Here we show you How To Cook Pinto Beans. They are served as a side dish, soup, snacking dip, refried, or pureed, and for those like myself, they’re the key food to a comforting main meal. With five ingredients, you’ll be on your way to a deliciously perfect pot. Need to learn to fry them? We got you for that too in our Refried Beans Recipe.
These perfect beans known as frijoles de la olla- across Mexico and in Mexican cuisine. I used Peruano beans in this cooking pinto beans on a stovetop. They are cooked olla (spanish for pot)-style from various bean types. I use a 4-quart stainless steel pot but if you have a traditional olla de barro, you can definitely use that! Here are the top 4 we most often cook: pinto, Peruano, black, and garbanzo. I love them all and you will too!
Grocery Quick List: beans, water, garlic, onion, and salt (sea salt or kosher).
Beans – We used dried peruano also known as mayocoba. They have a creamy texture, mild taste, and are light in color. When cooked they are not as dense as a pinto bean in my opinion. I use them both frequently in our weekly meal planning. Dried peruano, pinto, rosita beans (flor de mayo recipe), or black beans can be used in making this recipe.
Liquid – The liquid in this recipe is water. Many recipes and soup recipes encourage partial use of broth, which is ok to substitute if that’s what you know and like. However this recipe/how-to for frijoles de la olla only requires water.
Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t dump all the bean broth, you’ll need it when you flip these beans into creamy refried beans to avoid diluting any of their flavor. Besides, you may want half whole beans and half refritos!
Garlic and onion – If you only want to learn to perfectly boil the beans in only water, skip this part. These are the aromatics used to build a delicious flavor. I recommend fresh garlic and onion whenever possible. Tailor the amount of garlic cloves to your liking, I’m a big fan-BIG FAN of garlic so I use about 4-5 peeled cloves for the size of this recipe, it’s so yummy, nutritious, and adds that good flavor to beans. Brown onion can be used as a substitute if no white onion is available.
Ways to spice it up
I use the following fresh peppers, chiles, and even chorizos when I want a hint of spice in a fresh cooked pot of beans.
Tip! Add (1) of the fresh peppers or dried chiles in the pot about 30 minutes into cook time. Too much cook time will overly spice your beans.
- Chile de arbol
How to cook Beans Step-by-step
- Measure 2 cups dried beans and thoroughly rinse in water to remove any dirt and debris (see soaking note in tips below). Then cut half of large onion and prep (peel) 3-4 garlic cloves. Set to side.
- Place rinsed and drained beans in a large pot. Then add 2 1/2 quarts (or 11 cups) of water to pot, and place the pot on the burner. Turn stove on to medium-high. Cover with lid and set timer for 20 minutes.
- Once 20 minutes have completed, give a good stir, they’ll have a slight wrinkle to them. Add onion, garlic (if flavoring), and return lid. Set to medium heat, and set timer to 50 minutes and allow to cook.
- Note: If the beans begin to foam and drip steam, slightly tilt the lid to release steam. This will help avoid bean broth from spilling over.
- Once 50 minutes have completed, add 2 teaspoons of salt, and stir for about 1 minute, cover with lid and let boil for additional 10 minutes.
- Turn stove off. Be extra careful with the steam (ALWAYS use a towel and caution!) See photo below for the bean steam in action, so ten cuidado- very be careful!
A printer-friendly recipe card with full instructions is available at the bottom of this post.
To enjoy as cooked
Use a ladle to scoop up your freshly cooked beans and broth into a bowl and top with fixings like medium chopped onion, fresh cilantro, a dollop of ranchera or salsa macha, cooked nopalitos, and grated cotija cheese or your favorite shredded cheese.
Tip! I love adding a spoonful of Frijoles De La Olla atop a grilled asada taco or filling for veggie mulitas, so-so good! So versatile, so delicious, and always taste like home.
Ways to Flip [Whole beans]
- Easy Refried Beans
- Tacos De Frijoles
- Vegetarian Sopes
- Frijoles Charros
- Veggie Tostadas
Properly stored and covered beans will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator. But honestly, they make it to day 3 or 4 before they’re all gone cause they’re hard to resist eating in this small batch weekly staple.
Pro Tips / Receta notes
Recipe yield: 4 cups cooked beans
Can I put the beans in the water after its been boiling? Please put the beans in a pot prior to adding room temperature or cold water. We want the beans and water to reach temp and cook together.
Pot size: Using a large pot (4-6 quart) helps prevent spill over from foaming and reduces frequency of pot check-ins.
Soaking: I don’t require any soak time for the beans in this stove top method. Rinsing for cleaning is recommended but soaking is preference. If you’d like to soak for digestive purposes you may.
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- 4 Quart pot with lid
- Large spoon or ladle