How to Prepare Pinto Beans


Pinto beans form the basis of many popular dishes, from bean soup to bean burritos. The meaty pink bean may be eaten fresh or dried. Pinto beans are easy to prepare and when combined with a grain dish, such as cornbread or rice, form a complete protein making them popular for vegetarian meals. Store dried pintos in a cool, dry place and they will keep for years. Pinto beans grow best in the Southern and Western United States where long, warm days give the beans time to develop to maturity and dry on the vine.

Step 1

Rinse the dried pinto beans and discard any shriveled or blackened beans.

Step 2

Place the beans in the crock pot and add water to twice the depth of the beans. Soak the beans overnight.

Step 3

Drain the water from the beans. Cover with fresh water.

Step 4

Add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

Step 5

Place the lid of the crock pot and turn to high. Cook for six to eight hours. Serve as is or use in burritos, chili or other bean dishes.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check the water in the cooking beans periodically and do not allow the beans to boil dry.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. dried pinto beans
  • Water
  • Crock pot
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Bacon or ham (optional)


  • New Mexico State University: Using Pinto Beans

Who Can Help

  • University of Nebraska: Cooking with Dry Beans
Keywords: prepare pinto beans, cook dried beans, pinto beans in crock pot

About this Author

Cynthia James is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from Modern Bride to Popular Mechanics. A graduate of Sam Houston State University, she has a degree in economics. Before turning to freelancing full time, James worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.