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How to Cook Fresh Pinto Beans: Easy Recipe

Cooking fresh pinto beans is a great way to get the most out of this versatile and tasty legume.

white bowl full of pinto beans

If you’re looking for a great recipe to make the most of the freshness of your beans, then look no further than this delicious pinto beans recipe.

Originating in New Mexico centuries ago, this dish has been enjoyed by many for a long time and is sure to please everyone at your dinner table.

With just a few simple steps, you can have delicious freshly cooked pinto beans in no time!

Here is an easy recipe for how to cook fresh pinto beans that will give you the perfect side dish or main course.

What Are Pinto Beans?

Pinto beans are a type of legume that has been used in traditional cooking for centuries.

It has a rich, earthy flavor and an excellent nutritional profile including an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Pinto beans are also incredibly versatile; they can be used as a simple side dish or as the main ingredient in a variety of dishes.

Why People Love Pinto Beans

closeup of hand holding giant beans

Pinto beans are a great source of protein and fiber, making them an excellent choice for those looking to maintain a healthy diet.

They have a rich, earthy flavor that is perfect in Mexican dishes such as burritos, tacos, pico de Gallo, and refried beans.

Pinto beans also contain essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.

In addition, they are low in calories which makes them an ideal choice for those trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

How To Cook Fresh Pinto Beans

Cooking fresh pinto beans is simple and easy – all you need is a pot or pan, some water, and about an hour of your time! Here’s how:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pinto beans
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed

Instructions for Cooking Fresh Pinto Beans

1. Chop your onion and peel the garlic cloves and smash them.

2. Drain and rinse pinto beans then add to a dutch oven or large pot. 

pinto bean in a rustic wood bowl against burlap canvas

3. Cover with 4-6 cups of cold water so they are covered by about 3 inches of water. 

4. Add the chopped onion, smashed garlic, and bay leaves with a drizzle of olive oil

5. Season with little salt and pepper then bring the beans to a boil on high heat. Skim off any foam that forms and discard it. 

6. Reduce the heat to medium heat and cook on a low simmer uncovered for about 1 hour or until tender.

Cook longer if needed and add more water to keep beans submerged. Stir with a wooden spoon occasionally.

pinto beans background with bowl

7. Once the beans are cooked to your desired tenderness remove them from the heat and discard the bay leaves

8. Taste for seasoning and add a teaspoon of salt if needed.

9. Serve immediately or at room temperature and enjoy!

How to Store Cooked Pinto Beans

Once cooked, fresh pinto beans can be stored in a sealed container in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

They can also be frozen for up to six months. To freeze, simply portion out the beans into freezer bags and remove as much air as possible before sealing.

When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy!

Make sure to label and date the container before storing it.

What to Serve With Pinto Beans

pinto beans background and white spoon

Pinto beans can be served as a great side dish with any Mexican meal, but they also make an excellent main course.

They can be topped with cheese and served over rice, or in tacos and burritos.

For an extra special treat, add some of your favorite seasonings and serve them on toast or with crusty bread.

Pinto beans also taste delicious in soups, stews, and chili! Whatever you choose to make with them, pinto beans will surely become a regular staple in your kitchen!

How to Cook With Dried Beans

If you don’t have access to fresh pinto beans, it is possible to cook with dried beans.

Dried pinto beans can typically be found in the bulk section of grocery stores, as well as health food stores.

To cook with dry beans, simply follow the same instructions as above except begin by soaking the pinto beans overnight in a large pot or large bowl filled with cold water and a tablespoon of salt.

After 8-12 hours drain and rinse the beans before proceeding with steps 2-9 listed above for how to cook fresh pinto beans.

Do Pinto Beans Need to Be Rinsed and Soaked?

pinto bean in wooden bowl on wood background

Dried pinto beans need to be rinsed and soaked before cooking. It’s important for removing any debris or little rocks and ensuring even cooking.

If soaked overnight, the beans will cook faster and be more tender. When rinsing the beans, make sure to discard any small stones or bits of dirt.

Soaking also helps reduce the levels of phytic acid, making them easier to digest. Whereas unsoaked beans can cause digestive discomfort.

Can You Use Old Beans?

Cooking with older beans can be tricky, as they tend to take longer to cook than fresh pinto beans.

