Slow Cooker Pinto Beans
A single food can be the springboard for an entire supper, and few ingredients have as much to offer as the humble bean. Pinto beans in particular are appealing because they have a creamy texture and mild flavor, are widely available, and dirt cheap. Making Slow Cooker Pinto Beans is the start of a multitude of soups, salads, plates of hearty rice and beans, and of course, tacos and tostadas.
The Crock Pot Makes Cooking Beans Easy
While a sturdy pot set on the stovetop cooks beans just beautifully, the slow cooker allows you to do the job without minding the store, so to speak. It’s become a matter of course in our house to get the crock pot going with a pound of beans on Monday morning to use in meals throughout the week. While I’ve tinkered around with different techniques, nothing has been as successful as the bare bones approach by Mexican food afficianado Deborah Schneider in her book The Mexican Slow Cooker.
To Soak or Not to Soak Pinto Beans
The beans aren’t soaked in advance in this recipe. Everything goes into the slow cooker all at once and the five-ingredient recipe calls for nothing more exotic than crushed red pepper. It really doesn’t get any easier than that. And the result?
One delicious pot of crock pot pinto beans.
They were so good, in fact, that the first time I made them my daughter, Rosie did up a bowl for her after school snack (what could be more warm and nourishing!). She didn’t even mind that those same beans were the centerpiece of our meal just a few hours later.
Slow Cooker Pinto Bean Recipe Ideas
There are endless possibilities for for making meals using a pot of slow cooker beans. Here are a handful to get you started:
- Build tostadas on a base of corn tortillas crisped in a pan with a slick of oil or toasted in a 400 degree oven. Then, top with pintos, salsa, a chopped cabbage salad, and crumbled cotija cheese.
- Make these tasty chile-topped sweet potatoes. Delicious and healthy.
- Make simple breakfast huevos rancheros (which are perfectly acceptable for lunch or dinner, too).
- Spoon warm beans into a lunchbox thermos, top with salsa and cheese. Pack a stack of tortilla chips on the side.
- Make a simple soup. You can swap pinto beans in for the black beans using this recipe.
For more on how to cook beans:
A printable guide on slow cooking six different beans and legumes
Simple Pot of Black Beans (stove top)
Find more easy healthy recipes on INSTAGRAM
Slow Cooker Pinto Beans
- 1 pound dried pinto beans (2 1/2 cups), rinsed, picked over for tiny stones
- 7 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Put the beans, water, crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper into the slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low until the beans are tender but not falling apart (7 to 9 hours). The time will vary depending on the size and age of the beans. Once cooked, turn off the slow cooker. If you leave the beans in the slow cooker for a while, they will continue to absorb the liquid as they cool, making them more tender and creamy.
Adapted from The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider
This post includes a link to purchase. Mom’s Kitchen Handbook gets a small percentage of purchases made from this link. It is part of what keeps this blog up and running, so thank you for your support.