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Mexican Pinto Beans From Scratch

Making pinto beans from scratch is easier than you think and tastes better than you can imagine! The perfect side dish to any meal. 

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Boil and Soak1 hr 20 mins
Total Time3 hrs 25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Hispanic, Mexican
Keyword: beans, dried beans, pinto beans
Servings: 8
Calories: 137kcal
Author: Ty


To Soak the Beans

  • 1 lb pinto beans
  • 2-3 c water

To Cook the Beans

  • 1/2 c yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp chicken stock base if not using chicken stock
  • 3 c water or chicken stock

To Flavor the Beans

  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  • Sort the broken beans and rinse them of debris. Add them to a large pot and cover them with 2-3 cups of water. Bring them to a boil over high about 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and cover the pot with the lid. Let the beans soak for 1 hour. Some of the water will have absorbed into the beans.

To Cook the Beans

  • Do not drain the beans. Add to the soaking water the onion, garlic, bay leaf, chicken stock base, and water. Stir well. Bring the pot to a boil then turn it down to a simmer. Cover the pot and allow the beans to cook for an 1 1/2 hours. The beans should be fork tender and ready to eat at this point.

To Flavor the Beans

  • While the pot is simmering add the tomato paste, canola oil, sugar, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and black pepper. Stir in the ingredients and allow it to cook at a simmer for another 25 minutes. The beans should be a little starchy and very tender. Serve them hot.


Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 964mg | Potassium: 382mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2.3mg