It’s important to check the package before cooking and discard any that are discolored or have an unpleasant odor.

Soaking old beans overnight in cold water also helps reduce their cooking time and makes them easier to digest. Bad beans should be discarded, as they can make you ill.

Once soaked, rinse the beans thoroughly then proceed with your recipe as normal – adding onion, garlic, bay leaves, and other seasonings for flavor if desired.

The key is patience – it may take a bit longer but you’ll end up with delicious cooked pinto beans!

How to do a Quick Soak for Pinto Beans

pinto beans spilling out with bowl of beans on wooden table

When making a pinto bean recipe, you may want to consider how much time you have available.

If you are short on time, the quick soak method is an easy way to get started the next morning.

This involves adding enough water to cover the beans and some acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or lemon juice, to help soften the beans during cooking.

After they sit in the soaking water for one hour, drain the rinsed beans before proceeding with your recipe.

Variations to Add to Your Pinto Beans

Pinto beans can be cooked in a variety of ways to make endless variations.

Some additional ingredients you could add for extra flavor include diced peppers, chilies, cumin, smoked paprika, bacon or ham pieces, hot sauce, garlic cloves, and onion.

You can also add some fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro just before serving the beans.

Ham

Ham hocks and ham bone are a great way to add extra flavor to dishes like soups, stews and beans.

The flavorful meat combined with the rich smokiness of the bone makes for some truly delicious meals.

Plus, it’s an economical way to add both flavor and nutrition without breaking your budget!

Stocks

pinto beans on a wooden spoon

Cooking with a variety of broths can add extra flavor and depth to any dish. Whether you’re using chicken broth, vegetable stock, or bean broth, the possibilities are endless.

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For example, adding a bit of brown sugar to your chicken broth will give it an irresistible sweet and savory taste that’s sure to please.

Vegetable stock is great for soups and stews, while bean broth adds complexity to chili dishes.

Experimenting with these different types of broths can take your cooking to the next level!

Extra Flavor Profile

Adding fresh cilantro, hot peppers, green chilies, and a splash of lemon juice to your cooking can take it to the next level.

These ingredients not only add flavor but also give dishes an extra zing that tantalizes the taste buds.

Adding chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder to the mix will give it an extra kick of flavor that is sure to please!

For best results, you should use all three for an aromatic and robust combination.

With the right preparation and cooking methods you can enjoy all of the great health benefits that pinto beans have to offer!

Whether you choose to soak beans overnight or do a quick soak and cook them up in one hour – fresh pinto beans are sure to become a regular staple in your kitchen.

How Are Pinto Beans Healthy?

pinto beans with a wooden spoon and wooden table

Pinto beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.

They contain no cholesterol or saturated fat, making them a great choice for those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Pinto beans also contain B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc – all of which help keep the immune system strong and provide energy throughout the day.

Including a cup of beans in your diet is an easy way to get many important nutrients that your body needs!

Whether you’re adding them to tacos or making them as a main dish, cooking with fresh pinto beans is sure to be a delicious experience.

Benefits of Eating Pinto Beans

In addition to being incredibly delicious, these flavorful beans are also incredibly nutritious.

They are a good source of protein and fiber and contain many essential vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin B, and folate.

Eating pinto beans can help with weight loss because they are low in calories but high in nutrition so you will feel fuller for longer.

Plus, their slow-burning carbohydrates provide sustained energy throughout the day.

Making them a great choice for how to cook fresh pinto beans is an easy way to get more plant-based proteins into your diet!

It’s also a great way to add flavor and nutrition to any dish without having to spend too much time or money in the kitchen.

Plus, fresh pinto beans are much more economical than purchasing canned or frozen versions.

What Are The Different Types of Pinto Beans?

small glass dish with pinto beans on wood background

Cooking with beans is a great way to add flavor and nutrition to your meals. There are many varieties of dry beans available, such as black beans, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, and lima beans.

Each type has its own unique characteristics that can be used in various recipes. Black beans are known for their nutty flavor while cannellini has a creamy texture when cooked.

Garbanzo offers an earthy taste while lima provides a buttery consistency.

All of these types of dry beans make wonderful additions to salads, soups, or stews – adding both flavor and nutrients!

