Side Dishes · Vegan Recipes

Homemade Pinto Beans

Beans 1

Home-Cooked Beans (Stovetop and Slow-Cooker)

Makes 7-8 cups

1 pound (about 2-1/2 cups) dried pinto beans

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (if not vegetarian, pork lard or bacon drippings can also be used)

1 medium white onion, roughly chopped


  1. Spread the beans on a baking sheet, and check for small stones. Pour the beans into a colander, and rinse.  Pour the beans into a large pot (4-6 quart). Pour 2-1/2 quarts of water into the pour. Add the oil (or bacon or pork drippings) and onion.
  2. Bring to a boil on high heat, then partially cover and reduce the temperature to low (the liquid should show a barely discernible simmering movement); the beans should be tender in 3 hours (his recipes says 1-1/2 to 2-1/2, mine took 3 hours – to know if yours are done, just squish a bean against the side of the pot, and if it squishes easily, it’s ready).
  3. When the beans are tender, stir in 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and simmer for a couple minutes longer. Taste and season with additional salt to taste.


From Rick Bayless


Fried Beans

Makes 2-1/2 cups, serving 4 to 5

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (if not vegetarian, can also use pork lard or bacon drippings)

3-1/2 cups home-cooked beans, with just enough cooking liquid to cover



  1. Place beans in a blender with the leftover bean liquid (alternatively, if you threw out your bean liquid, use water instead), and puree until smooth. If you like the beans a certain consistency, adjust your amount of water accordingly – less for thicker beans, more for looser beans. (If you don’t care if your beans are completely smooth, skip this step)
  2. In a large 10-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beans (pureed or still whole). If your beans are already pureed, simply stir them around over medium heat until they become a little bit darker, about 6-7 minutes. If your beans are still whole, coarsely mash them with a bean masher, potato masher, or with the back of a large cooking spoon. Cook, stirring nearly constantly, until the consistency of very soft mashed potatoes. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
  3. Rick Bayless includes a couple cloves of minced garlic in this recipe, but since my boyfriend enjoys beans without any other flavor, I left it out. If you would like that extra flavor, throw in 2-3 cloves of minced garlic after the oil and hot and sauté for 1 minute before adding the beans.


Adapted from Rick Bayless



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