Slow-cooker pinto beans are affordable, flavorful and versatile!  Learn how to soak and cook dry pinto beans the easy way. 

For more slow-cooker favorites try this Slow-Cooker Moroccan Chicken or this Slow-Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef.

white bowl filled with slow-cooker pinto beans

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of dried beans are hiding in back corners of dark pantries around the world. For some reason, many people feel intimidated by them.

Despite everyone knowing how delicious they are and the benefits of eating them, they remain there. Hiding in those pantries until finally, they are thrown out.

Well, the time has come for your beans to shine! So open up that pantry, bring them into the light, and get ready to create the most amazing beans you’ve ever tasted!

This recipe is fuss-free and easy, thanks to your slow cooker.

About Pinto Beans

Pinto beans range in color from light tan to dark brown.

They’re called “pinto” because they look like they’ve been splattered with paint (pinto comes from the Spanish word paint).

They’re members of the legume family, meaning they grow in pods. They are related to other veggies like peas, peanuts, and even clovers.

 Why are pinto beans so popular? Here are a few reasons:

  • Inexpensive: Dry beans are one of the most inexpensive foods you can buy. They have protein and fiber, so they’re great for making meatless meals. They really give quite a bang for your buck! To save even more money, you can buy them in bulk.
  • Long shelf life: Dry pinto beans (and any other dry beans for that matter), stay fresh for many months, and sometimes up to a year or more. You can continue to use them until they begin to sprout. To avoid this from happening, keep them in a dark, dry location.

You also might like these recipes for gluten-free tacos and gluten-free taco seasoning.

Also check out this recipe for Chipotle gluten-free.

looking down on bowl of cooked pinto beans

Sorting dry beans

Before you can make slow-cooker pinto beans, you need to sort them. Sorting dry beans just means that you look through them for any debris or pebbles that may be in the package with them.

  1. Place the beans onto a plate to sort through them.
  2. Remove and discard any foreign objects.
  3. Place the beans into a strainer and rinse them under cold water to remove any dirt.

soaking dry pinto beans in a large steel pot
Soaking pinto beans

Next, place the beans into a large mixing bowl or pot. Cover with cold tap water and allow them to soak overnight.

Soaking pinto beans is important because it helps to break down some of the complex carbs that cause excess gas. It also removes some of the phytic acid, which can keep you from absorbing the iron.

Probably the most important reason for soaking pinto beans is to reduce the cooking time. Soaking them in water for several hours first softens them. If you cook them without soaking first, they will need to cook at least twice as long.

making Mexican beans in a crock pot

How to make slow-cooker pinto beans

After sorting and soaking the beans, drain them and rinse them thoroughly. Add them into the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients, which are:

  • Chicken Stock or vegetable stock
  • Onion – White, yellow, and red onion are all great choices.
  • Jalapeno – For less heat, you can use banana peppers, or leave the peppers out entirely.
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Stir everything to combine. Then, cook the beans with the lid on, at low power for 6-8 hours.

After cooking, remove the onion and jalapeno, season the slow-cooker pinto beans to taste, and enjoy! Try serving these with chicken enchiladas!

close up shot of cooked pinto beans in white bowl
Uses for pinto beans

While slow-cooker pinto beans are delicious on their own, they’re also super versatile! Give them a try in these different ways:

up close shot of pinto beans in white bowl with serving spoon
5 from 6 votes

Slow-Cooker Pinto Beans

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
soaking time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Slow-cooker pinto beans are the stress-free way to prepare a pantry essential. Learn how to soak and cook them from dry for a delicious, nutritious meal!


  • 1 pound pinto beans rinsed and picked over
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 onion left whole
  • 1/2 jalapeno left whole
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  • The night before, place the pinto beans in a bowl and cover with water. The water should be a few inches above the beans as they will absorb water.
  • The next day, drain and throughly rinse the pinto beans. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow-cooker and stir to combine.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the onion and jalapeno halves and season to taste before serving. Enjoy!


Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 575mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 3.6mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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  1. Morning Erin, I wanted to know if the pinto beans recipe you have, are they gluten free?

  2. 5 stars
    I add a tomato cut in four slices, chopped cilantro, a whole cut up onion, and the meat part of salt pork to mine ( along with a couple of your spices) The salt pork gives it an awesome taste.

  3. 5 stars
    Yummy, there’s a good reason we have a saying that to be “full of beans” is to be ready for anything. I do very much the same thing with lentils. Always picking them over for safety, before use. Thank you for the recipe.

  4. Can this recipe be made in the Instant Pot using the pressure cooker function? When I prepared this recipe in the slow cooker they beans weren’t fully cooked but the flavor was awesome. (I’m sure it was user error). The pressure cooker method seems full proof.

  5. Making these bean again tonight. We love how the beans come out and taste. I plan on freezing extra to use next week in recipes. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  6. Have you tried making dried black beans this way? I was thinking the black beans from your previous post might be good prepared this way….

    1. I haven’t tried my pinto bean recipe with black beans but I think it would work great! Let me know if you try it 🙂

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