This easy recipe for Crock Pot Pinto Beans is the perfect combination of tender beans, savory chicken broth, and aromatic spices that accompany any meal. With just a few simple ingredients and a slow cooker, you'll have a delicious and comforting no-soak pinto beans recipe to customize with your favorite toppings!
Pinto beans are a delicious and nutritious legume widely used in many dishes, especially Mexican cuisine. These small, pinkish-brown beans have a creamy texture and a mild, earthy flavor that pairs well with a variety of foods. From rice dishes and soups to salads and tacos, pinto beans are a versatile ingredient that can add protein and fiber to any meal!
One of the best things about this crock pot pinto beans recipe is that it's easy to make! With just a few simple ingredients and a slow cooker, you can have a wholesome and flavorful side dish that's perfect for any occasion. Whether you're looking for a tasty side dish or a satisfying vegetarian main course, these beans will check every box!
Making pinto beans in a crock pot is the best way to prepare them because it allows the beans to cook slowly and absorb all the delicious flavors of the spices and broth. There’s also no need to soak the beans beforehand. And, unlike stovetop cooking, where you need to keep an eye on the pot and stir the beans frequently, the crock pot method is hands-off and requires minimal effort.
Plus, the low and slow cooking process results in tender, melt-in-your-mouth beans that are packed with flavor! These tasty beans go great with Crock Pot Pork Carnitas, Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos, and Shredded Beef Tacos.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The crock pot pinto beans are perfectly seasoned with a blend of cumin, oregano, jalapeno, and garlic, creating delicious flavors in every bite.
- This recipe is easy to prepare and budget-friendly, making it a perfect meal or side dish option for anyone looking for affordable, wholesome, and delicious food.
- The slow-cooking method used in this recipe ensures that the beans are perfectly tender and creamy.
- Pinto beans can be served as a main dish or as a side to accompany your favorite Mexican-inspired meal. You can even use the leftovers to make delicious burritos, tacos, or bowls.
Crock Pot Pinto Beans Ingredients
- Dry Pinto Beans - Adds a creamy texture and nutty flavor to the dish while providing a healthy source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.
- Yellow Onion and Garlic - Provides a depth of flavor to the dish, creating a savory and aromatic base that complements the beans perfectly.
- Jalapeno - Adding a kick of heat, jalapeno brings a spicy and smoky flavor to the dish. It balances well with the other flavors.
- Seasonings - Salt enhances the dish's overall flavor, while bay leaves add an earthy and herbal note. Ground cumin and oregano add a warm and fragrant aroma to the beans, creating a delicious blend of flavors.
- Cooking Liquid - Low-sodium chicken broth and water form the base of the cooking liquid, adding a savory and rich flavor to the dish while keeping it moist and tender. Water is added to ensure that there is enough liquid to cook the beans properly.
How To Make Pinto Beans In A Crock Pot
Prepare the beans: To prepare dry beans for cooking, rinse them thoroughly through a colander and pick out any small stones, dirt, or debris.
Combine the ingredients: Place the beans in the slow cooker along with onion, garlic, jalapeno, salt, bay leaves, cumin, oregano and chicken broth, and enough water. Stir until well combined.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours or until beans are fork tender.
Top and serve: Once cooked, remove bay leave and sprinkle with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- Rinse the pinto beans thoroughly before cooking to remove any dirt, debris, or impurities, as sometimes there are things left behind in the sorting process.
- To save time cooking, soak the beans overnight in water to help them cook faster and more evenly. Alternatively, you can use the quick soak method to boil the beans for a few minutes and then let them soak for an hour.
- If you prefer a thicker consistency for your beans, you can mash some of them with a fork or a potato masher. This will create a creamy, thick texture perfect for burritos, tacos, or bowls.
- Don't add acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes or vinegar, to the beans until fully cooked. Acidic ingredients can prevent the beans from softening and can make the dish taste sour.
- For a vegetarian option, you can swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth or water. This will give the beans a lighter and fresher flavor that's perfect for a summer meal.
- Substitute the jalapeno for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smokier and spicier flavor. This will give the dish a bold, complex taste perfect for chili or nachos.
- You can add some diced ham or bacon to the beans for a meaty option. This will add a salty and savory flavor to the dish that complements the beans perfectly.
- Add some fresh cilantro and lime juice to the beans before serving for a bright and zesty flavor. This will add a refreshing and citrusy taste to the dish that's perfect for a summer barbecue.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: To store any leftover pinto beans, let them cool down before transferring them to an airtight container. Refrigerate the beans for up to 5 days. When reheating, you may need to add a bit of water or broth. This will loosen up the mixture since the beans will absorb the liquid as they cool.
Freezing: To freeze the pinto beans, let them cool before transferring them to an airtight container or a freezer bag. Pinto beans will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. When reheating, let the beans thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stove or in the microwave. You may need to add a bit of water or broth to the beans to get the right consistency.
The beans do not need to be soaked for this recipe before cooking. However, soaking does help the beans cook faster and more evenly, so it is recommended if you have time.
Yes, different types of beans can be used. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly for each type of bean. Bean varieties that work well with this recipe include black beans, Great Northern beans, and kidney beans.
For best results, it is best to slow-cook pinto beans on low for 8-9 hours for maximum flavor and tenderness but cooking on high will work, too.
Crock Pot Pinto Beans
- 1 lb Dry Pinto Beans
- ¾ cup yellow onion (finely diced)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp jalapeno (cored, seeded, and finely chopped)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- First, rinse the dry pinto beans thoroughly in a colander to remove any dirt or impurities. Check for any damaged beans or debris in the package and discard them. Next, transfer the cleaned beans to a 6-quart crock pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot. Stir until well combined.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
- Remove bay leave and sprinkle with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.