Pinto Beans From Scratch
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Make Pinto Beans From Scratch on the stovetop of using an Instant Pot with this simply delicious recipe. The perfect side dish to any meal.
The key to making excellent Pinto Beans is the perfect balance of spices and the proper amount of cooking time. Pinto beans, or any dried bean for that matter, are highly adaptable to flavors making them easy to season. Acidic ingredients like tomato paste should be added after the beans are fully cooked. In this recipe, I will show you how to cook pinto beans with on the stovetop and in an Instant Pot pressure cooker.
What you will need to make Pinto Beans
Dry pinto beans
Chicken bouillon cubes
Tomato paste, optional
Canola oil, optional
How to make Pinto Beans from scratch
The first step to making any type of dried bean is to rinse and sort them. Rinsing and sorting the beans is critical. Packages tend to contain debris like pebbles and dirt. You will want to remove any broken or shriveled bean or any other particle before giving them a good rinse under cold water.
Pinto beans stovetop Method with pre-Soaking
Soaking the beans helps them to cook faster. I prefer to quickly soak. The beans by adding them to a pot with 4 cups of water, bringing them to a boil and letting them sit for an hour. Drain the soaking water. Pour 4 cups of fresh water followed by salt, chicken bouillon, oregano, garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Set the flame to high to bring it to a boil then turn it down to low and cover the pot. Cook for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Pinto beans Instant Pot method with no soaking required
Pour the rinsed beans into the pressure cooker with the onion, garlic, bouillon cube, oregano, cumin, salt, and bay leaves followed by the water. Stir it well.
Place the top and close the valve. Set the pressure to High, cook time to 1 hour, then press the Pressure Cook button to start. Once the beans are done, use a long spoon to release the pressure valve. Remove the lids after all of the steam has released.
How to add extra flavor to Pinto Beans
Once the beans have cooked they are already perfect to enjoy as is. But you can take them a step further by adding tomato paste or sauce, chipotle adobo, hot sauce, green chilies; essentially any additional flavor you can think of. The additional cooking time with be 10-15 minutes for the stovetop and the pressure cooker.
In this recipe, I’m adding tomato paste for richness. Stir in tomato paste and canola oil. Allow the pot to simmer, stirring often for 10-15 minutes over low heat. Turn off the heat and serve as desired.
Pressure cooker add-in
To add more flavor, turn the setting to Sauté then Less. Add the tomato paste and oil. Let the pot simmer, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot by pushing Cancel. Serve as desired.
Latin American inspired recipes to serve with Pinto Beans
Fajita Chicken Quesadillas
Cheesy Beef Enchiladas
Smoky Chipotle Chicken Empanadas
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***This recipe was originally posted on 7/2/2019 and was updated on 6/19/2020 for improved content.***
Pinto Beans From Scratch
- 1 lb dried pinto beans sorted and rinsed
- 4 c water plus 4 cups to soak for the stovetop method
- 1/2 c yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste optional
- 2 tbsp canola or olive oil optional
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Add the beans to a large pot and cover them with 4 cups of water. Bring them to a boil over medium for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pot with the lid. Let the beans soak for 1 hour. Drain the beans after an hour and return the to the pot.
- To the soaked beans, add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, bouillon cubes, cumin, oregano, and salt. Stir well and place the pot over medium heat to bring the pot to a boil; stir frequently. Cover the pot and turn the flame down to a simmering low for an 1 1/2 hours. The beans should be fork tender and ready to eat at this point.
- Optional: Stir in 2 tablespoons each of canola oil and tomato paste. Allow the pot to simmer, stirring often for 10-15 minutes over low heat. Turn off the heat and serve as desired.
Instant Pot No Soak Method
- Pour the rinsed beans into the pressure cooker with the onion, garlic, bouillon cube, oregano, cumin, salt, and bay leaves followed by the water, stir it well. Place the top and close the valve. Set the pressure to High, Cook Time to 1 hour, then press the Pressure Cook button to start. Once the beans are done, use a long spoon to release the pressure valve. Remove the lids after all of the steam has released.
- Optional: To add more flavor, turn the setting to Sauté then Less. Add the tomato paste and canola oil. Let the pot simmer, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot by pushing Cancel. Serve as desired.