Mexican Pinto Beans

There is something hearty and satisfying about cooking your own beans from scratch, and these Mexican Pinto Beans really are a great all-rounder.

While it might seem easier to grab a can of ready-made Mexican Pinto Beans, there are many reasons to prepare them yourself.

Many canned bean mixes are very high in sodium, and some even have hidden sugars. When you make these Mexican Pinto Beans, you know exactly what goes into your recipe, and the yield when using dried beans is huge!

When you make these amazing, robust and flavoursome beans, you’re creating a plant-based staple that can be eaten on its own, or used as a base in other authentic Mexican dishes such as burritos, tacos, nachos and chilli. You can use it on meatless Monday, impress your vegetarian guests at a Mexican-themed dinner party, or add any extra ingredients you like.

With pinto beans being our June monthly special and the winter chill descending, we think it’s the perfect time to soak some beans and prepare a dish that will help you keep warm on the inside.

Mexican Pinto Beans

(Recipe Credit: Minimalist Baker)

Prep Time: 6 hours 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 7 hours 15 mins

Yield: 5 cups


450g pinto beans, soaked overnight in cool water (or for at least 6 hours)

1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

1/2 white onion, diced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper, plus more to taste

1 quality vegetable stock cube (or 1 cup vegetable broth)

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 tsp adobo sauce (plus more to taste)

1/2 cup (90 g) diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp chili powder*

optional: 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


1. Add pinto beans to a large pot and cover with cool water (at least a few inches above the beans as they will expand). Soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight uncovered at room temperature.

2. Once beans are soaked, drain and set aside.

3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, diced onion and garlic, and season with a healthy pinch each of sea salt and black pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent.

4. Next add drained beans and vegetable stock cube and cover with water about 2 inches over the top, as the beans will expand while cooking. If you’re using vegetable broth in place of a stock cube, add the vegetable broth first, and then the water so you don’t add too much liquid.

5. Add the chipotle pepper and diced tomatoes, stir and bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to low or medium-low, and simmer for 40-50 minutes, or until beans are tender.

6. Once the beans are tender and cooked through add remaining seasonings: adobo sauce, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon (optional). Stir seasoning through the bean mixture and cook on low for 10 more minutes.

7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste, cumin for smokiness, chili for depth of flavor, cinnamon for warmth, or adobo sauce (and minced adobo peppers) for heat.

8. Your beans are now ready to enjoy!

9. Store beans in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, or up to 1 month in the freezer.

Recipe and Photo Credits: Minimalist Baker