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Seasoned Pinto Beans


Deliciously well-seasoned pinto beans slow-simmered for hours; these beans make the perfect side dish to accompany any Southwestern meal.


  • 2 cups of dry pinto beans, picked over for small stones
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/4 cup diced sweet yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano 
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried epazote (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste


  1. Place soaked beans into a large stockpot and cover with at least 3 inches of tap water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and slow-simmer the beans (barely boiling) for 2 to 3 hours, or until the beans have softened. Remove from heat. Drain and rinse well with water, leaving the beans in the colander.
  2. Set the stockpot you used to cook the beans over medium-high heat and add in the oil. Add the onions to the pot. Stir frequently until onion is soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  3. Add the beans, broth, bay leaf, oregano, epazote, cumin, coriander, and chipotle powder to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow-simmer and cook for about 1 hour, covered, stirring frequently. If the beans don’t have enough liquid to stir easily, add a little water.
  4. After 1 hour, stir in the salt and slow-simmer again for about 10 minutes. The beans should be nice and creamy. Serve warm with your main entree.


Dry beans really should be soaked overnight in water before cooking them the next day. This helps to dilute an enzyme within the raw beans that can cause stomach pain, along with helping to soften the beans. If you skip this step you’ll be sorry (unless you can cheat and place them in a pressure cooker). Drain and rinse off the beans the next morning before beginning with this recipe.

Do not add any salt to the beans or the soaking liquids at all, until called for in the recipe. If you would like to add ham or bacon, add these in when adding the onion in step 2.