Additional Ways to Cook Pinto Beans

Cooking with pinto beans can be a delicious and nutritious experience.

Whether you choose to use dry or fresh pinto beans, there are many ways to prepare them for a meal that is sure to please!

From an overnight soak of the dry beans to quick release in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot – you can enjoy tender, flavorful pinto beans in no time.

With shorter cooking time and less water needed than traditional methods, it’s easy to make tasty dishes without spending hours in the kitchen.

Instant pot

Using a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot is one of the best methods for cooking tender pinto beans in no time.

When using an Instant Pot, simply add your dry soaked pinto beans directly into the pot along with a cup of fresh water or broth and set it to high pressure.

This will cook your beans in around 20 minutes – resulting in flavorful and perfectly cooked legumes every time!

After they’re finished cooking, all you need to do is open the lid, adjust any seasonings, and enjoy your Instant Pot pinto beans!

Be sure to follow the pressure cooker instructions carefully as this is a powerful kitchen appliance that can be dangerous if not used properly.

Stove Top

dried pinto beans

For a quick and easy meal, you can use a stove top or slow cooker. Simply add the desired amount of pinto beans to your pot along with two cups of water for every cup of beans.

Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and let it gentle simmer for about an hour until the beans are tender.

You can even stick them in the oven in a single layer to bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Crock Pot

If you’re looking for a longer cooking time, crock pots are perfect for making bean recipes!

Simply add your pinto beans to the crock pot with some distilled water and set it on low heat overnight or throughout the day while you’re at work.

This will ensure that your beans are cooked through and that they turn out perfectly tender every time!

Not only is this method more convenient, but it also helps keep all of the flavors and nutrients intact as opposed to using canned beans.

Whichever method you choose, fresh pinto beans make tasty additions to any dish!

Tips for Cooking with Pinto Beans

woman hand holding bowl full of pinto beans

When it comes to cooking with beans, the key is to start with fresh ingredients and keep an eye on how they are cooked.

Here are a few tips that will help you create delicious meals with dry pinto beans:

  • Start by soaking your beans overnight in a lot of water before cooking. This helps make them easier to digest and enhances their flavor.
  • When preparing a dish, be sure to season your beans early on in the cooking process so that all of the flavors have time to blend together.
  • For creamy pinto beans, consider adding a tablespoon of oil or butter during the cooking process. This will help to bring out their natural creaminess and also add extra flavor.
  • By adding too much salt or other seasonings, you may end up with overly salty beans. Start by adding a small amount of seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • The extra cooking liquid from your beans can be used as a flavorful broth for soups or stews.
  • Add some aromatics such as garlic, onion, cumin, or chili powder for extra flavor.
  • Simmering your beans slowly in plenty of water will help out their natural flavors.

With these tips in mind, you’re sure to create some delicious and healthy dishes using dry pinto beans!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many ways to cook the best pinto beans. Whether you choose to use a pressure cooker or slow cooker, you will be sure to create flavorful dishes that everyone in the family will love.

With just a few simple tips and tricks, you can get the best end result out of your cooking – creating tasty meals with plenty of nutrients and flavor!

So, get creative with your favorite recipes and enjoy all the tasty dishes you can make with pinto beans. Bon appetite!

how to cook fresh pinto beans

How to Cook Fresh Pinto Beans: Easy Recipe

How to Cook Fresh Pinto Beans: Easy Recipe

Cooking fresh pinto beans is a great way to get the most out of this versatile and tasty legume.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pinto beans
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed

Instructions

  1. Chop your onion and peel the garlic cloves and smash them.
  2. Drain and rinse pinto beans then add to a dutch oven or large pot.
  3. Cover with 4-6 cups of cold water so they are covered by about 3 inches of water. 
  4. Add the chopped onion, smashed garlic, and bay leaves with a drizzle of olive oil. 
  5. Season with little salt and pepper then bring the beans to a boil on high heat. Skim off any foam that forms and discard it. 
  6. Reduce the heat to medium heat and cook on a low simmer uncovered for about 1 hour or until tender. 
  7. Once the beans are cooked to your desired tenderness remove them from the heat and discard the bay leaves. 
  8. Taste for seasoning and add a teaspoon of salt if needed.
  9. Serve immediately or at room temperature and enjoy!

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