

  49. Judy says

    Delicious!! This will be a dish I will make often. The flavor is great! I presoaked the beans overnight and they cooked up great within 40 minutes.

  50. Kathe says

    Just made this…it’s excellent.. Flavorful and spicy but not overpowering. So good just from the pot (once it cooled a bit). Will freeze half and have the other half for supper tonight with homemade jalapeño corn bread. Will definitely be making these again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Kathe! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

    • Annie says

      I soaked these overnight using new beans and there’s no way this takes 50 mins on the stove. Disappointed—we’re going to have to pivot and order in dinner instead.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We’re so sorry that was your experience, Annie! Sometimes even new beans from the store are old when you purchase them. Did they eventually soften? Other factors that can cause it to take longer would be if you live at elevation or have hard water.

  51. Betsy Imhof says

    Just followed this recipe as written, with an extra pepper in adobo sauce for heat, but simmered it for four hours. House smells great, beans were delicious!

  52. Mel Anie says

    So yummy!

    I want to rate it but I had to make changes because I couldn’t run to the store to before making these.
    Used chipotle powder in place of adobo and pepper.
    I omitted chili powder because the brand I buy is too spicy for my littles
    Also instant potted this for 23 minutes as another reviewer suggested and released it after 15 minutes