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Mexican Pinto Beans

These Mexican pinto beans are the perfect side to accompany many of your favorite Mexican dishes!

My favorite dish to serve with these beans is fideo loco. You’ve got to try it!

They’re incredibly easy to make.

In fact I bet you already have all of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

So give it a try!

mexican pinto beans in a bowl

What I like most about this pinto bean recipe is that it’s meatless.

There’s absolutely no meat in this recipe and they’re still super flavorful and delicious.

My husband and I are always looking for ways to cut down on our meat consumption.

We don’t eat a whole lot of meat to begin with. But for us less is better.

How do you make beans taste good without meat?

This recipe relies on aromatics in order to give the beans flavor and to make your kitchen smell amazing!

Ingredients needed to make Mexican pinto beans

This pinto bean recipe is very easy and uses these common ingredients:

  • dry pinto beans
  • white onion
  • garlic cloves
  • bay leaves
  • water
  • salt

Which is better dry beans or canned beans?

First I just want to say I am a fan of both varieties for different reasons and I’ll tell you why.

I think if you have the time dry beans will always beat canned beans.

It’s cheaper to cook your own beans and they taste better than the canned kind.

Plus you can control the amount of salt in them and you can add whatever you want to them.

However, since I’ve had my third baby I’ve been stocking up on canned beans.

I still have and use dry beans but canned beans really save the day when I’m running low on time.

Plus doctoring up a can of beans can really transform them into something almost as good as homemade.

These canned black beans and enfrijoladas recipes are two examples of just how delicious canned beans can be.

pinto beans

How do you make Mexican pinto beans?

These beans are so easy to make. It’s really hard to mess it up.

First rinse and sort the beans. This step is really important. Don’t skip it!

Put the beans in a strainer and rinse with running water.

While rinsing pick out any rocks, pebbles and dirt that may be in the beans and throw away.

Then put the rinsed beans in a pot along with the onion, garlic cloves and bay leaves.

Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil.

Once boiling reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook the beans for about two hours or until they have softened.

Make sure to check on the beans frequently to see if they need more water. After this you can salt the beans.

It’s important to never salt the beans at the beginning of cooking because they can become tough.

Something that is optional is adding a jalapeño to the beans during the last 45 minutes of cook time.

It will add more flavor to the beans but none of the heat.

If you happen to have a jalapeño you need to use up I highly recommend you give it a try.

If I have any leftover beans the next day I love using them to make refried beans tostadas.

You gotta try them!

dried beans, piece of onion, two garlic cloves and two bay leaves in a pot

What Goes Good with Pinto Beans?

These pinto beans make for a great side dish for many recipes such as:

My favorite way to eat these beans is topped with this delicious habanero salsa and eating them with warm corn tortillas. It’s really amazing.

Can You Cook Beans Without Soaking Them?

Of course you can. I never soak my beans and they always turn out just fine.

Soaking will help reduce the cooking time though.

Without soaking my beans take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to cook. Usually it’s about two hours.

Tips for Making Pinto Beans

  • Always rinse your beans before cooking.
  • Never salt your beans at the beginning of the cooking process as they can become tough.
  • Make sure the beans are always covered with water. Check on them frequently to make sure they are covered.

Easy Mexican pinto beans from scratch

This has become my go to meal for many reasons.

Not only are these beans delicious but they are also insanely cheap.

They’re also healthy so I feel good about myself when I eat them.

All they need is a little salt after cooking and they’re ready to serve.

Many people think that beans need bacon or a ham hock in order to taste good but that isn’t true.

I find that these meatless Mexican pinto beans have a lot of flavor to them despite using such simple ingredients.

If you have a large family you need to be making beans part of your meals if you want to save money.

mexican pinto beans

I recently made these beans for some friends of mine.

These are friends who are used to their beans being made with bacon grease or lard.

Surprisingly they really liked these beans!

Don’t get me wrong I love adding bacon grease to my beans. It’s absolutely delicious!

But I can’t ignore the fact that it isn’t very healthy. So I don’t do it very often.

I’d love to hear how you prepare your beans. And what your favorite kind are.

Let me know in the comments below.

I know that everyone makes theirs differently and it’s always nice to discover a new trick or two.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Don’t forget to leave it a rating down below.

Thank you for visiting, come back soon!

mexican pinto beans
4.3 from 24 votes

Mexican Pinto Beans

Mexican pinto beans are the perfect side dish to all of your favorite Mexican dishes!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mexican pinto beans
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 112 kcal
Author Carissa


  • 1 lb pinto beans
  • 1/4 piece of white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups water
  • salt to taste


  1. Put the beans in a strainer and rinse them under running water real good. While rinsing them pick out any rocks, pebbles and dirt and discard.

  2. Put the rinsed beans in a pot along with all the other ingredients except for the salt and bring to a boil.

  3. Reduce heat to low.

  4. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours or until beans have softened.

  5. Remove from heat and salt to taste.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Always rinse beans before cooking
  • Never salt the beans at the beginning of the cooking process. Let them cook for a couple of hours first and get tender before salting.
  • Always make sure they are covered in water.
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Pinto Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 112 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 17mg1%
Potassium 340mg10%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 2IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 47mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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Thursday 9th of April 2020

Authentic, healthier method and equally delicious without ham hock!

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