Metal spoon in a big pot of Mexican Pinto Beans made from scratch
4.85 from 59 votes

Mexican Pinto Beans From Scratch (1 Pot)

How to make Mexican Pinto Beans from scratch in 1 pot! Flavorful, smoky, so easy, and perfect for every Mexican dish you can think of!
Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10 (1/2-cup servings)
Category: Entree, 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)


  1. 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.
  2. Once beans are soaked, drain and set aside.
  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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 Per Serving (1 of 10 half-cup servings)