Pinto Beans

5–10 minutes
to prep

8 hours
to cook

6 ½ cups

About this Recipe

Pinto beans, loaded with flavor and protein, are the foundation for other dishes such as refried beans, borracho beans and even enfrijoladas. We recommend cooking a big batch of pinto beans and enjoying them in different ways throughout the week as a nutritious and budget-friendly staple.

Recipe by: Richard Támez
Photos by: Jennifer Love


  • 1 pound of dried pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
Lao-Style Pho

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Sort and remove any misshapen beans. Then, wash pinto beans thoroughly and rinse.
  2. Put the beans in a large pot and fill it with water to cover the beans with at least 2 inches of water.
  3. Add the vegetable oil, salt and garlic.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to the minimum setting on the stove and leave overnight (or let cook on low for at least 8 hours).
  5. Once the beans are cooked and tender, add salt to taste.

NOTE: For first-time overnight cooks, the pot must be large enough to hold enough water so that there is no risk of all of the water cooking-out before morning and burning the beans. I recommend at least a gallon pot to avoid this problem. If everything goes as planned, you should wake up to the smell of freshly cooked pinto beans. Believe me, it’s second only to the smell of freshly roasted coffee in the morning.